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Do 'self help' books help?

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Antiquitie's Friend
I've read 'Man's search for meaning' by Dr Viktor Frankl, who was a guy who tried to find meaning in his life whilst being in a concentration camp and I've just got his other book "The Doctor and the soul" and even after 2 pages of it I was really impressed, for example:

"We have seen that an appeal to continue life, can be made only when such survival appears to have a meaning. A meaning which can be realized by this person alone. For we must never forget that every man is unique in the universe"

I really like this as I think many self help books try to say "here is a solution that works for everyone", and it clearly doesn't. However, although these books are thought provoking and inspiring I don't think they in anyway helped me. So if anyone can recommend a really good book they've read which actually helped them I'd be interested to hear from you, please provide a quote or two!
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The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Its in a form almost like a fairy tale, (reminded me of Stephen King's Dark Tower series in that the world is the same one we live in, but is still a reality that doesn't exist) but a kid definitely wouldn't understand very much of its meaning. I liked its style a lot, but I liked its themes even more.
I felt like I appreciated the world more after I read it, I also felt like it would be easier to let go of a lot of the things that made me feel bad, it tells you about a philosophy, it tells you to follow your heart (all metaphorically of course), and tries to show you why you won't be happy if you take end results too seriously, whether it be work, love, dreams, etc.
I could say it was perfect for me and maybe that's why I liked it so much, but then it has sold some extreme number of copies on the order of 50 million in 13 translations, so I guess it worked for other people too.
*Minor Spoiler*: Theres a sort of theme that says things will be fine as long as you go with the flow. Greed would make you want what everyone else wants, but each of us really wants something unique to us, and it's pursuing that which will make you happy. One quote I remember is in that book and another of his as well--"when you follow your heart's desire, the entire universe conspires to help you get it."
Again I wouldn't specifically call it a self help method but I believe most of us struggle against society's expectations and this story helps you realize that makes you unhappy.
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Well, I'll admit that StPatty's response is more endearing to the author than mine would be. I'll give Coelho credit for being inspirational to a large audience though. Here - maybe it will do the same for some of you.


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I've never read any self help books which have helped me. The books which have influenced me and helped me the most have been books about revolution.


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