Before I get into the review, I should note a few things:
- How I got this book: a marketing company in Dublin graciously gave me a free copy of this book to review.
- I don’t personally know the author or the person who gave me the book.
- This is an honest review so please limit any negative comments if you disagree.
- I hate reviews that basically reveal everything, leaving nothing else to discover; it should come as no surprise that I won’t be giving up the 37 steps in this book. If you want them, you can read the book yourself!
- The book is a light, 179 page read.
This is a book about finding inner peace. Who doesn’t want that? I gave this book: 3/5.
Burgess has a lot of great advice to offer and provides practical exercises for his readers. Yes, the book does touch on religion a lot but that doesn’t mean there isn’t practical advice for someone needing peace. Examples of good advice are: acknowledge that you have the power to choose (41), watch comedies (49), meditate (63), and consciously challenge the validity of your daily routine (162). The most important chapter for me was Chapter 35 regarding fear (165). Unfortunately, though he offered a lot of great advice, there were some ideas that I didn’t agree with. He states that “we are all innocent human beings” (25) and we shouldn’t feel guilty (56). I really disagree here. Some people should feel guilty. Child molesters, murderers, wife beaters, bullies, I’m talking to you! Also, contrary to Burgess, I believe that our time is precious (99).
Note to writers: don’t ever discount your personal story because it is the one thing in your life that is truly unique. Use it and tell it. I gave the book 3 stars because I wish Burgess had written more about the struggles he had faced. He mentions suicidal ideations, divorce, “sexual failure, desperation, neediness, a dependence on alcohol”, and so on (15). Unfortunately, I couldn’t connect emotionally because there weren’t any details. I think transparency would have made Burgess more credible. After all, why should I believe that you have the keys to inner peace, just because you say you’ve survived the storm? He does offer impressive details about his professional background and it’s credible stuff! He should’ve used that to market himself. He was a “Royal Air Force Weapons Engineer, Bomb Disposal Technician, driving instructor, dance teacher, cricket coach, consultant to 251 businesses, factory worker, and a paper boy” (131). Also, there were grammatical errors that interrupted my flow while reading.
Like Burgess says, “The best guidance comes from within, learn to listen to your heart and tune in” (13). And tune in, we should!