Self-help is definitely out of my comfort zone, but I really loved Emily Nagoski’s Come As You Are (one of my favorites of 2015), so I decided to give this one a chance as well. It’s supposed to be a guide for women to deal with the physiological reactions to stress that add up over time. I have mixed feelings about the book.
On the negative side: There is more bias in this book than I prefer in nonfiction. It is very definitely slanted toward a heavily liberal viewpoint. It doesn’t matter that I agree with the viewpoint – I just prefer my nonfiction to be a bit less biased. It’s also written a bit more layperson and simplistic than Come As You Are. I would have preferred to delve deeper into the science and to have less cutesy names for situations and feelings. Also, I didn’t particularly like the audio reading, which was read by both authors. It was overly familiar and, like the book, a bit too cutesy and slanted for me.
On the positive side: The science sources were legit. I loved that Robert Saposki – one of my favorite modern scientists and a leading researcher into biological stress science – was referenced right from the beginning. There was a lot of good information in the book and a lot of good steps to take to move your body through the stress cycle. Lots of stuff any person could put into practice. There’s also a lot of great history on gender bias, cultural norms, and discrimination of many kinds. Burnout discusses everything from body image to group connectivity (finding happiness through others is not a negative thing!!). And best of all, there’s no simple solutions or steps to just “make everything better forever!” like you find in too many self-help books.
My end-takeaway: I think I would have liked the book more had I been reading a print version, because the audio reading put me off quite a bit. I plan to acquire a copy at some point, because there’s a lot of good information in here and I think there was too much for me to absorb with just one reading. Plus, there are worksheets and steps to take over time and so many other things for which I’d like to have a physical copy to reference.