4 out of 4 stars
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What makes someone an expert on life? What qualifies anyone to be called a guru? And Then I Met Margaret by Rob White gives a refreshing new take to the answers to these questions. A collection of the author’s personal experiences with people he calls everyday gurus. The format of the book is very simple each learning experience takes up its own chapter, starting with an incorrect belief or myth and ending with the lesson learned through an encounter with the guru. The contents of the chapters also followed a simple pattern of an explanation of the old belief and how it impacted Rob White’s life, an encounter that changed him, followed by how he and those around him benefited from the lesson learned.
The stories follow an almost chronological order, starting with lessons the author learnt as a child and how they later went on to influence his life and ending with his more recent life experiences. This format works very well in early parts of the book, for example when explaining how a lesson in honesty served him well in later life. However it becomes a bit cumbersome as the book progresses. The chapters become longer, more and more time is spent giving in depth explanations of the background to each story. This, in my opinion, takes away from the lesson learnt as the reader is trying to decide what is important information, and what is not.
One problem I had with the book was the use of a lot of abbreviations and genre specific words and phrases in the introduction. While I knew some of the terms, it may be intimidating to other readers to have to look up terms such as EST and NLP before they even find out what exactly the book is about.
Despite the negatives, And Then I Met Margaret is an engaging, easy to read and thought provoking book. I found that the lessons learned truly resonated with me. Beyond that, I found myself spotting other lessons to be gained from each of the author’s stories and gaining an appreciation for all the possible gurus and lessons around me.
I rate this book a solid 4 out of 4 for its engaging style and positive message. While the book clearly has an agenda in pointing out the lessons learned from the everyday gurus, it is still a pleasant read. The author’s ability to the humorous side of his life’s ups and downs make this book one I’d recommend to anyone.
And Then I Met Margaret
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