Monday, September 9, 2013

The book of (even more) awesome

By Neil Pasricha review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

Having not read the first Awesome book, I had no idea what to expect when I picked up this one. From just the title, I was skeptical; I do not like wasting my time reading silly, purposeless material or books.

You have to know that I was more than pleasantly surprised. There were a number of things that made this book an interesting and worthwhile reading experience.

First, the sections are short, so you can move through the book with great speed. And, too, you can select those segments that appeal to you and leave others alone. One segment does not lead to another nor does any one segment depend on any other. All segments exist independently.

Second, the segments are surprisingly relevant. So many of them (and I mean a lot of them!!!) deal with those brief — in many cases, overlooked — moments in life that we all experience and with which we can all identify. Here’s what surprised me: I can’t believe that someone has his thumb so beautifully and securely touching the pulse of human behavior. It is amazing the wide range of moments that are covered and you — as a reader of this book — will be shocked to discover that so many of those moments that you consider personal (to yourself) and unique (only relevant to you), are far more universal than imagined. It won’t take you long when reading this book to discover this insight.

Third, if anyone were looking for a lexicon of cultural bits and pieces that together compose the fabric of our daily lives, this would be a great place to begin the investigation.

Fourth, this book is a terrific motivator, encourager, and activator. Of course, if your life is dull and lifeless and that’s the way you like it, there is little that a book like this one, or any single source for that matter, can light the fire within you. But, if you like to get charged up, it isn’t just the topics Pasricha covers that make this a worthwhile read, it’s his attitude and approach. Pasricha is delightfully positive and upbeat, and if he is, indeed, as "turned on" by life’s little pleasures, he is certainly the kind of person with whom anyone would like to be associated. He has such a positive approach to life!

Fifth, in a book such as this, it would be easy to get saccharine — sickeningly sappy to the point of nauseating. Pasricha never gets schmaltzy with his descriptions, and what is surprising, with 379 pages (in a small-sized book) you never get tired of reading more of his segments. The material is fresh, the author’s approach is light, friendly, and often funny, and the material is a joy to read.

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