Sunday 18 February 2018

Need help finding Mr Right? Don't worry, Jen, there's a book for that. . .

Deirdre Reynolds on the self-help guides celebs should be reading this year

Jennifer Aniston (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
Jennifer Aniston (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
Deirdre Reynolds

Deirdre Reynolds

New Year, new you -- that's the theory, at least. But with the festive high wearing thin and resolutions fast turning to regrets, thousands of Irish people are turning to self-help books in a bid to turn their lives around in 2010.

Top book chain Easons has reported a swell in the sales of inspirational titles that promise to help make over everything from your bank balance to your sex life.

And when the nicotine patches just won't kick in fast enough or willpower around the biscuit tin ebbs to an all-time low, it's the likes of Chicken Soup for the Soul that's helping to curb Ireland's cravings, says head of purchasing Maria Dickenson.

"We sell almost four times as many self-help books in the first week of January compared to any other week of the year," she says.

"Diet books are an obvious choice, but New Year's resolutions lead people to buy all sorts of self-improvement books as they try to boost their careers, finances, health or relationships."

And it seems there's nothing like a hopeless recession to get us to turn our back on Catholicism altogether and embrace hippy ideology instead.

"Given the current economic climate, lots of people are looking at ways to help themselves," she adds. "Last year, we saw the biggest increase in the genre for some time with sales up 14pc on 2008. And that trend looks set to continue into 2010.

"I think people try to find consolation during tougher times and self-help books are a great way to gain a fresh perspective and motivation. Naysayers may criticise them, but some of our best sellers like Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, by Susan Jeffers, are several years old."

Adding momentum to the national self-improvement movement, the store has slashed 20pc off self-help titles until mid-February.

But whether you think it's a load of bull or subscribe to every word, we look at who should have what on the bedside lockers in 2010.

Amy Winehouse -- Wasted by Brian O'Connell

This cautionary tale of rehab and ridicule is sure to strike a chord with Wino, who hit headlines in 2009 for piddling away her remaining fortune on booze and boobs.

Clare journalist Brian O'Connell recounts his years downing shots and stealing sausage rolls from hot food counters across the country. And he speaks to the Irish stars -- including Niall Toibín and Des Bishop -- who've talked about their fondness for booze.

Sober for five years now, the thirty-something author has plenty of advice to help the 'Back to Black'(out) singer say 'No, no, no' to the demon drink -- that's if she can stay sober for long enough to see one line of text rather than three ...

Taoiseach Brian Cowen -- Not Enough Hours by Owen Fitzpatrick

The economy, the roads, the hospitals ... with so many muck ups and so little time, it's probably hard for poor old Biffo to know where to begin on his 2010 to-do list.

Psychologist Owen Fitzpatrick has come up with this time-management bible for people who have taken on more than they can handle. And with idiot-proof tips on how to grab the bull by the horns, let's hope that Santa stuffed it into the Taoiseach's stocking this Christmas.

The manual even teaches workaholics how to make time for themselves -- so once the country's sorted, the top man can even look forward to a long candle-lit bubble bath.

Colin Farrell -- Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert

It's a quantum leap from starring in a sex tape to settling down, but this guide to second-time-around romance could be just the thing to inspire reformed shagger Colin Farrell to hammer the ultimate nail in the coffin of his bachelorhood.

For a man who once propositioned a 70-year-old woman, actress Dame Eileen Atkins, to 'no-strings sex', the Dublin star, 33, is acting suspiciously broody of late -- jetting home over Christmas to celebrate his brother's nuptials before heading to Poland to baptise three-month-old son Henry with actress girlfriend Alicja Bachleda-Curus.

He has a history of marriage -- even if it only lasted four months, so could 2010 be the year that The Farreller puts a ring on it for good?

Paul Gogarty -- F**k It: The Ultimate Spiritual Way by John Parkin Green

TD Paul Gogarty took a public spanking for his blue outburst in the Dáil in December, but it seems Go-Go could be on to something after all. The potty-mouthed politician lost the plot with Labour Deputy Emmet Stagg, bellowing: "F**k you, Deputy Stagg, f**k you!"

But according to author John Parkin, the explosion makes Gogarty the Dalai Lama of the Dáil. "Saying 'F**k It' is like massage for the mind", the book affirms.

"It's the perfect Western expression of the Eastern ideas of letting go and finding real freedom by realising that things don't matter so much". And if the Ceann Comhairle or your boss doesn't like it, they can just go f**k themselves.

Tiger Woods -- How to Quit Without Feeling Shit by Patrick Holford

They haven't written a book called How to Stop Your Wife Ripping Your Balls Clean From Your Body yet, so for now Tiger Woods will have to settle for this motivational New Year's read instead.

The top golfer's clean-cut image has been left in tatters by the November sex scandal which linked him to -- not one, not two, but as many as -- 16 mistresses. And with sponsors Accenture, AT&T Inc. and Gilette dropping him like an especially hot spud, pants-down Tiger announced he was taking "an indefinite break" from the sport.

All is not lost, however, as all this free time will give him a chance to tuck into Patrick Holford's guide to giving up your vices. And while it's more specifically aimed at addictions like cigarettes and alcohol, perhaps it will help Tiger kick some other dirty habits too.

Jennifer Aniston -- The Key to Living the Law of Attraction by Jack Canfield

When even Brad Pitt turns out to be Mr Wrong, who can blame a girl for giving up on Mr Right? Having spent most of the noughties being painted as the real-life Bridget Jones however, Jennifer Aniston is probably keen to finally shirk her spinsterish image in 2010.

The rom-com irritant, 40, can discover how to magnet everything from men to money and movie roles using the fabled 'Law of Attraction'. And if that doesn't work, luckless-in-love Jen could also have a big bowl of Chicken Soup for the Soul, penned by the same author.

When it comes to self-help, though, steering clear of men-about-town like John Mayer and Gerard Butler might be a start.

Charlie Sheen and Brooke Mueller -- Why Men Don't Listen and Women Don't Read Maps by Allan and Barbara Pease

The festive family get-together is often tense, but at least it doesn't end with dad being arrested for threatening to kill mum with a knife -- usually.

Leave it to Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen (44), then, to ruin Christmas dinner by allegedly attacking the mother of his nine-month-old sons when she announced she wanted a divorce.

The embattled couple might want to add this unapologetic guide to how men and women are wired differently to their New Year's reading list. But they might have to fork out on two separate copies -- Mueller has just hired the criminal defence attorney famous for representing OJ Simpson.

The book tells how brain differences between the genders can be traced back to the cave -- which explains a lot about knuckle-dragging Sheen.

Victoria Beckham -- Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin

Scrawny Spice is destined to lead the slew of skeletal stars splashed across the covers of women's glossies this year. And since the world's most famous WAG is rumoured to have tried everything from seaweed shakes to veganism to maintain her emaciated-chic look, she might as well give this New York Times bestseller a look too.

Self-confessed skinny bitches Freedman and Barnouin have converted models, actors and athletes to the cause of stick-insectism with their no-nonsense guide to eating.

Afterwards, Posh can even lend it to fellow bobbleheads Angelina Jolie, Nicole Ritchie and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Irish Independent

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