Genre: Non-Fiction/Autobiography/Memoir/Self-Help Publication Date: Sept 2018 Date Finished Reading: 10 Oct 2018
Help Me: One Woman’s Quest to Find Out if Self-Help Really Can Change Your Life
Marianne Power was a self-help junkie. For years she lined her bookshelves with dog-eared copies of definitive guide after definitive guide on how to live your best life. Yet one day she woke up to find that the life she dreamed of and the life she was living were not miles but continents apart. So she set out to make a change. Or, actually, to make every change.
Marianne decided to finally find out if her elusive perfect life—the one without debt, anxiety, hangovers or Netflix marathons, the one where she healthily bounced around town with perfect teeth to meet the cashmere-sweater-wearing man of her dreams—lay in the pages of those books. So for a year she vowed to test a book a month, following its advice to the letter, taking the surest road she knew to a perfect Marianne.
As her year-long plan turned into a demented roller coaster where everything she knew was turned upside down, she found herself confronted with a different question: Self-help can change your life, but is it for the better?
I picked this book out of curiosity. Quirky and colourful cover got my attention and then I read the description. Hmm… interesting. SOLD! I brought it home and started reading. One chapter a day until I finish the book.
That’s the thing about self-help books. You’re not expected or even inclined to finish it in one or two-sitting because there are no exciting plots. No exciting characters to follow. It’s like studying. All you had to do is to read, assess and then read some more. Maybe take down notes or quotes and then reflect afterwards. It’s pretty monotone, if I may add. Am I right? Or is it just me?
So imagine a real person, picking up 12 books to try and test for one year; one each month. I wanna know what happens, too!
I want to start by saying thanks Marianne because she actually saved us from buying 12 books. What a steal, right? Help Me! is like a promising star of the self-help land! I also find her so brave and bold because she was willing to be a guinea pig.
For a year, Marianne Power was like a modern-day philosopher who tested & questioned things, beliefs, Divine existence, the universe, laws of attraction and life in general thru self-help books.
From naked yoga to walking on coals of fire; discovering Tinder, hugging trees; attending a meeting to get a date and getting a marriage proposal on the same day after a coffee meet-up – these are just some of the outrageous and funny experiences that she shared in her book. It’s a mix of emotions and at some point, got a bit scary too. I’m referring to the part when she was almost touching the void and needed professional help. Yep, that happened. So as a warning, this kind of exercise/experimentation must be done with professional guidance, or else, it can be pretty crazy.
as a warning, this kind of exercise/experimentation must be done with professional guidance, or else, it can be pretty crazy.
But there are some things from her book that I want to try! Like that Rejection Therapy or some of the stuff from the Fuckeeteer convention. 🙂
Too many times, I saw myself in this book – the doubts, the first-world problems & the personal issues I had with my life, with myself and together with Power, I learned a lot. Not something new, but more of an affirmation about the wisdom that I already have:
The world does not revolve around you.
But overall, I believe that the sole purpose of self-help books is to serve as a guide. It’s not like baking that you have to follow the steps to a T, or else you will screw up the end product. You have to fish out the good stuff and fit them in your life then, adjust every now and then. We can’t have ABSOLUTISM in every aspect of our lives or apply absolutism in our lives. PERIOD. It doesn’t work that way. Self-help books are here to give a different perspective but not to rule our lives.
Who Should Read This?
I recommend the book to anyone who wants to figure out his/her life because you feel unhappy or you feel stuck at your present.
To anyone who’s a self-help book addict
or to anyone who wants to read something new. I mean, what can go wrong if you give this a try right?
About the Author
MARIANNE POWER is a writer and journalist who lives in London. Help Me! is her first book.