I mentioned right at the beginning of June that I wanted to get into reading for fun more. As a result, me, Crystal from Et Tu, World and Eni from Eni’s Struggling Student Survival Guide have started a book club! Today, we’re kicking it off with Sarah Knight’s book, You Do You.
Every 2 weeks, we read the same book, discuss it, and “Nail the Narrative” by describing the book in 3 words. The reviews of the books will jump from blog to blog with me hosting this first one. I’ve included a time table of what book we’re reading when, and where the post will go up at the bottom so that you can have a little look for yourself.
Why’d We Choose It?
Sarah Knight is very well known for her book The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck. Though we have never read this one, we wanted to start with one of her other books. This was because they’re not as well known and we felt it was one that we’d probably resonate with it more.
Were We Helped?
Having never read any self-help books before, we started by discussing whether we felt that we’d been “changed”. Unfortunately, the answer was no, but not because the book wasn’t good!
On reading this book about being unapologetically you, we realised that the three of us are actually quite good at being us without fear of judgement. We’ve all kind of had similar journeys in the last few years, and have been growing into our own people, so we were pretty much already living our lives the way that the book said. What was great, however, was the reassurace that we were on the right track. Let’s be real, all humans thrive on validation, so having this book validate the paths we were already on was great. It made us feel a lot more confident with our own life choices. As Eni said:
“This book was less of a change of perspective and more a strengthen of resolve.”
Who’s It For?
I personally felt that this book would have been great for 16 year old Jasmine. She was very conscious of what people thought of her, and lived to impress everyone, even her best friend. I have a strong history of people pleasing and this might have given me the kick that I needed. I was just lucky enough to eventually get there on my own.
Crystal also put forward the point of view that this book may be good for the older generation (our parents etc). It would make sense, as Sarah Knight wrote it for people her age who have spent their lives not trying to make other people not be the same. We wouldn’t necessarily say that people our age couldn’t read this book. However, a lot of the references to babies and office parties clarified its slightly older demographic. However, if you suffer with people pleasing, the message is applicable to any age.
On the cover of the book, she is described as an “anti-guru”, but did we deem her as one? I feel like it was different for us because this is the first self-help book any of us have read, but I felt like there was definitely some typical guru behaviour in this.
Me and Crystal personally weren’t a fan of the formulaic structure… The beginning was quite repetitive, and a lot of the book revolved around her going “Here is what I’m going to do, and I’m going to do it this way.”, much like an essay structure. I found myself skipping through quite a bit of the beginning, because there was a lot of the same. However, what we could all agree on was that her actual content was hilarious and enjoyable, and her words dripped with sass.
She was an “anti-guru” in the sense that she wasn’t telling you exactly what to do, and she took on a “tough love” persona, but she wasn’t exactly an “anti-guru”… She still has guru vibes.
The Best Bits
We all seemed to have the same best bits, and enjoyed the rebranding of selfish to self-ISH. Though we’ve all been quite good at living our lives free of judgement, we all (me in particular) have issues with still trying to be there for everyone and help all the time. Thinking about selfishness in this different way was really enlightening, and something we’ll all take away with us. Also, the charts and diagrams were pretty cool… Very reminiscent of a teen magazine, big fan.
Narrate that Narrative
So, how would each of us nail the narrative in 3 words?
Eni: Get gurued gurl
Jas: I’m doing me
Crystal: Not selfish, self-ISH
And there you have it! Join us in 2 weeks time on Crystal’s Blog where we will be discussing the book ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’!
Lots of love,
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race*, Reni Eddo-Lodge on Et Tu, World? (9th July)
And more to be confirmed…
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