(1/5—because “1” is as low as I can go—see book reviews)

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

You should skip this book and not feel bad about it. Despite every airport bookshop, every endcap at the big box bookseller, and Amazon’s recommendation engine insisting you read it.

The world insisted I read this book and so I tried the Audible preview. The preview tells the story of William James. Although he was destined to be the father of American psychology, William James was by all measures a failure early in life. He was a failed painter, struggling in medical school, and he’d almost died on an expedition to South America. He suffered from myriad physical ailments and was depressed, even considering suicide.

Then James read the philosophical work of Charles Pierce which insists on radical responsibility. James vowed to spend one year living with the belief that he had the power to solve all of his life’s problems. This year changed his life.

Good story, right? That’s what duped me into reading this book.

One point in the book I enjoyed was when the author talked about “good problems”:

Everyone wants an amazing life, but in an amazing life there are still problems. But the problems in the amazing life are better problems. So the question is not: what do you want out of life; it’s what problems do you want.

From there the author bros out on Buddhism and attempts to hide his bad writing by sprinkling it with profanity. I relish the chance to say the word “fuck”—I’m a big fan! But fuck was this not worth it to read.


  • Title: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
  • Author: Mark Manson
  • Pages: 224
  • Format: Audiobook
  • Publisher: Harper
  • ISBN: 0062457713
  • Genre: Personal Development