Are these books worth the hype?

17th January 2017

Why I didn't move home after university

I’m not easily influenced by bloggers into buying beauty products or clothes, but books? Oh, that’s a different story!

I have no idea why but I only have to see a book in a flat lay on Instagram and I instantly want to know more about it. I’ve ended up purchasing quite a few books that have been popular on social media and highly recommended by fellow bloggers.

I’m going to briefly review 5 books that have been hyped up a lot over the last couple of years and say whether or not I think they are worth the hype, in my opinion.

#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso

Before reading #GIRLBOSS I had no idea who Sophia Amoruso was, but I’d heard a lot of people talking about how they felt inspired after reading this book.

In summary, Sophia Amoruso started a vintage shop on eBay and went on to found Nasty Gal, and basically the book is the story of how she created her business from scratch.

I first read this book in my final year of university when I was feeling somewhat lost about my future, and I was full of self-doubt. The more I read, the more enthusiastic and positive I felt about my future. I didn’t feel like starting a business but I inspired to find something I enjoy doing and make a success out of it. I’ve read the book several times since as it’s quite a short read, and it never fails to leave me feeling positive and up beat.

Worth the hype? Yes. Absolutely. And I also highly recommend the #GIRLBOSS podcast.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo

If you haven’t heard of this book before then I think you can probably guess what it’s about from the title. Marie Kondo is the queen of tidying, and she even has her very own tried and tested method.

Admittedly, the first time I attempted to read this book I got about 25% of the way through and I stopped reading it. I thought Marie Kondo was mad and that her approach to tidying wasn’t for me. I didn’t feel comfortable talking to my clothes.

But then a few months later a gave the book another chance and I ended up feeling motivated to tidy my home from head to toe, and to get rid of a load of unnecessary clutter. I really started to become intentional about the things I owned and my mindset in regards to shopping has completely changed too.

There are some parts of the book that I think are a bit bizzare, but all in all it does get you thinking about how much stuff you own that you probably don’t need.

Worth the hype? Yes, but as I say, take it with a pinch of salt. Marie Kondo’s method is a bit weird at times.

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k by Sarah Knight

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k is obviously a play on the title of Marie Kondo’s book, and while it makes reference to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, the two books are quite different.

Essentially, this book is all about learning to stop caring about things that aren’t worth caring or worrying about, i.e. how to not give a f**k. And a heads up, if you don’t like the “f word” you are going to hate this book from the get go.

I found the book to be very repetitive, and it sort of states the obvious a lot. Once you’ve read the first couple of pages you might as well put the book down because it’s so repetitive. Actually, I didn’t even finish it because I was so bored.

Maybe this book just isn’t for me as an anxiety sufferer, because as much as I try not to care, and even when I say I don’t care, I’m probably worrying my little head off. Maybe I should have looked at this book in a more light-hearted, fun approach to being care-free, but honestly, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Worth the hype? In my opinion, no.

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking

The hygge craze was something positive to come out of 2016. Hygge is difficult to explain. Basically it’s all about enjoying the simple things in life, but the The Little Book of Hygge explains it better than I ever could.

I bought this book shortly after it’s release in the UK after hearing fellow bloggers talking about it. The idea of hygge sounded right up my street and so I had to get the book to find out more. I immediately wanted to go out and buy blankets and candles, and invite my friends over for a games night.

It’s an informative book that will leave you feeling warm and happy inside. It sits on my bedside table so I often just pick it up and flick through just before I go to bed. It’s so calming and relaxing, and I’ve actually found it to help with my anxiety.

Worth the hype? Yes. There are other books about hygge on the market, but personally I think this one is the best.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

I was curious to read Big Magic after hearing that so many fellow creatives had really connected with this book.

Elizabeth Gilbert is the author behind Eat Pray Love, and in Big Magic she talks about what it’s like to live a creative life and in particular focuses on the fears that come with this lifestyle.

She talks about how you don’t need to give up your day job to embrace creativity within your life, and tells the story of how she carried on with her day job even after publishing several successful books. She talks about having courage and dealing with your fears, and I just felt myself resonating with many of the stories Elizabeth shares.

Reading this book gave me so much reassurance, as well as motivation and inspiration. It completely changed the way I view my own creativity.

Worth the hype? Yes. If you’re a fellow creative I’m sure you will love this book.

