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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Ottawa chapter.

Here are 4 self-help books I read in the month June. Along with each book is a note about what the book taught me, my personal rating, and the reasoning behind my rating. You’ll also notice that they’re in order from lowest rating to highest rating. Enjoy!

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

This book taught me about the importance of meditation. Before reading it, I believed that meditation was boring and required following a stranger’s voice (and I find most of these strangers speak too slowly or in a monotone). However, in a world where everything is fast-paced, I wanted to read this book to escape from reality and be more grateful in the present for the life I’ve been given. In addition, I wanted to heal from my prior ways of reminiscing on my past sufferings and my never-ending worries about the future. Lucky for me, this book gave me both.

Rating: 8.7/10

The only reason this book has the lowest rating is because of how repetitive it felt to me while reading it. Just halfway through, I felt like I had grasped what Tolle was trying to say in a clear and life-changing way. I had even learned new terms that I could put to good use in my daily life to put a name to both my negative and positive thoughts and feelings. This book was a meditation that was not boring, but insightful, and did not support the act of following, but instead the act of simply living.

How to win friends & influence people by Dale Carnegie

This book taught me one main thing I will take with me wherever I go: you should be a confident person who actively listens. Without giving away any spoilers, I can say Carnegie taught me that we should all be confident because nobody other than ourselves is more capable of understanding the lives of others and how they think or feel. Especially given that we, too, are just like them: human.

Rating: 9/10

I didn’t give this book a full rating because I had expected more from it. I had hoped to read this and suddenly get 10 job offers and three business emails! Could this have been a personal issue and have nothing to do with the quality of this book? Absolutely. Nonetheless, I learned that the best way to be more confident is by being more passive. I believe that has the power to change the lives of many since we know that confidence puts you ahead in life, but few realize that being overly confident does nothing.

The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

Throughout this book, Pastor Rick Warren discusses the common question that the human race faces daily: what is our purpose in life? 

This book taught me how the only authentic way to find your purpose is to find something to believe in that is greater than you. The author shows this by providing textual evidence that is mainly from the Bible and slightly modernized. Think Michael Todd from Transformation Church, but remove today’s slang. Still, I guarantee everyone can identify with at least a handful of things from what resides in this book. 

Rating: 9.5/10

I didn’t give this book a full rating because it classified itself as not a self-help book when I firmly believe it helped me. Moreover, if I had given it a full rating, I found that my opinion would have been slightly biased since I, myself, am a Christian who grew up in a Catholic schooling system for most of my childhood. However, I understand that Christianity, along with other religions, is pushed onto others when it should just be a choice a person makes solely on their own and for themselves. Therefore, I am confident in giving this book a 9.5 out of 10; at times, it did feel overly religious.

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

This book was short and sweet. As the title states, it had four agreements, so I knew exactly what to expect (unlike in Dale Carnegie’s book). However, there was no need for reading between the lines, either. Everything Ruiz said in this book was straight to the point and easy to read. What I really enjoyed was the beginning and end. The introduction was like an uplifting story that held great history and hope, and the conclusion was the cherry on top that, somehow, encapsulated all of the four agreements and the teachings in between that he had shared beforehand.

Rating: 10/10

Full rating because I can not stop raving about this book. It definitely earned its title, and I recommend reading it if you haven’t already.

To sign off…

I am pleased with these four self-help books that I managed to read in June. I was never much of a reader, but you should expect more articles like this because these books positively changed my life! Give these a read if you haven’t already done so because I genuinely believe they can offer you some clarity if you’re searching for it.

Emily Crandall

U Ottawa '24

4th-year Communications and Sociology student at the University of Ottawa.