Wednesday 5 October 2016

Book Reviews: Self-help autobiographies

I thought I'd put these three book into one review. They are similar, in that each author has risen from rock bottom to recovery, and to thoughtfully apply their life lessons for the reader. It is quite an achievement.

All three books have three things in common. They are honest, humorous, and real. They come from a troubled time in a person's life, and shows how they dug themselves out of despair. As one publicist wrote, "uncanny wit and brutal honesty" are the perfect description of all three. Depression, anxiety, and addictions can touch our lives in many ways. Here are three amazing stories.

1. Life Lessons From a Total Failure (Nonfiction – Inspiration, Advice, Personal Growth, LGBTQ) 

At first the title was off-putting. I loathe the negative. This was hilarious, however. Dougherty uses self-depractating humour in a good way. I began and finished it all in one sitting on Saturday afternoon. Truly, I did!  M.J. Dougherty's trials and tribulations were quite amazing. I couldn't stop reading as he hit a wall time after time. He has some amazing friends, a wonderful support network, and he is a working actor, as well. He is a risk-taker, and this is a darn good read. I was compelled!
M.J. Dougherty
He writes:
None of us have all the right answers. Certainly not on the first try. But what we do have are experiences, mentors, friends, family, and even enemies from which we learn. From leaving home as a teenager to living and working abroad, from starting my own small business to knowing when it was time to accept defeat, from chasing my dreams to relishing life's challenges. I have embraced what makes me unique. And I hope my story inspires you to do the same.

[A percentage of every sale is donated to The Trevor Project, a crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth.]

2. My Dad is an Alcoholic What About Me? (Non-Fiction / Parenting / Children’s Substance Abuse)  

This is an open and honest story, with many life strategies. I was somewhat uncomfortable with the writings of his 11-year-old daughter, but it will give some insight for those children who are affected by this disease.
After coming to understand his own addiction, Marc Treitler was determined to make sure his own kids understood their genetic predisposition to substance abuse. Written with his daughter, Lianna, and illustrated by his son and wife, My Dad is an Alcoholic What About Me? is a candid, empowering, and user-friendly guide for pre-teens and parents to address and avoid substance abuse. It’s a kid’s guide for thwarting the substance abuse gene before it gains a foothold in any young person’s life.
[A percentage of every sale is donated to the Red RoseBud Foundation, dedicated to educating and nurturing families dealing with substance abuse issues.]

3. Sobrietease (Non-Fiction /  autobiography) All of us have many issues we must face in our lives. This former alcoholic mom would drink for all occasions: to numb, escape, celebrate, mourn, relax, you name it. Carucci writes of hidden alcoholics. She unveils the facades people have created to mask their disease and appear functional to the world around them.  It wasn’t until her 10-year-old daughter became aware of the problem that Carucci decided to take control of her disease.

Martha offers insight on:
  • How to recognize if you have a problem with addiction 
  • What to say to a friend or family member in need of help 
  • The best way to help an alcoholic during their recovery.
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@Barrie Summy


Olga said...

I am off autobiographical and memoir books lately, But Life Lessons sounds a bit tempting. I do enjoy/appreciate your book reviews.

Vagabonde said...

I don’t know about reading self-help books right now. I have one on care giving for Alzheimer disease patients but by the time I get to bed to read I am just tired of having been with my husband, an Alzheimer patient, all day and need some change. Right now I am reading the last books that I have not read by Donna Leon – she is a mystery writer whose books take place in Venice and they fascinate me, and take me away.

Red said...

Success stories are great reads. We like people to win.

Barrie said...

Your reviews remind me to read non-fiction every once in a while. Thank you.

William Kendall said...

Good reviews, Jennifer!