Always anticipating disappointment is not necessarily a symptom of deep-seated pessimism. The cup presumed to be half-empty is less inclined to disappoint. Upon this faithful axiom, David Rakoff sets out in Half Empty to author the book that long alluded Freud and Skinner yet is certain to revolutionize the field of psychotherapy. The humorist, essayist, and voice on radio programs cynically embraces the common-day calamities of life. Sometimes the best medicine, according to Rakoff, is to just face the music, rather than be duped by the ephemera pervading modern culture. In this collection of 10 essays, Rakoff writes of the personal experiences that ultimately led to his disdain for the Pollyannas in the world while focusing on some of the senseless heartaches that we never want to talk about yet confront daily. Hearing Rakoff read from the book in his deadpan will only intensify the need to reflect on the value of doom and gloom—all for a much cheaper cost than a one-hour session with a shrink.

RAKOFF READS AT 7 P.M. AT POLITICS & PROSE, 5015 CONNECTICUT AVE. NW, FREE. (202) 364-1919.