If there is one type of book I can’t resist, it’s a good old fashioned self help book. I just can’t help it. They’re fun, easy to read and occasionally you’ll find a gem in the heap of unconventional life advice. Self help book are like the flea market of literature. You never know what treasures you’ll pull out of the pile. We’re at the beach again this week and my trusty Kindle companion has been Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Prior to reading “The Doctor Is In”, my knowledge of Dr. Ruth consisted of: cute little old lady with a funny accent giving sex advice. Post read, I want Dr. Ruth to be my spirit animal.
At only 4’7″ tall, this German Jew refugee has led enough life for ten people. After escaping Germany on a kindertransport and earning a degree in housekeeping from her Swiss boarding home, she relocated to Israel, becoming a sniper (!) for the Israel army. In Israel, she became a teenage bride and migrated to France with equally young husband. After a brief marriage, Dr. Ruth chose her education over marriage and spent the next five years in France. After another marriage, the birth of her first child and relocating to America, Dr. Ruth found her home and a slew of degrees in New York. It wasn’t until her 50’s that this wickedly funny therapist found her calling and catapulted to fame on her radio show. The rest as they say, is history…a history spanning over three decades, 35 books, and countless tv and radio shows. Dr. Ruth is now a staple of American pop culture!
With a history like hers, it would have been very easy for Dr. Ruth to settle where she was and stick with her lot as a child refugee, a migrant house keeper, a poor single working mom. Instead, she made the best out of every situation, often edging her way into opportunities, experiences and adventures that were both interesting, scary, and worth the risk she took to get there.
After reading countless self-help books written by numerous bad-ass women, I can say that Dr. Ruth without a doubt, takes the cake. While most self-help books for women encourage confidence and taking risks, Dr. Ruth’s age and background bring a depth of energy, experience and reality that can be somewhat lacking in other books of this sort. Yoga books in this genre, in particular, can be harder to connect to. The author’s story can feel out of touch or out of reach, particularly when they pack up their life and spend months at yoga retreats in exotic locations. As an ambitious woman with loads of impatient energy and an honest writing style, Dr. Ruth is easily relatable. We’ve all employed a sneaky trick or two to catch a man, plotted and schemed for way to advance our careers or relationships, and jumped into things head first while still feeling totally unprepared , scared, worried, and impatient. This complete relatable-ness makes reading “The Doctor Is In” comparable to sharing secrets with a giggling grandmother over mimosas at a bridal shower. It’s fun, it’s enlightening and it’ll leave you in a good mood.
Happy reading my friends!