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How to Be Happy, Dammit: A Cynic's Guide to Spiritual Happiness Paperback – July 31, 2001

4.2 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Life Lesson #21: You must remember: You are here now . . . no, no, now . . . NO, NOW! You are a human being and not a human was or a human will be. So you try to spend more time being present—and less time being busy. Though, granted, things have gotten a heck more hectic since you were born. You now even have an answering machine. (You now even have people to avoid on this answering machine.) You also know that sometimes you can get so outrageously busy that you could pass by a troll standing on the street corner waving a million bucks at you . . . and you might not even notice. Meaning . . . Life Lesson #22: It doesn't matter how fast you get there if you're heading in the wrong direction.” —From HOW TO BE HAPPY, DAMMIT"Offers tasty mood food. . . .a fascinating read." —The Toronto Star Week

About the Author

New Yorker and 'tween expert KAREN SALMANSOHN is the best-selling author of lots of books for adults including How to Be Happy, Dammit! (Ten Speed Press).
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Product Details

  • Series: Cynic's Guide to Spiritual Happiness
  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Celestial Arts (July 31, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587611198
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587611193
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.7 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dr. Cathy Goodwin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
A friend gave me this book for Christmas, recognizing my innate cynicism, especially relating to the self-improvement, New Age, traditional coaching world. And ...I liked it!
Author Salmonsohn presents some basic truths that we've all heard before. ("Relax." "Let go.") But she presents these sayings in a context of sophisticated graphics and down-to-earth realism. I especially like her warning, which I paraphrase as, "Don't seek career advice from people who don't have careers, or relationship advice from people who don't have relationships." It's not completely accurate: some people can "teach" better than they can "do." But it's worth considering.
And her warning that every year has a "winter phase" is right on.
Like most readers, I'm absorbing Salmonsohn's words after reading dozens of self-help books, so none of these ideas are really new. I'm wondering if this book would really melt the heart of a cynic or someone who is truly resistant to change -- or if they'd respond like an atheist who is urged to try a contemporary hip "new" religious service.
My hunch is that this book makes a great gift and recipients, like me, will appreciate the sender's thought and intention, regardless of the book's actual content. It's nice when someone says, "I know you're a cynic but I like you anyway." Hmm...that's a sentiment right out of the book!
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By A Customer on May 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
I found it at a local bookstore and skimmed through it. Flipping through the pages, though the nice graphics and typefaces caught my attention, the text itself didn't make much sense. I picked up the book anyways because I really am a cynic looking for spiritual happiness. When I finally got around to reading it, I discovered why flipping through the book didn't make much sense. This is not a coffee table book. It must be read from beginning to end, otherwise it won't make much sense. It's a quick read, it only took me an hour or so and I'm a slow reader. It's very catchy, witty, to the point, and perfect for cynics alike. I bought the book for a couple of friends and they really liked it as well. I'm not exactly happier, but it did give me a better perspective on life as a whole. If you're skeptical, pick it up anyways. It's inexpensive, a quick read, entertaining even if you don't like the entire book, and you really have nothing to lose. If it doesn't jive you well, give it to a friend.
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Format: Paperback
I can't say enough about how much I love this book! I came across it in a bookstore when I was grieving the unexpected loss of a loved one in addition to a series of smaller tragedies. I was intrigued by the title, as I was extremely cynical and had no interest in wimpy "the world is a wonderful place" type self-help books. This book hit the spot! Karen Salmansohn speaks in a language that I completely relate to - very catchy, but with logical explanations for the information she provides. The bright pictures and catchy analogies made it very easy and pleasant to read. In some places the photos spoke almost as loudly as the words. I related so well to Ms. Salmansohn's style that I have since bought three of her other books and have not been disappointed. She is one of those gifted writers whose ability to express herself in so many new and fresh ways just blows me away! This book has literally been my lifeline for several months now, and I intend to buy copies for all my friends. I highly recommend this book for anyone who needs a pick-me-up, or a hopeful new perspective.
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Format: Paperback
Not being an optimist by nature or upbringing, my life is all about the struggle between negativity and positivity -- so I was pleased to discover Karen Salmansohn's 'Cynic's Guide to Spiritual Happiness.' It is a truly wonderful book. Right now, facing 2003, I rely on my 3 favorite books to keep me sane. The other 2 are 'Stop Smiling, Start Kvetching' and 'The Positive Power of Negative Thinking' -- all 3 help me to harness the positive energy of negativity. These 3 books make up my personal triple play for dealing constructively with anxiety, worry, irritation, and cynicism/pessimism. So my new year's resolution is to make the most of who I am and how I deal with the world around me. And Karen Salmansohn is a great author to have on your team -- she has new books coming out this year, and I'd keep an eye out for them too.
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Format: Paperback
I think that this book helps to give hope and reminds us to stop feeling sorry for ourselves all the time. While the other reviewers did not like the book at all, I completely disagree with the reasoning. This is basically a 'coffee-table' book. It has glossy pictures with simple statements about life's truths and the reality of being alive. Things aren't always great, but if you give up on life then you might as well go live in a cave somwhere. It contains positive thoughts and reminders of the fact that we don't always have to feel like victims. Some of the statements are pretty obvious and occasionally cheesy- but why is that so bad? It made me smile for 15 minutes and reminded me that 'doo-doo happens' in life, but when it comes down to it none of our lives are REALLY that bad.
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