Joseph relies heavily on allegories to drive home his message, and despite adding entertainment value, some become puzzling. The story of Shmulie Shmendrick, a man selling ointment with flies in it, concerns the value of feeling some discomfort as an impetus for change, but readers may find the tale more confusing than enlightening. He is more successful when using kryptonite’s effect on Superman to illustrate the importance of never giving up: even when under duress, Superman never said “I can’t do this crime fighting thing anymore,” and Joseph’s invitation for readers to recognize their own kryptonite and talk candidly about it is clear, refreshing, and helpful.
The most effective passages come near the end, when Joseph summarizes steps for transforming your CrankaTsuris into healthy emotional regulation. He emphasizes the need to give three-dimensional weight to anger and outlines how to develop a support system for expressing it in safe ways. Most importantly, he concludes with the need to “spend every day finding things to marvel about.” Though it falls short of straightforward answers to managing anger, this eccentric offering does give readers something to think about.
Takeaway: An offbeat guide to transforming anger into healthy emotional expression.
Great for fans of: Luvvie Ajayi’s I’m Judging You, Samantha Irby’s We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A-
A smart, sharp take on human psychology as it relates mood, Steven Joseph's A GROWNUP GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE CRANKINESS is simultaneously playful and serious and covers a niche topic impressively well.
Steven Joseph picks up on a smart, and impactful area of modern life that’s not addressed enough, crankiness, and goes big on how to deal with it.
Kudos to author Steven Joseph for his focus on a little-examined topic: crankiness. A follow-up to his child-focused title on the subject (The Last Surviving Dinosaur), A GROWNUP GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE CRANKINESS is aimed firmly at adults, who are also prone to the same condition. Joseph introduces the concept of the ‘Crankatsuris’ – an adoption of a Yiddish word, tsuris, the idea of a problem that weighs on the psyche in what amounts to an almost conversational contest of sorrows. A firm point is made early on: amid the stress of the modern world, many of us tend to focus on what bothers us, and not what we already have or have already achieved.
Aimed firmly at the various forms of stress of modern adulthood and the crankiness they inevitably evoke–as Joseph points out, what other creature is born yelling?–it’s in our nature to whine and snap– the story of A GROWNUP GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE CRANKINESS is one of personal experience blended with tips and concepts. There are plenty of tales of Joseph’s life to be enjoyed, many of them only abstractly related to the point of the particular chapter they occupy, but they add color to what would otherwise be a dry subject, and allow readers to relate to where the author is coming from–be it through his love of food and cooking, or his close-knit family.
Those tales aside, the text addresses various forms of crankiness, with titles for chapters like ‘the Crankatsuris Caterpillar’ (aimed at the crotchety teenager), or ‘Crankatsuris Madness’, in which Joseph uses his legal expertise to address the idea that arguing logically in emotion-based discussion is just stunningly ineffective, and sure to rankle. The book’s key principle being that crankiness can be worked around within various relationships quite successfully if readers are simply brave enough to put out there that they’re feeling highly strung at a specific time in the first place. Most will relate to the idea of feeling stressed and unhappy (especially these days) and A GROWNUP GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE CRANKINESS offers tips to adjust one’s behavior to more to empathy rather than feeling personally attacked, which can lead to a more negative outcome.
It’s not just you…it’s your CrankaTsuris bellowing from deep within. From the time we’re born until we’re wrinkled and alone, we’re taught crankiness is bad and should be eliminated from our personality. But what if that thinking is wrong? What if we learn how to harness our crankiness and make the world around us a content space? Steve Joseph shares his theories on human behavior and how crankiness is part of what separates us from others in the animal kingdom. He provides tools and exercises to make room for crankiness in all areas of your life plus so much more. C’mon, unleash your CrankaTsuris and learn how much fun it can be.
A Grownup Guide to Effective Crankiness: The CrankaTsuris Method is a hilarious book everyone should read and own. We tend to be way too serious, especially when it comes to ourselves and our little corner of the universe. With what we, as a global community, have dealt with in the past twenty months, A Grownup Guide to Effective Crankiness: The CrankaTsuris Method is exactly what we need. Steven Joseph has a gifted talent for writing tongue-in-cheek humor. The descriptive narration activated my imagination while reading. I mean, who wouldn’t visualize a cranky large dinosaur while reading about the behaviors of a CrankaTsuris? There is a lot of good advice and wisdom in this book. The exercises and examples provide the reader with applicable ways to incorporate these improvements in all areas of life. If you need to laugh while working on yourself, pick up A Grownup Guide to Effective Crankiness: The CrankaTsuris Method. If you’re looking to decrease stress in your life, this book is a must-read! Brilliantly written, A Grownup Guide to Effective Crankiness: The CrankaTsuris Method is exactly what people need to read. Highly recommend!
