Review shots: Self help books for those who don’t read non fiction AKA the ultimate self help books starter pack

Dec 3, 201818 comments

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In this December’s edition of the review shots, I will be reviewing books that got me started with self help. Yes I went through a phase for reading those dreaded self help when I was in my high school.

I just couldn’t get enough of them and they were hard come by because, let us face it, high school libraries were not exactly filled with self help books then. 

All the books I will be reviewing today are short and powerful. They would be the ultimate starter pack for your venture into the self help book world, as they did it for me. 

Self help Starter pack

Book Name: Who Moved My Cheese?

Author: Spencer Johnson

Genre: Non Fiction – Self help

No. of Pages: 96

You can read Who Moved My Cheese? in an hour or lesser.  

It took me a while to understand the impact of the simple yet powerful message, given that I was in high school and I didn’t believe that short books could be important and I was skeptic about the whole self help genre. But the message somehow stayed with me and kept me thinking. 

The book is divided into two parts, a short story and then the relevant message. The basic theme of the books is how to deal with change and the importance of the right attitude in life.

While it is usually classified as a business subject, it is equally possible for anyone if us, including the high school me, to implement them in our life. Currently there is a talk of a possible sequel to this one!

Final thought: Simple and relevant message
Recommended to: Self help book noobs

Self help Starter pack

Book Name: Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

Author: Brian Tracy

Genre: Non Fiction – Self help

No. of Pages: 128

I wish I could say this book changed my life. Well, it didn’t. I am still me and handling priorities and following a schedule are not my forte. But this one came so close. 

I carry a copy of this one everywhere I go because I re-read this once in a while. This book is another 60 minute wonder and the message is not gonna blow your mind or nothing that you haven’t heard of earlier. 

The heading is self explanatory and the basic idea is tackling the hardest task first thing in the morning and your day would be much easier. The book is obviously  not going to work for you if you were going to skim through it and not try to practise it in your life (like I do). 

Final thought: Powerful if you practise it religiously
Recommended to: Self help book noobs

Self help Starter pack

Book Name: Alchemist, The

Author: Paulo Coelho

Genre: Fiction – Self help

No. of Pages: 197

Okay technically the Alchemist is not a non fiction or self help book but it works on the same level. 

Someone said ‘The mark of a good book is it changes every time you read it’ and this is one of those books that worked for me like that. The first time I read it, while still in school, I dismissed it as a kiddish fable. But with the second and third time my views changed. Maybe that it helped that I was in a different phase of life than my earlier attempts.

The book maybe kinda slow and evenly paced. But the philosophical theme that ‘the universe conspires to help us achieve things we want’ is well written and shines through. Yes it may get a bit preachy. Yes you may not agree with the message. But it still is a good book. 

Final thought: philosophical with preachy undertones. 
Recommended to: Self help book noobs

Self help Starter pack

Book Name: Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Author: Richard Bach

Genre: Fiction – Self help

No. of Pages: 112

If you are looking for something motivational to inspire you back to action when nothing works in your favor, this is the one for you.

This book will make you question every one of you belief and that may or not sit will with all the readers, but it is worth keeping our minds open, doesn’t it? Published in early 1970s, the concept is still relevant today as it talks about peer pressure and questioning faith.

While I personally didn’t like this one much, it has been called a classic no less. So it should not hurt to give it a try, right?

Final thought: A classic that didn’t work for me, but it may for you. 
Recommended to: Self help book noobs

Do you read self help book? How many of these books have you read? What is your favorite self book? Let us chat. 

Self help starter pack

Hello there!

Gayathri loves reading, recommending books and talking about bookish things in real life. Her blog is just an extension of that habit. When she is not reading books or creating online content, she freelances as a beta reader. She lives currently in Dubai.Head over to meet me


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  1. vidya

    Who moved my cheese was a book that was almost required reading a few years ago where i worked so we were all reading it.. and I love The Alchemist..
    Agree with following what you read in self-help books to actually help yourself.. i am like you on that point.. 🙂

    • Gayathri

      I am glad we are on the same page.

  2. Stormi

    This is a good list. I’ve never actually picked up a self-help book.

  3. Heidi

    Thanks for the recommendations! They look good!

  4. TdySimpleLife

    The Alchemist is one of my favorite books of all times, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it a “self-help”…Good choice though 🙂

  5. Acanthea Grimscythe

    Wonderful post! I need to check some of these out, probably. I very rarely read self help books, but I think it’d be good for me.

  6. Daniela Ark

    I read all of them and loved them. Though I never consider The Alchemist self-help but it totally is! Great Post! Just as Jonathan Livingston Seagull!

    • Gayathri

      I wish I enjoyed the Seagull as much as you did.

  7. the orangutan librarian

    Eat that frog sounds very helpful! (and that title is great to boot 🙂 )

    • Gayathri

      I agree!

  8. jennifer gaarder

    Johnathan Livingston Seagull is very popular

  9. Whispering Stories

    Books I stay away from. I’m sure that lots of people find them very helpful and love them. For me they tend to be preachy and a bit ‘read this because I’m perfect and you should be like me’ – No thanks.

    • DJ Sakata

      LOL – I’m glad I’m not the only one that feels this way! You are my soul sistah!

  10. Andreea

    Self-help books are complicated for me – I think it’s very hard to find a really good one, that delivers the message without repeating the same idea a bunch of times. Is it just me? Although I always seem to read all the productivity books looking for new ways to boost mine!

    I was surprised to see The Alchemist here, the message of it is truly beautiful – but I admit I do not really like the author, as I feel that all his books are toned down versions of other books (especially works by Jorge Luis Borges) and he simple has more success.

    • Gayathri

      There are only 2-3 books of Coelho’s books that I liked. Others were pretty much boring and bland.


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