Book Reviews

Self Help and Memoirs- Book Recommendations and Reviews

Book Reviews

I’ve been reading a ton of self help this year, which I never thought I would enjoy, but here are the most recent ones that I’ve taken a look at! The memoirs I read last year, and these two were the first memoirs I took a stab at, which helped me discover a new genre that I enjoy exploring now. Please, let me know if you have read any good self-help or memoirs that you can recommend! If you have read these, let me know what you thought of them.


Girl, Wash Your Face- Rachel Hollis

An extremely fast read, coming in at a tiny bit over 200 pages. I didn’t enjoy how much she uses “tribe” to describe her supportive friends and family. Think it’s insensitive, but that might just be me. Also, wasn’t a huge fan of how much she mentioned God and religion. I briefly skimmed the “parenting lies” chapters, because I am not a parent, but it could be helpful to new parents. What I read from these chapters, I already knew, so I am assuming that new parents would also take these words with a grain of salt.

The last 50 pages were great. She shares her traumatic past, how she grew from it, and what helped her. She was very motivational when it came to the weight loss chapters. I really think I would have liked it more, if the last half was the first half of the book. Most of it was too fluffy, and I had heard most of what she had written, so nothing special. I do like the format she uses, which was a great addition to reading the physical copy, as opposed to listening to it. She talks about the “lies” we have been told, gives examples and scenarios within the chapter, and discusses three ways she has learn to combat these lies that have helped her personally. It would be fun to see her speak, as I imagine she is a great motivational speaker.

The Year of Less- Cait Flanders

This is my favorite self-help book so far! I am currently in the process of listening to this audiobook. I enjoyed listening to Flanders’ painful past, and she took accountability for what choices she made, and how she ended up drinking away her savings, and slowly crawling out of $30,000 in debt. Even though I am roughly half way into this one, I already know it will be my favorite. Her tips for buying less, and saving more have been eye-opening! I’m not a shopaholic by any means, but she describes the thought process that goes behind purchasing unnecessary crap, and how we can change the way we think when wanting that new bag, scarf, bookshelf, etc. Her book refers to Marie Kondo a bit, and you can tell she uses the KonMari method when decluttering her space and her life.

How to Hold A Grudge- Sophie Hannah

Come back to this one, as I have just checked it out at the library! I have heard it is fabulous!




My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward- Mark Lukach

This book is amazing! Hands down, one of my absolute favorite books I read in 2018. Talk about love, commitment, and marriage. This book give you all the feels, and is quite sad at times, but it goes through the motions of living with someone who is diagnosed with bipolar disorder. What terrified me the most, is the fact that bipolar disorder can come into your life very suddenly and it can happen to anyone. The fact that the symptoms were so varied and unexpected was shocking. This is written from the husband’s point of view, and you feel sorry for the whole family that has to pick up the pieces after his wife’s illness takes a hold of her. I will admit, that this book too, has a lot of white privilege, and portrays an American healthcare system that is forgiving, lenient, and carefree. This couple and family had to have been extremely well off, to not have prescriptions, doctor visits, and other monetary issues that come with sickness, as an added stress.

Love Warrior- Glennon Doyle Melton

I enjoyed this book, but a lot of it wasn’t relatable to my personal life, so at times I couldn’t connect with the emotions she had, and was honestly really frustrated with the stupid life choices she made, but I was able to trudge through it. It was an extremely quick book, as I was able to listen to it all within three days, as an audiobook. There were a lot of “I”s and it was self indulgent often. This one is also dripping with white privilege, and I can’t imagine how she would have survived if she didn’t have supportive parents, resources to healthcare, church communities, etc. She is able to be a stay at home mom, go to yoga, go on vacation, pick up and move, and get this, attend breathing classes. I feel bad for her children, who weren’t old enough to consent to their whole lives being put out there.

Maybe I should have started with her FIRST book, Carry On Warrior to get a better sense of why she is the way she is, although reviews suggested the first half of Love Warrior is a recap of Carry On. She mentioned her religion a lot as well, but not as much as Hollis, and took into account other deities that others may have, which I appreciated about this one. The second half of the book felt like I was listening to an infomercial for Jesus, and it was a little overwhelming and preachy. I can’t say I can recommend this book, but at the same time I want others to read it to see what they thought of it. SPOILER ALERT: She eventually divorced Craig and married a woman soccer player in 2017.


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