The Courage to Be Yourself
Sue Patton Thoele

The major issue that I have with this book is that it's directed solely at women, even though Patton Thoele covers issues and concepts that are important to all of us, such as self-esteem, depression, fears, etc.  The vast majority of the material in this book is completely relevant to both men and women, yet its target audience is solely women.  The author does offer us a good mixture of anecdotes and analysis and observation about important topics, and the chapters tend to be not that long, which is a result of being concise and getting to the point and not rambling, as opposed to not having anything important to say.

This is an interesting book that makes for good reading, and that gives a lot of very good advice.  If I had one criticism of it, though, it would be that some of the material in the chapters seems to be tangential to the topic of the chapter.  At times I got half-way through a section and asked myself, "But what does this have to do with the topic of the chapter?"  I had the feeling that it was something that she wanted to say, but that didn't have anywhere else to go.

The book is separated into three parts:  "Finding the Courage to Be Yourself," "Facing the Dragons in the Dungeon," and "Healing:  Owning Your Own Excellence."  There are fourteen chapters, including topics such as "The Power of Thought," "Underlying Assumptions and Hidden Beliefs," and "The Leveled Life."

Her writing style flows smoothly, and this is a good book for reading just a chapter or a section at a time, as they're fairly short and quite readable.  Taking a bit of time between chapters could be a good idea, as there's a lot here to think about.
Our rating:  B+
Amazon rating (October, 2012):  4.7 of 5 (40 reviews)