Book Review: How To Be Interesting (in 10 Simple Steps) (Jessica Hagy)

Book Review: How To Be Interesting (in 10 Simple Steps) (Jessica Hagy)

How To Be Interesting (in 10 Simple Steps) by Jessica Hagy

I Sure Hope I’m More Interesting Now…

I sure hope that after reading this I’m more interesting, because, according to my one daughter, I needed to read this. Footnote: never take your daughters to a public library sale – firstly, it will end up costing you a hundred (+plus) dollars, and secondly, you’ll be guilt tripped or harangued into buying books similar in title to this. Much like my daughter (Lily) did at Barnes and Nobles and harassed me into picking up 1200 Words To Sound Smarter – she also harassed me into getting this, citing that I wasn’t very interesting and could use this.

So for my daughter’s sake (and I suppose my own) I hope this book has rubbed off on me and I’ve become more interesting. (I think it didn’t work though……)

‘Pop’ Books

This falls under that category of ‘self help’ pop books. Like mainstream, popular, pseudo intellectual churn them out style books. Nothing in this is incredibly deep – but sounds like it is on the surface level; like “inspirational” Facebook memes / posts / pictures. The kind of near interesting quotes or sayings that make you go “oh thats deep”… until you spend an extra thirty seconds thinking about it (which most people don’t do – they click LIKE on it, and keep scrolling) and then you realize its not deep at all. Like swan diving into a pond only to find a puddle.

This book will not make you more knowledgeable, nor wiser, nor intelligent. It will not make you enlightened, or help you attain some kind of nirvana. Pick out that one girl you graduated high school with, but haven’t seen in about fifteen years, she sells Avon or leggins or Mary Kay, or some other similar thing, probably has a fascination with crystals and probably knows the best ‘home remedies’ and ‘protect – alls’ against all kinds of diseases. Scroll through her page, and I’m sure you’ll encounter a lot of her ‘inspiration’ memes. Some nifty quote with a beatific nature picture in the background. Thats what this is.

Every page is one such quote, with a Venn diagram to make it look like its more than it is. Its all really just a pad filler. You can practically read this book in less than thirty minutes, all two hundred or so pages, because most pages are just one paragraph, and some are even less, and they all come with a side page of a Venn diagram that you can easily skip over.


Overall, is there any merit to the book? Ehhh…… I don’t want to say this is utter and complete garbage. But I think it needs to be realized for what it is. It is obviously not a stellar piece of writing or work, and I think it knows that, and I’m sure the author knows that. This is targeting a niche. Aimed at kids just graduating high school, looking to start out on their own, unsure of themselves, but wanting to feel better, more cool, more in.

The idea that this book could make them interesting; possibly to be the life of a party, or to stand out for a potential partner, or for getting a job, or who knows what; is very appealing. And this is hoping to tap into that – that need, that want to become more than the person is.

So I suppose on that level, it does what it sought to do. So on a technical aspect it works. But on every other merit besides that, its a complete ‘nope’ burger. A big fat failure on anything other than achieving the goal of reaching to the lowest common denominator and giving them hope of being more interesting.

(Spoiler alert: this book will not make you more interesting.)

(Double spoiler alert: in fact it will probably do the opposite when people find out you read it.)

This “just is what it is”. Its not memorable, its not illuminating, its just super quick. Need to hit your Reading Challenge for GoodReads? Then this is the perfect book for it. Its a simple, quick run through of buzz words, pop words, catch phrases, and ‘sounds smart but really isn’t’ slogans that eat up a lot of pages and makes you feel more important / smarter after you read it.

My GoodReads Rating: **
Global GoodReads Rating: 3.69 (as of 11.6.21)
My LibraryThing Rating: *.5

Thanks For Reading

As always everyone, thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this book review, be sure to visit some other recent book reviews here:

We’re now done with six days of November, and even going to change the clocks in a few hours (I’m getting this in just in the nick of time, finishing this up at 11:50PM). Six days so far and we’ve hit our goal of a new article every day. So be sure to be checking in daily for more news, articles, blog posts, beer reviews, book reviews, travelogues, and more. Thanks for reading!


-B. Kline

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