In her energetic self-help debut, Conger offers familiar ideas for personal improvement and success.
Like many others on the shelf, this perkier-than-thou book believes in the power of positive thinking. Splashed with bold color designs and action photographs of people—like a woman with outstretched arms in a field of bright yellow flowers—Conger’s exuberant pep talk feels like a warm and fuzzy motivational poster. Many of the colorful pictures include inspirational quotes, such as these attributed to Estée Lauder: “I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” Indeed, hard work and grit are the cornerstones of Conger’s message, one often tinged with humor. A photo of a pretty young woman asleep in bed is accompanied by the message, “GET THE F*@% OUT OF BED.” Conger also jokingly compares the Broadway musical Annie to her own “hard knock life.” When Conger was 3, her mother died, and she had a turbulent adolescence. But she didn’t let hardship stop her from reaching her goals. This slim, easy-to-flip volume offers familiar concepts for self-improvement, such as becoming a more loving person (the author suggests smiling at cashiers) and learning gratitude. Conger’s upbeat kaleidoscope of advice isn’t a step-by-step guide, but it does have some usable ideas. For example, to cultivate a grateful heart, Conger suggests sending 10 thank-you cards to people and keeping a “gratitude journal.” Likewise, she recommends Dr. B.J. Fogg’s “Tiny Habits” (and reading for four minutes a day) to foster positive life habits. The author’s voice is friendly, and she sometimes addresses readers directly when making a point: e.g., “Are you ready for it?” She also offers book recommendations, like Smile and Move by Sam Parker, and thought-provoking items, such as the “How Not To Be Thankful” poster by Mark Russell available on her website. Readers looking for in-depth discussion might not be sated, but those without a lot of reading time can find inspiration in Conger’s quick, cheerful words.
Easy-reading thoughts to ponder in an eye-catching design.