Before you ask:
Yes, I brought a book containing the word f*ck – on the cover, with big bold letters – to a hospital. I think my subconscious wanted to send some sort of a message given the circumstances.
In my defense, I also brought Persuasive Copywriting to give off that I’m-a-professional vibe. And to keep my dignity on the no-underwear days.
Anyways, the question remains: to read or not to read the book that may or may not prove to be a great addition to your Instagram feed? Follow up to find out!
Author: Mark Manson
No. of pages: 200 hundred-ish (depending on how religious you are about Acknowledgments)
Number of copies sold: Millions
Number of people that were reading it on Instagram: 7
Number of people that found wisdom: Unknown
How long it took me to read it: A bit more than 12 days (I had a chatty hospital buddy)
Reason why I still don’t have it on my OWN Instagram: It’s become too much of a cliché now
Short overview: Mark Mason is actually a blogger. And judging by his style of writing, he’s not scared to use some profanity. Also, he’s grown sick and tired of books about positivity this and positivity that. So he decided to say “f*ck positivity” and wrote a book about uhm… positivity.
But instead of taking the standard approach, he talks about how accepting negativity in life can be the life-changing thing everyone’s trying to find. He also talks about how we are the ones that create our own happiness – or misery – depending on what we choose to value in life.
The things I liked:
Now, let’s see what I liked about the book.
- The title (obviously)
I will publicly admit that I’m a sucker for good titles – and I partially bought the book ONLY because of the title. And the great cover design. And the vivid colors.
I bet thousands of others did the same. As for people who are trying to find the meaning of life by reading books like this, we are SO shallow it’s actually sad.
- Positivity is overrated
I agree with the basic concept. I can tell you that there’s a whole industry worth billions that is built solely on the concept of positivity. Sure, it’s great if you’re positive most of the time but having the occasional bad day – or week, or month, or year – is totally okay too.
In fact, the author argues that we’re often the happiest after solving our biggest problems. We need problems to solve in order to be happy.
Deep stuff, huh?
- Pick your fights
This was pretty realistic. If you think about it, there will always be something to stress about – having problems in life is inevitable.
The wisdom here lies in picking the good problems – the ones you can actually do something about. But you have to pick the ones worth your time. Good luck if you stress about everything all the time.
- Some of the stories he told (not all)
A little short of two months after finishing the book, I still remember some of the stories told in the book.
But here’s where stuff gets nasty.
The things I didn’t like:
- Absolute lack of flow
Now, I may not have published a book but I know a thing or two about flow – especially in a written text.
This book had zero.
Instead, it felt like reading several blog posts crammed into a book, each with a different point.
I was VERY agitated by this while reading it. I often felt like I was missing the point so I had to go back looking for the connection I was missing, only to realize that there’s no connection between chapters.
Sure, it’s nice to read articles – but if I buy a book, I expect to read a book. Not a dozen articles pretending to be a book.
- No fresh ideas
Even the average seven-year-old today knows that you are “the master of your own destiny”. Do we really need another book telling us that?
While it was a fun read, I didn’t read any ideas that I hadn’t already been aware of. I did go through some nasty stuff so I already have some firm coping mechanism set in place. (though it does include plenty of ice cream)
- Too much hype
I don’t know whether I’m the one that’s hard to impress but I didn’t laugh out loud while reading parts of the book. Neither did I cry. I just… read through. Maybe it was because of all the pain pills I was on. Who knows?
But if you check the online reviews, oh my God! People are swearing on it – it’s as if no one was aware that you don’t need to stress out over the weather or over what people are saying online.
My final judgment: 3 out of 5
Mark is undoubtedly fun to read – as long as you take each chapter separately. If I found him online first, I’d be a fan.
This way, I’ve gotta work myself up to feel the hype others are feeling and that’s no bueno. It’s just that his book feels like he published it just for the sake of publishing a book – and not because he got the real writing urge to send a message to the world.
And that’s what makes all the difference between a good book and a bad book.
Next time, I’ll talk about what we can do once a book (and the language used in the book) become outdated. Is there something YOU would like me to talk about? Drop us a comment and let us know!
Featured image by Dijana Boshkova