Monday, March 14, 2011

Self-Help or No-Help? Share Your Opinion.

First off, that last post (the Celebrity Saturday interview with Anna Johnson) was my 100th post on this blog.  Huzzah!

So here are my musings for the day, infused with a lot of questions for you guys.

Self-help books.  I've never actually read one, but they seem alright.  They seem important in a society where (this is going to sound incredibly glum) most people probably aren't happy with their lives.  They're about building confidence, right?  Learning who you are?  Learning to accept that person?

Obviously there are self-help books out there that ask to be made fun of, just as there are "mock-me" books in every genre.  But it seems like most people I talk to have a really cyncial, condescending view of these presumably positive books.  It could just be my circle of friends (we do tend to be a bit cynical), or it could be more widespread than I realize.

Earlier I wrote about how detective fiction has kind of a bad rap amongst literary devotees (though it hasn't hurt the genre sales!).  Now I'm wondering about self-help books.  Why do so many people seem to scoff at them?  Are there self-help books that send unhelpful messages?  Has a self-help book benefitted you or someone you know?  Have you read any, and if so, what are your favorites and least favorites, and why?

I'm thinking I have to investigate this myself by buying something from this genre -- thoughts and suggestions from all sides of the table are much appreciated.

Be excellent to each other (and look that up if you don't know what it's from),


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