How to Be Selfish (and Other Uncomfortable Advice) by Olga Levancuka
|How to Be Selfish (and Other Uncomfortable Advice) by Olga Levancuka|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A thought-provoking look at loving yourself rather than devoting yourself to others. It's a surprisingly compelling argument which tackles some sensitive issues in a suportive way. Olga came into Bookbag Towers to chat to us.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 116||Date: December 2011|
|External links: Author's website|
It's strange how you come to read a particular book. A couple of days ago I was chatting to a dog-walking friend who retired about a year ago. He'd been surprised to find that the main problem in retirement was one which he hadn't anticipated: all his life he'd had to account for himself to somebody else and now he was struggling to discover what it was that he wanted to do. Then I found myself chatting to Olga Levancucka, author of How To Be Selfish - but she seemed like one of the most unselfish people I'd ever met. There was a book here waiting to be read!
First things first. This is not a book about how to grab the last piece of chocolate cake or how to make certain that your interests come before everyone else's. It's a book for everyone who has got themselves on that relentless treadmill of meeting other people's expectations and disregarding their own - and who would like to get off, please. Olga Levancuka is a lady who has been through the mill (the book is worth reading just for the brief details about her life, but the story would make a book on its own) and she's managed to come out at the other end, smiling and spreading happiness amongst other people.
So, you want to know what the book is about? Well, Levancuka is not frightened to tackle some of the big issues (you know, the ones you really shouldn't bring up at dinner parties) and encourages us to ask how they're benefitting our lives. I found myself completely in sympathy with her over religion, money, social media and relationships, but not quite on all fours over body image and childhood pain. I began by thinking that I could probably dismiss what she has to say in these areas, but what has surprised me is that I've gone back to those pages two or three times - and realised that I have quite a bit to work through in my own mind.
I was impressed by the way that Levancuka sees life as ever-evolving and recognises that change will cause some initial disturbance. The book is thought-provoking and supportive, inspiring but remarkably free of jargon. Try some of the exercises at the end of the book - there's sure to be one which resonates with you. For me it was the exercise about learning to appreciate the people around you.
There's a mention in the book of flipping negative thoughts into positive and I'd have liked to read more about this (that's me learning to be selfish...) but for a relatively short read this is a book which packs a real punch.
I'd like to thank the author for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If this book appeals to you then you might like to try Feel Happy Now by Michael Neill or, for a slightly different take we can recommend The Happy Life: The Search for Contentment in the Modern World by David Malouf.
You can read more book reviews and buy How to Be Selfish (and Other Uncomfortable Advice) by Olga Levancuka at Amazon
Olga Levancuka was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
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