- Title Help Me! One Woman’s Quest to Find Out if Self-Help Really Can Change Your Life
- Author Marianne Power
- Year 2018
- Genres Non-Fiction, Self help, Memoir
Marianne Power was stuck in a rut. Then one day she wondered: could self-help books help her find the elusive perfect life? She decided to test one book a month for a year, following their advice to the letter. What would happen if she followed the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People? Really felt The Power of Now? Could she unearth The Secret to making her dreams come true? What begins as a clever experiment becomes an achingly poignant story. Because self-help can change your life – but not necessarily for the better... Help Me! is an irresistibly funny and incredibly moving book about a wild and ultimately redemptive journey that will resonate with anyone who’s ever dreamed of finding happiness.
I really loved this. Firstly, I love a memoir-style book based on a challenge and reading 12 self-help books in 12 months definitely falls under that genre. Marianne decided to see if some of the most popular self-help books would help revamp her life and threw herself headfirst into the task of actually doing what the books say rather than just reading them from the comfort of your sofa and expecting your life to change.
Having spent most of my life thinking that feelings were for weak, indulgent people, I was now feeling feelings all over the joint. In fact, feeling my feelings had become a fulltime job.
I was astounded at the bravery and commitment Marianne showed right from the start. To put yourself out there is hard, even if you have a reason/excuse why you’re acting out of the ordinary. The year starts with throwing yourself out of a plane and nude modelling, which is a high octane way to kick things off but it’s not all so adventurous and positive.
Marianne writes with warmth and humour but more importantly with honesty, including how some of the books specifically, and the entire process generally, wore her down, to the point of breakdown, losing sleep, putting on weight, and falling out with friends. It’s clear these books can do plenty of damage as well as the desired helping, so if you’re considering reading any off the back of this, do so with care!
Ultimately, though, the book comes to a happy and inspiring ending, that probably wouldn’t have been reached without the books but is also sort of in spite of them. It’s an insightful and eye-opening read that ends with the positive, inclusive message that the world needs more of.
Rating: 5 / 5