I enjoy Faith Salie’s segments on CBS Sunday Morning and I’ve wanted to catch her on NPR’s “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me”. I found her to be humorous and original; in that vein I was looking forward to reading her book “Approval Junkie: Adventures in Caring Too Much”.
Salie shares VERY intimate stories from her past and how her need for approval dominated every area of her life. I found her to be a combination of insightful and…just too much. She’s funny, introspective and very harsh on herself, almost brutal. I hate to use the word “appropriate” or “inappropriate” when it comes to a memoir but for me personally, I wish Salie would have left some stories out. The pain over losing her mother to illness is heartbreaking while the story of…shall we say a skill her brother taught her…were too much for me. Her personal antidotes swing wildly back and forth between serving the book and just flat out vulgar. I can overlook or not be bothered by coarse language or situations if it serves the overall purpose of the book (or film) but in the case of Approval Junkie, these chapters served no purpose.
Salie has come a long way in her life from an unhealthy marriage and an eating disorder to a happy second marriage, children and a thriving career. She’s learned some tough lessons and displays some bravery in sharing her story. One particular highlight I enjoyed was the chapter on the listening skills she developed in her early days of podcasts on public radio. Unfortunately, the negatives outweigh the positives with this book. I couldn’t help but think Salie needed more time, distance and healing from her personal demons before writing a book on conquering being an approval junkie.
I received Approval Junkie from Blogging for Books in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review.