Thursday, December 8, 2022

Book Review: How (Not) to Do it All: Energise Your Life By Dr Emma Short 

Book Review How (Not) to Do it All: Energise Your Life By Dr Emma Short
Out January 2023
Dr Emma Short is a British medical doctor specialising in histopathology and she has a PhD in cancer genetics.  

While Dr Short is the principal author, she has included chapters written by friends and colleagues.

What I like:

Written for a general audience, this book is very accessible, with simple, clear writing and tips for effective change outlined in the text, in boxes, and then also in personal stories.  

There's nothing new here, but the advice is sensible, aiming at helping readers make minor changes that add up to significant impact.

Dr Short's expertise shines through in the first part of the book. I especially loved the section that explain why exercise reduces inflammation and why this is important for overall health. It's the best description I've read in ages.

The chapter that discusses how we are pushed into over-achieving is excellent as well. Basic but thorough and very simple to digest.

What I don't like:

Some of the psychological theories referenced were debunked decades ago.

For example, the section on the value of socialising has sensible observations and practical advice but references and quotes Maslow's theory.  Unfortunately, Maslow's work was based on personal observations. Studies have repeatedly discredited most of his theory. It's hugely problematic.

Similarly, there are references to personality research that could do with clarifying, updating and revising.

There's plenty of evidence-based theory to back up the advice, so I'm at a loss why that wasn't used. This issue detracts from the overall authority of the publication.

Summary: most of this book is an excellent practical read, but it includes debunked theory.

How (Not) to Do it All: Energise Your Life
By Dr Emma Short 
ISBN     9781914595387

Publication date: January 2023
162 pages
Price £9.99
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