It might be good s**t, but for fudge sake, how about better ...


It might be good s**t, but for fudge sake, how about better titles?

Sweary self-help books are a dime a dozen now, gimmick- and psychobabble-free SA titles notwithstanding

Sunday Times Book Editor

There have been a slew of self-help books that have landed on my desk. That’s not really remarkable for this time of year, what is remarkable is that most of these books have swear words in the title. Not that I mind expletives - a hearty “f***k you” at the right moment can be quite cathartic. 

Books with strategically placed asterisks in their titles started years ago. In 2011, there was Adam Mansbach with his bedtime story Go the F*ck to Sleep, which became a bestseller for weary parents. And there has since been a sequel. Published in 2019, F*ck, Now There are Two of You is about the trauma parents experience having to get two kids to sleep.

In 2015, sweary self-improvement books exploded. F*ck Feelings: One Shrink’s Practical Advice for Managing All Life’s Impossible Problems by Michael Bennett MD and Sarah Bennett, and my favourite title so far, The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don’t Have with People You Don’t Like Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do (A No F*cks Given Guide) by Sarah Knight, are just two of the titles in that genre published that year. ..

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