Bracken lives in sunny Devon, is a mum to two teenage girls and the owner of a creative business. She recently reviewed my book for me – and even had some tips to make it better by being able to tear out the pages! Thanks Bracken.
As Springtime moves ever closer, it seems serendipitous that I should have been sent Matt Pepper’s book ‘Happiness, The Inside Job’ to review. Having read it through in one sitting, it really felt like a spring clean for the soul.
It’s brightly coloured cover was immediately cheering and a quick look at the layout told me that this was one non-fiction book that I was NOT going to have to struggle to get through. Call me a ‘pleb’ but if I get some time to myself to read, ploughing through a tome of chapters that tell me the same thing in 36 different ways is not what I need. This book is the exact opposite.
I have a confession though. I glanced through the list of contents and got distracted by the chapter called ‘Tend Your Emotional Garden’. It intrigued me; I have one? So I read that chapter first. Then I started the book. I still love that analogy most of all. Pottering around my garden is a real joy. To think that I can mentally care for myself in the same way made a lot of sense.
What I liked was that the style of writing and the personal voice with which this book was written really engaged my mind. I immediately trusted Matt’s authority on the subject – but never felt ‘lectured’ by him: “..it is an internal, not an external process. Wherever you are starting from you can find a way. You can get back to feeling better again. I’ve seen it happen time and time again.”
I liked the illustrations – but in particular the list summaries at the end of each chapter. They’re quite good to refer back to and I’m sure I’ll do that on many occasion. This isn’t a book you read once and discard.
I actually plan to get my daughter to read this too. I think young teenagers (she’s nearly 15) could really benefit from some of these messages. They have so many pressures from all angles to be all things to all people – it would be great if she could read this and realise that she is best just being her ‘brilliant self’.
Do I have any criticisms? Just one. The final summary checklist is a brilliant reminder of everything I learned from the book. So I have torn it out and stuck it on my pin board. So in the next print run, Matt, make it with perforated edges!
Finally…I have realised that one of my faults is chasing rainbows. It’s exhausting. Nobody has ever told me that the pot of gold was inside me all along. I wish they had.
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