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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SPasciuti
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Re: Overall rating and opinion of "And Then I Met Margaret"

Post by SPasciuti » 09 Jan 2018, 00:16

This one surprised me, to tell you the truth. I didn't really have a lot of hope that I would like it--I've never really been big on self-help books in general and that appeared to be the consensus for what And Then I Met Margaret was. I'm pleased to admit that I found myself rather enjoying this read quite a lot.

Though, in a sense, I will say I do agree with MarissaRose about the formulaic setup. I think I found it thoroughly irritating that he was always introducing this thought process that someone else had helped him come to and then giving himself a large pat on the back for bringing those lessons to others. It just...had an almost arrogant tone to it that I wasn't very fond of.

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Post by Mouricia25 » 09 Jan 2018, 01:59

I am not a fan of books in this genre. I haven't quite gotten past the first few pages for this reason. I think if you are lucky to find one that you like and that inspires you, then that's great. I will, however, do my very best to finish.

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Post by Crimsonspectator » 09 Jan 2018, 03:27

To be fair,i have never paid particular attention to the genre of this book before but my overal experience while reading it was pleasant.I found the starting chapter to be relatable and quite candid,it was well writen and the characters were interesting and memorable.Throughtout the reading i noticed the apparent lack of connectivity,i could put it down and continue reading after each story.The latter chapters we’re solid to say the least,but i felt it lacked the spark of the beggining.I may reccomend it.

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Post by Jax14 » 09 Jan 2018, 07:01

I used to read a lot of self-help books but landed up finding most of the authors very condescending. I thought that a lot of the lessons the author learnt from the gurus was in fact common sense. Going back to the restaurant to help the cleaners as he suddenly realised they were part of the team was very strange. Coming from such a small town where people seemed to take any job available (I may be wrong here), surely he would have instilled in him from childhood that everyone adds value in a different way? Surely not every lesson you learn needs to be pivotal and life changing and worthy of bestowing a guru title? I was irked by the use of breaks instead of brakes and paints instead of pants in two of the stories. And the one with the cupcakes has been told time and time again, using different "ingredients". This may sound harsh, but I often wonder if stories are taken and just reworded for the author to claim that it really happened to them. Maybe I'm just cynical...

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Post by SPasciuti » 09 Jan 2018, 07:11

Jax14 wrote:
09 Jan 2018, 07:01
This may sound harsh, but I often wonder if stories are taken and just reworded for the author to claim that it really happened to them. Maybe I'm just cynical...
I thought about this a lot while I was reading, actually. It almost read like fiction the way he always conveniently had a story for how he turned the lesson around. And as a result it ends up feeling less real. It also makes it seem almost less genuine, if only because it feels as though he went out of his way to create a story for his life lessons that he could put into the book.

I’m willing to give Rob White the benefit of the doubt here, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that this is something I felt a lot while reading.

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Post by tonysgirl0805 » 09 Jan 2018, 09:56

I went into this book with a open mind but I did not like it. The title was misleading and I was hoping for stories from a bunch of other people not just his own personal experience. Also I get it he is a teacher how many times does he have to say that. I would not recommended this as a self help book because I just did not see it being one.

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Post by Eva Darrington » 09 Jan 2018, 10:02

SPasciuti wrote:
09 Jan 2018, 07:11
Jax14 wrote:
09 Jan 2018, 07:01
This may sound harsh, but I often wonder if stories are taken and just reworded for the author to claim that it really happened to them. Maybe I'm just cynical...
I thought about this a lot while I was reading, actually. It almost read like fiction the way he always conveniently had a story for how he turned the lesson around. And as a result it ends up feeling less real. It also makes it seem almost less genuine, if only because it feels as though he went out of his way to create a story for his life lessons that he could put into the book.

I’m willing to give Rob White the benefit of the doubt here, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that this is something I felt a lot while reading.
This is exactly how I am feeling reading this book. It is too neatly tied up. The stories all follow the same formula. Life doesn't usually work that way, so it is definitely feeling contrived. And I too, will give the author the benefit of the doubt and keep reading with an open mind through to the end.
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. -Scott Adams

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Post by JadeK » 09 Jan 2018, 14:44

While self-help books aren't my favorite genre to read, I have found a few gems here and there. This one, in particular, had both good sides and bad sides. Overall, I did enjoy how he goes through each life lesson in a very conversational tone. I don't like books that make me feel like I am in a therapists office or sitting in a classroom. Rob has a very casual conversational tone throughout that I enjoyed. I have heard these life lessons before as I am sure most others have as well, but the way he goes through each one shed a different light on them and often just reminded me of something that I need to keep working on.

