Review of Rising Strong by Brene Brown

I really value Brene Brown’s work and have enjoyed her other books. I wanted to love this book so much and perhaps that set me up for disappointment. I found the personal examples drawn out and out of the place with the rest of the advice in the book.

There is one story in particular where she shares her experience in going to a conference and having a roommate. I am an introvert and this is also an issue for me so I was curious to see how she would handle it. I had hoped I could get insight into how to deal with a situation where, for example, you want your own room but everyone is sharing. How do you ask for special treatment in a kind way or even should you?

I had expected some insight into dealing with a situation that you wouldn’t do again but are in now. Like, how will you handle this in a way that allows you to protect yourself and yet be kind to others? But instead she calls out her roommate as being gross (eating a cinnamon bun and wiping her hand on the couch) and being a “rule breaker” (smoking) and instead of seeing this situation as a difficult one for the author, I found myself feeling really bad for this roommate. Imagine going to a conference and having someone walk in and instantly look at you with disgust?

Other personal examples were out of place as well. A lingering explanation about why the author calls herself a Texan seemed incongruent with the rest of the text. It felt like something that belonged in a personal journal. Unlike her other books, I found this one to be lacking in practical tips that could help you move beyond pain or vulnerability and into a place of strength.

It’s hard to be vulnerable and put yourself out there, and it’s sometimes hard to write a review where you didn’t enjoy the book. I’d recommend her other books, namely The Gifts of Imperfection, to read instead.

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