Honesty Book


After writing this piece about honesty for the New York Times, I began working on a book about honesty. My book, WOULD I LIE TO YOU? The Amazing Power of Being Honest in a World That Lies, is due out January 2020 from Kensington Books.



Everybody wants the truth, but nobody wants to be honest. Out of diplomacy, kindness, privacy, and old-fashioned self-interest, we don’t always tell the truth. But instead of noticing this, we focus on the dishonesty around us. So . . . what happens when we start paying attention to our own decisions around honesty?

When award-winning journalist and New York Times contributor Judi Ketteler looked at her life, she saw a content mother, a generous friend and sister, a good daughter, and a wife with an authentic and happy marriage. It wasn’t quite the whole story though. In thinking about all of the truths she wasn’t revealing, Judi wondered how often she was exaggerating, concealing, side-stepping, or spinning half-truths. To answer that question, Judi started her “honesty journal,” and used it to confront her perennial fear of speaking the truth in so many areas: in social situations, among friends, in the workplace, with her kids, inside of her complicated marriage—and finally, within herself. On this journey, she decided to tackle her strange relationship with honesty, beginning with her traditional Catholic upbringing and the mixed messages she received about telling the truth in childhood, and eventually winding around to a confusing secret she was hiding from her husband and a self-identity built on a half-truth. Along the way, she discovered the surprising power of paying attention to her choices around honesty in each dimension of life. This honesty journey is what led her to finally stop feeling like one more faceless victim of a dishonest world, and instead, feel like an empowered human being—more engaged and more connected in her relationships.

A well-researched personal narrative that blends heartfelt storytelling from the author’s own search for honesty with the latest thinking from behavioral economics, etiquette, psychology, and philosophy, WOULD I LIE TO YOU? The Amazing Power of Being Honest in a World That Lies is a timely consideration of the joys and pains of truth in a world that seems committed to lying.

Pre-order information coming soon! For book and event queries, contact Ann Pryor, Kensington Books: apryor@kensingtonbooks.com.