Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Blog Tour: The Finishing School by Valerie Woerner

FTC disclosure:  I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I've always loved non-fiction books, especially those in the self-help and how to genre.  I have read hundreds of them, and when I heard there was a book by someone who also had my same passion for non-fiction, and she wrote a book about it, I was excited to read it.

I have to say it wasn't what I anticipated.  I was expecting a book more fun and lighthearted with the same information inserted with humor.  This is more or less a book that summaries different types of non-fiction books in a few pages.  In each chapter she tackles a different subject.  I did enjoy her personal stories that were in this book, but I had hoped for a lot more of that and didn't expect lists summarizing what she had gleaned from her readings.  I understand I am approaching this book from a different perspective as I have read most of the books she mentions.  I still would have rather seen the lists in the homework section.

One of my pet peeves with books is when you have to access something online or in another book to get the most from it.  The blurb on the back says each chapter ends with a homework sheet and additional books you might enjoy on that topic.  What it didn't say (and isn't obvious if you are not purchasing this book in a physical bookstore) is that the homework sheets are on the author's website and the book includes a password to retrieve these.   It feels ironic that you need to go online (or purchase another book) to access these, such as the one to minimalism.  I know personally, I would have to fight distractions to just download these.   The fact my computer is so filled with pdf files doesn't make me find this a cool idea, either, just more files I have to figure out if I want to keep or delete.    Additionally, I wonder about the longevity of books that rely on electronic interaction in any way, even if it is just worksheets.  This one seems like it could be relevant for a very long time -- of course trends will change and the Instagram or Netflix she mentions now may not exist in its present form decades down the road -- but I believe this book could still be as relevant if the questions were added in the book instead of requiring a separate book or downloading worksheets.  In 50 years will the website to access the homework still exist?  Why not make this information accessible f
or all time?

The author does a good job of summarizing the things she has learned.  However, I think so much information in one volume is a bit overwhelming.  (Granted it might be easier with the "homework" but I know that I wouldn't have downloaded any of it if it weren't for having agreed to review this book.)

I had much higher hopes for this book than what were realized.  It's not bad, but I was expecting something different with more humor while presenting the same basic information.  If you aren't well read in the self-help how to improve yourself genre I would expect you would greatly enjoy this book, especially if you read just a small portion at a time as there is a lot to take in.

You can purchase this book here:

You can read more reviews HERE.

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