Thursday, June 26, 2008

On Becoming Fearless: A Book Review

I have to admit that I am not big at keeping up with political stuff. Doesn't sound too educated, does it? I am neither party. I do not stayed glued to Fox News nor NBC. I keep up with the political figures and climate so as not to be stupid in discussions or out of touch with our country and the status of the world. I do care- but I am not obsessed with keeping up with politics and views of the players.

I said all that to say that I was not sure who Arianna Huffington really was or what she stood for politically. Sure, I had heard of her.

I am a computer nerd, so I had heard of her most popular blog, of course....but that was about the extent of it.

So I was able to pick up her book, read it and evaluate it from a pretty unbiased literary standpoint.
Regardless of whether you agree with Huffington's politics or not, you can argue with her on the fact that many women today struggle with fear-- fear in work, life and love. Her book offers many personal and meaningful stories from her life and other strong women's lives to illustrate the ways women are fearful about their lives....and how she and others have overcome fear to live full, happy productive lives.

This is not a "soap box" book. It is not written in a haughty, look at me attitude. It is as if the reader and the writer are friends discussing life- one sharing with the other what she has been through and what got her through it.
Arianna shares stories about her mother, from Greece, and her experiences with the Germans and the Jews in the 1940's. She also shares about her daughter's eating disorder, her divorce and many other intimate things from her life as she shows how to overcome obstacles, perceptions and relationships that bring us fear.
She talks of the fear of our bodies, parenting, work, money, aging, death, the world.....
She talks of life, grace, giving, love and death.
Being fearless is not the absence of fear, but learning the art of overcoming it.
Being true to yourself,
looking past your imperfections,
getting enough sleep
and being assertive all make up the great advice the the reader will walk away with from this easy to read, yet complex psychological examination of a woman's mind in a fearful world.
This is not merely a feminist book on the plight of women, but a book on the human spirit and triumph.
Surrounding ourselves with people who love us and are in our corner are also a key to becoming fearless.
Huffington hopes that readers will walk away knowing that leading a fear-driven life is not really living- and that the more fearless we are in our personal lives, the more of a difference we can make in the world.....being fearless and achieving GREAT things.
Huffington grew up in Greece, attended Cambridge University, has written 11 books, has appeared on many television shows...has the Huffington Post, the most successful "blog" and source of news and opinions on the net and has been named as one of the most influential people in the world. She is a divorced mother of 2.
Obviously, she a thing or two about overcoming fear and achieving GREAT things.
She features many short stories by other successful women as well, Diane Keaton, Marsy Carsey and Nora Ephron.
I was reading this book at my mother's on the beach.
It gained me the title of "the liberal daughter".
I have looked at Arianna Huffington's political views since the book and may not agree with her on all accounts- but she certainly seems to be an honest, caring, woman concerned about our world.....
and trying to help other struggle through it.
A great book. just wish I had read it when I was younger.
It is not a bunch of trite dogmatic quotes like some "self help: books; Huffington is fearless in her real advice and the life stories to back it up.
(Thanks to Valerie at Hatchette Books. This is one of my 15 wonderful books sent to me for Mother's Day by her for me to review on my widely read blog!!!!! More reviews to follow...)


Anonymous said...

I will look for it! Sounds great- since I'm livin in fear always! I guess it's just my nature- Maybe the book will help me figure it out!

Leigh said...

Great review.