Book review: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First, I want to express my relief that the trend of every other novel in the last five years having “girl” in the title has not merged with the newer trend of every non-fiction book having “f*ck” in the title.

Mark Manson is a guy with a potty mouth who found himself, started a blog and now has a few books like this one detailing his philosophy for living a better life. At its simplest level, it boils down to (with cursing) letting go of all the things that hold you back, because a) we’re all going to die and b) better to trey something and maybe find what you really want than to not try and muddle along, vaguely unhappy.

It’s not a bad philosophy.

He frames happiness–or rather, the misguided pursuit of what we think will make us happy–as a central problem in our lives. Don’t try to be like a celebrity, don’t just aim to make a lot of money doing whatever, think about what you enjoy, then pursue it as best you can. He uses his own misguided youth as an example of what not to do, and how the sobering, unexpected death of a friend woke him up and put him on a new path. Don’t worry, his advice does not rely on the sobering, unexpected death of a friend to work. Or at least I assume not. A lot of what Manson talks about is not particularly new–he advises against holding “shitty” values, and “rock star problems” (basically not appreciating what you have by unrealistically comparing yourself to levels of success that may be rare or unattainable to most). What makes The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck unique is Manson’s voice. As I said, he has a potty mouth, and there are passages in this book that made me chuckle or even laugh aloud. It helps the presentation a lot–if you’re into a somewhat blue version of getting what is essentially timeless advice on living.

F*cking recommended if you’re not averse to a little salty language mixed in with sensible advice.

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