3 out of 4 stars
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Manhood 101: 101 Principles for Becoming a Better Man by Eric M. Watterson is a collection of life lessons designed to help guide men both young and old on their journey to becoming an individual that expresses what the author calls “true manhood”. The book is divided into sections, with each section containing a central concept and several principles that the author feels support this concept. Each principle is numbered and represents its own “chapter” in the book.
There were several things I liked about this book. Each chapter began with two quotes, one from the Bible and one from prominent individuals from throughout history. From past figures such as Socrates and Albert Einstein to more recent figures such as Oprah Winfrey and Johnny Depp, these quotes serve as reinforcement for the principle that the author was introducing. I really enjoyed the correlations between the Bible verses, quotes, and the principle described. Another thing I enjoyed was the “Manhood Statement” at the end of each principle. These are affirmations that the author instructs the reader to repeat in order to help guide their journey towards manhood.
Because this is a collection of steps for life as a “quality man”, it does not read like a novel. Each chapter is short, causing the book to read more like a daily devotional calendar. While I did not have an issue with this, readers should keep this in mind when reading. I personally felt that many of the principles would also apply to becoming a “quality woman”. For example, the author discusses learning from bad decisions, making sure your decisions benefit your family and others, and replacing negative thoughts with positive ones in order to guide your actions. These are all principles that I feel apply to humanity as a whole, not just one sex.
The author appears to have a strong belief in God, and this is evidenced throughout his writing. Many of the principles he discusses remind me of Sunday School lessons from when I was a child. There are a few lessons where he directly references trusting God and asking Him into one’s heart as the “Manhood Statement” for that principle. While this did not bother me, I do want to make others aware of this prominent theme in the book.
There were several punctuation issues throughout the book. I also noticed several times where there was confusion between the words “effect” and “affect”, where the incorrect word was used at times. Because of this, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. Despite the errors, I felt that there were several strong points throughout the writing that we can all benefit from incorporating into our lives. I think these principles apply to both men and women, and would encourage others to read it for guidance on how to live more positively.
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