This was one of the gifts my dear mum got me when she came to visit coincidentally close to International Children’s Day, the funny thing was that she bought it at the airport because she actually wants to read it herself. No pressure… but read and review faster, dear child 😉
It will be a difficult one to explain, but I’ll try to give some context. The author – Katarzyna ‘Kasia’ Nosowska – is a significant person in Polish music scene and has been for years. She started her career in the band Hey, initially they were inspired by grunge (those were the times) but gradually evolved to find their own style. At some point she started publishing solo albums, she also writes lyrics for other artists and publishes in magazines. In the recent years I was not that much into her music, but I was always into her texts, she has amazing sensitivity to word, but also ability to cut directly to the point when needed. Recently she started playing with Instagram and publishing a sort of ironic agony aunt posts #ajazemjejpowiedziala (and then I told her…). It started a fun, but when you are famous it won’t take long before someone will think it will actually sell. That’s exactly what happened here. It rarely is a success, but in this case it worked, I think only because of Nosowska’s sensitivity and no hesitation to laugh at herself or to admit failures and mistakes.
So in a way it is this type of book that I avoid as plague – a self-help book. Probably one of ten I read in my life and I think one of three that I can say I actually did not hate, I even like this one and can definitely say I’ll be coming back to it, if not for self-help then definitely for a dose of laugh. The book, just like its source – an Instagram feed – is not coherent, Nosowska keeps her ‘chapters’ short and jumps from topic to topic. Covering areas from self-esteem, social media, diets (or giving up on them), through inability to say no (and how to live with this), all the way to sex, good, bad and really bad relationships. She does it with flair and great balance between the serious and the hilarious. Her main point being that we are who we are and as much as we can try to change and be better people, there’s no point in pretending we are someone else, what we see in the mirror are our flaws, funny habits, big and small problems, that will all pass to be replaced by other bigger or smaller ones. She does not advocate letting yourself go completely, but from time to time, why not let ourselves admit we’re not going to be perfect and feel good about it.
Nothing to argue about with the message and delivery really worked for me, she definitely makes to most of the agony aunt stereotype. It was good fun, which is probably not something I should be expecting going forward from self-help books.
Here’s one of Hey’s few songs in English, from their first album.