Steven Joseph’s The Crankatsuris Method: A Grownup Guide to Effective Crankiness, is an exploration of everyday struggles and how to effectively overcome them. What helps set Joseph’s book apart is both its humorous approach to the subject as well as its acknowledgment of crankiness as a natural part of the human condition.
If you think acknowledging the healthiness of being cranky is an odd way to premise a book on overcoming life’s adversities, then buckle up – that’s just the tip of the Crankatsuris iceberg. To understand Joseph’s thoughtful treatise on life, you must first understand what the Crankatsuris is.
Joseph describes the Crankatsuris as a contraction of “cranky” and “tsuris.” For non-Jewish readers, you’ll be excused if you’re unfamiliar with tsuris. Tsuris, explains Joseph, is the Yiddish word for problems. Not little, everyday problems, but the big ones that arise in life – the kind of problems anyone would dread to face.
However, it is also Joseph’s contention that, in real-life practice, the smaller, everyday problems we face can collectively add up over time into a perfectly legitimate tsuris. When that happens, enter the Crankatsuris.
The Crankatsuris is that outpouring of expression that builds up within us and cries out for expression – if for no other reason than our own sanity at times. This may sound like good therapy to anyone who has ever been in therapy, and not a new concept – though it is most certainly sound advice.
However, the true innovation Joseph brings to his readers is the separation of this outpouring from the core of the individual. In more simple terms, Joseph not only assures us that this outpouring is natural and healthy, but also that it is not fundamentally who we are as a person – simply a natural expression of our anger and frustration.
The Crankatsuris is seen as something external we create in order to release our negative emotions and cleanse ourselves of them. In so doing, it allows us to re-center and achieve peace. In consciously recognizing and validating the Crankatsuris, Joseph gives us a roadmap of sorts to identifying the different types of tsuris we will face in life and how to constructively and positively channel and release those problems.
Lest you start to feel the impending weight of a philosophical treatise, rest easy knowing you’ll be guided on your self-exploration by the witty, humorous prose that is a hallmark of Joseph’s work. Author of the Mom’s Choice Award-winning The Last Surviving Dinosaur: The TyrantoCrankaTsuris, Joseph has a gift for turning the complex into the self-evident, and a disarmingly friendly manner that engages all from children to the crankiest of jaded readers.
Joseph describes himself as a first-generation American, son of a Holocaust Survivor, attorney, negotiator, speaker, author, and fully-cured overweight person. That last, you’ll have to explore for yourself within the book as Joseph weaves a colorful tale of trying to battle his weight in a traditionally Jewish household where food is very much an expression of love and family.
Learn more about Steven Joseph at The BookFest on October 24, 2020.