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

Jana is a professional writer and bookworm who reviews movies and books.



The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck


Mark Manson







Publication Date


No. of pages




This book is the brainchild of star blogger Mark Manson, who has earned millions of readers who follow his articles about out-of-the-box but practical (and hard-hitting) advice on how to live your best life. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is his first book and #1 New York Times bestseller.

True happiness occurs only when you find the problems you enjoy having and enjoy solving.

— Mark Manson

My Review

I'll be honest. When I first saw the title, my first impression was that this author is a little nihilistic. But I hopped on over to his blog and fell down a rabbit hole of articles that brimmed with surprising wisdom and humour. Eventually, I bought the book and here are my thoughts on what makes it so special and also the things that I didn't like about it.

Who Will Love This Book?

Anyone who has lost a lot of money on self-help seminars, gurus and those books that promise you health, wealth and happiness but never deliver. If that sounds like you, what makes Manson's book different?

I feel that his raw honesty about the self-help industry's goal to make money first and then maybe help people second is a valuable insight that other authors don't always share.

Manson offers his readers life advice that is well-researched and sometimes painfully honest. But he turns that thumbscrew to show an alternative way of thinking that might just work for those who are willing to dive into and challenge their own beliefs.

What is the Book About?

Well, if you've made it this far then you already know that the book is designed to give you your best life. But Manson has a counter-intuitive approach where he takes his readers into the world of problems, suffering, and why the world sucks. It's not as depressing as it sounds. On the contrary, by looking at this often-ignored side of the self-help world, Manson knocks down a wall that holds many people back.

At the end of the day, the book is about acceptance as much as it is about striving for your goals. It's about learning to let go while you keep going. If that sounds wonky, a more straightforward way would be to say this - Manson's book teaches you to choose what you care about, a strategy that could lead to more resilience and better days.


My Favourite Part

I loved the no-holds-barred way that Manson gets your attention. This book is not about cliches or false promises. For me personally, reading this book shattered my victim mentality and the "story" by which I lived. I realized that I was basically roleplaying my life into the failures I feared or others expected of me. By changing my thinking, my horizons broadened and although my life is far from perfect, Manson showed me a different way of looking at the world. I mean, really look at the world and myself, working within my limitations and harsher realities of life.

I loved the topsy-turvy curveball that this book threw at me. In order to move forward and live better, I had to accept a lot of things about my own flaws and the reality of the world we live in (things I tend to resist and as a result, exhaust myself!).

What I Didn't Like

I try to be as honest with my book reviews as possible and for this reason, I always include something that completely ruined a book for me or just fell short.

In the case of this book, I missed having specific exercises to do. However, that could just be my inner self-help student complaining! Most books in this genre come with some kind of self-assessment to personalize the experience for each reader but not this book. To be fair, Manson's advice is exceptionally universal and can be understood and used by anyone regardless of their life situation, gender, race or religion.

My Rating: 9.5 out of 10 Golden Bookmarks.


About The Author

Mark Manson was born on 9 March 1984 and is the author of three books, two of which are New York Times bestsellers. He has appeared on BBC, Larry King, CNN and featured in major publications like Time Magazine and USA Today.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Jana Louise Smit

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