Friday, August 10, 2018

The Girls' Guide to Conquering Life by Erica & Jonathon Catherman, 2018

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There's a lot a girl needs to know as she grows up and makes her way in the world. Having a reference guide of practical how-to life skills and character traits can empower her to become a confident and capable woman. Coauthors Erica and Jonathan Catherman offer this collection of step-by-step instructions on 100 things girls need to succeed, including how to

- introduce yourself
- change a flat tire
- respectfully break up with a guy
- leave a tip
- apply for a job
- ask for a promotion
- behave during a police stop
- create a personal budget
- calculate square footage
- wash your face
- clear a clogged drain
- iron a shirt
- wear a scarf
- shoot a basketball
- sharpen kitchen knives
- and much more

In fact, if it's in here, it's an important skill or character trait practiced by capable and confident women. With great illustrations and sidebars of advice from world-class experts, this all-in-one reference tool for young women in the making is the perfect gift for birthdays, graduations, or any occasion.

(304 pages)

From washing your hair to throwing darts to grilling a steak, this book has a short how-to section for just about everything you might want to do.

It's pretty impressive, really. The author's don't assume any gender stereotypes; they assume their female reader might need to do a very wide range of things, including asking a guy out, changing a tire, and playing many different sports as well as the usual topics like talking to a guy or wearing a scarf. The explanations are split into numbered steps which make things pretty straightforward and are always encouraging.

The book is clearly meant for a girl a few years younger than me, perhaps in middle school or high school: there are mentions of asking parents for permission and going through the transition of growing up. The advice is still good, though, and I appreciated reading through it.

My only complaint with the format of the book is that there weren't enough illustrations to go with the instructions: some of the entries were a bit confusing without images to show what the authors meant.

I also thought there were some topics that should have been included. If the book is meant for younger girls, a discussion of tips for dealing with their period would have probably been very helpful. As would a section of advice for asking parents for more freedoms, or some tips for picking a college or moving away from home/finding a community in a new place.

I suppose no one book could have every single thing, though, and this book does cover quite a bit. It's a bit strange that it's marketed so strongly to girls, since the same advice holds true for guys in almost every single section, but I would probably recommend it to both genders. A lot of its advice is pretty familiar to me, but it would be perfect for people who don't have parents to teach them these sorts of things.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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