Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

I post my reviews to:

2 yahoo groups
Amazon and B&N (of course)
and on Twitter

I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Hardline Self-Help Handbook

The Hardline Self-Help Handbook, Paula Renaye, Diomo Books, 2011

There seem to be a million self-help books on the market. This one is different in that it takes a much harder line with the reader.

Most people say that they are willing to do "anything" to change their lives. Really? Are you willing to quit your lucrative, but unfulfilling, job to start on a new career? Are you willing to move to a different town, or different state, to advance your career? Write down five things you are not willing to do. Why aren't you willing to do them? (There are no right or wrong answers; this is simply to give you a better idea of what your subconscious is thinking.)

Everyone has "buttons" that are pushed on occasion. Do you really think that cursing, and giving the finger, to someone who cuts you off on the highway will really convince them to never do it again? Also, please remove the phrase "if only" from your brain right now. Your life will not suddenly become happy and perfect if only you get that big promotion, or if only your spouse stops acting like such an inconsiderate jerk. You cannot change or control other people; all you can do is change your reactions to other people.

For some people, forgiveness toward others is a near impossibility. Keeping that hurt inside will only injure you, not the other person. Don't try to minimize or justify it by saying something like "They didn't mean it, and I know they won't do it again." You don't know that they won't do it again. What you can do is acknowledge that it happened, and how you felt at that moment, and let the pain go. When your subconscious tries to bring it back, make it clear to yourself that it is done and over with, end of story.

Everyone knows someone who is a hypochondriac, constantly running to the doctor with imagined ailments, or is Mr. or Ms. Negative Attitude (perhaps that person is you). If they show no desire to even try to change their lives, then let them enjoy their corner of Self-Pity Land by themselves, while you go back to improving your life (If you have become some kind of self-pity addict, and don't want to "kick the habit," then please shut up. The rest of us are no longer interested.).

For those who are honestly willing to do the work necessary to change their lives, this book is very much worth reading. The chapters are short, and they can be read in any order.


  1. Dear Mr. Lapen:

    I absolutely need to contact you privately and maybe send you an interesting book to read and review (or not). I've looked all over your site and this blog and found nothing.

    Send me an email at ricardothetexan (at sign) gmail.com, PLEASE. (And then delete this comment if you will). I apologize for this barbaric attempt at communication and look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, Ricky Vernio

  2. Looks like a great book for readers who want to be unstuck.

  3. Thank you, Paul, for the excellent summary of the high points of my book and the recommendation!
    It is absolutely amazing how much you do!