Book Reviews: Playing Big

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Home > Articles > Book Reviews: Playing Big

 Book Reviews: Playing Big

Today's Manager
June 1, 2017

Playing Big
By Tara Mohr
Arrow Books
Reviewer: Sadie-Jane Nunis

Yet Another Guidebook for Women

I am not a big fan of books like Ms Mohr’s to be honest. I will read them on occasion but they are not top priority on my list. However, I have to say, I am glad I had to read this for work since I write book reviews. I am on the fence as there are some parts I enjoyed and some parts I rolled my eyes at.

Ms Mohr’s approach to the book to help women overcome being treated like second-rate citizens is a fantastic ambition. In some parts of the book, she succeeded, in other parts, the execution failed.

It felt like most self-help books, only in this case, she angled it specifically for females. There was not much that made me feel like I am reading something new. This made me roll my eyes a little as I am not a big fan of self-help books per sé. However, personal bias aside, I do know of many women who would benefit from this book especially if they are at a loss as to how to deal with being a woman in the 21st century workplace.

I think the reason why I am on the fence with this book is due to the fact that there are parts in here that seem a little airy-fairy. I thought I was the only one who felt this way but I noticed a few other reviewers felt the same too.

Let me elaborate. One of the reasons I am not a big fan of these self-help books is that at times, some of the chapters tend to be… a tad idealistic. I do not have much patience for books that tell you that if you think positive thoughts, you will be able to achieve whatever you set your mind to.

On one hand, there is some truth to that as positivity helps, but on the other hand, it takes more than positive thoughts to bring you success, there is hard work, good contacts (sometimes), and a little luck too. There were some anecdotes in the book that were like that and made me cringe a little as I read it.

Not everything in the book made me cringe though. There are other anecdotes that were quite relevant and helpful, especially if you are a woman who is facing some personal challenges at the moment. Her style of writing is fluid and I did quite enjoy that.

Overall, a decent enough read if you love those self-help type books targeted at women. If you are looking for a good read, there are many others out there.


Copyright © 2017 Singapore Institute of Management

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Today's Manager Issue 2, 2017

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