Plot/Idea: Edwards puts forth concrete ideas on creating a more positive world, specifying the audience for her guidance carefully while structuring the text in an intuitive, approachable manner.
Prose: The prose manages to be both entertaining and enlightening. Edwards’s style is effortless, and the book's many activities are self-explanatory.
Originality: Uncommon Courage draws from familiar self-help elements, but Edwards injects originality through the book’s use of unique metaphors and a wealth of hands-on exercises.
Character/Execution: Full of accessible information and easy-to-use activities, this guide offers readers an abundance of exercises that can be tailored to meet individual needs. The structure is similar to a workbook, and Edwards delivers on her objective to help readers achieve their best life.
Date Submitted: January 26, 2023
The guide is long, but it stays highly digestible, with short chapters that can be consumed while riding down an elevator, taking a break from chasing the kids, or in a more concentrated, meditative manner. That approach seems by design: Edwards’ structure allows readers to dip in and out according to their interests or needs. The guidance can be deep or breezily superficial (“buy wine that’s at least four years old”); like all good advice, it can even be irksome when she hits the right button and tells a truth you might not yet want to face. The book’s busy, with some potentially distracting elements—such as the adages Edwards calls “wisdoms” that relate to another project, unconventional hashtags, and QR codes introduced for further reading—but Edwards takes pains to expose readers to fresh ideas and possibilities beyond the purview of the average self-help book.
As Edwards introduces new habits and mindsets, helpful footnotes suggest opportunities for further research, and workbook pages encourage contemplation of the material. Her style is highly narrative, with dishy anecdotes bursting with practical advice delivered in her funny, straightforward, and entirely supportive fashion.
Takeaway: This wide-ranging, of-the-moment self-help guide urges readers to live with purpose and courage to make a difference.
Great for fans of: Shad Helmstetter’s Negative Self-Talk and How to Change It, Jon Gordon and Damon West’s The Coffee Bean.
Design and typography: B
Marketing copy: A