Based in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), The Book of Knowing explores the idea that our thinking is the key to managing our feelings, and the element of ourselves and lives over which we have the most control. Smith breaks down some complex CBT concepts into manageable chunks, and distils the information further to create memorable summary statements: ‘You cannot change the reality, it just is’; ‘Feelings are not facts’; ‘Choose the thoughts that help you adapt’.
Smith uses a conversational tone, and language which is accessible and relatable. At times this does feel a little unnatural—as if an editor has advised dropping in some swearing and slang to connect with ‘today’s youth’—but the overall effect is to convey important information in a way that doesn’t feel like a lesson at school or a lecture across the dinner-table. The content may be new and challenging for many, but the style allows readers to easily engage with the text.