The three titles edited, revised and combined in this volume, How To Do Things Right, How to Retire at 41, and How to Be Good, will have you laughing out loud, thinking hard, and at least temporarily rearranging your frazzled life. Hills is wise, witty, and very, very funny. His mission is to create order out of chaos; to make the arcane methodology of fussiness respectable; to elevate, and even ennoble, those fleeting instincts we all harbor to get our lives in order. All aspects of life are examined here: from how to eat an ice-cream cone to how to develop “principles” when you have none. But behind the frivolous facade, Hills remains a deeply sage and serious writer, a modern combination of Robert Benchley, Henry David Thoreau, and Michel de Montaigne. This is his best advice, served up from the heart of one of the most charming humorists to grace the American scene.
A perfectly wonderful book, tight-assed in the very best sense…It is much harder to be funny than to be tragic, but you will find damn few people who will acknowledge this. The funnier you become, the more lightly people will regard you. May you become as light as helium. — Kurt Vonnegut (from a letter to Rust Hills
Hills is preoccupied primarily [with] the little things . . . and he writes about them as felicitously, delicately, and gently as Benchley did. — Nora Ephron, The New York Times