Virtual Event: Billy Baker
We Need to Hang Out:
A Memoir of Making Friends
in conversation with ANDREW METZ
February 16, 2021
Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Free - $3 contribution suggested at registration
Harvard Book Store's virtual event series and the Boston Globe welcome award-winning Globe journalist BILLY BAKER for a discussion of his debut memoir, We Need to Hang Out: A Memoir of Making Friends. He will be joined in conversation by ANDREW METZ, managing editor of PBS's renowned documentary series Frontline.
Contribute to Support Harvard Book Store
While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $3 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy of We Need to Hang Out on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.
About We Need to Hang Out
At the age of forty, having settled into his busy career and active family life, Billy Baker discovers that he’s lost something crucial along the way: his friends. Other priorities always seemed to come first, until all his close friendships had lapsed into distant memories. When he takes an assignment to write an article about the modern loneliness epidemic, he realizes just how common it is to be a middle-aged loner: almost fifty million Americans over the age of forty-five, especially men, suffer from chronic loneliness, which the surgeon general has declared one of the nation’s “greatest pathologies,” worse than smoking, obesity, or heart disease in increasing a person’s risk for premature death. Determined to defy these odds, Baker vows to salvage his lost friendships and blaze a path for men (and women) everywhere to improve their relationships old and new.
In We Need to Hang Out, Baker embarks on an entertaining and relatable quest to reprioritize his ties with his buddies and forge more connections, all while balancing work, marriage, and kids. From leading a buried treasure hunt with his old college crew to organizing an impromptu “ditch day” for dozens of his former high school classmates to essentially starting a frat house for middle-aged guys in his neighborhood, he experiments with ways to keep in touch with his friends no matter how hectic their lives are—with surprising and deeply satisfying results.
Along the way, Baker talks to experts in sociology and psychology to investigate how such naturally social creatures as humans could become so profoundly isolated today. And he turns to real-life experts in lasting friendship, bravely joining a cruise packed entirely with crowds of female BFFs and learning the secrets of male bonding from a group of older dudes who faithfully meet up on the same night every week. Bursting with humor, candor, and charm, We Need to Hang Out is a celebration of companionship and a call to action in this age of alone.
Praise for We Need to Hang Out
"Well-researched and insightful about our human need to interact, the narrative is also smooth and conversational. . . . A refreshing and entertaining personal perspective on why men need male friends." —Kirkus
Harvard Book Store’s award-winning event series continues online! Named "Best of Boston: 2020 Best Virtual Author Series" by Boston magazine.
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