Image licensed from Depositphotos

Extremely Useful, But Nonexistent, Self Help Books

“Sometimes you don’t need to be your best self, just a better self.”

Kyrie Gray
Nov 4 · 5 min read

The self help industry is filled with books promising to transform you into the best version of you. Yet these books often make one fatal assumption. They think we want a life like theirs. Yet what if this is not true? What if you simply want to learn to exist in the world as the mess you are, and how to deal with people who are constantly trying to better themselves?

Figuring I was probably not alone in this desire, I took the liberty of drafting some self help books that the general reader might actually enjoy.

Even the cat approves these satirical books! (Image licensed from Cava)

The Life Changing Magic of Letting Go After Forgetting Where You Put The Thing

mockup by author

Does that thing bring you joy? Yes? Can you find it? No? Then let it go!

Marie Kondo wants you to let go of that thing in your home that no longer gives you happiness. But many of us are haunted by the thing we know is somewhere in our cluttered apartment. Unable to find it, we are unable to let it go. We are the ones who need to be told it’s ok to say goodbye to the object that’s decided to run way.

Feel the relief that comes with no longer needing to stress over the whereabouts of an external object. Once you’ve mastered these simple techniques, you’ll be delighted to learn that they can be used for letting go of people, dreams, and hamsters that have also disappeared from your life.

The Coffee Shop Fix

mockup by author

Some people say nature is the true source of inspiration. I’d argue those people have never read stories about bear attacks. Or watched videos about bear attacks. Nor bookmarked troubling tweets about bear attacks.

Personally I believe the hum of civilization kick-starts creativity. I can’t be creative if I’m constantly looking over my shoulder for a bear. With the creature on my mind, I’m sure it would insert itself into my work. No one wants to read my productivity article, “20 Ways To Beat Your Fear Of Rejection By Realizing That At Least You’re Not Being Mauled From A Bear.”

This book teaches you how to be in tune with the general public, so you can make art in the face of endless distraction/inspiration. If you are a curmudgeon like me, you will also be taught how to use sound clips to make you feel like you are surrounded by people, without actually having to deal with the riffraff. Or bears.

The Art of Pretending Not to Give a Fuck

mockup by author

I give so many fucks. And that’s a problem according to some well-known gurus. So how can a person who cares so much just…stop? The answer is they can’t. But they can fake it.

It’s going to be difficult, yet I will teach you how to pretend that you don’t give any fucks. This is a skill you’ll have to master if you want that job, that house, or that guy you dated once to believe you are doing better without him. Even when you’ve found out that he’s moved in with the girl he told you was just a friend. Oh, and they adopted a bear cub, just to rub their lack of fear in your face.

But don’t post a passive aggressive message on their Facebook page! You are pretending not to care, remember?

How to Win Friends While Under The Influence

Mockup by author

I know nothing of influencing people, but I am an expert at making friends while under the influence of alcohol. I’m aware this may not be the best course of action. But while you are busy battling your alcohol demons, you’re going to need to make some friends.

In a memoir full of anecdotes and advice (as well as a liability form you must sign before you read) you’ll find out how to form friendships that will last as long as your liver does.

French Women Don’t Get Fat Or Have Lasting Female Relationships

mockup by author

French women certainly are some of the chicest in the world. Their reputation as slim seductresses has convinced many women to drink more water while judging their friends. But what if you are the friend she is judging? This is why I’ve written a companion book for the companions of the woman who thinks she can become French simply by dieting enough.

This book will help you learn how to love your body while enjoying social events with other friends who don’t want to starve themselves on leek soup. It will also offer fancy French retorts to say to Claire if she dares to say, “ Oh! Looks like someone’s got a case of the wiggly thighs.”


Jane Austen’s Wastebasket

Humor inspired by the literature, history, and other non-lucrative college courses

Kyrie Gray

Written by

Freelancer, comedian, and illustrator. Writes humor, practical advice, and about life. Check out Jane Austen’s Wastebasket for most of my funny scribbles.

Jane Austen’s Wastebasket

Humor inspired by the literature, history, and other non-lucrative college courses

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade