Self-Help Reviews | June 1, 2013

Library Journal Reviews starred review Atik, Chiara & others. Modern Dating: A Field Guide. Harlequin. 2013. 224p. ISBN 9780373892778. pap. $19.95. RELATIONSHIPS

Atik, Brian Schechter, and Aaron Schildkrout, founders of (a website that encourages users to connect offline), have developed a guidebook that offers advice on going on real dates with real people. Using an appealing format full of sketches and bulleted lists, the authors impart tidbits such as the six worst things to say on a date, what makes a profile picture successful, how to be more attractive in five easy steps, and much more. Readers can try out any of the 75 date ideas and determine how to manage their “sexpectations.” ­VERDICT A well-organized book that’s suitable for libraries or as a gift.

Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jane. Happily Ever After: A Light-Hearted Guide to Wedded Bliss. Marble Arch: Atria.2013. 352p. ISBN 9781476730219. pap. $15; ebk. 9781476730226. RELATIONSHIPS

Sometimes, laughter really is the best therapy. Fearnley-Whittingstall (The Good Granny Guide) takes a lighthearted look at marriage by presenting stories and tips collected from couples of all ages, along with quotes and advice from sages such as Socrates, Tolstoy, and Einstein. She lists the complaints (and praise) of real couples who address issues that range from the mundane (struggles over the remote control and quarrels about leaving for the airport) to the crucial (coping with retirement and avoiding hurt feelings when arguing). VERDICT The perfect anniversary gift.

Bowen, Will. Happy This Year! The Secret to Getting Happy Once and for All. Grand Harbor. 2013. 215p. ISBN 9781611098952. $22.95.
Jones, PeterHow To Do Everything and Be Happy: A Straight-Talking Guide to Creating Happiness in Your Life. HarperCollins. Jun. 2013. 240p. ISBN 9780007518135. $14.99. SELF-HELP

The pursuit of happiness is as relevant now as it was when America’s Founding Fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence. Recent titles such as Meg Leder and Rachel Kempster’s The Happy Book and Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project (both books, LJ 11/15/09) indicate that the quest is still going strong. Bowen, founder of the nonprofit organization, A Complaint Free World, and financial consultant Jones offer varied suggestions for how to achieve happiness. Bowen proposes that readers can achieve personal satisfaction by recognizing when negative internal thoughts occur, ridding themselves of resentment, and accepting life on its own terms. His steps include changing self-talk from negative to positive, freeing oneself of clutter, and developing a spiritual practice. Jones, on the other hand, reminds readers that they are in control of their own lives and encourages them to make lists of short- and long-terms goals—now lists and wish lists—and to review them daily. VERDICT Both books have a lot to offer, although Happy This Year provides a more comprehensive analysis.

The following titles are reviewed in the June 1 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.

Bennett-Goleman, Tara. Mind Whispering: A New Map to Freedom from Self-Defeating Emotional Habits. HarperOne. 2013. 256p. bibliog. ISBN 9780062130884. $26.99. SELF-HELP

Carter, David C.M. Breakthrough: Learn the Secrets of the World’s Leading Mentor and Become the Best You Can Be. Tarcher. 336p. ISBN 9780399165818. pap. $16.95.

Robinson, Ken & Lou AronicaFinding Your Element: How To Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life. Viking. 2013. 251p. notes. ISBN 9780670022380. $27.95. CAREERS

Direnfeld, Gary. Marriage Rescue: Overcoming Ten Deadly Sins in Failing Relationships. New Horizon. 2013. 240p. ISBN 9780882824307. pap. $14.95. RELATIONSHIPS

Goldstein, David B. & Otto Kroeger. Creative You: Using Your Personality Type To Thrive. Beyond Words: AtriaJul. 2013. 320p. bibliog. ISBN 9781582703657. pap. $18. SELF-HELP

Hussey, Matthew. Get the Guy: Learn Secrets of the Male Mind To Find the Man You Want and the Love You Deserve. HarperWave. 2013. 272p. ISBN 9780062241740. $25.99. RELATIONSHIPS

Kaplan, Robert Steven. What You’re Really Meant to Do: A Road Map for Reaching Your Unique Potential. Harvard Business Pr. 2013. 256p. bibliog. ISBN 9781422189900. $25. CAREER

Kilgarlin, Shawn & Ron Kilgarlin. Past Tense: 365 Daily Tools for Putting Stress Behind You—for Good! American Screening Corp. 2013. 456p. ISBN 9781623331214. $25.95. SELF-HELP

Lippincott, Lorilee. The Simple Living Handbook: Discover the Joy of a De-Cluttered Life. Skyhorse, dist. by Norton. 2013. 176p. ISBN 9781620876299. pap. $14.95. SPIRITUALITY

Pipher, Mary. The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in Our Capsized Culture. Riverhead: Penguin Group (USA).Jun. 2013. 240p. index. ISBN 9781594485855. pap. $16. SELF-HELP

Schorn, Susan. Smile at Strangers: And Other Lessons in the Art of Living Fearlessly. Houghton Harcourt.2013. 304p. ISBN 9780547774336. $25. SELF-HELP

Showkeir, Maren & Jamie Showkeir. Yoga Wisdom at Work: Finding Sanity off the Mat and on the Job. Berrett-Koehler. 2013. 168p. ISBN 9781609947972. pap. $15.95. CAREERS

Ushkowitz, Jenna & Sheryl Berk. Choosing Glee: 10 Rules to Finding Inspiration, Happiness, and the Real You. Griffin: St. Martin’s. 2013. 224p. photogs. ISBN 9781250030610. pap. $19.99. SELF-HELP



  1. Donna Farrer says:

    There are a great many self help books out there, but to me they all seem to go along the exact same lines with just a tweak here and there. I am looking for something that goes a little more into the neuroscience of self help. Mae Chinn Songer has a book coming out soon, but her blog is brilliant as she teaches about retraining the brain to change it’s old ways so you can move forward with the actual self help parts of this journey. Her blog is at, and I am really a believer in her philosophy, worth a look for sure!