I enjoy reading Comrade GoGo. She’s on a weight loss journey and she’s usually very positive and upbeat. Today, she posted Meltdown, in which she expressed her frustrations and ended by asking for recommendations for self-help books.
I thought, wow, I know exactly how she feels, it’s too bad I don’t read self-help books and have nothing to recommend.
Then I remembered, one of my favorite books is The Consolations of Philosophy. That’s sort of a self-help book. It amuses me that the category on the back is “Self-Help/Philosophy.”
It’s a brilliant, witty little book. I cannot tell you how many conversations the ex and I have had that began with, “well, you know Seneca (or Schopenhauer, etc.) says . . .” Another excellent, life-changing book by Alain de Botton is his most famous How Proust Can Change Your Life. The ex used to read it at work, and had so many epiphanies I could not wait for him to finish so I could start reading it.
Below is part of my comment from her site:
One of my favorite books is technically a “self-help” book and I have purchased it for everyone I know: Alain de Botton’s The Consolations of Philosophy. I have a copy in my briefcase and a copy on my night stand. It’s basically a series of amusing essays.
Another book everyone from my mother to my ex to my trainer read in the last 18 months is The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times, which may be my favorite book title ever. From Amazon’s “Best of 2001″ review: Chödrön introduces a host of the compassionate warriors’ tools and concepts for transforming anxieties and negative emotions into positive living.