Modern Romance
by Aziz Ansari, with Eric Klinenberg
Penguin Press, 2015 (($28.95))

Among the facets of daily life that the Internet has irrevocably altered is certainly the search for love. Stand-up comedian Ansari is an unlikely but perfect tour guide through this changed landscape. He not only shares personal anecdotes (such as how waiting for a text message response from a date induced existential panic) but also parses data gleaned through a partnership with New York University sociologist Klinenberg. The two analyzed numerous research findings, convened focus groups in eight cities around the world and interviewed hundreds of people looking for romance, along with numerous scientists. Ultimately they found that technology explains only part of the recent transformation in how people find mates; rather cultural shifts have changed what singles look for in a match—a perfect soul mate instead of simply a compatible partner—and what they are willing to go through to find it.