Sunday, November 13, 2011

"Four Word Self Help: simple wisdom for complex lives" by Patti Digh

The blurb on the back of this book claims that this little gift book contains "pithy, provocative, poignant advice on a variety of topics - in four well-chosen words". It's an interesting idea, and yes, it's a good idea for a gift book. I would probably look at this for someone changing careers, going through a life change, or perhaps a new graduate (either high school or college).

But is the advice really that good? Well, yes and no. A lot of it is common sense, like "eat less, move more" and "let someone help you". There are a few that are different, like "protect each other's dignity". There are a few pages of the pithy advice interspersed between the chapter introductions written by the author. The chapters are divided into "twelve hot-button 'issues'", and I suppose the author's words about each issue are interesting in and of themselves. I did appreciate that she uses artwork created by friends and readers; some of it is very inspiring.

Overall, though, this book left me a bit disappointed. It has a been-there-done-that feel to it, and I guess I was just hoping for more. Perhaps less of the intros and more of the 4-word advice pages? Not really sure. I'm just glad we had it in our library system; if I had paid for this for myself, I would be experiencing buyer's remorse now.


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