self-help book

The 4 Self-Help Books on my Reading Wish List, Because They Don’t Exist

by Katherine Shaw
Katherine Shaw

A few weeks ago I was perusing the Self-Help section of my local bookstore. An unsuspecting employee mistook me as someone capable of “normal” social interaction and asked if I needed any help. I waved dramatically at the shelves and replied, “Oh, so much.” 

I’ve unsuccessfully searched Amazon and the dark web for niche books that suite my Self-Help needs. My online shopping cart remains empty, and so I am forced to go outside and accost bookstore employees with my unwanted theatrics.

Let me help you help me by providing writing prompts! I implore unlicensed therapists everywhere to self-publish the book themes listed below. Hell, I implore anyone who frequently provides unsolicited advice to write these books. Grab that one friend who stalks conversations for opportunities to interrupt. Give them this task and maybe you’ll finally be able to finish a sentence. You’re welcome!

#1 Dead but Not Gone: Resolving Your Eternal Mother Issues by Connecting with the Deceased

My mother and I have a complex relationship. Like any full-grown adult, I want to blame her for everything. Unfortunately, she’s been dead for 16 years. Therefore, I’m forced to hash out our issues solo and I can’t believe how unresponsive she is. This silent treatment is really immature, mother!

To aid my mother-blaming strategy, writing this book calls for therapist/paranormal expert partnership; one providing an outline for initiating difficult conversations, and one to advise on performing séances without accidentally conjuring a demon. Please note: this book includes a Glossary of Terms and “demon” is not synonymous with “mother.”

#2 Helping Loved Ones Understand Your Obsession with Murder

Yes, murder fascinates me. No, I do not suffer from homicidal ideation. Considering the state of our world, soaking up murder statistics is a feminist act. Where do women get murdered? Everywhere! If I go to work – murder. If I stay home – murder. And who do you think murders women? Romantic partners! Like any feminist, I want to stay alive as long as possible without being murdered.

There’s no safety in this world, so I’ve decided to study all aspects of murder to stay one stab ahead of the morgue. This book outlines the most common ways women are murdered, along with handy tips for staying alive such as 1) stay single and 2) if you must seek love, date someone with small hands so that they can’t strangle you.

#3 Pillow Talk: Detecting Sweet Nothings and Initiating a Goodnight Pillow Smother

I had an ex-boyfriend who spent hours playing Magic – that was only one reason I broke up with him. Before I knew what Magic was, upon hearing this, I was giddy with hope that he too was interested in summoning the dead in order to initiate a fight with a dead parent (see book proposal #1).

Don’t be fooled by the book’s title; it will not encourage readers to tell white lies – feelings be dammed! More importantly, don’t mistake this book as a guide for keeping romance alive. Though, romance may offset being murdered by a partner (details available after the publication of book proposal #2). Rather, within these pages are telltale signs that your beloved is full of shit. What exactly are they doing in the bathroom? Why does it take so long? If your partner dodges your many toilet-related questions with “geez, gimme some privacy,” this book is for you!

This book includes a Toilet Time log that calculates the probability of your partner sexting while pooping. Additionally, the appendix of this yet-to-be-written book is the best feature: it provides readers with an exhaustive After Dumping Them checklist, including a section on Blocking That Shithead from Social Media.

#4 I’m Fine: The Art of Smiling Through Your Nervous Breakdown

For many, a nervous breakdown is simply out of the question. It’s inconvenient and therapy is too costly. Not to mention the stress involved when your employer finds out you’re in therapy. More importantly, WHY you’re in therapy:

Reason for therapy = 10% childhood trauma + 40% shitty work environment + 50% manager who considers likability to be Performance Goal material. 

Masking your mental health crises is as easy as 1) collecting the chunks of hair that fell out due to stress 2) fashioning said chunks into bald spot wigs – along with many more tips! This timely book speaks to a labor force overwhelmed with busyness, as well as the unrealistic expectation to smile 24/7, without the aid of cocaine. If you’ve ever internally screamed “This country is screwing me over! I’m voting Socialist in the next election!” – this book is for you! Also included is an interactive video guide for claiming expatriate status and moving to Finland (rated #1 Happiest Country in the World), free of charge!

Please do right by bookstore employees and write these books; it may save them from trying to help me again.

Any day now, bookstores will ban me. See, I have a tendency to pace up and down the Self-Help aisle, jogging my memory into telling me what Brené Brown books I’ve read. Something about Daring the Brave, or Rising Alone..? I don’t know. These Self-Help books have similar titles, and mumbling “BRAVE!” and “ALONE!” in the Self-Help section is strange enough for anyone to dial 9-11 for suspected terrorism.

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