Welcome to Part 2, the final stop of the Baker Publishing Group/Revell Blog Tour for January 2010 (on this blog, anyway)! Yesterday and today, I’ve featured reviews for two books (now available) that I’ve read as part of the tour. I’m providing honest reviews for these books, and would encourage you to ask any questions that come to mind – either about a review or a book itself.

And now… book 2!

50 Ways to Feel Great Today: Keys to Beating Stress, Worry, and the BluesDavid B. Biebel (D.Min), James E. Dill (MD) & Bobbie Dill (RN) (Revell, 2009)


Feeling awful, stressed, or paralyzed by worry? This book contains 50 suggestions to help you break out of that funk and start feeling better today. These ideas are simple, low or no cost, and are backed by scientific and medical advice and anecdotes, based on the authors’ collective experience in each field.


First, the good:

The book contained 50 simple, easy-to-accomplish, low or no cost ideas for getting yourself out of a difficult psychological state and back into enjoying life. Simplicity really is the name of the game in the book — for example, some of the ideas are “lift weights” or “go fly a kite”.

For someone who doesn’t normally do much more than go to work, come home to eat & watch TV, then go to bed and repeat the next day, some of these ideas might challenge & encourage that individual to break out of such a monotonous routine (which is likely the cause of ‘the blues’ or stress in the first place).

Now, the not-so-great:

Wow. “Go to the Y”? “Pamper Yourself”? “Work on Your Scrapbook”? “Go fishing”?

Do you see the problem here? While there are 50 simple suggestions in this book, the issue is that the book itself doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be. The suggestions target men, women, younger individuals, older individuals… but not together. It feels as though each chapter is targeted at a different group, making it very difficult to really glean a sense of coherency in the list of suggestions.

Because of this, I found the book to be too simplistic. I’d go so far as to say “complete and utter tripe”, at least for someone with half a brain. Anyone with a lick of common sense would know that having a massage is a great way to beat stress, so does anyone really need a book to suggest it alongside “use the internet creatively”?

Admittedly, there were a few good suggestions scattered amongst the ridiculous ones, but on the whole, I didn’t take away anything of value. And before you accuse me of not being in the target market for the book, let me assure you that I struggle with stress, anxiety, drastic mood swings bordering on depression, and high tension on a daily basis. Based on my own medical history and daily life, I’m 99.9% certain I’m the target market, and I found nothing in this book but frustration, sighs, and annoyance.

My apologies to the authors, but I think the book would have been much more successful if they’d decided on a target group first (ie. men or women), and then wrote the book directed to them — or, even better, broke the book up into two separate books, one targeted at women and another at men. That way, all the suggestions might be applicable/realistic to each particular group who read the book. Because let me tell you… I have my serious doubts that men are going to appreciate the suggestion to “work on your scrapbook” to help beat stress.

I’m just saying.

Available now from your favorite bookseller from Revell,

a division of Baker Publishing Group.

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 28th, 2010 at 4:25 pm and is filed under Tasty Tomes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 comments so far


Good review! I think I’d agree with you that the authors choose too wide of an audience for the book. Or maybe not everyone is supposed to apply all fifty suggestions, but to read until they find one or two that would help them break their depression. I definately don’t know many men who are into scrapbook, though I do know a few women who go fishing.

January 28th, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Hmm. I don’t write or read non-fiction, but you probably have a good point here. Although, I will say my husband has put together some picture collages that are really cool, but yeah, men and women deal with stress in such different ways, I think.

January 29th, 2010 at 3:03 am

Thanks Bonnie! I know what you mean, maybe the authors thought readers could find one or two things that would work for them specifically… but I wonder, why not write a book that targets a smaller audience so that the *whole book* could be helpful, instead of just one or two things? Heh.

Jessica, I agree! Men and women have such different approaches to stress, that lumping them together may do more harm than good (in the sense of reading the book and maybe getting discouraged at the suggestions!).

January 29th, 2010 at 8:18 pm

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