Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Help yourself.

Self-help books have turned a corner and found reality. The Tavern Library has been considering some new books and sought suggestions.

Fortunately some of our less frequent customers provided us with some 'reviews' of books we had not seen before. And no wonder !

Rob started us off with a book of advice for those wanting a bit of toughening up.

Psychopaths of Glory —  
Unlocking the Bastard Within. 
Do you dream of a career in politics or big business but worry you lack ‘the right stuff’?  
Do you find yourself unwilling to lie, cheat and screw other people over in the single-minded pursuit of your own selfish goals?  
Then you’re probably one of the unfortunate 99 per cent of the population afflicted with a conscience.  
Dr Martin Pournelle, himself an unbelievably callous prick, shows you how this evolutionary albatross can be overcome, guiding you step-by-step through the process of surgically modifying your prefrontal cortex using simple household tools and an ingenious series of exercises, ranging from breaking children’s toys to microwaving kittens, that will systematically transform you from bleeding heart into unfeeling monster.  
If you can learn to Be Ruthless, Not Toothless™, the world’s your oyster — an oyster you’d happily eat alive in front of its horrified mate.
A good start. But Noel tried to do away with self-help books altogether....

You’re On Your Own, Pal;  
How to Kick the Self-Help Book Habit
This book will be the last self-help book you will ever read.  
It will take you step-by-step through the cold turkey phases: how to ignore agony aunts and bin Sunday supplements unread; how to hurry past high street bookshops; how to recognise and avoid other addicts; how to deploy...  
non-introspective displacement strategies
..such as joining a Slut Walk or a Womyn's Collective.  
After each chapter, the reader is exhorted ‘Now tear this chapter out and burn it’, a symbolic gesture designed to imprint his rejection of self-help literature.  
For the benefit of weaker brethren, the book is printed on paper guaranteed to yellow quickly, and has a spine bound with exceptionally weak glue, so that it will fall apart by itself within a month of purchase.  
Since the book is quite expensive, its self-destruction is a powerful aversion therapy against recidivist purchases. 
Carolyn though still needed a bit of  girl-support and recommended...
I’m So Simple:  
Coping with Anxiety-Deficit Today
With ever-mounting levels of anxiety in today’s hard-working, results-driven, 'Have it All' (tm) feminist world, those who think they have nothing to worry about can easily feel marginalised or of low self-worth.  
Fortunately, this discreetly packaged manual, bursting with accessible tips, means you need no longer feel like the Norma No-moans: soon you’ll find you have just as much to fret about and  
just as many emotional burdens as even  
your most high-achieving Feminist friends!  
Learn how to miss-manage your work-life balance via easy-to-follow tips, like the ones about plugging into excessively complex mobile technology situations; or really screwing your home-life by demanding that your husband does half of your work for you.  that are just so simple you’ll kick yourself you didn’t buy this book sooner.  
You’ll start with Basic Obsessive Compulsive Disorder — yes, anyone can learn how to forget they’ve already turned off the iron or insist on asking 'him' if he is 'there yet' — and very quickly find yourself progressing to full-blown General Anxiety Disorder.  
Soon you’ll be stressed along with the rest, no longer the Simple Simone on the sidelines.
 Basil recognised that many people do not even acknowledge that they are deluded, like Carolyn and suggested...

Reality Sucks:  
Making Friends with your Delusions 
You’ll often hear ‘he’s away with the fairies’, or ‘she lives in a world of her own’, as if the workaday grind was all that mattered — a one-eyed perspective, potentially hurtful and limiting. 
Great philosophers such as Plato and great writers, Shakespeare among them, have recognised  
higher, more satisfying plane of existence  
than the mundane one. Now their message has been updated for the 21st century by Natalie Blister, author of Let’s Hear It for the Ostrich.  
Braving fact-based orthodoxy, Reality Sucks shows that embracing the truth of the imagination can open a pathway to selfhood.
The keynote is ‘I believe’, whether it’s that you’re a greater poet than Dante or that George Clooney is secretly in love with you, or that Women can Roar and Do anything a man can and Better.
 Global Warmist? You can imagine yourself as rich as Davy Suzuki-Wan and believe all your own crap. You too can have a taxpayer paid sinecure, your own Foundation - and be banned from it by your wife and kids on the Board.
This book will demolish the barrier that divides the slave of objectivity from the fulfilled human being.
And Poppy, what a pet, realised that getting away means getting away from your own obnoxious self, and had just the right book.
 Learning to Stand Your Really Awful Self.

Following up her critically acclaimed self-help guide Finding the Inner You, bestselling Scottish author Mary Stone presents a step-by-step guide to re-achieving a healthy level of distance from your deepest identity.  
Packed with helpful diagrams and song recommendations, Learning to Stand Yourself is a vital guide for anyone oppressed by an incessant flood of self-help books and an often  
misjudged desire to access the very essence of their own being.  
Stone combines practical tips with long-term identity-suppressing techniques to help readers re-join the meaningless, everyday cycle of culture and commerce, one step at a time. 

‘After reading Finding the Inner You I was disconcerted to realise that my deepest self is really quite irritating, as well as being a die-hard racist. 
Learning to Stand Yourself enabled me to withdraw to the surface again and rediscover that empty feeling of loss and dissatisfied uniformity, which I had really begun to miss.
Thanks, Mary!’ — Susy Douglas, Leicester
And my thanks to the imaginative contributors to the weekly competition at the Spectator, which have been abridged here to protect delicate eyes.

A round of drinks to them all.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. On this occasion, although I am a lover of books I will pass up the offer of free books ;-)

    Oops!! sorry for the deletion and re-post to correct my typo.

    1. I am quite easy on typos, Cherie. I serve a fine pint but type with two fingers. I did once get a self-help book for teaching myself ten-fingered typing but turning the pages was such an interruption that fluid typing was not achieved.


Ne meias in stragulo aut pueros circummittam.

Our Bouncer is a gentleman of muscle and guile. His patience has limits. He will check you at the door.

The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..