Living Large

About the Book

“Going big” is an act that’s quintessentially American. For our homes, cars, meals, bodies, churches, and businesses, supersizing has become a way of life. But with a struggling economy and our nation’s leaders urging us to reassess the impact of our daily lives, it has become impossible to ignore the toll that our supersizing has taken—on our environment, finances, communities, and psyches.


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Excerpted online by Vanity Fair and Popular Science; author interviews in TIME, Elle, Entertainment Weekly, and Allure.

“Wexler, a staff writer for Allure magazine, spent three years on the road, investigating America's worship at "the Church of Stuff." Wexler dives into America's new normal where bigger is better and our landscape is dominated by starter castles, Barbie boobs, megachurches and megamalls, jumbo engagement rings, mammoth cars, and landfills visible from space. By turns horrified, tempted, incredulous, guilt-ridden, mystified, and captivated by these excesses, Wexler approaches her subject with a compassion born of her own complicity (she's an SUV driver and enjoys her shopping)...Wexler brings a friendly first-person perspective to her study of surfeit and of the psychology behind our compulsion to consume and squander, why ‘living large’ is defended by some as our ‘God-given right as Americans’ and in other cases, might be downright unavoidable.” — Publishers Weekly

"Wonderfully comprehensive, the book pairs interviews with economists and consumers while weaving in a personal narrative that is relatable and, somehow, fun. Sharp and thoughtful, Living Large applies historical and social theories to real life, bringing an accessible edge to problems often too big to handle." — Harper's Bazaar (selected as a “Must-Read Book”)

“Wexler examines an America obsessed with size—of its malls, its churches, its breasts. Her experiential essays are as indicting as they are amusing, kind of like something from Barbara Ehrenreich, if Ehrenreich had gone for a boob-job consultation instead of to Walmart.” — Esquire

“Wexler reminds us that Americans have completely lost perspective, both literally and figuratively...
Amusing and timely.” — Kirkus Reviews

“If you read one book, make it Living Large...Each page is a mix of funny, personal anecdotes and research that proves keeping things small may be the way to go.” — Shape

“Wexler takes us on the most insightful couch-potato tour of American excess out there... Filled with the comic irony of a Stewart or Colbert.” — John de Graaf, coauthor of Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic

“I'll just say it, since someone has to: This is a hugely entertaining book.” — A.J. Jacobs, author of The Guinea Pig Diaries and The Year of Living Biblically

“Perfectly timed. This is a gorgeous romp of sharp cultural criticism by one of America's big new voices.”
— Jeanne Marie Laskas, award-winning author of Growing Girls

"Wexler's witty narrative makes her supersize warning easy to swallow but hard to ignore. Three and a half out of four stars." — People

Critics' Pick — Time Out New York