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  • Writer's pictureTess

Check Out: By the Book Podcast

Anyone who knows me well knows that I listen to a good amount of podcasts. They are my constant companion when I'm cleaning, cooking, gardening, and doing mindless computer work. I am so happy to have come across a new one that I'm loving and can't believe I never heard of before now.

It is By the Book, hosted by Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer.

The premise is that they take a self-help book and live by its rules for two weeks and then report to the audience on how they felt about it and if it helped to improve their lives. The two hosts are warm, funny, and open about themselves in a way that really lets you get to know them and relate to their struggles. They follow up with a short bonus episode - the 'Epilogue'- in which they read listener responses to the episode as well as listener's own experience with the book.

I always start from the beginning of a podcast catalogue, so I'm still back in 2017 but two episodes really stand out for me already. In French Women Don't Get Fat there is a section where Kristen really works through her history with body image and dieting and realises how quickly she falls back into obsessive behaviour that she had worked hard to overcome. This really struck a cord with me and other listeners and in the Epilogue they promised no more dieting books.

The other one that I really liked was on Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. In this episode both women come up against the messages of the proper place and behaviour of a woman that they had heard in the culture they were raised in and that the book reinforces. I remember reading and trying to follow this book once upon a time, one of the mistakes that kept me in very poorly matched marriage for way longer than I should have been. Listening to this episode took me back to those days and the hosts' attempt to follow the rules both made me laugh and work through with them that crap that other people tell us is right when it just is so wrong.

I'm very much looking forward to listening to more of this podcast and hopefully catching up to be current with it before too long. And I have some ideas brewing of how we can incorporate looking at and dissecting self-help books in our little group some time in the future. Stay tuned...


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