This Month’s Wellness Challenge and A Book Review

So far we’ve had four months of wellness challenges: bodymoney, career, and earth. This month we’re going to talk about intellectual wellness. Exercising your mind is just as important as exercising the body. Intellectual wellness is about committing yourself to lifelong learning and exploring things that stimulate your creativity and your mind. As the saying goes, knowledge is power. When you challenge yourself intellectually you also open your mind to new ideas and experiences, and as a result can use that knowledge to make better decisions and have more meaningful interactions. I think it goes without saying but if everyone focused on this a bit more, maybe we wouldn’t be in the situation we’re in right now. Throughout the month I’ll be sharing new challenges every Monday. For this week, I’m going to kick off a new book club, and I’m going to start with my thoughts on a book that I shared on Instagram about a month ago. I quickly realized it was not a good choice, but I think it’s important to share why I didn’t like it. More on that below, but I’d love to hear what types of books/genres you enjoy so I can pick one for next month. I’m going to aim for one book a month and we can all share our thoughts and perspectives here on the blog. Let me know in the comments and I’ll announce the book next week. I’d also be interested to hear any of your thoughts on the book below if you’ve read it. 

More on the book, The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck. To be honest, I had no interest in reading it, but so many people went out of their way to recommend it to me, I thought I’d give it a shot. To sum it up, it’s a book of misogynistic anecdotes, advice and ideas that have already been widely shared many times before, and you guessed it, swears. Don’t get me wrong I love a good curse word, especially when used well, but in this book they just feel lazy and quite frankly point out the author’s less than exceptional writing ability. Reading the book felt like I got stuck a sports bar, listening to a guy that feels he’s “seen it all” and has taken it upon himself to mansplain why he’s figured it all out. When talking about women in some of his anecdotes, the author almost exclusively references their physical appearance or his sexual experiences with them, and let me tell you he’s had plenty, and he wants you to know. The author writes in the book that he grew up wealthy (and somehow spins this as an obstacle/challenge he overcame). Some of the worst experiences of his life as he describes are getting caught with pot in middle school and his parents getting divorced. Boo-fucking-hoo dude. That’s what we call privilege. The author defines good and bad values, for example, a good value is honesty and a bad value is popularity. I’m sorry but, no shit Sherlock. He goes on to tell us the importance of saying no, and that experiencing rejection is actually a good thing. Whoa, mind=blown. I won’t waste your time sharing anymore of the unoriginal advice the author shared throughout. But I did want to share one passage from it that stuck with me, not because it was profound, but because it’s the perfect example of why this book is white male privilege at its finest. “Life is just what it is… We realize that we’re never going to cure cancer or go to the moon or feel Jennifer Anniston’s tits. And that’s okay. Life goes on.” Here’s a thought, fuck you dude. It came as no surprise that the glowing reviews on the back of the book are from, you guessed it, all men. Congrats bro.

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  1. Brooke white says:

    Had the same exact feelings about the subtle art. Couldn’t even finish it. I love nonfiction/memoirs. I think you are a badass is a much better than subtle art – it’s a great book. Also women food and god is another book I’ve been reading recently. Also Just Mercy and Half the Sky are two amazing books I think all men and women (esp those interested in social justice) should read. This probs isn’t that helpful lol

  2. Molly says:

    I did not read this months selection. I did judge this book by it cover and it didn’t seem like a good fit for me. Based on your review I’m glad I skipped it.

    I recently finished and recommend two memoirs, The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clementine Weil, and Call Me American by Abdi Nor Iftin. They are both about the lives of refugees who make it to America. I think they are both powerful stories and important to read.

  3. suma says:

    Thank you so much for saving my time.. i had downloaded this book in my audible account but not yet started on it.. thanks a ton for saving my time..

  4. Kerry says:

    Made it through 2 chapters, closed it, and returned it back to the library. I really enjoyed Notorious RBG: Life & Time of Ruth Rader Ginsberg by Shana Knizhnik and You are a Badass by Jen Sincero.

