First Look

First Look: The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight

First Look posts will be out FRIDAY afternoons. Thank you for reading xx

I heard of Sarah Knight’s The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck (A Practical Parody) long before I learned of the original The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, and the whole situation seems natural, as I’m not a great fan of tidying up but I learned about the happiness that comes from not giving a f*ck last year.

Sabrina Callahan, PR at Little Brown in the USA, sent me the book last week, and I proudly carried this little hardback copy around like it was gold. I was surprised to get a review copy sent from the US, both for copyright and shipping prices reasons, and I was also surprised by the edition. Although it is a hard-back copy, the book is quite small (13 cm x 19 cm) and perfect to carry on my handbag without causing me yet another shoulder injury. The white of the cover already promises to attract a lot of dirt – especially if I forget to put my black eyeliner into a different compartment – but its glossy quality may outlive the dangers of my handbag. I promise to post a picture of the book when I finish reading it to see the damages.

The inside promises to be nearly as good as the cover design: Knight started this book with ‘A F*cking Disclaimer’ followed by four different sections in which you will learn how to ‘stop spending time you don’t have, with people you don’t like, doing things that you don’t want’. Or what I think is the promise of a better life. She covers work, family, friends, and, at first sight, gender stereotypes with the chapter ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’. Because, let’s keep this talk real: women are brought up to give a f*ck about a million things more than men. We are trained from our childhood to take care of babies and our bodies and clothes and hair and families and work and the house… And life can become a never-ending list of things to do and worry and stress about. And it has consequences: Did you know that women actually suffer from more heart attacks than men? And did you know we tend to ignore the symptoms too?  Because this post is all about humour I want to share one of my favourite sketches with you, starring Elizabeth Banks as someone who does not look like the kind of person who has a heart attack (but actually does):

Now, back to books, and literature. I think you will hear from this book very soon. I have been longing for a non-fiction read for a while, and this sounds just perfect. Meanwhile, I would love to hear if you have read it already, and whether or not you gave a f*ck about it.



  • MarinaSofia

    That looks like a standard morning in my house… I know exactly what you mean, though, and am trying to learn this valuable lessons of caring less about others and their problems…

  • Elle

    One of my very, very best friends once unwittingly gave me a mantra to live by: “NMFP”, short for “Not My Fucking Problem”. I was with an emotionally abusive (and needy) man for several years and after the astonishing stress of trying to manage someone else’s inconsistent and unpredictable emotions, “NMFP” became my lifeline. Sarah Knight sounds like exactly my kind of woman.

    • Elena

      Thank you very much for sharing your story, Elle. It means a lot that you openly talk about it – I am sure it will help someone.

      As for NMFP… I want it. I want to be able to do it. But it takes a while to unlearn what we’ve been taught to do, right?

      I hope to see you back soon, your comment has made my day x

      • Elle

        It is so hard to unlearn what we’ve been taught to do. I can feel myself doing it every day: asking about other people, trying to make them feel better, assuming responsibility for a social event going well or badly when in fact there are half a dozen other people there whose behaviour will also affect the atmosphere… It’s huge, it’s everywhere. But being conscious of it means being able to do something about it eventually.

        • Elena

          I HEAR YOU. Sorry for that excesive enthusiasm, but it’s one of those days…

          And yes, knowledge gives you freedom to choose, you’re right. It’s quite a privilege these days!

  • Rikki

    Oh, great! This sounds like my kind of book. MUST get this! Actually I am already in a pretty good condition when it comes to not giving a f*ck about a lot of things, but the book might perfect my already remarkable skills.
    I think the white cover is on purpose, because, well, you know, you don’t give a f*ck about it getting dirty, 🙂

    • Elena

      Rikki, aren’t you the best? I have missed you! I have remarkable skills as well to not give a f*ck about many things, but not others, especially when it’s beloved ones asking for constant help. I have recently been told I was ‘rude and selfish’ after refusing to help – for the millionth time – a beloved one with a work issue (it’s your job, LEARN how to use a computer and USE it, it’s Microsoft Word!!!). However, sometimes it is hard to listen to those things. I accept any kind of tips!

      And of course I don’t give a f*ck about the book getting dirty! 😛

      • Rikki

        I’m all for helping people but not for the umpteenth time with the same thing. So what if they call you selfish and rude! Once you accept that selfish and rude doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing (coming from the wrong people), you’re all set. I think the secret is to know yourself and accept it.

        • Elena

          I’m hiring you as a coach/therapist RIGHT NOW. I can’t afford to do it, you probably wouldn’t do it, but I thought it’d be wise to let you know!

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