My Rating: 5 stars
In this book, the author starts by telling a fictional story of how the tiniest dinosaur that ever existed—the TyrantoCrankaTsuris—caused the extinction of all the other dinosaurs, thanks to its crankiness. He tells how humans evolved from this dinosaur, inheriting its cranky nature in the process. A Grownup Guide to Effective Crankiness: The CrankaTsuris Method is essentially a detailed analysis of crankiness. Steven Joseph shows how and why crankiness is part of our nature and highlights the ways it manifests in our words and actions. Using simple stories—both real and fictional—doused in sufficient helpings of humor, Joseph goes on to detail ways that we can all identify and deal with our crankiness safely and effectively.
It's not every day that one comes across a book for grownups that happens to be a sequel to a children's book, but this book is precisely that. It follows an earlier children's book by Joseph titled The Last Surviving Dinosaur: The TyrantoCrankaTsuris. The children's book was essentially summarized in the first chapter of this one to give a little context to what the author was talking about. I found this to be extra helpful. I also appreciated that this wasn't just another self-help book with sweet words and no actionable advice. The author delved deep into the problem of why people can be cranky, and he dropped a lot of actionable tips along the way. He also touched on some relevant issues, such as the connection between principles and reason and making decisions with both the brain and gut.
I was especially intrigued by how he referred to our cranky nature as CrankaTsuris, a portmanteau of the English word "cranky" and "tsuris," the Yiddish word for problem. In his writing, CrankaTsuris means the outflow of complaints and issues that build up within us and cry out for release; it is an external manifestation of our negative emotions. The author also gave names to different forms of CrankaTsuris, such as CrankaTsuris Caterpillar, CrankaTsuris Kryptonite, and CrankaTsuris Nincompoop. Each of these forms of crankiness had a chapter dedicated to it where the author fleshed it out using many stories. One of my favorite stories was the one about Joseph finding his father's lost teeth.
I'm a stickler for humor in almost any kind of writing, and I think it fits perfectly into this book. The humor Joseph infused in his writing served a dual purpose. It gave me a glimpse of the kind of person he was, and it made it easier to digest his message. Given that crankiness and humor are typically on opposite ends of the emotional spectrum, it's interesting how the author blended them effectively in this book. Some of the stories he told also gave me a sneak peek of what it was like for him growing up in a Jewish household.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars because it was professionally edited, and there was nothing I disliked about it. The author's imagination and storytelling skills deserve nothing less. This book is ideal for kids and adults alike. If you've ever thrown a tantrum, complained bitterly about anything, or are dealing with serious anger management issues, this book is the medicine for your crankiness.
A witty, warm, and wise guide that should bring relaxation to stressed-out people... A must-read.
In his fun and insightful latest, award-winning Joseph urges readers to embrace their crankiness and make the world a better place. Knowing how to effectively regulate emotions is something that can make a big difference when it comes to living a better life. With wit and perception, Joseph provides a thorough manual for enhancing emotional well-being. He argues that concentrating on being more open about one's own crankiness and focusing on letting out the anger in positive ways not only allows us to channel our negative emotions but also serve as the first step to an enhanced emotional well-being. Joseph argues that people too often deny themselves a complete let-out through cowardice and the fear of upsetting others, but end up upsetting others anyways. Free of pretense, the book introduces numerous ways to help us recognize and cope with the feelings of anxiety, anger, and frustration. Joseph explains how to effectively regulate emotions by taking up such techniques as utilizing a team approach to crankiness, creating space for outpouring, and effective communication. Packed full of self-regulation strategies and practical advice, the book shows readers how they can find a balance and learn to feel just right. Amusing anecdotes and real-life stories illustrate management of crankiness in everyday life. Writing with humor, insight, and skill, Joseph's entertaining manual becomes one largely about exploring the everyday struggles and effectively overcoming them. This is an essential read for anyone struggling with regulating emotions or interested in improving their emotional well-being.
Readers’ Favorite recognizes “A Grownup Guide to Effective Crankiness” by Steven Joseph in its annual international book award contest, currently available at .
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Readers’ Favorite is proud to announce that “A Grownup Guide to Effective Crankiness” by Steven Joseph won the Bronze Medal in the Non-Fiction – Relationships category.