Monday, June 01, 2009

book review: Your Best You by Bonnie Grove

The winner of the author-signed copy of Your Best You is Jan Keats.
(Jan, please email your address to me, and I'll pop your book in the mail ASAP!)

Thanks to all who entered the draw!


Title: Your Best You: Discovering and Developing the Strengths God Gave You
Author: Bonnie Grove
Beacon Hill Press, February 2009, Paperback, 192 pages

If you're one of those people who have looked at your life and thought, I need to make some changes, Your Best You is the book for you. Not to worry if there is a secret addiction, a hurtful past or even a history of failed attempts at change. Author Bonnie Grove, a program developer and trainer, covers all those angles in this compact but complete self-help manual

Grove starts out by explaining her strength-based approach and how it differs from the commonly used method of effecting personal change by working on one's areas of weakness. Using questionnaires, quizzes, self-tests, personal inventories, and journals she guides the reader in discovering personal strengths and then shows how to exploit them to make the desired changes.

In fifteen chapters Grove moves the reader step by step from identifying personal strengths and determining what really matters to him or her, through making the actual changes, to establishing long-term goals. All along the way she stresses the importance of being patient with oneself and acknowledging the progress already made.

Though her method is complex, Grove's instructions are always clear. She uses word pictures to clarify her ideas, e.g. she compares trying out new behaviors to trying on clothes in a store - a visualization which takes some of the heavy seriousness out of what can be a stressful process. She precedes each assignment with a detailed example of the kinds of answers the reader might give when dealing with a variety of issues (e.g. lose weight, stop smoking, deal with a difficult relative). She also states how much time each assignment should take and if it should be done in one sitting or spread over several sessions.

The multi-week program described in Your Best You is built on a solid biblical foundation. Grove explains how acknowledging and using one's strengths is a form of worship. She demonstrates the place of prayer and encourages the reader to be aware of God's presence in every aspect of the change process. Her own transparency in describing her relationship with God serves as an inspiring and encouraging model.

My one small quibble is with the physical design of the book. Though I didn't do the assignments, the book, with its lines, charts and tables to fill out, is meant to be written in. However, the tight paperback binding would make that awkward and the small boxes in the tables and charts are too tiny to hold all that's required. A workbook-sized coil-bound book would have been more practical for such a hands-on program. Of course there's nothing stopping the reader from using a separate notebook instead of the paperback textbook to do all that writing. And that would preserve the book for more readers too - always a good thing.

Though I only read through the book and didn’t actually do the program, I wouldn't hesitate to try it in the future or recommend it to others. It is designed primarily for individual use but I'm thinking it might also work well with groups. Each person could work on their own issues with the group members to fall back on for encouragement, feedback and accountability.

From the already successful person who wants to maximize their potential to the one who desires to change destructive lifestyle patterns, Your Best You is a detailed and versatile roadmap to a fulfilling tomorrow.

Read a sample of the book here. Check out the Your Best You blog for news and promotions.

  • Would you like to WIN an author-signed copy of Your Best You?
  • To enter just leave a comment (including your name) in the comments section of this post.
  • Contest ends May 31st. I'll announce a winner here on JUNE 1st. (Sorry, Canada and U.S. residents only)


MistiPearl said...

Hi Violet! Thank you for giving your review on this book. I would love an autographed copy of Bonnie's book! In the meantime, I am eagerly awaiting the release of her next novel, Talking to the Dead...(and yes, I preordered it:)...16 days to go... )

Janet said...

Count me in! I'm really intrigued by the concept.

Mary said...

Life is an ongoing learning process, so I'd love to see what more I can learn from reading Bonnie's book
Mary Haskett

vjc said...

Hi, Violet, Thank you for the clear review of Bonnie's book. I've had it on my wish list for a while :).

Joanna Mallory said...

Hi Violet. Fine review! Don't enter me in the draw -- I've read the book and just stopped by to read your review and say how valuable I found the book.

I used a notebook instead of writing in the book itself, so I could give my copy away, so I hadn't noticed the format issue.

You say "trying on clothes in a store - a visualization which takes some of the heavy seriousness out of what can be a stressful process." I've gotta say -- obviously you've never seen me trying to find a pair of jeans that fit. Heavy stress indeed! Not to mention demoralizing!

Laura Davis said...

Hi Violet, don't enter me in the draw either as I already have the book. I just wanted to say you gave an excellent review of the book. I found the book to be very refreshing in its approach. Imagine - building on your strengths! I think this is the first self-help book I've read that doesn't focus on the negative. Excellent book!

Kimberley Payne said...

Great review, Violet. I like the idea that Bonnie "uses word pictures to clarify her ideas". Enter me in the draw...I'll use a notebook and share the book :)


Anonymous said...

Hey, I would like this book added to my summer reading collection.

What a nice looking blog!!
jan Keats

Sheila Davidson said...

Hi Violet,
Good review - I'd love to read and make use of this book. Please enter my name in the draw.
Thanks a bunch!
- Sheila Davidson

fudge4ever said...

Hi Violet, I've been intrigued with the concept of this book since before it was published. I would love to read it. Please enter me in the draw!
Pam M.

violet said...

Thanks ladies! I wish I could give one to each of you. Come back on the 1st to see who wins... of course you're welcome to return sooner to read or chat!

Wendy said...

Great review, Violet. You're right, the workbook format sounds like it would have been very useful. The content sounds like a very interesting premise, and I would be keen to read the tips Bonnie shares for building on positives instead of focusing on negatives. Count me in.

Glynis said...

Great review, Violet and what a great idea - focus on the positives instead of the negatives. What a better world we would live in if we all put that approach into practise. Sign me up for the draw. x

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