Book Club: The Gifts of Imperfection

To me, being a superhero goes beyond the physical — parkour-like skills, lean muscles, and never-quit attitude in the face of adversity. A true superhero is also emotionally and mentally fit: balanced, secure, and optimistic. That combination of the physical and mental is what defines a complete badass.I’ve been reading Brene Brown’s blog Ordinary Courage for a few months, ever since Dave read and recommended her book The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. I’m ready to dig into her very popular, well-received book and thought y’all might like to join me. (Our virtual book club around Primal Body, Primal Mind was a success, so I’m ready to do it again.)


Here are links to all three discussion from our book club:

Discussion #1
Discussion #2
Discussion #3


How It Works

If you’d like to join us, all you need to do is get a copy of the book The Gifts of Imperfection and start reading. It would be great if you could post to comments to let me know you’re officially in. I think it would be fun to know how many of us are reading together – and it would be nice to let Brene Brown know about the discussion group we’ll soon have going over here.

The Timeline

The book is a breezy 138 pages, divided into “Guideposts” instead of chapters. Here’s how we’ll break it up for our discussion:
Pages 1-48 (intro pages up to the beginning of Guidepost #1) – Monday, February 13
Pages 48-85 (Guidepost #1 though Guidepost #4) – Monday, February 20
Pages 86-130 (Guidepost #5 throrugh the end) – Monday, February 27

For our discussion, I’ll post a few questions to you to get the ball rolling, and you can post to comments to share your thoughts.

About The Gifts of Imperfection

Here’s the blurb from Amazon:

Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we’d no longer feel inadequate. So most of us perform, please, and perfect, all the while thinking, “What if I can’t keep all of these balls in the air? Why isn’t everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations? What will people think if I fail or give up? When can I stop proving myself?”

In her ten guideposts, Brown engages our minds, hearts, and spirits as she explores how we can cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection…

More From Brene Brown

Watch Brown’s TED presentation on “The Power of Vulnerability”

Read the Ordinary Courage blog

Visit the Brene Brown web site

Buy The Gifts of Imperfection at Amazon


Time to Commit

If you’re in, please post to comments and let us know…


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123 Responses to “Book Club: The Gifts of Imperfection”

  1. CathyL says:

    Sounds like the perfect read for me … thanks for the tip, and hopefully I will remember to participate in the discussion. Thanks also for the amazing cookbook … got me out of my rut and back to enjoying paleo cooking. (And my husband profusely thanks you for the Scotch Eggs recipe — I am now required to make a double batch every Sunday, so he has grab-and-go breakfast food.)

  2. Steve says:

    I’m in. Book headed to my Kindle as I type this.

  3. Lisa James says:

    I’m in…looking forward to it! :.))

  4. Leigh Ann says:

    I’m totally in! I love Brene Brown – reading her other book now, I Thought It Was Just Me, and anxiously awaiting to read The Gifts of Imperfection.

  5. Michelle D. says:

    I’m in just ordered it.

  6. Sarah S says:

    I’m in! Just picked up the book but haven’t had time to read it, this will definitely make me dive into it!

  7. Lynn M says:

    I’m in! Just have to get my hands on the book!

  8. Ahoutsma says:

    I just finished “The gifts of imperfection” a few months ago and it was life changing. I especially like her calls to “dig deep” when it comes to engaging in activities that relax and rejuvenate you. I have always reserved my “dig deep” energy for working harder and hadn’t considered the need to play harder. I now find myself “digging deep” and moving away from mindless web surfing to running that weekday bubble bath or enjoying a good book on audio while creating in the kitchen. I admire Brene Brown’s research background and how she is inspiring others to live a more connected, compassionate, and courageous life from that work.

    It’s a highly recommended read.

  9. Amanda says:

    I am in!! Just bought it on amazon!

  10. Ms Jane says:

    Me too xxx

  11. Jessica says:

    This sounds like exactly what I need right now. I’m in.

