3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Do you feel that your best is never good enough? Do you consider yourself a people pleaser? Do you keep comparing yourself to others? According to Thomas A. Newnam, author of Try Softer: How to recover your natural state of happiness and clarity of purpose, these are a few of the seven signs that you are trying too hard. In this non-fiction book, he seeks to show readers an approach to living that will unblock happiness, and “the coolest thing you are going to find out is that all you need to do is stop trying so hard.”
The book offers inspiring stories, including the author’s life. When he was a 10-year-old kid, he dreamed of having a pony, but his parents couldn’t afford one. He then entered a contest and won a pony (Lucky). This episode validated his faith in the universe and empowered him.
What I most liked about this book was the author’s narration of real-life situations. For instance, the case of a 15-year-old anorexic girl impressed me. Some stories were tragic, but the author was always optimistic and hopeful. Each tale gets candidly presented, and a warm and generous spirit underlies the entire book. I liked how readers are encouraged to connect with the power within them. Newnam refers to these moments as “Dancing with your Higher Self.” I also enjoyed the amusing cartoons throughout the book; I thought they were thoughtful and funny.
On the other hand, I felt that the author leans a bit heavily on worn-out self-help platitudes. Throughout, the book seems a little polluted by clichés. For instance, happiness comes from within. There is also a simplistic approach to some rather complex problems. Additionally, I disliked how the mentions a couple of objects magically materializing in his life. Although I do not consider myself a skeptic reader, I had a hard time wrapping my head around these passages, and they detracted a little from my enjoyment of the book.
Lastly, I am rating this book 3 out of 4 stars. It seems professionally edited, for I did not find any spelling or grammatical errors in it. I’m not giving it the highest rating due to the negative aspects explained in the previous paragraph. I would recommend Try Softer to open-minded readers who are interested in tips on how to live a better life. More pragmatic readers – as well as those who are less inclined to value self-help books – might not like it as much. If you find the idea of miracles and magic to be too much, especially in a non-fiction title, this is not the best choice of book for you.
View: on Bookshelves