Self help books get a bad rap sometimes, I think. They’re seen as the province of walking, talking “Cathy” cartoons and hippie-dippie-fruit-loop types. That couldn’t be less true: there are many different types of self-help books for all kinds of problems. Some books are more spiritual while others are more practical, as in teaching you techniques of coping with depression and anxiety. Not only is a good self-help book cheaper than paying for therapy — even if it’s just a co-pay!— but you can circle sections, fold over pages, and come back to them whenever you read.
I scoured my own bookshelf and that of The Frisky staff to find the best self-help books we’ve ever read — ones that actually work!
This piece is part of The Frisky’s How To Deal Week, in which we’re tackling mental health issues.
Advice columnists are usually detestable on principle. So often they dish out finger-wagging judgment rather than empathy and a nuanced understanding of the complexities of human nature. TheRumpus.net’s Dear Sugar column — which was revealed earlier this year to be penned by author Cheryl Strayed — is beloved by readers for this very reason. It’s an advice column, but feels like therapy, church and your mother’s loving arms all at once. Whether you’re lovesick, drowning in debt, or riddled with professional jealousy, Dear Sugar understands and she wants to help. [$10.17, Amazon]
I might be a little too into the young adult novel Matilda than is suitable for a grown woman … right down to squee-ing when I saw the blog College Fashion did a how-to on how to get Matilda’s look. If Matilda’s now your type, they also show you how to get Miss Honey’s sweet and ladylike style, as well as vaguely dominatrix-inspired Miss Trunchbull look. The only thing they forgot with Matilda is a pile of library books! [College Fashion]
Normally I like to wait until I’ve read a book to actually recommend it, but for some writers I make exceptions. In this case, I’m talking about the amazing Anna Goldfarb (of the blog Shmitten Kitten, and an occasional Frisky contributor) and her upcoming memoir, Clearly, I Didn’t Think This Through: The Story of One Tall Girl’s Impulsive, Ill-Conceived, and Borderline Irresponsible Life Decisions. Now, the book — which is guaranteed to be as if not more hilarious than the genius Goldfarb pens online — isn’t out until November 6, but I’ve thought it through and have decided to pre-order it. And honestly? You should too. Because you’re not going to want to wait a second longer than necessary to start reading what this funny and relatable woman has to say. Consider it your responsible life decision of the day. [$15, Amazon]
With the opening ceremonies approaching this Friday, we’re celebrating the 2012 Olympics with must reads by some of our favorite female athletes. Inside stories, inspirational tips — these books offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the lives of some of the most popular Olympians. Jennifer Sey writes about controversial issues in gymnastics, swimmer Dara Torres offers tips for getting ahead, and Serena Williams touches on her childhood influences. Read all that and more with these nine inspiring books by female Olympians.
In Chalked Up: Inside Elite Gymnastics’ Merciless Coaching, Overzealous Parents, Eating Disorders, and Elusive Olympics Dreams, gymnastics champion Jennifer Sey gives a behind-the-scenes look at anorexia, injuries, and coaching drama. Read more …