  12. Danielle says:

    I LOVE Brene’s work and took her Ordinary Courage e-course last year reading her first book ‘I thought it was just me’ which was amazing so would love to join this. I will be listening to the book on Audible, can you let me know what the breakdown of the pages relates to in terms of chapters?

    Can’t wait to join in and looking forward to receiving my Well Fed book soon as well!

    Thanks Mel!

  13. Lisa James says:

    I downloaded her book onto a Kindle which doesn’t tell me which page I am on (it tell me percentage of the book that’s read instead) … can anyone that has the book in hand tell me what chapter or title of the chapter starts page 48? Thank you so much!

  14. Lily says:

    Count me in! Just downloaded it.

  15. Mel says:

    YAY! I’m glad you guys are excited to join me.

    Sorry about the pages vs. Guideposts thing. Here’s the breakdown:

    Pages 1-48 (intro pages up to the beginning of Guidepost #1) – Monday, February 13

    Pages 48-85 (Guidepost #1 though Guidepost #4) – Monday, February 20

    Pages 86-130 (Guidepost #5 throrugh the end) – Friday, February 27

  16. Andrea says:

    Just downloaded it to my Kindle, I’m in. I have always wanted to participate in a book club but I’m a flight attendant and usually miss too many of the discussion groups…this is perfect for me!

    BTW…I had a super Well Fed day…Egg Foo Yong for breakfast with the secret sauce using the homemade mayo, baked up the Italian Sausage (used ground turkey instead of pork) and Eggplant Strata to have for the week and made the Bora Bora Fireballs for dinner (can I just say you are a genius?). Thanks for such a great cookbook, I truly haven’t had one thing that wasn’t completely fabulous!

    • Mel says:

      The virtual club is fun because you can chime in when you have time and see all the responses. Gald you’re joining us!

      Your Well Fed day sounds super tasty — and yes, you are welcome to call me a genius anytime the spirit moves. Thank you!

  17. Hope says:

    I AM SO IN. Also on Kindle. REALLY looking forward to this! Thanks!

  18. Laura says:

    I’m in!

  19. Chris says:

    I’m in :). Downloaded to my Kobo.

  20. Jeanye says:

    Me! Me! Pick me! :)

    Before I got to the end of the post I was thinking “I’ve got to send Melissa a link to this great TED video I saw recently.” and there at the end of the post it already was.

  21. Mel – I am so in. I think I really need this book.

  22. Trayce says:

    I’m very good at hiding vulnerabilities, so I’m a little nervous, but I wanna play, too!

  23. Dania R. says:

    I’m in! Going old school with paper and ink. Really looking forward to this.

  24. Shelbyw76 says:

    I’m in! Just downloaded it to my iPad!

  25. Lily says:

    I’m in! This book is just what I need.

  26. Joy says:

    I’m in! Looking forward to a good read and discussion :)

  27. Janet says:

    I am in, too! Just downloaded to my iPhone and will start reading tonight. Love your cookbook – making country captain chicken tonight. The Bora Bora Fireballs with Sunshine Sauce were awesome!

  28. Sarah D says:

    I’m in, got it on kindle and ready to GO!

  29. Melissa says:

    Im in! What a great idea :) Thanks!

  30. Karoline says:

    I’m in!

  31. aseafish says:

    I’m in, as well. And kind of jazzed that the second discussion is on my birthday. I’m easy to please.


  32. Susan says:

    I’m in! I’m leaving my corporate job to go back to school and my last day is 2/10 so this works out perfectly. I’m hoping it will aid with this big change.

  33. Susan says:

    Is the last session Monday 2/27 or Friday 2/24? Your note says Friday 2/27.

  34. Ashlee says:

    I’m in – just ordered it and can’t wait for it to be on my doorstep!

  35. Jan M. says:

    I’m in.

  36. Michelle says:

    I’m in. i just read the Kindle preview, and I’m hooked.

  37. Elaine says:

    Just read the Amazon reviews, sounds like something I want in my life. I am in.

  38. Mel says:

    Thank you so much for doing this! I just began the book 2 days ago :) Followed the link here from the author’s twitter.

