• Michelle Barrett

Book report: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. by Mark Manson.




When it comes to self help books, or anything labeled as personal development, I resist - heavily. I have a pervasive and unexplained tendency to reject anything that is too one way or the other, black or white, or tries to tell me what to do. I think "should" might be one of the most harmful words in the English language. Attempting to change, control, or mold other people is exhausting and ineffective. People need to make their own mistakes and learn their own lessons, and the only real thing we can do for each other is to figure our own shit out for ourselves.


This book however, isn't really that. It strives to bring you perspective, and empowers you to make the choice. Any choice really. It is clever and subversive, a little funny, a lot eye opening, and read more as a swear-laden debate about pain and suffering; than it did a tome on the different ways you are failing yourself just by being human. What makes this book so relatable, is the author's willingness to be among us, and not just proselytize about the light at the end of the tunnel from a soap box positioned at the finish line.


In the first chapter he goes into what he calls "toxic positivity" and that is what hooked me. This is not a "think better, feel better" book. Or a persuasive manual on how to manifest your perfect life. It's an offering for a different way to tune your inner voice and un-mire yourself from the addiction of overthinking. I loved it.

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