Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.

When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review, courtesy of the Midwest Book Review:

what I've learned

What I’ve Learned : An Encyclopedia of Perpetual Bullshit

by Christopher Heist

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478742487

Synopsis (from Amazon):

What I’ve Learned: An Encyclopedia of Perpetual Bullshit covers topics that affect us every single day, as seen through the eyes of Chris Heist. Just like you, he’s a nobody that wants to be a somebody. So he set out to write this book, losing two jobs, an apartment, and a marriage along the way.
In this book you’ll learn how to properly reject etiquette, how to legally stare into your neighbor’s windows, how to properly support suicide, how to make sense out of idiotic laws, how to insult people’s mothers, how to piss off religious people, how to write a screenplay, how to use taboo words without getting your ass kicked, how to play drinking games, how to handle holidays, how to use the bible to avoid paying child support, how to spot a scumbag boss, how to disgust hotel staff, how to behave online, how to deal with addiction, how to properly be patriotic, how to skip high school, how to say impolite things in German, how to choose heroes, and how to enjoy what you have with the time you have to enjoy it.
In his small circle of friends, he is both a legend and an asshole. But now, Christopher T. Heist can invade the lives of complete strangers as he shares his twisted perspective of everything he’s been exposed to. And yes, nothing is sacred. As a self-proclaimed actor, activist, poet, porn star, comedian, screenwriter, atheist, author, body-builder, recovered addict, part-time alcoholic, part-time racist, leader, winner, loser, counselor, ex-soldier, runner, bicyclist, laborer, prisoner, freethinker, singer, rapper, boxer, criminal, pimp, victim, street fighter, dirty fighter, dealer, director, graduate, guardian, sucker puncher, lover, photographer, model, artist, father, inventor, slave to the system, and all around survivalist; you may find yourself nodding in agreement to some of the crazy shit he hammers out in this book.

Critique:

A unique compendium, What I’ve Learned: An Encyclopedia of Perpetual Bullshit is a compelling read from first page to last. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, What I’ve Learned is as informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking. A seminal work of iconoclastic relevance to the world we all live in, What I’ve Learned is very highly recommended and instructive reading.

reviewed in the Reviewer’s Choice section of Midwest Book Review ]

Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:

This is a 782 page epic, filled with the musings, memories and meditations of one, Christopher T. Heist. Christopher touches on an assortment of topics, in alphabetical order, from Abortion and Addiction, to Video Games and “Ya’ Momma'” jokes. This book covers the entire spectrum of life, growing up as a wild child Philadelphia, PA and becoming a man abroad. Christopher Heist’s debut is clearly filled with passion and zeal, as he runs through the gauntlet of his life’s meaning and the messages that he wants to communicate with other “30-somethings” and a younger generation who are in the process of navigating their souls through this crazy world, or have already been through some crazy bulls***.

This book has made me laugh out loud and also connect with Christopher like a kindred soul. Not only are we from the same city, but we also both grew up in the same neighborhood and went to some of the same local schools. In fact, Chris’s mother used to babysit myself and my younger brother when we were very little kids, and I can even remember playing with Star Wars action figures and watching “Fraggle Rock” on HBO at Chris’s house. Our age and our circumstances aren’t exactly the same, but our philosophies, experiences and our defiance against the mundane nature of the current social and political orders that surround us, all line up in the same brackets.

This book is like a time machine, which takes the reader back in time to the 1980’s and in to the mind of an above average intelligence, lower middle class white kid, growing up in a racially mixed neighborhood, being raised by a family of hard working, stressed out and exhausted parents while trying to keep up with the pace and pressures of school, friends, bullies, gangs, drugs, thugs and violence that started to over take the neighborhood as the 1980’s became the 1990’s. I call this book “epic”, because of the vast scope of topics and issues that Christopher tackles in this book. It is an excellent read, and perhaps I am biased, because we both hail from the same global coordinates, but even if I grew up in some far away land, I would still love reading this book.

I’m looking forward to having my book signed and I hope that this book will help to launch Christopher T. Heist’s writing, sensibilities, philosophies, wisdom and his perspective in front of the eyes of as many fellow “bipedal apes” as possible.

– Amazon Reviewer mightydragoninc

If you have picked up What I’ve Learned expecting some enlightening book about life and the meaning and purpose of life, why we are here and what you need to do to enjoy life then you found the wrong book. If you picked it up for a humorous look at life, with a slightly irreverent tone and some sarcasm then you definitely found the right book! Author Christopher T. Heist takes a conversational approach and writes a book that flows from topic to topic about life, what he has experienced and been through, yet without the rose-colored glasses that most people tend to write with. This book tells it like it is, with a slightly irreverent, sarcastic and humorous tone.

What I’ve Learned flows more as one person talking to another than having a typical book like structure which makes it feel more casual and friendly. It also lends itself well to the whole concept of the non-serious and funny tone of the book. The subtitle of the book is An Encyclopedia of Perpetual Bullshit, that alone ought to tell you this is not going to be a serious tome! Author Christopher T. Heist takes a natural look at everything that comes to his minds, and lets it all flow out as it comes. This is a fun read and something that would be a great airplane ride read. It’s an adult book, although older teens would be fine reading it, and its just something fun and enjoyable with a little of everything.

– Goodreads Reviewer Michelle Randall


saturday self-published book review

Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space every Saturday!

Self Publishing Advisor

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