Thursday, May 20, 2010

Book Review: No More Christian Nice Girl

Have you ever picked up a book that you WANTED to like?

When I volunteered to read and review a new book called No More Christian Nice Girl: When Just Being Nice - Instead of Good - Hurts You, Your Family, and Your Friends by Paul Coughlin + Jennifer D. Degler, I was excited. I loved the idea of the book. I loved knowing that it was coming with discussion questions, and I thought about reading it together with friends and the amazing discussions we could have over Starbucks, talking about the whole concept of being so nice it hurts...

I got the book in the mail the other week and immediately cracked the cover to scan the table of contents. I found chapters that included:
- How we learned to act nice
- How nice wrecks family relationships and friendships
- How nice messes up your marriage (and steals your spice in the bedroom)
- How nice cripples your career

Awesome. On to the introduction... INSERT SOUND EFFECT OF DULL THUD.

I made my way through most of the book, and here’s the thing. There’s nothing wrong with the concept. There’s nothing wrong with the subject matter. There’s nothing wrong with the content itself. In fact, I thought it was all great. But that ‘great content’ was communicated in a way that left me literally rolling my eyes at the book. There were cheesy stories interspersed about a real ‘nice girl’ named Nicole, and there were way too many assumptions made about who a ‘nice girl’ is and what she thinks, feels, and acts like (case in point: the claim that the average ‘nice girl’ turns into an eight year old girl in the bedroom and has never initiated sex or worn anything but granny panties... seriously).

Not that I've ever done those things, Mom... Or Geoff's Mom...


In all fairness, maybe I was not the target audience for this book. Maybe I'm too young. Maybe I'm not nice enough. Maybe I'm not churchy enough. And maybe it’s the writer in me, but I had a tough time ignoring the presentation while I sifted through and extracted the message and the heart of this book. There really was a great message and a beautiful heart. That’s why I was so disappointed.

If the topic is interesting to you, you can still check out this book - I've searched online and there are definitely others who loved it - but there’s another book that has been absolutely instrumental in my journey to embracing my inner good girl (without being a pushover). It’s called the Good Girls Guide to Negotiating, by Elizabeth Austin + Leslie Whitaker.

Hm. Based on this book review, maybe I’m not as nice as I thought. I hope I'll be invited back to do another review.

And I hope that this is my last book review ever that talks about panties :)

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.



At May 20, 2010 4:36 PM, Blogger Nikki + Shane said...

Why is it that they always have to be named Nicole. Ugh.


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