BOOK REVIEW: Four Word Self Help

Four Word Self Help: Simple Wisdom for  
Complex Lives
Patti Digh
Skirt!  Morris Publishing Group, LLC.
An imprint of Globe Pequot Press
Guilford, CT.
ISBN #: 978-1-59921-980-6
A small hardcover book that packs a punch.  Patti Digh is known for her award-winning blog, and for her previous and much beloved book, Life is a Verb, a finalist for a Books for a Better Life award.  Her work centers around releasing what we hold back (worries, fears, anxieties) and focusing upon and accentuating the positive in our lives. 
Her latest offering narrows her focus down just a bit, in fact, quite a bit now that I think about it.  Her focus is now narrowed down to just four words.  Patti Digh believes that most things can be taken down to their very basic components that would consist of no more than four words.  She gives the example of having written a diet book, something she tweeted on Twitter a while ago in response to someone who tweeted they had just written a diet book.  Patti Digh tweeted back something to the effect of, “so have I:  eat less, move more.”  End of tweet and the end of Patti Digh’s book on dieting.  She said that for most of us, that’s what a diet really boils down to so why not take dieting down to its more bare and basic components and leave it at that?  I thought as I read this book, “yeah, why not?”
This approach sure does simplify things, and that’s the entire theme of Four Word Self Help.  Make things as simple as possible and then they may just stick with people. 
The book is illustrated throughout with the artwork of visitors to Patti Digh’s blog.  Each image is accompanied by a four-word phrase that sums up an attitude or approach to life that is intended to help the reader to simplify things in his or her life and to come up with a more positive approach and attitude towards the complexities of life.  Section titles are:  Community, Love, Stress, Travel, Soul, Wellness, Success, Green Activism, Children, Generosity, and Endings.  Each section has an introduction by the author and the remainder of the chapter consist of the artwork of blog visitors accompanied by a four-word phrase that sums up an approach, attitude, or belief regarding that area of life. 
I really enjoyed reading this little book, which only took me a couple of hours.  The use of only four words on most pages will cause a book to go by pretty fast.  The illustrations by her blog visitors are delightful and whimsical.  This book may not be for everyone, but if you ever find you’re in need of a jump-start regarding your positive attitude toward life, then this book would definitely make a very nice and lovely go-to reference and it’s small enough at 4 7/8” x 6 ½” x ¾” to be carried in a purse.  Who could ask for more?

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