‘SHINE’ – Book review: Self-help from a comedian and a Doctor of Happiness

SHINE! What a great name for a book and a great mantra for life.

Shine book self help

I have read plenty of self-help styled books over the years, all with a view to getting more out of my career and my personal life too. Yes, I have seven habits across a four day work week, I regularly win friends and influence people as a one minute Manager, and I’m still trying to lose my poor dad and find my rich dad (he’s the richest man in Babylon). No such luck as yet though.

Shine is a new book written by Dr Andy Cope and Gavin Oattes, a Scottish stand-up comedian and England’s first ever Doctor of Happiness – quite an eclectic mix. The book is described by the authors as ‘self-help comedy’ and is a tour through the issues that we face on a daily basis, everything from social media, 24/7 news and tech, and their impact on our lives and relationships.


The book is written in an informal and friendly way, with the odd sweary word thrown in for effect, and it flows into a rhythm as if you are talking to a mate. That was quite refreshing if I’m honest, and it is a very funny book – this helps as it is a pretty serious subject when you strip everything away. I’ve read books on a similar theme for more than fifteen years (yes I’m still trying to find the answer to life) and this was one of the fastest I have read cover to cover. I whipped through the book because it becomes the sort of book that you tell yourself – ‘Just one more page…’


The book is co-authored, and the two authors jump back and forth seamlessly throughout the text. I’ve read books that are co-authored and are often problematic, either reading as if there is just one person writing it (I would guess often because there is) or they read in a clunky tone, as you are moving between two very different author styles. I’m happy to tell you that Andy and Gavin do a great job of establishing their own tone, but in a consistent way that doesn’t interrupt the enjoyment of the book; in fact, it adds to it. It reads as if two mates are


There isn’t a plot as such, but the book talks through rediscovering your energy, happiness and purpose by dealing with the day to day nonsense more appropriately. Some of the subjects covered include ‘Fake Stress’, ‘Busyness Disease’ and ‘Irritable Bastard Syndrome’, as well as practical tips to bounce back from criticism, creating a 25th hour per day and more.


I really enjoyed reading this book, I finished it in about two or three sittings and have given it to my wife to read it through – she suffers from Busyness Disease and IBS (not that kind, the one mentioned in the paragraph above) as I certainly do too, and she feels confident that this could help her.

You can buy Shine from Amazon here, I would recommend you give it a whirl!

Note: I received a promotional copy but no payment for this review. The promotional copy didn’t influence my views in any way.

Shine book tour
I was delighted to be asked to join the Blog Tour for the launch of the book. Check out the other reviewers!


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