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Post by Kathryn Price » 09 Jan 2018, 19:17

I greatly enjoyed the book . A lot of self-help books come across as a little trite, and there are things that happen to people that they can't help. But I do believe that your outlook strongly affects how you do in life. The life lessons he shared in each chapter I believe everyone should learn. I see that some people on this thread view his tone as arrogant, and perhaps it is a little. But what would you sound like if you suddenly realized that all the negative experiences you've had were actually teaching you something, and you had a chance to share with people the difference that made in your outlook? He came across to me as simply eager to share what he had learned from years of personal experience.
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Post by nlhartje » 10 Jan 2018, 00:22

So I will have to agree with many of your comments here in saying that I am not a huge fan of self help books. Admittedly, I've only ever read one and it was a book on how to forgive others (side note-worth it).

Going through reading all of your comments I have been trying to decide whether or not this book was worth a read for me personally. Among the most positive things you've said, I like that it seems to have short chapters and I'm intrigued by the idea of "myths" at the beginning of each chapter. However, the responses about how the stories grew repetitive and narcissistic are turning me off. I don't have a lot of gumption to read stories about someone else's trials and tribulations if they're just tooting their own horn for the audience. Any other reasons I should give it a try?
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Post by inaramid » 10 Jan 2018, 00:27

I wrote a really loooong review of this book just to cover everything I thought and felt after reading it. :D I gave it a rating of 1 out of 4 stars, and here's the short version why:

I liked the first parts, especially his struggles with small-town living. I find the notion of "flat-earth thinking" very relatable. BUT:

The narrative lacks HUMILITY. The author offers an incredibly self-absorbed perspective of his life. I cringed at the many instances when he cast another person in a bad light just to illustrate how much he has changed for the better. I disliked how he used the grief of the Maasai mother to demonstrate a vague point.

I expected a little more DEPTH in the author's motivations. Throughout the book, his actions were almost always motivated by the search for glamour, or a standing ovation, or glorification. Not very inspiring at all.

There were editing ERRORS. Granted, the errors were minor, like misplaced quotation marks and such. However, for a self-confessed control freak and someone who can afford to buy a Porsche, I fail to see why this book shouldn't be error-free.

Final verdict? A potentially good book that devolved into a monologue of a man repeatedly demonstrating how awesome he is--oftentimes, at the expense of other people. I didn't find it inspiring. And oh, if you're wondering about Margaret, you wouldn't really meet her either.

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Post by Scrawling Pen » 10 Jan 2018, 13:22

I do not have a history of reading self-help books, but I decided to give it a try. I did enjoy the book. It was well written, there were only a few grammatical errors, and I found some of the stories very entertaining. I did find the early stories of Rob's small town and college days much more enjoyable than those of his successful real-estate and retirement days. I assume that this is because it was easier for me to relate to the early stories even if the later stories continued to have good life lessons. That being said, overall I still enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys self-help books.

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Post by sherif olabode » 10 Jan 2018, 14:09

Hmmm it was great and interesting 4/5

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Post by Eva Darrington » 10 Jan 2018, 15:16

inaramid wrote:
10 Jan 2018, 00:27

Final verdict? A potentially good book that devolved into a monologue of a man repeatedly demonstrating how awesome he is--oftentimes, at the expense of other people. I didn't find it inspiring. And oh, if you're wondering about Margaret, you wouldn't really meet her either.
Your writing is refreshing. I haven't quite finished the book but am in agreement with your conclusion here. I can't help but thinking this book would have been better as fiction, based on real events. I kept thinking he was taking great creative license with elements of his formulaic stories. I will look forward to reading your review after I write my own. Thank you.
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Post by HeatherTasker » 10 Jan 2018, 16:02

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 totally relate. I think a lot of "positive psychology" is bunk. There are benefits to focusing on what you want and minimizing negativity but the world is full of outside forces and even the people around you have a huge impact on your life.

I look forward to reading this but, having been through some pretty horrible things in my life, especially as a child, I do not believe we have as much control as some people assert.

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