The NSW Writers’ Centre
Just Like That! How to Get Anything You Want
By Janet Poole
Review by Alicia Thompson
This self-published website-supported book treads a familiar self-help path covering off on the topics of learning to love one’s self, forgiveness, positive affirmations and the like. While the subject matter doesn’t tend to change in these kinds of books, the structure and approach in imparting the information can vary greatly.
Just Like That! is lucidly written with a warm matter-of-fact tone which makes it approachable and easy to read. One of the attractive features is how Poole breaks up the text with salutary quotes to lighten up the subject matter and create a lighter level of interest. Poole also uses case studies in comic sans-like font to illustrate her points and these also act as a time-out from the straight telling and instructing.
At the end of each chapter are summarised learning points and exercises to apply and grow the knowledge. A less usual feature of self-help books such as this is Poole’s application of quantum physics to explain and support some of the concepts she discusses. She even draws on scientific experiments that appear to support more intuitive conclusions. While some readers may find these examples a stretch too far, it does illustrate Poole’s ability to provide a fresh angle on familiar material.
I found the first few chapters a little repetitive, but I reminded myself that repetition and reinforcement are tried and tested teaching methods, and the author has certainly done her homework on this front. Just reading the book and immersing myself in Poole’s positive thinking methods made me feel lighter and more positive myself; which means I’ll certainly be dipping back into it in the future.
Alicia Thompson is a Sydney writer currently studying for her Masters in Creative Writing at UTS.