Book Reviews

The Boozy Gardener is always trying to grow into her best self, so I read self-help books regularly. Some are good; some are bad. I sift through them for you here, so you don’t have to spend as much time reading them as I do.

*Please note: If you would like to purchase one of these books, you can click on the picture beneath the title, and you will be directed to Amazon. I will receive a (very small) payment through Amazon. Know that I would never recommend a bad book, though, and I use my local library as much as anyone (so no pressure).

Run for Something by Amanda Litman

Unhappy with the candidates on your ballot? Then Amanda Litman thinks you should add your name to the list. In Don’t Just March, Run for Something: A Real-Talk Guide to Fixing the System Yourself, Litman encourages readers to consider themselves for office. Don’t like the system? Change it from within!

While I am not ready to take the baton (at least not yet), reading this book was the first time I ever thought it even possible, and it certainly inspired me to become more active in the process. Read more.

Love Rules: How to Find a Real Relationship in a Digital World by Joanna Coles

Like many single women in their late-30s, I have made more mistakes than good decisions in the realm of dating. Because of that, and because I would like to meet a life partner before I’m 80, I’ve decided to research romance, which led me to Love Rules: How to Find a Real Relationship in a Digital World by Joanna Coles. As a Project Runway fan and reader of Cosmopolitan, I recognized Coles and knew she was the sort of put-together, smart, successful woman after whom I would like to model myself.

I have mixed feelings about the book. Read more

Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop

As the title may indicate, Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life is a self-help book that isn’t worried about your feelings. Gary John Bishop’s opening words reinforce this idea: “This is a conversational slap from the universe to wake you up to your true potential, to unfuck yourself, and get spectacularly into your life.”

Because of the tough, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, message, this book may not be for everyone, particularly those in the midst of a battle with mental illness. Bishop does attempt to address those who are overcoming trauma by writing that what happened in the past is unforgivable but as adults we need to take control of our own lives, stop feeling like victims, and live the life we want. Read more

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

In Better Than Before, self-help guru and my favorite podcaster Gretchen Rubin describes what she learned about making and breaking habits. As someone who has always implicitly understood the importance of good habits and the way bad habits can derail even the best of intentions (who feels like waking up at 6 a.m. to write after drinking at a show with friends until 2 a.m.?), I knew that learning how to set habits mindfully would help me reach my goals.

Rubin does not disappoint, and I’ve used some of her tips to form my most important habit: getting more sleepRead more

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