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Yeah, No. Not Happening.: How I Found Happiness Swearing Off Self-Improvement and Saying F*ck It All—and How You Can Too
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Yeah, No. Not Happening.: How I Found Happiness Swearing Off Self-Improvement and Saying F*ck It All—and How You Can Too

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  213 ratings  ·  41 reviews
The author of the acclaimed, bestselling In Praise of Difficult Women delivers a hilarious feminist manifesto that encourages us to reject “self-improvement” and instead learn to appreciate and flaunt our complex, and flawed, human selves.

Why are we so obsessed with being our so-called best selves? Because our modern culture force feeds women lies designed to heighten thei
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 5th 2020 by Harper Wave
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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  213 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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Aug 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book surprised me! I thought it would have been one long rant but there was surprisingly a lot to cover. Such a refreshing read in this overtaxed world.

When did the world go from setting goals to preaching brutal unattentable goals such as #bossbabes, 4 am wake up times (get up and at it!), brutal exercise routines (Cross Fit...HIIT...kettle bells), word of the years (these drive me crazy on Instagram), obsessive meditation (what an oxymoron!), gadgetry to track every bit of your life (whe
Natalie Serber
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a kick in the ass to take care of your authentic self! I loved this book. Read it in one sitting.
Kathie Jacklin
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fan-friggin-tastic!! I read this book quickly, and usually these types of books I rarely finish. This was like a conversation with a friend. A really, smart, funny friend who knows things! This will be a book that I recommend and gift to friends ❤️
Julie Cantrell
May 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A refreshing take on the mid-life awakening by one of America's most-loved writers... penned as she's running off to France and leaving the myth of perfection in her dust. ...more
Michele H.
Dec 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Not much of it was new to me, and though I don't share all of the author's beliefs, I think it's a helpful reminder to us to relax and be who we are. ...more
Sally Koslow
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For anyone worn out by efforts to improve her body, mind, relationships, career trajectory, eating habits--the list goes on, but you get it--Karen Karbo gives readers a fresh, simpler and more accepting way to look their best life. And did I mention this book is pee-in-your-pants funny? You'll want to buy it for all your friends. ...more
Sep 23, 2020 rated it liked it
This started out kinda slow with all the history of media and such, though I think that is necessary to get the authors point across. I’m not a fan of most self help type books but this wasn’t terrible. The author makes good points about the pressures (real and imagined) on women and she challenges the reader to think about living an authentic life centered around a woman’s true interests and walking away from things you just don’t care about. Makes me think of the saying, “Do your best and forg ...more
Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
This book was a surprise. I was expecting it to be gimmicky. I was expecting 6 pages of real content interspersed with 194 pages of fluff, in which the author would advocate some oversimplified magic formula that readers should employ to change their lives and make all their problems go away. (I only read it because the authors of "How To Be Fine" both seemed to find some value in it when they cited their lessons learned from the 50 self-help books they read for their Podcast.)

Instead, I really
Rosalind Early
Feb 14, 2021 rated it did not like it
Self help disguised as not self help.

I really almost gave up on this book in the beginning because I found it infuriating. The author talks about how advertising and social media make you feel bad about yourself, because feeling bad gets you to buy stuff. She says this is particularly true for women. (Ads are more targeted at getting women to buy stuff, rather than men. So they make women feel inadequate.) Then her book proceededs to make you feel bad for being bamboozled by the self-help indus
May 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Yeah, No, Not Happening is about women who dare to not care about others opinions. This book shows how to stay true to who you are and know when something is not right for you. The book is focused around the mainstream media who tries to conform pushers of self -improvement. Not because you have to but because you want to be you. This book is a call to correct our inner critics and for all women who want help restore sanity and claim their self- worth!

Thank you to Harper Collins, Netgalley, and
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An important idea poorly executed. The very notion of quitting self-help may appear blasphemous to some, a response that intimates the religious roots of such thinking: man is imperfect and must redeem himself by constant repentance and conversion. Who would not want to be free of such a yoke? (Raises hand. Raises other hand. Raises both hands together.)

