Book Review: Choose Yourself by James Altucher



I started reading Choose Yourself by James Altucher after hearing about it in a YouTube video I was watching. In the video they mentioned “idea sex” and that sounded interesting!

It’s hard to explain what this book is about… it’s about choosing yourself – but not in a selfish, “me first” sort of way. It’s more about not waiting around for someone to choose you for something, rather choosing yourself for it. For example, rather than waiting for a publisher to choose your book for publishing, you choose yourself and self publish. Rather than waiting for someone to come along and hire you, you set up your own business. 

This book is so much more than just that though, and contains loads of ideas and advice. It also puts forward an interesting hypothesis: the idea that the world is changing; work is changing. The jobs many of us used to do just don’t exist any more. The answer? Come up with an awesome idea, and start your own business. Rather than looking for the ideal job, create the ideal job!

The ideas in this book really appealed to me. I went out on my own because as a single parent, I wanted hours that would fit around my time with S. What I’ve ended up with is hours that fit around S and work that I enjoy and am more motivated to do than any other job I’ve ever had. 

And now, the idea sex! The basic premise is that you can have lots of mediocre ideas but if you combine two of them, you might come up with an absolutely outstanding one. The example used in the book is Facebook: it combines stalking and the internet. And Twitter: combine the Internet with the old SMS character limit. Neither sounds brilliant on paper, do they? And yet…

This book has loads of lists. A list of ideas, a list of reasons to do something, a list of examples, a list of habits. That makes it really easy to read because the text is essentially split into short paragraphs. The style and language also make it an easy read. No unnecessarily complicated sentences or showy long words. It’s written in the same way Altucher speaks in his podcast – which you should definitely check out, if you’ve not heard it before.

Like last week’s book, this one is great for anyone who feels a bit stuck or lost in their life, as if they’re not sure where to go next. I would recommend it to anyone as it has the potential to be life changing.

 Thanks for reading.

You can read my other book reviews here.



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Vicky is a single mother, a blogger, a podcaster and a social media trainer. You can find her blogging, business and social media tips at

  • Catherine @ Story Snug


    I'm intrigued by the 'idea sex' concept and combining not so good ideas to make a great one, it sounds relevant to all areas of life :) #readwithme Catherine @ Story Snug recently posted...Storybook WitchesMy Profile

  • Jo Laybourn


    Sounds like a good read Vicky and completely relevant to todays society! Jo Laybourn recently posted...Pumpkins Pumpkins EverywhereMy Profile

  • chantelle hazelden


    I do love a good list!! I like the idea of choosing me but not in a way that leaves others behind! thanks for sharing with #readwithme chantelle hazelden recently posted...Aliens Love Dinopants Book ReviewMy Profile

  • Anita Cleare


    Love the image of ideas sex - I am busy crashing together random thoughts in my head to see if any of them make the earth move for me!! #readwithme Anita Cleare recently posted...Working mums: to work or not to work? That isn’t the question…My Profile

    1. Vicky Charles


      Brilliant! Do come back and let me know if you come up with any idea love children!

  • Amy 2boy1mum


    Excuse me while I put random thoughts together all evening! Amy 2boy1mum recently posted...Halloween Books for PreschoolersMy Profile

    1. Vicky Charles


      haha it's a fun game!

  • Kyles @ Pickles and Pords


    This sounds like a really inspiring book. It's so true that you have to back yourself to succeed. Idea sex is an interesting way to think about those examples, but it's quite apt really isn't it? I'm going to try and drop that one into conversation today ? #readwithme Kyles @ Pickles and Pords recently posted...Ode to a LibraryMy Profile

    1. Vicky Charles


      lol do it! I'd love to see people's reactions!

  • Yet Another Blogging Mummy!!!


    Idea sex. Now that sounds really intriguing #readwithme Yet Another Blogging Mummy!!! recently posted...The Blackthorn Key – book review and giveawayMy Profile

    1. Vicky Charles


      it's a great term isn't it!

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