9/23/08

Lesbian Book Review: Self Help Books

Self help books. They've become a genre in their own right. I think sometimes people have a tendency to poke fun at those attempting to improve themselves by reading certain titles such as "How Not to Stab Stupid People" and "I Hate You, But I Don't Know How to Tell You That". Okay, so those are not real books or titles... not that I know of. The point is I feel society pressures us frail beings to better ourselves, then scoffs at us one way or the other when we attempt to do so. One perfect example of this was Al Franken's Saturday Night Live skit of "I like myself...and everybody likes me"...etc, etc, mocking us poor shmucks that happen to have a vast collection of self help material in book form, audiotape, videotape and CD. Albeit it was freakin' funny I have to admit it, however, what I'm trying to say is that maybe there is a misconception among some that doing all of the above would make us seem a little "weak". When, in actuality, I believe it's the opposite. I think it makes us "self-helpers" stronger. The following is definitely one of those books.



"JOURNAL TO THE SELF"

by Kathleen Adams


This book launches a writing journey within that lasts the rest of your life. It teaches you how to become your own therapist. It's "D.I.Y" therapy that has nothing to do with any type of chemical substances. Probably the cheapest therapy you'll ever have. I read this book in my early twenties when I was going through my "self-help" book phase. I borrowed this book from a relative who highly recommended it to me. It's definitely one of those "it changed my life" books, if you let it. If you pay attention. It completely redefines the whole notion of the "Diary" that we grow up with. The little, cutesy, hard covered notebook with a cheap, little lock and key on it, where you keep the mundane, "..today I went to the mall...". It shows you the true art of JOURNALING. How to dive deep into your psyche and dig out the real stuff. And teaches creative ways on how to do it, with writing techniques such as "clustering", "dialogues", "letter writing", and one of my personal favorites, "stream of consciousness" writing, actually a style I believe Kerouac was famous for. Since I've experienced this book, over the years, I've personally "graduated" in my own writing, going from personal, spiral notebooks, to online diaries, to having some of my writing published, to creating my own paper publication and becoming a blogging "expert" with my own subscribers to both. I learned when you can write about yourself raw and honest, you can write about anything.



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4 comments:

Renee Gannon said...

I really need to get myself a copy of "How Not to Stab Stupid People"

Sei said...

I have one self help book on my shelf. It's been useful as a bug squasher, lol, not really. It's big though. A friend of mine gave it to me when she was done with it. She like me survived a very specific trauma which has left some rather bad mental scars on our psychie. They can help, and thanks Cynthia.

BOOK_REVIEWER_EXTRAORDINAIRE said...

Thank you Sei. I think it shows alot about someone when they try to help themselves like that.

and Renee, maybe I'll WRITE "How Not to Stab Stupid People", that is if I don't stab anybody in the process...

Sei said...

Cynthia, my therapist and I used the book as well to help deal with the issues that had come up. It lacked some things, but it helped to open things up.

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