I am pleased to be a book reviewer for Bethany House. Each month I am sent a list of books that are soon to be released. I choose a book from this list & am provided with a free copy. In return I promise to read the book & give it an honest review.
For February I chose this book, Worry Less So You Can Live More by Jane Rubietta. I am not a worrier but I know a person or two who struggles with worry, & I thought that by reading this book I could perhaps glean a bit of wisdom to pass on to them ... maybe even pass on the book. That did not, & is not, going to happen.
This book has little to do with worry. It instead reads like a series of journal entries where the author rambles on about personal neuroses ("obsessive and irrational anxiety or obsession") better kept to herself or shared with a professional counselor. The introduction was promising, but any expectation of help from this book quickly began to dissipate from the first chapter onward. By the time I got to Chapter 3, the reading became painful. I dreaded having chosen this book. I dreaded having to read it. I literally had to force myself to read each chapter, & I almost reached the end before I couldn't torture myself anymore & had to stop.
In a book written by a woman who attended seminary & whose life has been spent in ministry, you would expect a lot of biblical references. There are a smattering, but that's all, & some of these references are nothing but ridiculous fantasy. For instance, in Chapter 9 she refers to the days of creation ... specifically God's behavior at the end of each day. I have researched Genesis 1 online as it is written in every Bible translation I could find. All translations read basically the same way as the King James Version, each day describing God's work for that day & then saying "God saw that it was good." But how does Mrs. Rubietta describe God's behavior at the end of each day?
"Remember, God stopped to sit back & clap
after each day of creation,
to leap up & down & say,
'Whoa, this is good! Good! Good! Very good!'"
Most non-Christians, upon reading the back cover indicating you can "exchange your worries for delight in God...," would probably not purchase this book. Some might, however. And for someone who doesn't know anything about God to be presented with such a cartoonish word picture of Him is a very sad thing indeed.
The author goes on & on about not buying herself a pair of red sneakers on sale. She is not destitute, & these sneakers were not designer sneakers, just a plain pair of Keds that originally sell for $24.95. She describes her anxiety upon seeing these sneakers & what seems like weeks of berating herself for wanting them before she finally broke down & bought them when they had been discounted to a price that was equivalent to 1/3 of one cent each day for five years.
The author is noted to have written 15 books, is "critically acclaimed," & travels extensively "speaking hundreds of times a year at women's events, churches, & parenting groups." It is a mystery to me how she is so sought after if this is the type of drivel she writes. However, if you are a worrier who doesn't want to worry anymore, & you believe your worries will fade away if you are "good to the little girl that was you," walk barefoot in the grass, pick wildflowers, dance with fireflies, & buy red sneakers on sale, then this is the book for you.