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Review of “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck”

Amazing title for a book, am I right? And no, I’m not getting paid for this review of “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck”, because being paid to read books is for people who are livin’ the dream, and I ain’t quite there yet. But the author Sarah Knight (or, more accurately, her UK publicist Fiona at Quercus Books) did send me her book for free after I brazenly asked. So a massive thank you for that.

By the by, if you want a chance to win your own copy of this book, hang around for all the details of the giveaway.

Review of "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up"

The press release for this book describes the author as being “diligent” and “Type A”, so straight away I suspected we were going to get along just fine.

It also outlines what the book teaches you:

  • How to stop giving a fuck about what other people think (you all already know that that’s a favourite topic of mine);
  • how to sort your fucks into categories;
  • simple criteria for whether or not you should give a fuck;
  • how to do it without being an asshole; and
  • how to make a “Fuck Budget”, which is basically how you decide where your fuck-giving is gonna go.

If you haven’t already run out to buy your own copy, I’m really not sure what you’re waiting for. (The giveaway, I can only assume.)

Review of “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck”

This book is basically everything I stand for. I feel like it’s the missing life manual that everyone should get at birth. It should be required reading in school because, honestly, school is one of the first places all that beautiful “not giving a fuck” gets beaten out of you.

When I first came across it, I assumed it was just a parody of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. A classic case of judging a book by its cover (and hilarious title). Shame on me.

In the same way that Marie Kondo taught people to declutter their physical belongings, this book teaches you how to declutter things taking up vital headspace, and how to say no to things so you can free up more time, energy and money for the things you actually WANT to be doing with your life. Like reading book reviews. 😉

Sarah Knight actually sums it up perfectly:

"The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck" quote

Basically, the possibilities for not giving a fuck are pretty endless.

So yeah, this book is so much more than a piss-take — there’s a whole methodology outlined in it. Marie Kondo has her KonMari Method; Sarah Knight has her NotSorry Method.

Some of you may remember that I summarised the KonMari Method in 2 steps:

1. Gather all your shit together in one pile; and

2. Throw it all away.

Well the NotSorry Method has its own 2 steps:

1. Decide what you don’t give a fuck about; and

2. Don’t give a fuck about those things.


Easier said than done though, right? Except the book shows you how to do it. Just like the KonMari Method, the NotSorry Method also has categories that range from “dipping your toe in the water” to “this will possibly require alcohol”.

You start with ‘Things’ — objects or events or any other non-emotional item — and then move on to ‘Work’, then to ‘Friends, acquaintances and strangers,’ and, finally, to ‘Family’.

And we all know what a massive minefield that can be.

She even has a “Should I give a fuck?” flowchart. A flowchart! This woman is my hero.

Review of "The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck" flow chart

But it can be difficult to not give a fuck without coming across like a total asshole, right? I have that problem myself. This book shows you how to do it in a polite way. Yes, it teaches you how to politely tell people to fuck off. This book needs to be adapted into a mandatory college course.

She actually goes through lots of situations you might find yourself in, like being invited to a wedding you don’t want to go to or can’t afford, and gives you examples of things you can say to politely and respectfully decline. Or what to do when a colleague is asking you for a donation or to support their latest venture. Or when you get stuck in the middle of a political or religious debate at a family event.

And that’s one of the things I love most about the book — it’s so practical! Like, actual real-life, genuinely tricky scenarios you might find yourself in. All those uncomfortable situations where you feel a sense of obligation with a side of dread and dollop of regret.

Seriously, Sarah Knight is like a modern-day Mary Poppins for mental clutter. She swoops in out of nowhere, when you’re pretty much at your wits end and your expectations are pretty low, and then she helps you overhaul your entire life and completely change your mindset. And her spoonful of sugar is her wicked sense of humour. Every household needs her… or at least a copy of her book ’cause she’s probably a pretty busy lady.

Review of "The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck" -- Mary Poppins

I’m no idiot, but there’s still something sublime about having things laid out before you in black and white. She’s like a comedic Tony Robbins — telling you what you want and need to hear through real, actionable advice. All you have to do is strain to hear it over the sound of your arse breaking with laughter.

So this is the book for you if you want to stop giving a fuck about family photos with matching outfits, or team-building exercises at work (or, if you’re like me, just social events in general), or about other people’s opinions on the way you raise your children. (Because, so help me, if one more person chimes in with their two cents on my daughter’s name, or what she should and shouldn’t be doing, what I should and shouldn’t be teaching her… I will bludgeon them to death with this book.)


So, to help you stop giving a fuck, I have a copy to give away! If you want a chance to win it, head on over to the >> HowToGYST Facebook page << where you’ll find the giveaway graphic pinned to the top of the page. All you have to do to enter is comment on that picture, letting me know what’s the main thing you’d like to stop giving a fuck about. Doesn’t even have to be funny, folks, so get your answers in. It’ll stay open until February 29th 2016 so if you’re reading this after that date… you’re shit outta luck so you’re just gonna have to go out and buy a copy. 😛 Here’s a handy Amazon affiliate link for you:

I’ll also be posting excerpts from the book on the page too so yeah, you should really head on over there. 😉

But seriously, “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck” is outstanding. It’s everything I try to do through this site, and that is to share real-life, practical advice (y’know, shit that will actually help people), told through the medium of humour. So if you’re looking for the missing ‘life’ manual, this could very well be it. Or certainly Part One, ’cause if this woman publishes a new volume, all my other books better budge up.

(Did I mention there’s flowcharts and fuck budgets?)

And that’s my full and frank review of “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck”. Thanks so much to Sarah Knight for agreeing to send me two copies of her book, and to her UK publicist Fiona for actually popping them in the post. And in a snazzy gold padded envelope, no less. THAT’s how you do it, folks.

As I said, I’m not being paid for this review, I just genuinely enjoyed the book. If you’ve read it, or are about to rush out and buy a copy, please let me know in the comments below so we can all share our thoughts and favourite quotes.

Wishing you all a great weekend!

Remember to conserve all that fuck-giving for the really important stuff. 😉

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4 Responses

  1. I thought I had been here already, but apparently not! I had seen this book online, and wondered about it – now I know! I love how very straightforward it appears, it makes me think of reading your blog (which is always the kick in the ass I need!)

  2. I am absolutely stunned that people can even read this gutter-mouthed self-indulgent rubbish. This is an indication of how degenerate society has become that this language is even acceptable and in such massive quantity! Any positive message the author is trying to convey is completely destroyed with her inability to communicate it in a dignified and intelligent manner. I could not be bothered even reading it properly because it meant wading through the same word used over and over again! She calls herself an author – learn some new vocabulary! How filling you head with “f this, f that…” is a beneficial exercise, I have no idea! I think the better variety of people in this world are the ones who do care. Sometimes it is better to care about others more than yourself, and that would be a much more valuable message.

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