There are a litany of personal development/self-help books.

And I’ve read an embarrassingly long list of them.

But when I read Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art . . . I REALLY wanted my kids to grasp Manson’s “take” on life and happiness.

Here’s why:

  • It’s filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor . . . my boys, at ages 16, 18, and 20, were a prime audience.
  • It’s brutally honest. The book is full of real talk . . . great for short attention spans.
  • It’s the antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset which infected the generation my kids grew up in. It trashes the concept of gold medals for showing up. 

Main points of the book:

  • We only have so many F*cks to give. Choose wisely.
  • We’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F**k positivity,” Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.”
  • Improving your life hinges not on your ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Everything sucks some of the time. So the question becomes: what struggle or sacrifice are you willing to tolerate?

For my full review of the book, connect with me on

My boys had to answer a list of questions and write a one-page report. After a review and 1/1 discussion, I handed each a $100 bill.

Have you read this book? Would you buy it for your kids?