Overall rating and opinion of "And Then I Met Margaret"

Use this forum to discuss the January 2018 Book of the Month, "And Then I Met Margaret" by Rob White
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Overall rating and opinion of "And Then I Met Margaret"

Post by gali » 01 Jan 2018, 02:34

This is a discussion topic for the January 2018 Book of the Month, "And Then I Met Margaret" by Rob White.

What is your overall opinion of the "And Then I Met Margaret"? What do you like most about it? What do you like least? Will you recommend the book to other people? Why or why not?

Please remember to add your actual rating using the book's page on Bookshelves.
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by AliceofX » 01 Jan 2018, 05:15

I should probably start by saying that I've never been a fan of self-help type books. I don't really have much to compare this book to, but I'll probably stay away from this genre in the future. What I disliked most about the book was how arrogant the author came off. Maybe I'm just a huge cynic, but I don't believe our destiny is entirely in our hands. There are people who say, "What doesn't kill you make you stronger." To me, that just means you weren't hit hard enough. You could have easily been left cripled and broken, but you weren't. That brings me to the crux of the problem. Sure, the author, like all of us, worked hard to get what he has, but in the end he also had the luck to not be given a heavier burden than he could carry. But then to go on and preach that you can achieve anything if you just work hard ... The world doesn't work like that. The world isn't fair and just. In the end, all we can say is, "There but for the grace of God."

To be completely fair, it was a well-written book with interesting stories. The "myth I believed" at the start of every chapter always made me intrigued, and made me want to continue reading. But in the end I just couldn't get behind the overall moral of the book.

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Post by Al Chakauya » 01 Jan 2018, 07:58

Well, let me start by saying I liked the book so much. Rob has a unique way of sending the message home unlike other ordinary authors. The book has short chapters which makes the book enjoyable, to say the least.

The twenty-one life lessons in the book are nothing new but Rob makes them look new by the casual "tone" he uses throughout the book. The book is written in a way that even those who are not entirely into non-fiction books can enjoy reading. He puts his ideas in a logical and coherent manner which makes the life lessons both credible and compelling. For the aforementioned reasons I recommend the book to anyone from all walks of life.

I never put the book down once I started reading it- which is very rare for me. For me the book is intriguing as Rob tells his stories and those of the " ordinary mentors" he met in his course of life from being a poor town boy to being an abounding entrepreneur. I have no doubt giving the book 4 out of 4 stars, though there are a few grammatical errors.

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Post by fergie » 01 Jan 2018, 10:51

I'm not a big fan of self help books either, but I enjoyed this one. I think it was the stories that kept it interesting, and the fact that the morals and "teachings" from it - which I agree can feel arrogant and patronising in such books - came from everyday people, not gurus. I know what Alex means, and later on in the book, once Rob has made it, the stories did start to feel more like the usual self help books, which preach about how to "make it", which generally means become rich and successful in business. Those were the parts of the book I wasn't so keen on.

The early chapters, where the stories are from childhood and are more general lessons for life were better, and that was the part I enjoyed most. The early chapters, you can dip in and out and just read them as good stories, with strong, well written characters.

However, all through the book, it kept up a well written, easy to read style. The chapters being divided into short, punchy, self contained stories with a myth to start with and reality to end with worked well too, I think.

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Post by lavellan » 01 Jan 2018, 14:09

AliceofX wrote:
01 Jan 2018, 05:15
I should probably start by saying that I've never been a fan of self-help type books. I don't really have much to compare this book to, but I'll probably stay away from this genre in the future. What I disliked most about the book was how arrogant the author came off. Maybe I'm just a huge cynic, but I don't believe our destiny is entirely in our hands. There are people who say, "What doesn't kill you make you stronger." To me, that just means you weren't hit hard enough. You could have easily been left cripled and broken, but you weren't. That brings me to the crux of the problem. Sure, the author, like all of us, worked hard to get what he has, but in the end he also had the luck to not be given a heavier burden than he could carry. But then to go on and preach that you can achieve anything if you just work hard ... The world doesn't work like that. The world isn't fair and just. In the end, all we can say is, "There but for the grace of God."

