My rating: 5 of 5 stars
As I read through the reviews of this book, I was surprised to find some fairly critical negative ones. But I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised- this book is not for everyone. Speaking as someone who thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from it, I can say that it is for people like me (and maybe you)- those of us indisputably flawed, forever on a journey towards better self-knowledge and humility (in addition to being maybe a little awkward/quirky/different). So, I get it- if you’re chill and fine and coasting through life, this might not be the book for you. If introspection isn’t your bag, then avoid this book at all costs. However, if you’re up for learning more about self-knowledge in addition to some fascinating nuggets of wisdom around relationships, motherhood, race, religion, and our patriarchal society, then dig in!
This is not your traditional memoir as much as it is a collection of thoughts on various topics, told with anecdotes from Glennon Doyle’s life. You could easily pick this book up and put it down over the course of a few months and still gain something from it. Be prepared to feel compelled to highlight/underline as you read- this book is chock-full of quotable excerpts. Below are a few of my faves:
“There is a life meant for you that is truer than the one you’re living. But in order to have it, you will have to forge it yourself. You will have to create on the outside what you are imagining on the inside. Only you can bring it forth.”
“If you are uncomfortable—in deep pain, angry, yearning, confused—you don’t have a problem, you have a life. Being human is not hard because you’re doing it wrong, it’s hard because you’re doing it right. You will never change the fact that being human is hard, so you must change your idea that it was ever supposed to be easy.”
“Don’t forget: We need their science because they need our poetry. We don’t need to be more pleasant, normal, or convenient, we just need to be ourselves. We need to save ourselves because we need to save the world.”
“That’s when I realized that imagination is not just the catalyst of art, it’s also the catalyst of compassion. Imagination is the shortest distance between two people, two cultures, two ideologies, two experiences.”
“The braver I am, the luckier I get.”
Okay, this may sound like it’s just a book of sayings you could easily paste over a picture of a waterfall, but I promise that there’s some real intelligent goodness in this book and I look forward to revisiting it for years to come.
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