Book review: PUG – How To Be The Best You by Helen James

Saturday, October 14, 2017 Permalink

When I first saw this book, it was around the time I’d requested a children’s picture book to review with my 6yr old godson Pickle, and – as I do love a good life lesson – the title of this book, PUG – How To Be The Best You, sounded perfect.

However, this book isn’t actually about a cute dog. PUG, stands for Philosophical Universal Guidance. Yep… it’s actually a book for we grown-ups. (Ahem… yes I am including myself there.) 

Book review: PUG – How To Be The Best You by Helen JamesPug: How to be the Best You
by Helen James
Published by Exisle Publishing
on October 1st 2017
Source: Harper Collins
Genres: Non-fiction
ISBN: 1925335623, 9781925335620
Pages: 64

Pugs have been the favorite pets of Chinese Emperors, and even lived with Tibetan Monks, so it’s not surprising they’ve gathered a wealth of wisdom over the centuries.

This delightful, illustrated book will put a smile on everyone’s face. Humorous and beautiful illustrations, combined with words of wisdom from PUG, take readers on an inspirational journey. Who would have thought that PUG stands for Philosophical Universal Guidance?

This will be appreciated by those who kinda like the wanky inspirational quotes they see on Facebook or similar by Brene Brown or Byron Katie, but cringe a little when they’re done to death.

The author, Helen James is a graphic artist and her images are visually appealing without being overly elaborate and distracting us from the text. She’s also a clinical psychologist so knows the sorts of things most of us tend to get angsty over, covering themes such as perseverance, empathy, humility, resourcefulness, wonder, spirit and composure. (So, more than the usual old chestnuts!)

I think this is my favourite….

The promo blurb talks about it appealing to those who don’t usually turn to self-help books.

Given my cynicism and antipathy towards that genre in general, it may surprise you to know I have a stack of eating disorder books I bought in the 1990s. They obviously did SFA at the time. (Though I do realise the books and their lessons weren’t enough in themselves to make me ‘better’.) Still… I now steer clear of the non-fiction section of bookstores and libraries.

However, the short, straight-forward and non-patronising tone of this book sat well with me. It’s not too jargonistic and there was no eye-rolling required.

It’s beautifully and simply illustrated and would be a good gift for lovers of dogs or those who appreciate a bit of philosophy, self-awareness and self-betterment without having it rammed down their throats.

I don’t do the wanky coffee table book thing (cos books bloody belong on bookshelves or in your hands!) but think my new workplace colleagues would probably appreciate this in our lunchroom.

PUG – How To Be The Best You by Helen James was published in Australia by Exisle Publishing and is now available. (More examples of the pages are available via the publisher’s link if you want to check them out!)

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.

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