Yet the author, while somewhat mercifully not offering a step-by-step guide to recovery from self-help (at least as far as I got, because I got
Jan 24, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, audio
This book started with the author stating that she was “A domestic disaster, avid reader and good friend.” and it drew me in. One thing that sat with me in this book was “The person you’re worried judging you is also worried about how you are judging them.” She did not say anything that I did not feel that I have already came to on my own, but it was nice to hear someone else say what I know but maybe need a push to continue to believe. I nee to start to “Treat yourself like a beloved pet”. One ...more
Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. This book had a great message with lots of facts and anecdotes to back that message up. I rated it 4 stars because it was a little rambley and the ending was a little underdeveloped. I really struggled with the conclusion section in essays when I was in college so I understand. I feel like the book had structure built in with the labeled parts and chapters, but it didn't seem very organized while I was reading it. It still had a good message and I definit ...more
Sep 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I totally agreed with the author how social media and our society tries to convince us that we are not enough and how to improve ourselves through all the self help advice. It is women that keep the economy going by buying all the things to "improve themselves" while the money is mainly going into men's pockets. We make cosmetic companies billions of dollars, support lives of plastic surgeons, make motivational speakers, FLEBs and micro-influencers money. Just look how many women have been bambo ...more
Katie Whitt
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was the perfect time for me to read this book, as I've been obsessing over my weight/skin/hair during a global pandemic, which even though I'm as self-obsessed as Karbo suggests we all are, but even I can realize that it isn't an ideal reaction during a global health crisis. I really loved how Karbo not only gave great examples from her own life, but also sprinkled in anecdotes and research from others. I loved her approach and I am going to try and incorporate some of her ideas into my lif ...more
Dec 01, 2020 rated it liked it
I liked it - I don't buy into the latest trends or spend too much time on social media, but I do have a problem with motivation and figuring out who my "true self" is and what she wants, so I decided to give this a try. It didn't help as much as I thought it would, but that's only because my self-improvement mostly involves me forcing myself to do the thing I wanted to get done and then I'm good. It did provide a good bit of insight into my people pleasing tendencies and how to be happy with mys ...more
A mixture of humor, memoir, feminism and history (herstory?), and all the pieces together make it a one-hundred-percent triumph. By the end of the book, you will have learned some, laughed some and you will agree. “Self-improvery” is really just self-imprisonment. We are all building our own gilt cages, one algorithm at a time.

Read our full review here:
Nov 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
This wasn't quite what I was expecting. It had some history and some information that might be helpful for others who may not be at the f*ck it all stage. One thing that annoyed me were the footnotes or, more specifically, the footnote notation. The symbol to indicate the footnote was hard to see so I would get to the bottom of the page, notice there was a footnote, and then have to hunt for where the footnote was referenced. ...more
Christa Maurice
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love self help books. Not so much because I follow them, but because I like to see different perspectives. This book has the good advice to not follow all that "good advice" with the facts and numbers that prove it's just a way to part people (mostly women) from their money. The is the self improvement plan that will actually improve your life. ...more
Feb 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
Much better than I expected. Colin Firth came to mind throughout: “I like you, just the way you are.”

The bits about Fanatical Goal Setting, Worshipping at the Altar of Productivity, and Complicating the Simple Act of Drinking Water for F’s Sake were especially piercing.

A good slap in the face to remind us all to just chill out...we’re fine.
Mar 11, 2021 rated it liked it
Reads more like a resaerch dissertation than a self-help book which is largely the pint but could have been far more accessible, but it has some thoughts worth pursuing.

True selves
Anti-self improvement
Pursue your own passions
Media traps, feminist likeability
Women's history
Mar 19, 2021 rated it liked it
It was a well intentioned book with some good advice, but it became repetitive and drawn out. It could have been a great article subject instead of a whole book. She is pretty funny and honest though.
Orly Konig
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Perfect reminder to stop worrying so much about what you “should” do/be/think/look like and embrace your imperfect self.
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
I won this in a Goodreads giveaway.
Great book full of common sense. Urges women to get off the perfection treadmill and be who they truly are.
May 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult
I appreciate learning about the historical and sociological ways women have been targeted to improve themselves but man is it frustrating.
Elizabeth Poglitsch
May 29, 2020 rated it liked it
I think if I was in a different mind set I would have liked this book more.
Jun 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I am not usually a Self Improvement book fan but I loved this! I listened to the audio book and found I was smiling while I was listening most of the time.
Jun 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I alternately laughed or nodded in agreement throughout the book. I'm still working on this concept for sure! ...more
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2020
Awesome book — I devoured it in less than a week! The only thing I didn’t like about it was that it ended.
Karen Mcswain
Jun 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Meh. I laughed at some things, but there wasn’t enough depth to the writing or the subject matter. It’s an anti-self-improvement/self-help book that comes off as kind of self-helpy.
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Karen Karbo's first novel, Trespassers Welcome Here, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and a Village Voice Top Ten Book of the Year. Her other two adult novels, The Diamond Lane and Motherhood Made a Man Out of Me, were also named New York Times Notable Books. The Stuff of Life, about the last year she spent with her father before his death, was an NYT Notable Book, a People Magazine ...more

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