  5. Jessie says:

    I’m in total agreement with your review – and that quotation you picked is a spot-on example! I really tried to get through Subtle Art, but finally realized if I’m repeatedly yelling at a book it’s probably not the healthiest use of my time! I found it just disagrees with/disrespects everything I am as a person. Not to mention, it feels completely out of touch with reality; the phrase “tone-deaf” comes to mind. We need more people who give a f*** in this world, not less! *steps off soapbox* 😂

    On a more positive note, a book with an orange cover that had me laughing out loud (instead of swearing) the whole way through was Bossypants by Tina Fey. It’s not new, but I read it this summer and I’ve been sharing it with all my girlfriends. It’s just a feel-good, female-empowering, don’t-take-yourself-too-seriously type book and a super fun/light read! It’s her story of breaking into and moving up in a male-dominated industry; I happen to be an SNL nut, but you could totally enjoy it even if not. Anyway, my two cents!

    • Jessica says:

      Haha exactly, I was on a plane reading it and I was so ragey by the end, haha. Oh that’s such a good rec I love Tina Fey, need to read that!

  6. Stacy says:

    I keep seeing that book, but didn’t really have any desire to read it (I can’t stand books with titles knocked off of other popular books… so lazy and attention-grabbing). So I’m happy to hear your honest review – I don’t feel bad for skipping it! I’m looking forward to this month’s wellness challenge though!

  7. Sarah says:

    A-fucking-men sister! Hated this book aka collection of cliches.

  8. Keeley says:

    Literally best review i’ve ever read. love your blog!

  9. Christine says:

    I completely agree with the book review! I heard so much hype and good things about the book but was really disappointed in it. I feel like it may be good for a younger certain type of person but was just a waste of my time.

  10. Jessica says:

    So glad to read your honest review!! I was not interested in reading it and this just confirmed my suspicions!

  11. Holly says:

    If anyone has followed you for any length of time, I wonder why they would recommend that book for you. I also wonder if those who recommended it actually read more than the title–seriously. There is a real problem with people just reading the titles of books and articles, sharing them, and never actually reading what’s inside. Makes me sad.

    • Jessica says:

      Yeah I think it was probably people that don’t know me very well that recommended it. I’d almost feel better if it was people that just heard of it but didn’t actually read it.

  12. Jada says:

    I read that book too! Honestly, while I was reading it, I didn’t think too much about his silly comments about women or unoriginal thoughts (which I now realize a mistake). I was too focused on trying to get out of the book what everyone was raving about! I really loved reading your review, and I absolutely agree with everything that you said.

    Can’t wait to see your next book pick!
    – Jada

    http://thegirlfromconnecticut.com/

  13. Sam says:

    So I use the Audible app and this book kept coming up as a suggestion, I’m not sure why but I was hesitant to buy it and only added it to my wishlist. So glad I didn’t buy it!

    On another note, I did discover an awesome book called What If?: Serious Scientific Answers by Randall Munroe (Narrated by Wil Wheaton on the audible app).

  14. Christina says:

    I haven’t read this, but definitely won’t now – thanks for sharing your honest thoughts about this!

    This might not be the best for a book club, but something I re-read constantly is “Brave Enough” by Cheryl Strayed. It includes passages, quotes, etc. from her other works and is just an awesome collection of inspiration in the form of encouragement, tough love and lots of great quotes.

  15. Vanessa says:

    That book sounds absolutely vile! Why on earth are so many people (women especially) recommending it??

    I’m a massive bookworm – always have been – and I especially like reading nonfiction, historical fiction, mysteries, fantasy and classics. Sometimes I’ll go for some literary fiction but I find I have to be in the right kind of mood for it (lit fiction tends to be on the heavier side).

  16. Katie Gill says:

    I haven’t read this book, and didn’t ever feel the pull everyone was talking about, after reading your review I’m glad I didn’t! I also really loved the Your A Badass books, and think you would too!

  17. danie says:

    I’ve seen that book everywhere and was debating to take the time to read it. Thank you, for that review!

    I love self-help, mystery/suspense, and a good easy read fiction books.

  18. Charlene says:

    Thank you for saving me the time I would have spent reading this book, and for saving me from giving this bro-dude any of my cash.

  19. Emma says:

    Ugh! That sounds SO unappealing-I’m glad I hadn’t gotten around to it yet.
    There’s another book with a similar title, The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck, by Sarah Knight, that I actually really liked. Perhaps being written by a woman it actually reflects on some of the challenges we face-I think it’s a good one for those of us who can get caught up in people-pleasing and worrying too much about what others think of us.
    In general, my favorite genres are dystopian, contemporary, and historical fiction, as well as anything about the history and culture of food. That last one is weirdly specific I know (ha) but it is so fascinating!

  20. Katie Wages says:

    Love this review. Was interested in reading this book. So glad I did not purchase!