I’ve Tried Being Nice

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Published by: S&S/ Marysue Rucci Books
Release Date: June 4, 2024
Pages: 248
ISBN13: ‎978-1982120344



New York Times bestselling author Ann Leary has thrown in the towel when it comes to ingratiating herself with others. In the title chapter of her delightful new essay collection, Leary reveals how reaching a certain age (and surviving a passive-aggressive showdown with a difficult neighbor) finally put an end to a lifetime of people-pleasing.

Leary casts a wry backward glance at a life spent trying—and often failing—to be nice. Her essays explore everything from flunking online personality quizzes to surviving bat infestations, and the mortification of learning ballroom dancing with her actor husband. She recounts, with remarkable candor and wit, red-carpet fiascos and other unique observations from the sidelines of fame, while also touching upon her poignant struggles with alcoholism, her love for her family, home and dogs, and so much more.

Leary expands on some of her best nonfiction writing here, including her hit Modern Love essay, "Rallying To Keep The Game Alive," which was adapted for Prime Video’s television series, Modern Love, starring Tina Fey as Ann.

Smart, funny, and surprisingly moving, the essays in I’VE TRIED BEING NICE draw on the comically relatable chaos of Leary’s life, giving fans of her acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction a literary feast of humor and wisdom.


"Ann Leary is a damn delight. Reading this book was like curling up on the couch with an honest, hilarious, sane friend. Not too sane, though - just the perfect amount. Leary’s stories made me feel absolutely desperate to get out of my forties and into my fifties. I tried being nice, too, Ann. Thanks for being honest instead. Read this book!"
—Glennon Doyle, author of #1 New York Times Bestseller Untamed, Founder of Together Rising

“[A] winning essay collection…The humor lands and the lithe prose elevates Leary’s musings on life’s mundanities. This is a gem.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred)

“[Leary’s] candid essays invite readers to laugh and cry along with her… She fluidly guides us through her thought processes, while finding humor and displaying a refreshing vulnerability. A humorous and honest tale of a woman and her struggle as a people-pleaser.”