My forthcoming book, Killing Cool: Slaying the False Self and Finding True Awareness, is a bit of a mongrel. On one level, it’s culture criticism. I identify reasons why people like vampire stories and what is the nature of cool.
On another level, it’s psychology. I describe the personality type that Theodore Roosevelt has in common with the major characters from Quentin Tarantino movies.
But it’s also philosophy, as I offer a worldview that would help one stay true to oneself. For example, I discuss how the world does not contain any spiritual forces outside of those in human consciousness.
Lastly, there is a personal development component to it, insofar as I not only talk about the things that hold people back, but also discuss what to do about them. On this subject I give an example from a 75-year old self-help book, among other things.
This mixture may seem to make the book eclectic, but it does have a unified theme as reflected in the subtitle. It certainly makes it hard to classify. I suppose it belongs in the philosophy section, alongside Ayn Rand and Nietzsche. If there was a general category of “essays,” it might belong in there with George Orwell and Paul Fussell.
Except for purposes of marketing the book, the question of how to classify it does not trouble me. I regard it as a multi-faceted look at one aspect of a single subject: authenticity, that is, being who you are. The diversity of its topics is just a consequence of the complex nature of human life.