This isn't a book review, even though the content type under the title of this page says "Book Review." This is more of a rambling set of thoughts about why I picked up this book, and why I want you to read it too.
It has been a long while since I've read a book that moved me to tears as well as to laughter. It has been a long time since I've read a book that left me feeling that the world can be a better place, that my life can be a better life. It has been a long time since I've read a self-help book that I has been as inspirational as this one is (which is kinda saying something: I've read a lot of self=help books).
The big caveat of this is, of course, that I didn't read this book, I listened to the audio book, and am very thankful I did. The book is a series of six lectures by Brené Brown as she goes through her research on shame and vulnerability, some the findings, and many of the ways that one can improve one's life. Not improve it in the "have more wealth" way or "eat this, lose pounds, get laid" way (though, maybe the same result could happen), but in the base, fundamental joy one has in being alive.
Ooof, now there's a big promise to make.
Okay, so, why did I read this book?
I've seen Brené Brown's Ted Talk, The Power of Vulnerability, when it went viral back in 20111. Ugh. Five years ago.
The audio book was on sale, and I recalled the video when I was buying a book for my mom, so I threw this one into my cart, too. I don't know what lured me to the book specifically, to be honest, so let's go with impulse purchase.
Which is to say, when the student is ready...
Brené's style of speaking, and way of interleaving personal experiences, hard times and humour together, makes this an amusing listen. The studies she cites, her motivation for her research in this world of shame, and the permission she gives too the listener to _be_, is just amazing.
That permission, that you're allowed to say no, that you're allowed to say yes, that choosing discomfort (for the briefest of times) over resentment (for a much longer time) is worth the effort, that breathing and mindfulness and calm and understanding, and shit, I just can't list all the of amazing parts of this book without trying to cite the whole thing, so, yeah.
I'm going to add this this book to my recommended, repeat-read, buy-many-copies, hand-it-out-to-all-my-friends list that currently includes "The Happiness Hypothesis" and "The Antidote: Happiness for People who can't stand Positive Thinking."
This book is a series of lectures that Brené Brown gave when her book Daring Greatly was coming out. I plan to read that one soon.