To be completely fair, it was a well-written book with interesting stories. The "myth I believed" at the start of every chapter always made me intrigued, and made me want to continue reading. But in the end I just couldn't get behind the overall moral of the book.
I agree as well. Toward the beginning of the book I was more interested as the stories seemed to be relatable to me, but as the story went on, he became a total narcissist. I enjoyed that he was willing to point out his flaws, but it seemed like he never really grew out of his self-centered ways. I disliked that the stories all followed the same formula where he encountered a problem, solved it, and then helped someone else. It became very repetitive after a while. It also is pretty easy to say that you can overcome anything when you’ve never encountered any true adversity in life. This book would be enjoyable to casual readers, but it wouldn’t be very helpful to people who have serious problems in their lives.

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Post by MsTri » 01 Jan 2018, 15:01

I haven't read this, but 'Wow', @AliceofX; a self-help book that isn't very helpful, huh? And I know exactly what you mean. All my life, I've heard, "you can be anything you want to be", "follow your dreams", etc. Well, I can guarantee that I never intended to be poor and struggling all the time. Despite reaching reaching reeeeeeeeeeeaching and clamoring for my dreams, here I still am. I agree with you; sometimes life just doesn't give one the tools or opportunities one needs. It's all well and good to give the previous advice, but when so much of life depends on others, especially others in positions of power, what can one really do?

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Post by akeseh » 01 Jan 2018, 17:21

I have just completed a review of this book and about to publish in the private forum. I gave 3 out of 4 stars. Please check my review for the reasons.

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Post by jamiramontez » 01 Jan 2018, 17:34

I really enjoyed reading this book because all of the different stories taught a different lesson. Although the author was writing about the lessons he himself learned from each person he encountered, he really taught me some things about life as well. From reading this book, I learned that you should first and foremost follow your dreams no matter what. I learned that in following your dreams, you will encounter setbacks. How you handle those setbacks will determine whether you will succeed or not. I think that all of us can learn a lesson or two from reading this book, which is a wonderful way to start the New Year!

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Post by Sahani Nimandra » 02 Jan 2018, 01:34

Actually I found this book very inspiring! The author's practical approach on how he understood life and how he practically applied what he learnt from his experience is very fascinating. This book reminded me of things that I know sometime back and it renewed my memory. The approach that he has applied in his book by representing what he believed (knew) with what he learnt and started to believe after his experience helped me to use the same approach in my life. Each chapter had something to say, apart from what the author has learnt, I too saw some theory on my own as additional learnings. I believe this book has something to offer too everyone in different aspects. The book was a bit boring at the introduction but later continued to amuse me and inspire me. Actually I would love to recommend this book to anyone who wishes to be inspired!
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Post by MonirUddin » 02 Jan 2018, 01:45

The book is inspiring and knowledgeable though there was some missing of understanding every part of the story. seemingly that the author wanted to show us how can we follow our dreams and solve the problems.The first chapters are written a quite good way and has given lots of ideas and the ending also very pleasant for me as I am a very big fan of Rob. I always try to read his books what he publishes.

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Post by HouseOfAtticus » 02 Jan 2018, 06:54

To be honest, I felt that the author came off as very arrogant. It kind of reminded me why I don't like books from this genre.

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Post by bluegreenmarina » 02 Jan 2018, 10:30

I haven’t quite gotten around to this one though it has been in my to-read pile forever. I don’t read a ton of self-help but I do enjoy personal anecdotes, which is the format of this particular book it appears. I am a little put off by the comments about the author’s arrogance, however, since that is likely to rub me the wrong way. I’ll still give it a shot though.

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Post by brian360 » 02 Jan 2018, 11:02

I don't read a lot of self-help books but this one motivated me and taught me a lot of things in life like to expect the unexpected. The author started life from scratch and worked all the way to become a real estate owner. Epic

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Post by Insightsintobooks729 » 02 Jan 2018, 11:30

I really enjoyed "And Then I Met Margaret". I liked that each chapter was short and it was easy to read. I felt it was inspirational and would recommend it to others.
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Post by fergie » 02 Jan 2018, 12:54

"This book would be enjoyable to casual readers, but it wouldn’t be very helpful to people who have serious problems in their lives."
I think that's pretty much always true of self help, "motivational" books. There's a huge difference between the "struggle" an intelligent, not to badly off kid leaving a small home town for university has; and the "struggle" that many people facing severe health or poverty issues will have. That's always my issue with these kind of books. They define "success" as wealth and success in business, where for many people "success" is getting through the day.

But that's an issue with the genre - and it's a very popular genre, even among people with huge problems - not this book specifically.

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