Book Review: Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies And Other Rituals to Fix Your Life from Someone Who’s Been There by Tara Schuster

From the very first chapter of Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies, Tara Schuster takes you on a wild ride through her childhood and re-parenting adventure. This is the kind of self-help book that I can get behind 100%. Rather than the stodgy “here is what I have done to become perfect and you should do as well” self-help book, Schuster’s work reflects her own struggle as a demonstration for how to rise above the past and move forward into a better and more well-adjusted future.

I enjoyed taking this journey with the author, even when it was painful. By sharing her deepest, darkest regrets and her practiced ways of coping, the author reaches to the heart of what a self-help book should be. She shares her ups and downs and allows the reader to feel good about the fact that we actually aren’t all perfect. We may craft rituals around ways of becoming better humans, but being human means we will fall down on the job at times. The true self-help journey requires commitment and the ability to pick yourself up and get on with it by not wallowing in the past but using it to inform a better future for yourself and others.

The book had a few moments of privilege that the author could have self-reflected on a bit, but overall she does a good job of seeing her bias and framing the suggestions in a way that most people can get on board with. I really enjoyed Schuster’s humour but would expect nothing less from the vice president of Talent and Development at Comedy Central. Her ability to view herself critically in order to better craft her outcomes was more than admirable.

Overall, I enjoyed this book more than the average self-help tome that I have read in the past few years and think it would be particularly good for people that have had a rough time coping with less than perfect childhood experiences or poor mid-life relationships. Schuster focuses squarely on the ability to ‘do the work’ oneself and craft rituals as a way to cope with anything that comes one’s way. A truly enjoyable and informative read!

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