This is a nice book and a lovely sentiment, as the authors use their long life experience to provide practical cognitive solutions to our dealing with everyday problems and insecurities. Looking at the book’s extensive footnotes and other appendix information, they don’t appear to be psychologists or experts in any particular psychiatric field, though their knowledge and approach does seem to hint at a wealth of counselling experience – I don’t know this for sure, though, and it would be nice to see any credentials as such in the bio pages, to afford their book a greater credibility. As it appears, they simply offer motivational advice, using examples and analogies with which we can all relate. The references are presented not as expert sources, but rather simple parables to support the authors’ advice, on each specific basis – the overall objective of which is simply for us all to lead a happier life. Very holistic, How to Get the Best From Life takes a comprehensive approach to our mental wellbeing and self-image, including emotional, spiritual, metaphysical, metaphorical and even philosophical observations. Ultimately, though, the message is the same: letting go of your fear, taking responsibility for your own decisions and making peace with the outcome will make you happier overall, regardless of the consequences (which are, themselves, a cognitive construct).
This is clearly a serious and professional piece of work, incredibly well sourced (and beautifully illustrated, it should be said), with references from all manner of hugely respectable publications and well known historical figures. However, its overall narrative seems somewhat scattergun and disarrayed – this isn’t helped by the punchy, single-sentence paragraphs – and it is difficult to coherently gel it together. I would have liked to see far simpler, linear fluency in the chapters and sub-chapters, each point clearly identifiable by specific category, and with a comprehensive index, for good measure. It makes sense, after all, to keep this as a reference book, to which you can turn and find a very specific point with ease; unfortunately, reading it from cover to cover, as I did, is something of a struggle. I don’t think that English is the authors’ first language, and translation does at times come across as a little simplistic – however, I suspect there is some intent here. Personally, I would opine that the book is best suited to young people of low esteem; the style does seem a little like basic guidance, conscious not to delve too deeply into the psychological academia with which I suspect the authors are, to some degree, acquainted. This has the effect of perhaps implying an assumption of cognitive limitations in its reader.
As I said, though, the book is heartfelt and its intentions are good, and I do hope it and its authors manage to achieve that which they have clearly set out to.
In : Book Reviews
Tags: luis-pisoni aurora-mazzoldi self-help psychology non-fiction