A humorous and insightful look into what advice works, what doesn’t, and what it means to transform yourself, by the co-hosts of the popular By the Book podcast.
In each episode of their podcast By the Book, Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer take a deep dive into a different self-help book, following its specific instructions, rules, and advice to the letter. From diet and productivity to decorating to social interactions, they try it all, record themselves along the way, then share what they’ve learned with their devoted and growing audience of fans who tune in.
Before they began their podcast, Jolenta wanted to believe the promises of self-help books, while Kristen was very much the skeptic. They embraced their differences of opinion, hoping they’d be good for laughs and downloads. But in the years since launching the By the Book, they’ve come to realize their show is about much more than humor. In fact, reading and following each book’s advice has actually changed and improved their lives. Thanks to the show, Kristen penned the Amish romance novel she’d always joked about writing, traveled back to her past lives, and she broached some difficult conversations with her husband about their marriage. Jolenta finally memorized her husband’s phone number, began tracking her finances, and fell in love with cutting clutter.
In How to Be Fine, Jolenta and Kristen synthesize the lessons and insights they’ve learned and share their experiences with everyone. How to Be Fine is a thoughtful look at the books and practices that have worked, real talk on those that didn’t, and a list of philosophies they want to see explored in-depth. The topics they cover include:
Getting off your device
Engaging in positive self-talk
Admitting you're a liar
Getting in touch with your emotions
Seeing a therapist
Part memoir, part prescriptive handbook, this honest, funny, and heartfelt guide is like a warm soul-baring conversation with your closest and smartest friends.
Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.
STOP and check out the podcast first
I really wanted to like this, as I loved the idea behind the book, but the lack of time spent, two weeks or less, and the lack of depth behind the ideas made it hard to even finish. While I see the intrigue in only devoting two weeks to forming new habits, it’s hardly enough time to accurately see results of those changes. In some cases, they chose to give up before they even made it through two weeks, like in the waking up early segment. I wish I would have listened to the podcast because I think I would have realized this book likely wasn’t going to be for me. I wanted it to be so much more than it was.