Books

Book 536: The Self-Love Experiment – Shannon Kaiser

I received an unsolicited copy of this from the publisher and aside from the title making me giggle continuously (seriously it took about 200 pages before I stopped giggling), I figured everyone needs to be more “kind, compassionate, and accepting of [ourselves] so I thought I’d give it a go.* Unfortunately, it wasn’t for me.

It’s not even that the book was poorly written or that the subject matter is a bit too hokey for me it’s not. I’ve ready hokier things. I think for me it was the repetitive monotony of Kaiser’s vague references to things that she chose not to discuss (i.e. her former drug problems?). Why allude to them constantly and then not talk about them? Maybe she discusses it in another book, but for the number of times she mentioned it I kept waiting for that story and it never materialized.

The thing that really got me about this book was the agency Kaiser has and the privilege she has. Like I said above, I get what she’s going for in this book and the 15 principles are pretty sound, but how she wrote about her journey constantly bothered me. If I had to read one more time about her dream to work abroad and then experience it one more time I would’ve ripped pages out of the book. It may not seem like a lot, but if I had to read about her writing this book or doing yoga on her rooftop in Morocco again, I would’ve stopped reading. It sounds harsh, but constantly referring to this created a knockoff Eat, Pray, Love or Under the Tuscan Sun vibe about it, but without any of the power that made those books into movies and into specific moments in time.

Maybe this is unfair to Kaiser, because the world has changed (as have I) since the release of those other books, but I just couldn’t help but think about how this white woman who left her decent paying corporate market job to pursue her dream of writing and self-expression just rings hollow in the greater sense of the world. This went so far beyond navel gazing to ego stroking, which I guess she needed and explains it as such, but it just rubbed me the wrong way.

Recommendation: Hard pass. If you’re really interested skip to page 229 and read the 15 principals and apply them to your life. Most of the book is forgettable and I could’ve done without.

*I received a copy of The Self-Love Experiment from the publisher in return for my honest opinion. No goods or cash were received.

Opening Line: “I have what I refer to as a guru.”

Closing Line:“It has always been, and is, and always will be, about the ‘true’ you, the return to you. Welcome home.” (Not whited out as this is a work of nonfiction.)

 

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6 thoughts on “Book 536: The Self-Love Experiment – Shannon Kaiser”

  1. This post made me laugh, thank you. Then it made me want to review everything I’ve ever written about living abroad to make sure I don’t come across this way.
    Good on you for reading the whole thing. I probably would have stopped after the first sentence, as I’m usually annoyed by anyone using the term “guru.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haahaa nah you’re good about bringing the local perspective into you posts. Plus you’re in Europe talking about the local things to do. She was in the Middle East pretending she was in her own little enclave.

      Liked by 1 person

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