The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck: A Book Review

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First things first, the title of the book is amazing, and it was the only reason I bothered picking up this book when I came across it at work. Most who know me, know I’m quite curse-y, and rarely have any fucks to give, so naturally, I was quite drawn to this book.

The first few chapters of this book were fantastic, I constantly found myself think “ohh fuck yes” and “amen to that.” In case the title was not indication enough, this book isn’t really for those easily offended by the F word. Or other fun swear words for that matter.

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Now, while I was totally sucked in by the beginning the book, I was constantly afraid it would sort of peter out, and it kinda did.. for me at least. However, while I lost the excitement of the beginning chapters of the book, Manson still made good points and shared interesting anecdotes throughout the remainder of the book.

A handful of the ideas shared by Manson are seemingly counter-intuitive, ie. we need to fail and experience pain. We spend so much time trying to avoid stressful, painful, embarrassing situations, but what do we learn by avoidance? Not very much. In order to grow, change, succeed, and become a decent human being (instead of an entitled little shit) we need to challenge ourselves and own our choices.

This book serves as a nice reminder that life is what you make it. How we interpret our experiences, and how we choose to deal with those experiences makes all the difference in how we move forward in life. Manson talks a bit about taking responsibility for the things that happen to us and the way we feel. While certain things that happen may not be our fault, it is our responsibility to choose what to do with or how to feel about those events.

Not giving a fuck isn’t about being indifferent, entitled, or belittling others, it’s about choosing what matters to us. It’s about our personal values and how we take responsibility for what happens in our own lives. Manson talks about what he calls the “Feedback Loop from Hell,” which is we make ourselves feel bad for feeling whatever it is we feel, and that emotion just spirals out of control. For instance, the Feedback Loop from Hell comes into play when you feel anxious about something, and then in turn feel bad/more anxious about being anxious, as opposed to asking yourself why you feel anxious and just owning it.

 

“Not giving a fuck does not mean being indifferent; it means being comfortable with being different.”

 

To not give a fuck, is to take ownership of how you feel and respond to your situation. Don’t be overtaken by the things that stress you and bring you down, but rather accept it for what it is and say “what the fuck ever.”

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Or to put it more politely:

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Bryan Cranston: A Life in Parts

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Anyone who has watched Breaking Bad knows that Bryan Cranston is a brilliant actor. As someone who isn’t really even a big fan of Breaking Bad (such a heathen, I know) Bryan Cranston’s acting is part of what made me keep watching. He (obviously) talks about Breaking Bad in his new book; not just the making of the show, but also the development and why he believes it took the world by storm. It was really interesting, and often humorous, to read these stories and it shed a new light on the show for me and made me appreciate it just a bit more.

Now obviously, he doesn’t spend the entire book talking about BB, in fact it’s a rather small portion of the book. Cranston also talks about his childhood, youth, and the many crazy adventures that eventually led him to acting. It’s a pretty intriguing read and a cool look into a really nice sounding guy. It would be an understatement to say that Cranston takes his job as an actor seriously, he also takes developing his characters very seriously and he seems to fully embody each characters he plays. From fun, goofy Hal Wilkerson:

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(Some of his stories about working on the set of Malcolm in the Middle are hilarious. And now I want to go watch the entire series on Netflix.)

to the very serious, deep, and intimidating (sometimes downright scary) Walter White/Heisenberg:

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All in all, this was an enjoyable read. Sometimes funny, sometimes deep, but always genuine. I have a lot of respect for Bryan Cranston, props for being a decent human being in Hollywood.

The Snow Queen

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Hans Christian Andersen’s  The Snow Queen, published in 1844, mostly follows the story of two children, Kay and Gerda, best friends and next door neighbors. The children are very close and seemingly do everything together. Meanwhile, an evil hobgoblin (the devil himself) has created a mirror that shows all good and beautiful things as ugly, while all evil/ugly things become uglier. Said mirror then breaks and sends shards of evil down to the earth where they  take up residence in the hearts/eyes of the people. Kay happens to be one of those people who has a shard wedged in both his eye and heart. So not only does he see everything as ugly, but his heart has also now frozen over. He becomes distant from his best friend Gerda, wanders off and stumbles upon the Snow Queen. If you haven’t read The Snow Queen before, picture C.S. Lewis’ White Witch, very similar imagery here, I would be willing to guess Lewis was inspired by Andersen’s Queen.

Anyhow, the Snow Queen sort of seduces Kay to come along with her and then kisses him so he is numbed and forgets his past, his friend Gerda and his family. Gerda is naturally devastated by the disappearance of Kay and becomes determined to find him. The remainder of the tale is of Gerda’s journey through the land to find her friend. She crosses paths with many strange and scary people, until she eventually finds her Kay, she breaks whatever spell type thing Kay is under, and they make their way back home.

This is the second of new editions of Han Christian Andersen books, illustrated by artist Sanna Annukka that I’ve read recently. Previously, I read and reviews The Fir Tree. The style of her artwork is obviously very similar for both, and I find it quite pleasant. Though, to be honest, I was a little more taken with The Fir Tree. I still really like this edition of The Snow Queen, mainly because of Annukka’s illustrations and style.

 

 

I received a copy of The Fir Tree from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review.

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