Ann Leary at the Cambridge Public Library


I've Tried Being Nice: Essays

in conversation with DENIS LEARY and BETH TEITELL


June 5, 2024
6:00 PM ET
(Doors at 5:30)


Cambridge Public Library
449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138


$0.00 (Free RSVP Required) $30.80 (book included)

Harvard Book Store and the Cambridge Public Library welcome ANN LEARY—New York Times bestselling author of The Good House and The Foundling—for a discussion of her new essay collection I've Tried Being Nice. She will be joined in conversation by DENIS LEARY—stand-up comedian, actor, and husband of Ann Leary—and BETH TEITELL—feature-writer for the Boston Globe and author of From Here to Maternity and Drinking Problems at the Fountain of Youth.


RSVP for free to this event or choose the "Book-Included" ticket to reserve a copy of I've Tried Being Nice and pick it up at the event. Ann Leary will sign copies of her new book after the presentation.


About I've Tried Being Nice

Having arrived at a certain age (her prime), Ann Leary casts a wry backward glance at a life spent trying—and often failing—to be nice. With wit and surprising candor, Leary recounts the bedlam of home bat invasions, an obsession with online personality tests, and the mortification of taking ballroom dance lessons with her actor husband. She describes hilarious red-carpet fiascos and other observations from the sidelines of fame, while also touching upon her more poignant struggles with alcoholism, her love for her family, her dogs, and so much more.

Prepare to laugh, cry, cringe and revel in the comically relatable chaos of Ann Leary’s life as revealed in this delighful collection of essays.

Praise for I've Tried Being Nice

“[A] winning essay collection…The humor lands and the lithe prose elevates Leary’s musings on life’s mundanities. This is a gem.” —Publisher's 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.” —Kirkus

"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

Masking Policy

Masks are encouraged but not required for this event.

Ann Leary
Ann Leary

Ann Leary

Ann Leary is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels, The Children, The Good House, Outtakes From a Marriage and the memoir, An Innocent, A Broad. Her Modern Love essay, “Rallying to Keep the Game Alive,” was adapted for the Amazon Modern Love TV Series and stars Tina Fey and John Slattery. Ann and her husband Denis Leary live in New York.

Photo Credit: Scott M. Lacey

Beth Teitell
Beth Teitell

Beth Teitell

Beth Teitell has been writing features for the Boston Globe since 2007, and joined the staff in 2010. Her beat is “human behavior,” and she is known for writing with a sense of humor, and for exploring the emotional angles of things that wouldn’t seem to have an emotional angle. For example: Her story on “open concept” homes, and how people were starting to miss the walls they tore down, was really about family relationships. She’s covered bidding wars over rental apartments; the anger from Dunkin regulars when the company changed its rewards program; and the men’s quarter zip sweater, and how it’s a way for rich guys to look approachable and approachable guys to look rich. Before joining the Globe she was a columnist and a reporter at the Boston Herald and a writer at Boston magazine. She is the author of two books, From Here to Maternity: The Education of a Rookie Mom, and Drinking Problems at the Fountain of Youth, an exploration of our society’s obsession with looking forever young. For years she delivered humorous commentaries on public radio’s popular Marketplace program. She is a seasoned public speaker, and has spoken to groups that have numbered in size from hundreds to literally two people. She is a graduate of Duke University.

Denis Leary
Denis Leary

Denis Leary

Denis Leary is a five-time loser at the Emmy Awards and the Golden Globes. He has also never won an Oscar, a Tony or an argument with his wife.



Cambridge Public Library
449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138

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