Monday, September 17, 2012

Control the Crazy by Vinny Guadagnino

Honestly, I opened this book up knowing full well it was written by one of the castmates of the hot mess of a show Jersey Shore. I had expectations for this book, and they weren't set very high (after seeing that Snooki and the Situation had both put books out, I sort of lost faith in humanity). I have to admit, while some parts of this book gave my friends plenty of ammo to judge me on (re: 'spiritual swagger', I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of this book, and it earned the 4 out of 5 stars I'm giving it.

This book looked, smelled, and sounded like another so-called self help book written by a self-centered individual as an excuse to get a nonmemoir memoir into publication. While Vinny brought his own battle with chronic generalized anxiety disorder into his writing, I was rather surprised that it was a very well-put together anxiety and stress control program. Themes from Wayne Dyer, Eckhart Tolle, and other successful and renowned authors were discussed in a way that was easy to understand and (dare I say it?!) relate to. Clearly written for the same demographic that watches his show, in my opinion, Control the Crazy appeals and relates to 20-something year olds seeking confidence while hiding their stress, anxiety, and insecurity.

That being said, there are some things that I'm really surprised were allowed into this book by the publishers. I would have probably smacked Vinny if I edited his book and saw that he really decided to write about spiritual swagger. Because honestly, what the hell? It's a good concept, I just died a little inside when I saw that combination of words. There were a few other choice topics and statements mentioned throughout this book that made me shiver a little at their actually being in print, but for the most part I felt like I was reading a spiritual self help book, written exclusively for young adults.

Sooo I guess you can't judge a book by its cover, or an author by the train wreck of a television show he's starred on for six seasons. Like I said, I was pleasantly surprised and I definitely would recommend this to anyone who's feeling anxious, run down or depressed, or for anyone who's just looking for a few more tricks to managing their stress levels. I, for one, started going to the gym again this week, am going to at least monitor what I'm eating. If not actually start controlling my diet, and I may or may not look into yoga classes or iPad apps, because I'm cool like that. The tips mentioned by Vinny are almost all common sense, and are easy concepts to grasp and to start putting into effect in your daily life.. Check it out for yourself if you don't believe me!

- Justin

PS- While I know I was a bit harsh about Jersey Shore, understand that I do have a mild to moderate addiction to it, and look forward to watching season six. I think America needs to admit to its preoccupation with watching other people's drama and ridiculousness, and bring more sitcoms back on the air. That's a post better saved for another day. Just know that I do like this show, regardless of its hot-mess status in my mind :)

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