DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Mar 24 2010

I Can’t Help Myself…I Love Self-Help Books!

by Jnai W

The older I get, the more things I find to geek out that I never knew I enjoyed such as science fiction, reality television (RuPaul’s Drag Race is my current favorite) and, increasingly, self-help books.  I love the idea of growing and transforming oneself into the person you’ve always thought you could be (I guess that’s why I’ve gotten so addicted to a competition show about drag queens). Below are some of my favorite titles for helping you cherish your life and, um, remember your spirit (is that something that Oprah would say?):

Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man by Steve Harvey: This is a book that I never thought I’d have a crack at. When I requested it here at DCPL I was approximately # 148 on the list. Either way, it was worth the wait and I was done reading it in 2 days. Harvey, one of America’s Kings Of Comedy, offers down-to-earth yet highly insightful (and frequently hilarious) words of wisdom about men, women and relationships.

Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy by Eric G. Wilson: This little book caught my eye and challenged me to read it. “How can anyone be against happiness?” I asked myself as I read the back cover blurbs. The thing that I truly enjoyed about this book is that, despite its slightly snarky yellow frowny-faced cover, it was quite a soulful and erudite book. Author Wilson offers an intriguing discussion on what he calls generative melancholy, a feeling of discontentment that, if one allows himself to feel it, can be channeled into positive endeavors and authentic, emotionally-rich living. I’m not sure I explained that properly so I’d suggest simply reading the book.

The Shy Single: A Bold Guide To Dating For The Less-Than-Bold Dater by Bonnie Jacobson:  Shyness is something that I’ve lived with since I was a kid. I’ve outgrown my social awkwardness for the most part but I still find myself being anxious and feeling out of place in big gatherings, shindigs or on a dance floor. I can live with being introverted but I do often wish I could just be myself a little more. Jacobson’s book offers simple exercises, anecdotes and wisdom about the nature of shyness and finding ways to push through the anxiety.

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