My quest to check out new book clubs continues. This time I read my first ever self-help book, You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero. The organizer of this book club was interested in this book and it’s a woman author, so here we are. I absolutely hated most of it. I’d give it one star except I will admit that it made me think more seriously about my secret dream to become a librarian. I skipped the first meeting of this book club so I didn’t start out naysaying what some others might find helpful, so you all get the benefit of my uncensored response.
Perhaps it’s something that I would have known had I ever opened a book of this kind, but this thing was full of shit. Sincero posits that basically to achieve your dreams (whether they’re financial, romantic, physical, etc.) you just have to believe in the power of the universe and get off your ass and do stuff and things will happen. Many of her chapters just repeat different vague example stories supporting her themes, mostly from her own history or just “a friend of mine,” OVER AND OVER. I don’t know how many pages this book is as I read it as an audio book, but that is 5h45m that could have been condensed into maybe a 30-minute lecture. Of course you can achieve financial freedom if you’re good at filling 26 chapters with total bullshit and selling it to people looking for actual concrete exercises and steps to take to change their lives. I remember one of the stories went something like this: In a chapter discussing not giving up in the face of adversity, one of Sincero’s “clients” quit his lucrative job to start his dream business. He divorced. His nanny wrecked his car picking up the kids. His house burned down. And he still didn’t throw in the towel but guess what, now he makes millions running his company that helps people and he’s so happy. Who is this guy? What company? I bet it’s no one.
I couldn’t really relate to this at all. I don’t pretend to be flawless, and I can spout off at least five areas of my life that need improvement. But at the end of the day I am actually incredibly happy with my life. I have a loving husband, the most adorable kid in the world that I get to stay home with because my husband is a smarty pants and makes enough money for me to do so. I keep up as best I can with my friends, I have fun hobbies I get to do regularly, etc. So maybe this is why I found very little of value in Sincero’s book. What is even more offensive is her attempt to mask cheesey self-help guru lecturing under “I’m super cool, I cuss, I make jokes about how cheesey the other guys are” platitudes. Just because you drop some f-bombs and use tough love doesn’t make your message any less meaningless. Sincero makes a few attempts to list steps to achieve badass-dom in some of the chapters. Many are things like visualizing yourself achieving the goal, breaking things down in small steps to do so they don’t feel insurmountable and always, love yourself. Ok, duh. Thanks for the super unique and original perspective.
The second star, like I said, I will allow because I have figured out in the last few years or so that my real dream job, I think, is to work in a library. I’m 16 years out of college though so I have no collegiate references, haven’t taken classes in that many years as well, have a toddler, know that the job market for librarians in my area is pretty bad, etc., etc. Listening to this book made me realize that while all of these things may be true, I haven’t actually DONE any sort of investigating to really eliminate this as a possibility for me when I do decide to return to the work force. So, though I think Sincero’s book offers nothing I didn’t already know, it did at least bring it to the forefront of my mind. I guess that’s worth an extra star. Don’t read this unless you really love this kind of repetitive stating of the obvious though.
Oh and PS, I just looked at the cover on Amazon. Ugh the font is terrible! It’s not comic sans but damn, why would anyone take that font seriously?