July 17, 2013

Indulging in Self-Help

Hey Team,

Since I am only taking one class this semester, I've found myself really diving head-long into the self-help section. College tends to be a time where you run from all of the issues you have in your personal life. This personal life I speak of sometimes doesn't exist depending on the semester. You can easily drown them out sitting in a classroom talking about who knows what, and it's a perfect distraction. As in, a really, really expensive distraction.

Or like me, you spent some of your class time day dreaming about going on a date with that blonde hipster you've had your eyes on all semester, and by heaven you went to class every Tuesday and Thursday just for him. He never said a word to you, and that was okay. He most likely has more tattoo's under that leather or pleather jacket than Debby (my mother) would approve of. But I digress.

SO the self-help section. It's been pretty cool. Not that I need to be institutionalized, and put in a straight-jacket, (though my family would say differently when the crazy train comes along each month), but I tend to not see a situation for what it is, and especially when I'm in the middle of it. So I thought I'd hit up this section just because I like to see what others have to say about life and stuff.

For help with understanding Men: 

Turn to Steve Harvey. He currently has two books out, his first, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, and I'm currently reading the second, Straight Talk, No Chaser. He is first and foremost a comedian, and his advice is funny but can be serious, useful, and to the point. He doesn't beat around the bush, which I would prefer. If you are going to sugar coat anything, it's gonna be a doughnut. He doesn't waste time talking about things that don't matter in relationships, especially when it comes to men, and I have really enjoyed his books. They make sense, and that really gave me a boost in a sometimes hopeless outlook on the dating situation.

For help understanding Money:

Turn to Dave Ramsey. Now, you may be thinking, he's just another financial guy who tells you to save your money. Well, this is true of Dave. But the best and more endearing part of Mr. Ramsey's story, is that he became fairly wealthy once, as in a millionaire, and lost it all. He started from the bottom a second time, and became his own success story again. If you haven't lived paycheck to paycheck, or had to eat that humble financial pie over and over again, Dave is your guy. I'd recommend starting with the Total Money Makeover first. Or you could also start listening to his radio show if you want more of an introduction to him.

If you aren't a fan of Dave, you could also try Kate Levinson's Emotional Currency, which digs deeper into the relationship women have with money.

For understanding yourself, or your possible single situation: 

Turn to Tracy McMillan. I'm almost done listening to her book Why You're Not Married Yet. Now this book isn't for the faint of heart. There are F-bombs, (Gasp!) and many, many things you probably don't want to hear, but need to hear. But it is an amazing book, full of Tracy's experiences being in and out of marriage and relationships.  Her advice is sound, and very useful and truthful.

If you want something a little less intense and of the Mormon persuasion, be sure to turn to
Kristen Oak's A Single Voice. It's the best book I've ever read about being single in the LDS Church.

For a good laugh:

Turn to Mindy Khaling. Her book Is everyone hanging out without me? is total genius. But I chose not the read the e-book. I totally chose the audio book because I knew hearing each and every experience and story would be all the better coming right from Mindy. Her stories are so hilarious, and relatable as a woman, and as someone who also loves to make people laugh. One of her stories from high school even had a Jana in it, and my heart literally skipped a beat. (Whether or not she changed names for that character, I was still really excited about it.) I loved the fact that she also mentioned in her book that even if you called her fat, it would be far worse to call her boring and not funny. The same is true of myself I would hope to think.

If you are looking for something less girly, turn to Craig Ferguson. His memoir America, On Purpose was a amazing look into his life in Scotland, the U.S. and his journey to late night T.V., and all of the substances along the way. The audio book again is the better choice as Craig reads the book and even does voices for specific characters. Again, a warning this book also isn't for the faint of heart, because if you've ever known Craig or his show, you know they are full of bleeps and noises to cover that sailor mouth of his.

Another more Mr. clean alternative is Jim Gaffigan's Dad is Fat, which I am just about to start the audio book for. I have no doubt it will be amazing. Seeing Jim live in Salt Lake was the early highlight of 2012 for me, and I just think he is so funny and pale.

For Inspiration: 

Turn to Jon Acuff. His book Start is a great motivator when you are feeling bleh or ready to give up in the middle of a project, semester, or whatever you are working towards. He begins the book by talking about the difference between a great life and an average life. Super funny, and a great read.

Another great read is Sir Ken Robinson's The Element. This book talks about finding what you are best at, and how typical American Education makes everyone the same, instead of celebrating how children are intelligent in different ways. Wonderful read. I chose the audiobook again, since Ken reads in his british accent splendidly. If you don't know about Ken's work, visit TED Talks for his famous 2006 address on how schools kill creativity in America.

Now you are thinking to yourself, how does she afford like 12 self-help books? Well, the library of course. My library in Davis County has a sweet set up. If you visit www.pioneerutah.lib.overdrive, you can download e-books, and audiobooks right to your phone or even read in a computer's browser. All you need is the bar code number on the back of your library card. (I have to mention this quote from Arthur. Having fun isn't hard, when you've got a library card!) I don't have a clue how other states or counties do it, but it's pretty awesome. Look into it if you don't know! With more popular books, you sometimes have to wait on a list before you can borrow it. But I vote that free is worth the wait. Though I usually prefer holding a book in my hands, but this has been a lot of fun to actually become a little more centered and zen for free, and learn on my own terms for once. I've linked the books to the Overdrive Library, if not, Amazon.

Hope you enjoy these books as much as I have!


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