Before Ella was born, several people, knowing how much I like to read, asked me about what books I'd read in preparation for having a child. And, honestly, the answer was "none."
I couldn't get interested in reading about sleep schedules or breastfeeding techniques or how your child will likely grow up to be a serial killer if you don't do x,y, or z.
Now that I've been a parent for two whopping whole years, I can see that the books that really appeal to me as a parent are more about personal development and overall parenting, rather than specific troubleshooting (after all, isn't that what Google is for?).
Daring Greatly was just that kind of book. Put this book with The Happiness Project, Nurtureshock, Quiet, and Outliers, and you'd have my ideal reading list for parents (or anyone, frankly).
They are books about figuring out your own values and passing them on to your children. They're books about doing things that scare you.
They are books you're sorry I read if you know me in real life because I won't stop talking about them.
One of the things this book talks a lot about is taking off your armor and really engaging with other people and situations, especially the ones that make you uncomfortable or make you automatically want to cast blame, disengage, or react with anger or self-righteousness. Blame, disengagement, anger and self-righteousness? I am a master of all of those reactions and the research and examples in this book really helped me identify not only how to deal with these reactions (and replace them with better ones), but also how damaging these behaviors are not just to my relationships, but to me personally.
I've realized that I really love books that adress several topics at once and the cross between self-awareness/development, education, leadership, and parenting in this one was really good. I was just as engaged by the chapters about work and education as I was by the parenting chapter. This really is a book for anyone, I think.
By the way, I noticed that when I was only reading a page or two a night, I had a hard time engaging with this book. But if I'd put aside twenty or thirty minutes, I suddenly couldn't get enough of this book and I felt like EVERY page was speaking just to me.
Now that I'm done with the book, I almost don't want to put it on the shelf - I feel like I need to keep it on my bedside table and return to it frequently.
I read this book for the BlogHer Book Club and you can read other reviews and discussions at BlogHer. I am paid for my participation in the BlogHer Book Club, but I choose which books to read and my reviews are strictly my own opinions. If I think a book is terrible, I'll say so. If I rave about a book, it's because it's one I'd give to Kayla or my mom.