Top positive review
25 people found this helpful
Peeling away the sticking plasters
on 10 October 2012
I've always been attracted to siren voices promising easy ways to sort out the things I don't like about myself, and given the size and scope of the self-help market I guess I'm fairly typical. So it was a pleasure to find a very readable book that carefully goes through all those promises one by one, looking at what current (high quality!) research says about them, highlighting what doesn't make sense, while acknowledging the bits that do. It also means that I save all the time having to read 23 other sets of books.
If there is a summary thread running through it, it's probably an encouragement simply to be more aware of oneself and of the way we interact with other people wherever and whenever we do, and not to look for miracles, or to expect total control over the world we live in. The book tries to avoid being obvious about offering pat or simple solutions of its own, but does tend to suggest we should actually be a bit more focussed on and attentive to how we see ourselves and how we deal with all the stuff life inevitably throws at us, good and bad.
This is an intelligent book that doesn't insult the intelligence of the reader - we are given good summaries of evidence and, while conclusions are drawn, there is space and encouragement to come to our own. It is definitely worth a read: and with 25 shortish chapters, easy to consume in bite-sized and digestible chunks.