Friday, 13 August 2010

“Do As I Write and Not As I Do”

I am not a fan of self-help books. In my experience they are far more about the author’s prejudices and political views. They are often based just on the author’s experiences, plus maybe a few of their friends’ too, and are more about that person’s views then a book of practical information. Simply look at the shelves full of them at any bookshop; also take a look at their authors’ credentials, most of them have no more experience than the majority of the people in the bookshop.

Imagine my reaction when I was asked to review a self-help book by the Nursing Standard, but I have a policy to never turn down writing. I’ve a good relationship with them and I owe them a lot, so if they asked me to review a telephone book then I would.

Fortunately, the book (Living Confidently with HIV) is the exception and not the rule. It is a self-book written by healthcare professionals and is based on their professional experience. This book stands head-and-shoulders above the herd of the rest, so writing the review was fairly easy. The hardest reviews are those for the books that are poor or just plain bad, because those have to be written in a non-petty tone, even if I just want to through the book out of the window because it’s so bad.

The review was published in this week’s copy of Nursing Standard. If you want to read the review you can find it on my website (


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