Top critical review
58 people found this helpful
Full of redundancy. Little practical use.
on August 30, 2003
This has been wasted money for me. I buy a lot of self-help and psychology books and seldom buy anything that I later find almost useless. While this book has good content, it is simply not useful.
Sure, it helps you understand your pessimism a bit better, it even tries to convince you that it's not so bad. And maybe it isn't.
My problem with this book is the fact that it is extremely full of redundancies. There are paragraphs that area almost equal to previous paragraphs. This would have resulted in a great 50 page book, but all these pages are full of wordy redundancy. It reads like a poorly compressed and summarized academic work.
Worse, it does not supply you with a method or a line of action. I don't mean a one-size-fits-all program, but general guides on how to optimize your life considering that, well, you might be a bit different.
This is after all, a book about Pessimist and Anxiety, and I did not find how to "perform at my peak". Not at all. When I finished it, I was sure I have gotten good information out of it, but was it worth all the time and money? Unfortunately, no, it wasn't.
I believe Julie Norem has the potential to come up with quality work on this area, but it will take more effort, better research and definitely much clearer and succint writing. There is no merit in taking 2 paragraphs to say exactly the same thing you can say in one sentence, which in fact, you had already said before.
So beware. If you read it as an academic work, I have no comment, but if you consider yourself too pessimist and anxious sometimes and are looking for ways to understand yourself better and optimize your life, well, I do not recommend this.
The most useful book I have found so far regarding anxiety was the suprising "Diagonally parked in a Parallel universe" by Signe A. Dayhoff. I strongly recommend it, it has been one of the books that has helped me.
As for pessimism, well, it depends, to me personally, books that helped have been "The magic of thinking big", the old title by David Schwartz, plus the other old classics, including everything by Dale Carnegie. You can also try "Feeling Good" by Burns (lots of redundancy and too long, but has some useful information). You should not expect to become radically different with those, but at least they can provide you with a few practical steps and not just random loose thoughts.
Yes, pessimism and anxiety do have their place in life. But so what? Is that all I was supposed to get from all these pages, Julie?