  39. Diane says:

    I have read and listened to most of brene’s work and would like to re-read “The Gifts” with all of you.

  40. Joy says:

    I just finished reading the book but would love the opportunity to read it with a club. I can tell you this – I got so much out of it the first time around, I know that I will get even more the second.

    Love love love Brene’s work!

  41. Heidi says:

    Have read Gifts of Imperfection, however it was a while ago. Would love to re-read and share thoughts with the group!

  42. Rina says:

    I’m in, too. Just downloaded to Kindle.

  43. Robyn F says:

    Is it to late to join in? Just received it on my kindle. Sounds exactly what I need to read at this point in my life.

  44. Izabela says:

    I’m in too. Just purchased it.

  45. Ann Marie says:

    Wow, just bought the book last week, along with another of her’s, and would love to join in. Thanks for inviting us all. (And by the way, I’m an Austin, Texas gal too.)

  46. Cara says:

    I’m in! Just got the book and ready to go!

  47. deb says:

    I’m in! Thanks for the invite!

  48. Sara says:

    I’m in as well! Thanks for pointing me in the direction of a book that is sure to be thought-provoking.

  49. merrittmarie says:

    I have ordered the book. Looking forward to hearing everyone’s take on the topics in the book!

  50. Amanda Arthur says:

    I’m in!

  51. I’m in!

    Bought the book last night on my Kindle and devoured a quarter of it in one sitting!

  52. Tonja Pizzo says:

    I want to be in the book club!!!

  53. Tonja Pizzo says:

    And look at how Tanja-Paleo Australia spells her name!!! COOL!!

  54. Debbie Grace says:

    I’m so excited! I have only read the first few pages of her book and already I resonate so much with what Brene has to say.

  55. […] “Melicious” Joulwan of The Clothes Make the Girl is hosting a reader book club for the book The Gifts of Imperfection. I just downloaded it this […]

  56. alice says:

    ok, jumping on the band wagon! can’t wait :)

  57. Joanna says:

    I’m in! BTW, Well Fed has a permanent place on my countertop. Your use of spices is just amazing and makes everything so much better!

  58. Mark says:

    Mel…just ordered Brene’s book from Amazon…..count me in. Recently lost 35 lbs through a combination of weight watchers and Paleo living…..learned to change HOW I eat for the first time in my life. I came across your website, ordered the PDF of your book and have made the chili twice in two weeks….it is amazing!!! Looking forward to working through your cookbook….and, by the way, we both share a definite fondness for cumin!

    • Mel says:

      Congratulations on your weight loss — you must feel GREAT! I did WW for a long time, too. I like the structure of the program married to the paleo food. Good stuff.

      YAY for cumin 😉

  59. Beth says:

    I am currently reading the Gifts of Imperfection and was very surprised at how much this book related to my every day life. I finished Guidepost #1 yesterday and just sat there thinking, wow someone else thinks just like me! The book is very good at outlining some of the issues or concerns we face and giving you an example of them and then how to correct your thinking. I look forward to reading along with everyone on here and reading your comments!

  60. Carla says:

    I’m coming to the site for the first time because someone let me know you were doing this book club! Looking forward to it and very grateful to have a community to discuss the book with.

  61. Windy says:

    I’m in!

  62. Amanda says:

    I fell in love with Brene after watching her TED talk. I read The Gifts of Imperfection a year ago and it made a huge impact. I just started to re-read it and am so excited to join the group! Thanks for putting it together!

  63. Rebecca says:

    Count me in! Waiting on my book from Amazon.

  64. Matt says:

    I’ve been on this site a few times for some Paleo inspiration and just stumbled upon this. What a great idea! Count me in.

  65. Sara says:

    I’m in….. just ordered the book so I will be busy reading as soon as I get it. Love Well Fed!

  66. wendi says:

    I’m totally in- this is fabulous!

  67. […] –          The excellent books I’m currently reading – including the fantastic “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown, for a new book club with Melissa “Melicious” Joulwan. […]

  68. Faith says:

    So excited! Just ordered the book (which I’ve been wanting to read) for quite a while!

