Professional Reader

How to hold a grudge

What if grudges are not just good for us, but great?

How To Hold A Grudge had me intrigued the moment I saw it. The bright yellow cover, the shiny green foil spine and the title. It was a triple threat.  But, could this book really teach me something, or is it a bit of a ‘fad’ self-care read with a few jokes along the way.

Unfortunately, it was the latter for me, which is sad because I had such high hopes. You see, I can burn with resentment in a heartbeat if I feel excluded or a cutting comment is flung in my direction without warning. If people take advantage of me, I’m immediately in grudge mode and I definitely take bad customer service personally. So, why didn’t this book deliver for me?

The Bible tells us to love our neighbours and also to love our enemies; probably because generally they are the same people. – G.K. Chesterton

Well, it wasn’t all bad, I just couldn’t take it seriously, or glean any practical tips to help me in my grudgefest. A pretty large chunk of the book is filled with funny anecdotes and conversations, but after a while, I started skipping pages, which any book blogger knows is a bad sign.  There are also some quizzes and steps to understand, categorise and file your grudge away in a ‘grudge cabinet’.  This is where I started to drift and couldn’t be reeled back in. I just don’t have the time to go through all these steps and spend so much time thinking about a grudge. My process is to simply seethe with rage, over analyse the situation, think about it at 4am for a day or two and then move on.

You see, I am not malicious, or I could easily insert here the name of some twaddler against whom I have a grudgekin. – Anthony Trollope

The premise of this book is right, that grudges aren’t that bad, we all have them and the trick is to recognise them and not pretend to be this peace and love ball promoting memes about forgiveness and letting go. That’s rubbish, even if it’s for a fleeting moment we have negative feelings, real or imagined. Some of us move on quickly and others, well hold a grudge!

The author of How To Hold A Grudge is the extremely talented crime fiction writer Sophie Hannah and this is a bit of a departure to the realms of self-care. For me, it just didn’t click and I have to ironically admit to holding a grudge about my lost reading time.

Check it out for yourself in all good bookstores RRP $32.99 published by Hachette.

How To Hold A Grudge Book Review