Have you read any of these books? Have you got any books that you would like to recommend to me? Clearly I’m going through a bit of a self-help phase!

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  1. I have a bad taste about #GIRLBOSS for some reason, but it might just be because I am not a big fan of the term “girlboss”, haha. It sounds like Sophia had a great inspirational story and that the book serves more as a memoir of her journey? Maybe I’ll give it a read if I’m looking for some inspiration. Though let’s face it, there is a lot of inspiration in all the bloggers I chat to!

    I didn’t read Marie Kondo’s book in full, I just read excerpts and watched her demonstrations and some of her extended talks (which had the same content as the book anyway). I would say she is one of the more “extreme” declutterers. If you consider reading books by the Minimalists, you’ll probably find them to be weird and extreme as well, so I wouldn’t really recommend going out of your way to read their book/s. Their blog kinda has everything they stand up for. 😆

    Someone shared a tip with me from Sarah Knight’s book, about how books are useless and that you should tear out pages that you like then get rid of the rest of the book. It’s interesting but I only ever did that with picture or activity books that I liked a particular drawing in.

    To be honest, I think that once you read enough books about simple living and decluttering, you just do things your own way. There is only so much you can read before you feel like everyone is telling you to sell your car, not put value in material things, buy experiences, etc. 😛 I should probably read the Hygge book though, I’ve heard people raving it about it everywhere.

    Really cool blog post on a very interesting topic!! 😄

    • Holly

      I’m also not a fan of the term “girlboss”! Yes, I guess it’s more of a memoir, but there’s also lots of handy tips in there. It encouraged me to start saving a percentage of my wages each month, and I picked up a lot of tips about writing cover letters.

      I’ve not read any of the books by The Minimalists, but I do listen to their podcasts and read their blog. They’re definitely on the more extreme side of things. But I suppose their books are there to inspire. You don’t need to live your life exactly like they do but you can take inspiration from them.

      Yes, I think that tip made me cringe! I would hate to destroy a book.

  2. I feel like I’m the only blogger in the world who has a problem with #GirlBoss. After I read it and I heard about the working conditions at Nasty Gal, it has terrible reviews from almost all workers and is even being sued by pregnant women who got fired right before maternity leave. This was after the company started to grow but before she had left CEO. It just made the book seem very self-promotional when the company’s women weren’t happy, which kind of defeated the books message completely.
    I agree with the rest of these though, besides Big Magic which I haven’t read yet! It’s sitting in my Amazon shopping cart! I’ve heard it’s beyond amazing and I love Elizabeth Gilbert.

    • Holly

      I didn’t know that about Nasty Gal. I know Sophia took a back seat towards the end. I’m pretty sure the company has since gone into administration/gone bankrupt. But she’s now working on her new business, also called #GIRLBOSS which is about empowering women.

      Yes! Big Magic is well worth a read. 🙂

  3. I haven’t read any of them. The term #GIRLBOSS is not appealing to me, so it’s unlikely I wold read it. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying sounds like something I should read, because I need more organization&tidying in my life, but, at the same time, I’m pretty organized and I try to do things perfectly, so maybe I should avoid getting too caught up in this.
    The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k is another book I will never read because of its name. I don’t see the need of swearing when there are so many other words that can be used. I do swear sometimes, like once a month :))
    The Little Book of Hygge sounds interesting and I would like to read it. I didn’t hear about Big Magic until now, not sure if it’s for me. 🙂

    • Holly

      It is a bit of a weird term, but aside from that the book is a pretty good read.

      I swear quite a bit but even I found the use of the “f word” a bit too much in this book. It wasn’t necessary.

      I’m sure you would like The Little Book of Hygge. 🙂

  4. Elisa

    alright, that’s it. i’ve seen #GIRLBOSS on two blogs from my daily reads now and i think this is the sign that i should also read that book. when i’m feeling lazy, i like to read easy coffee table books and i think i’ll try #GIRLBOSS next. (my first coffee table book was estee lalonde’s bloom and it was inspiring for me too). the little book of hygge looks like something worth trying too. i might actually find downloads for them because physical books are hella expensive and i’m broke haha

    • Holly

      I’m intrigued about Bloom. I think I might have to give it a try (Are these books worth the hype? Part 2?!).

      Oh I don’t blame you haha! I became pretty skilled in the art of finding free books when I was a student.