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Monday, 13 April 2015

Book Review: 21 Ways of Being Happy by Shama Patel

About the book

Happiness is a state of mind. Yes, it is. It is not a condition or situation that is presented to some and kept away from others. It is in our own hands to overcome guilt, self pity, regret and anxiety to lead a fulfilling, happy life. Shama Patel, a professional psychologist, enlists the ways and tricks to stay happy, forever.

21 Ways of Being Happy is written with the aim of bringing you closer to yourself. It is a book that will help you charter the course of your life, your own way

About the author:

Shama Patel holds a Post-Graduate degree in Marriage and Family Counselling. As a psychologist, she has worked with mature adults, confused teenagers, couples, senior citizens, alcohol and drug addicts, survivors of abuse and human trafficking and has been associated with various NGOs working for underprivileged children.

Correctly fitting in the term 'Jack of all trades', she is often found glued to books or locked inside her art den, bringing black and white images to life through sketching. When she is not being a psychologist, Shama spends her time listening to music, practicing yoga, appreciating nature and meeting people over masala chai

My Review:

This book is an answer to all the questions that doubt the relevance of self-help books. When it comes to this particular genre, I am myself highly skeptic and selective. Keeping that in mind, I loved reading this book and would definitely recommend it to others as well, which a great praise to say.
Down to the nitty-gritty: as is evident from the title, this book expounds on the ways you can keep yourself happy. 
Now why I liked this book is because
a) This book, unlike other self-help books, hasn't been written in the patronizing or sermonizing manner, you know, the kind of books where the author glorifies himself/herself much to the readers' misery. This book is such a good respite from those pseudo-self-help books, for the author takes it upon herself to be the example. Now, the whole point of such books is to make the reader feel better by telling her that she is not alone, and that the person who is helping her recuperate has experienced the same things, and made some mistakes, but has learnt from them nevertheless. For a reader who is suffering from a loss of hope as she picks the book, this book nails it.
b) This book is empowering. Just like Eat, Pray, Love, the philosophy of this book is not to spread universal brotherhood or any lessons from the class of those not-so-easily-achievable ideals, but rather to love our own self, and I really really do believe that loving one's own self is the most liberating thing to do, especially when the society tells us otherwise. Granted, there is a thin line between what is vain pride and what is loving one's own self. 
c) At times when you are felling low, you might want to pick up a book that answers all questions for you, and elevate your spirits, This book beautifully serves that purpose.

In addition to the content, the book has also been organised very well into 21 short chapters, which begin with anecdotes, proceed with the lessons learnt and end with a "how-to" list on bringing positive change in life.

If there has been any turn-off in the book for me, it has to be this: the book explains definitions from wikipedia at a point, which in my opinion is a very odd and unprofessional thing to do. 

My Judgement: 
A must have, it brought me much-needed love and goodness and optimism and empowerment, especially coming at a time when I was battling multiple problems at once. I can never be thankful enough. Trust me, as I reader, I have done myself a favor by reading this book.

Find the book:

I thank the author for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review!

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Kritika's bookshelf: read

Angels & Demons
The Story of My Life
The Hunger Games
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
A Tale of Two Cities
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
Sense and Sensibility
A Christmas Carol
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The Time Machine
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
The Da Vinci Code

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