Book Review: Helen Kobek’s Everyday Cruelty: How to Deal With its Effects without Denial, Bitterness or Despair

Everyday Cruelty: How to Deal With its Effects without Denial, Bitterness or Despair (first published in 2014) is finally available through Audible! Brilliant and timely, it is a masterpiece of observation, research and writing. Kobek has hit one out of the park with her first book, and has teamed up with Juliet Jones, a narrator who couldn’t be more perfect for the job. Our most underappreciated problems are coherently clarified, and a wide variety of solutions are presented. Kudos!

Photo Description: Helen Kobek’s book “Everyday Cruelty” is placed flat on top of a red notebook in the background, at a slight angle, with a blue pen (tipped with a red grip-eraser) clipped to the book’s cover at an angle, extending beyond the top and left cover edges. Suggests reading with pen in hand: courtesy of Helen Kobek.

How much of your best energy and limited time do you spend dealing with everyday cruelty? A clerk gives you a hard time about returning a purchase, though the store policy is “no questions asked;” a driver deliberately cuts you off in traffic or a colleague belittles your humanity or spirituality because you have different tastes in music.

We pride ourselves for trudging through a world full of these so-called “minor annoyances.” But, Their cumulative and long-term impacts on our lives and health are anything but minor. Kobek calls these virtually ubiquitous events, which are often over before we know what hit us or can determine how to respond, “the hardest thing about being alive.” We are experiencing, in her words, “an epidemic of unhappiness.”

Everyday Cruelty tackles a timely and thorny subject. Kobek has created a no-holes-barred, well-written masterpiece that fleshes out a tangled problem with clarity and leaves the reader enlightened and empowered. Drawing from critical thinkers from the past as well as her own insights, she presents a road map for dealing with our greatest challenges. Her suggestions illuminate a variety of roads to success that will suit a myriad of preferences and needs.

Author Bio: Helen Kobek

Helen Kobek is an eclectic, award-winning author/writer whose coverage includes social connection, relationship with nature, disability, and health. Her book Everyday Cruelty: How to Deal with Its Effects without Denial, Bitterness, or Despair (2014) was inspired by her awareness of the prevalence of addiction and social strains in humanity, and is an offering of hope for the betterment of our lives. Her diverse essays have appeared and been featured in magazines and newsletters with both national and local readership. Kobek is an independent journalist for CCTV Cambridge News, where she covers local/topical news and public interest stories, as she educates, comforts, and entertains her readers with such how-to topics as gently encouraging wayward birds to leave your house, grieving the unjust felling of a healthy neighboring 100 year-old tree, preventing the loss/pickpocketing of your wallet, and bringing a newborn baby to safety when the parents are not able to take care of her/him.

Helen kobek received her B.S. degree in Communication Disorders from Emerson College (Boston, MA), became an expert phonetician, and for decades has used her education as an accent modification instructor, teaching people from all over the world how to be understood. She lives in Cambridge, MA with her spouse Jules Kobek, and enjoys her free time being in nature, hosting improv comedy game events, and advocating for local trees.

Links to Helen Kobek’s Everyday Cruelty

Download your copy of Kobek’s Everyday Cruelty: How to Deal With its Effects without Denial, Bitterness or Despair. put your feet up and allow Audible narrator Juliet Jones to enlighten and empower you with her strong but gentle rendering of this excellent book. Or, pick up a copy in your choice of print, large print or Kindle editions. Then, let me know what you think. Better yet, let Helen know.

“I would love to hear from you! You can contact me at:”

Visit/Like Helen’s Everyday Cruelty Facebook page:

Audible edition

Amazon Print & Kindle Editions

Large print edition

About Donna W. Hill

Donna W. Hill is a writer, speaker, animal lover and avid knitter from Pennsylvania's Endless Mountains. Her first novel, The Heart of Applebutter Hill, is an adventure-mystery with excursions into fantasy for general audiences. Professionals in the fields of education and the arts have endorsed it as a diversity, inclusion and anti-bullying resource for junior high through college. A songwriter with three albums, Hill provided educational and motivational programs in the Greater Philadelphia area for fifteen years before moving to the mountains. Her essay, "Satori Green" appears in Richard Singer's Now, Embracing the Present Moment (2010, O-Books), and her cancer-survivor story is in Dawn Colclasure’s On the Wings of Pink Angels (2012). From 2009 through 2013, Hill was an online journalist for numerous publications, covering topics ranging from nature, health care and accessibility to music, knitting and chocolate. She is an experienced talk show guest and guest blogger and presents workshops about writing and her novel for school, university, community and business groups. The Heart of Applebutter Hill is available in print and e-versions at Amazon, B&N, Apple, Sony, Smashwords, Create Space and other outlets. It is also available through Bookshare for readers with print disabilities.
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5 Responses to Book Review: Helen Kobek’s Everyday Cruelty: How to Deal With its Effects without Denial, Bitterness or Despair

  1. Helen Kobek says:

    Wow! Wonderful, Donna! This is special and honorific! When I have time tomorrow, I’ll send it around on social media. Thank you! ! More soon, Helen


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Helen Kobek says:

    Hi, Donna…I’m getting a lot of nice feedback on your piece, including one reader who noted that you “got it,” which you do… so many readers read the book and just see the list of strategies… you see the whole. So many thanks, best wishes, and will keep in touch. Warmly, Helen

    Liked by 3 people

    • Helen, thank you for sharing this. I’m happy you’re hearing good things, and I appreciate the compliments on what I wrote.


    • Hi Helen, It is an honor and pleasure to meet you here. I love this title of your book, and I love what I am reading from some of the people responding to Donna’s post about it. As a woman who grew up with childhood abuse in a number of forms, I have thought a lot about this issue of God and faith and healings a lot, and finally ended up putting God or anything related on the shelf for a good many years. Now here I am at 77, and I have lived through so many different things that could have, and perhaps should have ended my life, and yet here I am still standing. These experiences/lessons, as painful and long-lasting as they have been, have given me good cause to wonder about the lessons of life, why we are here and what we perhaps should be doing in the way of dealing with some of these things. I am mixed in my beliefs related to God, Gods, or some form of spirituality, I see, if you will, the seemingly miracles of this earth, and the beauty, and the power of nature and the earth and universe itself, and I wonder if I can ever hope to really understand it all in this lifetime. Perhaps it just is, and perhaps it is I who am lacking in some way that I cannot ever see because I am standing too close to me. Thank you for addressing this situation, and I am looking forward to finding and reading your book. I have not been able to read a lot of just reading books these last years because I was getting a degree in Criminal Justice, hoping to become an advocate/mentor for juvenile delinquents, but that did not happen because I had cancer in the last year that I got my degree, and I guess my age has prevented that too. But it is possible that there is still a way for me to do something once again to help others, which I have tried to do all my life. And I am hungry to read and learn still. So our paths may soon meet again. Meanwhile, thank you for the thought you have put into this subject. I am certain that it is one that haunts us all, regardless of whether we are sighted or not. There is a form of blindness that one cannot repair medically or with glasses that all of us perhaps suffer from. Anne


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