Similar to Finding the Blue Sky, I’m not sure whether this one was great because of its own goodness or because of the three bad ones I read before by Miguel Ruiz.
The publisher, TarcherPerigee sent me an unsolicited copy of this book and I’m glad I read it.* They’ve really got either a good editorial team or a great lineage of what to print because they’ve been much more hit than miss, which I know I’ve mentioned previously.
It’s going to be hard not to compare this one to Finding the Blue Sky for two reasons: I read them back-to-back and they’re very similar. I almost wish the two authors worked together on the book because they both would’ve been strengthened by it.
Where this book really worked was in its division into almost 20 chapters focused on one specific character trait(?). Think of the Boy Scout law: “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.” (Scounting.org). But a little less squeaky-clean. In focusing each chapter on one thing it provided what Emet mentions wanted for his book, where you could just flick it open and read it without having to read the whole of Finding the Blue Sky. Unfortunately, this was better at that because of this.
Where this one fell a little short was with the vignettes for each of the traits. Too many of the stories were personal stories, which I think were useful and definitely pertinent, but they just got old. Every store either began with “I” or “my son.” There’s nothing wrong with this, but diversifying them I think would increase the ability of the reader to relate to the book in our increasingly global/local world. The stories he shares are still pertinent, but in a world with all invasive internet and social media things have changed a little.
I don’t know how much will stick with me, but I know if I ever have a rough time I could easily go back to this book and re-read it again because it used the same parables and legends, just in his own life. (I guess it’s not that bad he only used his own stories).
Recommendation: Check it out. It’s a quick read and you don’t have to read the whole book. You could easily run your finger up and down the table of contents and stop and only read that chapter and then do it again in 6-12 months and gain some incredible insight into yourself and others.
Opening Line: “The little old lady no longer bothered to eat.”
Closing Line: “There is no choice between being kind to others and being kind to ourselves. It is the same thing.” (Not whited out as this is a work of nonfiction.)
*I received a copy of this from the publisher in return for an honest response. No goods or money were exchanged.