  69. Tricia says:

    I’m in. Just downloaded it on my kindle.

  70. Jules says:

    I have been meaning to read this for a long time, so I love being committed to a time frame to do so – thanks!

  71. […] I’ve really been wanting to read!  Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection over at The Clothes Make the Girl.  Can’t wait for my book to get here! Share this:EmailPrintFacebookTwitterLike this:LikeBe […]

  72. Connie says:

    I’m in. Just ordered the book from Amazon. Just read Well Fed this weekend. It is the first cookbook I have ever read from cover to cover. Loved it!!!

    • Mel says:

      Thanks so much for reading Well Fed. I love that! Hope you have fun cooking from it, too. Can’t wait to start up our book club and see what everyone has to say about Brene’s book!

  73. Kathryn Nance says:

    Downloading the book today! So excited to join!!

  74. Sara says:

    I’m ready for this.

  75. Denise says:

    I’m in! Looking forward to it!

  76. Worldismyclassroom says:

    Love this book! Just finished it and was wishing for a discussion group to go with it. I’m in!

  77. I’m in. I recently read this book and am excited to re-read with a group discussion component. Thanks for setting this up!

  78. Erin says:

    I’m in!

  79. Amanda says:

    I’m in!

  80. Lindsay says:

    Just finished it. Life-changing. “Hell yes” – I’m in!

  81. Susan Bostic says:

    So in!!!

  82. Anna says:

    a friend just loaned me this!! I’m in!

  83. Julie says:

    Im in too!

  84. Michele says:

    I’m in! Never experienced a virtual book club and this book couldn’t come at a more perfect time!

  85. Sheri says:

    Just downloaded the book on my Nook. Can’t wait to start reading!

  86. Elaine says:

    I’m in! Thx for organizing.

  87. Thank you for starting this. I just finished one book last night so I need a new one and will download this to my kindle now.

  88. Casey says:

    Love Love Love Brene. She speaks to my heart!

  89. Angel says:

    I’m watching the video on TED and this aligns with several conversations I’ve had recently, so count me in, please!

  90. Nancy says:

    I’m in! Should be wonderful!

  91. Meredith says:

    Count me in!

  92. Kirsten G says:

    Perfect timing! Ihave just started it and thought it would be so valuable to read with a group!

  93. Patti says:

    I’m in! Just ordered both of her books from Amazon.

  94. Bridget C says:

    I would love to join. I am greatly looking forward to reading this book!!

  95. Linda says:

    I’m in, love Brene’s books and videos!!

  96. Gordo says:

    Big fan of Brene’s work. Certainly I’m interested. Thanks for this

  97. Aaron says:

    I’m in – had started reading anyway :)

  98. Rach says:

    I’m so in, thanks for hosting this!

  99. Cyndi says:

    I want to do this!

  100. Lori says:

    I am in!! Love Brene Brown!!

  101. Didi says:

    Yeah! Great book – looking forward to sharing with all of you!

  102. Marjorie says:

    I’m in! Looking forward to a good read!

  103. Count me in…one more Tanya in the mix, what can go wrong? I am looking forward to this! :)

  104. Laura Meadows says:

    Joining too.

  105. Elaine H. says:

    I participated in Brene’ and Jen Leman’s online book club a year ago…and I will be offering my own version in a few weeks. Digging into this work is very important to me.

    I just hosted my first “live” workshop grounded in her work with a dash of Peter Block’s A Small Group process and Chene Swart’s Narrative Therapy.

    Having that behind me opens space for me to show up here. I’m signing up for your book group, too. Count me in.

  106. Ruth says:

    I read the book already, its helped me alot so I am excited about this book club

  107. ginny says:

    sounds great – I took her e-course in the fall and it was life-changing.

  108. Linda says:

    I’m playing “catch-up”…better late than never?! :)

  109. […] put The Circle Maker on a bit of a hold to read a book I ordered so that I could participate in an online book club over at The Clothes Make The Girl for The Gifts of Imperfection.  Man–it is similar to One Thousand Gifts, in that I want to […]

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