One of the largest sections of any bookshop since the 1980s has been the 'therapy' or self-help section. Evidently, we face a great need to change our lives for the better, and no shortage of advice on how to go about changing it.
But until now, we have been lost in the flow of titles. Should we read the guru of the month, or stick to the enduring classics? Now we have this handy guide to get us started.
The genre, asa Butler-Bowden expalined, begins with Samuel Smiles and Self-Help (1859). The self-help genre developed over time, and later texts developed themes that originated from earlier texts. So The Hero Within (1998) extends The Power of Myth (1987).
The reviews appear in alphabetical order of the author's name, so there is a juxtaposition of dissimilar text. Carnegie sits next to Chopra, and Seligman next to Smiles.
Butler-Bowden includes the Bible, the Bhagavad Gita and the Dhammapada, as well as a few self-help books 'before the letter' such as Walden.
There are also a few more books at the end that almost made the top 50.