1 out of 4 stars
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Starting from the very title, If Life Stinks, Get Your Head Outta Your But's by Mark L. Wdowiak is both humorous and full of puns. Wielding that humor and a tell-it-like-it-is approach, the author delivers a self-help guide centered on accountability to oneself and not letting excuses get in the way of personal goals. After introducing what he coins as "Life's Landmines" which might be getting in the way of what you want in life, Wdowiak groups the process of how to recognize and overcome them into the three main categories of crawling, walking, and running.
As a reader, I enjoyed the author's candor which I have not found very common in other books within the self-help category. An example of this frankness is when we are told that instead of being "Stupid for Life," we should instead be a "Student of Life." There is a gratuitous use of both buts and butts throughout the book, but the reader should expect some of that considering the pun on the cover.
Some cursing is also present, but it is not excessive. However, it was inconsistent when a word was explicitly stated or bleeped through the use of various characters. This was not the only formatting decision I had issues with either. I am not sure why the author made the choice to make his paragraph indents only a single-character space, but I did not enjoy it. Many phrases are capitalized to give emphasis such "New You" and "Old You" without consistency even on the same page or chapter.
The anecdotes the author shares with the reader are to add relevancy and show he's been where you are and managed to triumph! I did enjoy reading some of them, particularly the interactions with his father. Yet, many are recycled twice or more as the book goes on. This repetition and the overall wordiness are the main reasons for the rating I eventually arrived at. Almost every sentence (roughly 90% of the book) is a complex sentence with multiple clauses. The following is one such sentence (the paragraph it is in goes more than 2 pages long):
Reading sentence after sentence of that length, I just felt tired. There were also numerous typos including missing words, wrong verb tenses, misplaced modifiers, and punctuation problems.In your life, if you don’t pay attention to the seemingly insignificant details like how you’re thinking is affecting your life, or how you’re speaking and treating others, only doing things “if and “when” you feel like doing them, taking things for granted, or remembering important events and occasions etc., then the consequences could lead to unpleasant and disappointing outcomes such as loneliness, loss of potential success, divorce, incarceration, struggle, strife, illness and death.
Readers of a self-help book are not really looking for enjoyment but to learn something new in order to improve themselves. I didn't feel like anything was new here except for the humorous packaging. Most information presented to help you reform your life was either common sense or borrowed from other, very prominent, programs and presented without those credits.
I struggled with the rating for this one, but ultimately rated this as at 1 out of 4 stars due to the formatting, editing, and failure of the book to really deliver on its promises. I also had a problem placing what audience would be best for this book. I do not think older readers would appreciate it, and the material is sometimes too candid for younger readers.
If Life Stinks, Get Your Head Outta Your But's
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