Welp, it feels vulnerable to write a review of a book about vulnerability, a book I really love. A book that admitting I love means also admitting that I suffer from so many of the mental patterns she describes and that yes, I do need the help she’s offering. My judgey-mcjudgersons voice says, “You’re such a cliché — a 40-something white woman raving about Brené Brown.” Yes. Yes I am. And also there’s a reason this woman is as famous as she is. I’ve listened to it at least four times so far, and I still love it. I expect I’ll listen to it four more times in 2021.
This is an audiobook, and it is 10x better than all of her written work. She’s a talented researcher, and a perfectly fine writer, but as a presenter, she shines and sparkles. You may have seen that in her TED Talks, but I’d argue that those are dry compared to this audiobook. It’s a recording of a multi-workshop series she gave to some group somewhere, and it lands like a whale breaching in a glassy, gorgeous ocean. Her written books land more like an olympic diver having a good day — careful, restrained, technically excellent. They’re both wonderful, but the former has grandeur, makes a bigger splash, and exudes an undeniable joy and freedom. Plus, I’m just partial to a day on the water.
Sometimes therapy is expensive and painful and full of tears, but it can also be a cheap audiobook that makes you laugh and laugh. Personally, I need and appreciate both.