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The Book Blogger Awards 2017

Sweet Suffering

Sweet Suffering: Woman as Victim
Shainess
1984

Submitter: You can tell how dated this is by the Maddie Hayes lookalike on the cover.  But beyond that, we definitely have better forms of empowerment these days. And I’m just not comfortable with endorsing books that go too far towards self-diagnosis and reinventing existing conditions.

Holly: Well, shoot – this book was a New York Times bestseller and a Book-of-the-Month-Club alternate selection.  It’s about improving your self esteem and your ability to be more aggressive.  Maybe libraries have held on to it for 26 years because there’s just nothing as good as this.  (Doubtful – the self-help publishing industry is one of the few that continues to grow steadily!)  If you have space for this book and it’s in good condition, there’s nothing really wrong with keeping it.  For everyone else, there are 26 years worth of similar bestsellers competing for that space.

I have to agree with submitter on the idea of self-diagnosis and reinventing existing conditions.  Self-help books are notorious for that!  They could be helpful in giving someone a little boost of inspiration, but so often they are toted as a plan to “take full control of your life,” as this one promises on the back cover.

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0 Responses to Sweet Suffering

  • Jeez, when I first saw the title, I thought it was one of those Anne Rice erotica books that she wrote in the 1980s.

  • Self-help books are the Tribbles of the literary world.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribble

  • Some of the advice on the back cover is actually very helpful. I was a doormat to a couple of men, and I think that it never hurts to empower yourself.

  • Is there something wrong with giving in and not making a fuss?

  • I’ve told my wife & girlfriend that it’ll be the worse for them if I ever catch ’em reading stuff like that.

  • The contents page tastes to me like a very nice & useful introduction to a happy, sadomasochistic lifestyle. I would have loved to have a book like that when I was younger and struggling to accept my strange urges!

    But as a common self-help book, naaah. There are newer and better out there.

  • Well, I’ve always said the opposite of feminism is masochism – finally someone else has caught on!

  • I think I remember this author’s appearance on the Donahue show. She pronounced masochism as “MACE-o-kism,” which made it hard for me to listen to the rest of her contradictory and confusing thesis, which I remember thinking was contradictory and confusing.