Book Review: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

I’m in the middle of two lengthy audiobooks, that I am enjoying listening to, but I do want to read something on my kindle or on paperback as well, and this was one of the paperback books I read this month. This book was gifted to me by my sister in laws, so it was even more important that I read it, so I could discuss about my thoughts on the book with them.

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See how I use my daughter’s lego table to take an instagram worthy pic? lol 😀

One might think, it’s weird if someone gifts you a book on self help, or if you recommend a book on self help to someone else- because, does that mean you secretly think that person needs help? Lol..but no, sometimes, self help books are a lot of fun to read, and you get to learn about a lot of different takes on the same subject or emotion and you can decide which one works for you best. There is no right answer really. Also, all self help books are usually filled with amazing trivia about famous people and that really adds a lot of value to your reading life and knowledge gained from reading:)

It is also really hard to review a book on self help, because the usual elements of a book review do not really hold true here. It isn’t non fiction, and it isn’t fiction either. There is no plot or story of mystery or relationship that will unfold in such books, there is no character development (unless you count your own character development, if you like the thoughts in a particular book good enough to implement on yourself :D), no imaginary world, and the writing style, structure and grammar are also not important in such books because what matters is that it should resonate with readers and people should want to read a self help book without getting bored or angry. This book does that- in a strange way.

So, here are the things that I enjoyed while reading this book:

  • A very different and fresh perspective to the way we see our problems and our successes, failures and values- that can actually help us and not be detrimental
  • Lots of trivia about famous people making it big using the concepts in this book- and my favorite being the story of Dave Mustaine from Megadeth and Pete Best- I never knew! You have to read the book to know about the story (wink)
  • The fact that the author states his views in such a simple and easy manner- it is almost as if you’re talking to your best friend about your problems and your best friend telling you, seriously, you already know what you need to do, and I’ve got your back.. Just go ahead and do it already!
  • The length of the book- short and sweet. There is only so much of self help advice I can read about over a few days

Things that didn’t work for me:

  • The over use of the word ‘F*ck’. I know, it says so in the title of the book. Still makes me uncomfortable- maybe because I’m a prude. The first few chapters have the use of this word so many times that I started to wonder, I get the point, but can we use some other word please?
  • Yeah, what worked for me in the book, also didn’t work for me- in the sense that the way the book is written makes you feel like you’re talking to a friend. Exactly, it doesn’t feel like reading a well written book, where the words give you joy or take you to a different place
  • I also didn’t agree with some concepts in the book- like the part about being honest. I understand where the author is coming from, but I also feel that it isn’t a black and white thing. You can be honest about your ideologies I guess, but in certain situations, or with certain people. such as children or elderly members of the family , a certain aversion to the blatant truth is more helpful than just doling our what you think and feel about everything, and hurting everyone in the process. You might disagree and that’s absolutely normal- this is just the way I feel about this particular topic:)

Here are some of my favorite lines from the book:)

If everyone were extraordinary, then by definition, no one would be extraordinary

As Freud said, “One day in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful”

This is the realization that we, as individuals are responsible for everything in our lives, no matter the external circumstances

Growth is an endlessly iterative process

As the old adage goes, a man who believes he knows everything, known nothing

I say don’t find yourself. I say never know who you are. Because that’s what keeps you striving and discovering. And it forces you to remain humble in your judgements and accepting of the differences in others

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts on this book and what are some other self help books that you think are a fun and inspiring reads? I would love to hear comments, thoughts and recommendations- not because I think I need help, but because, its always great to read fresh view points about the same issues plaguing us all today 🙂

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