This book is the ponderings on life by pharmacist John D Mosley, a thinker who has written several of these monologue style works on his opinions about life, with handy points to remember at the end of each section.
Written in the Kahlil Gibran style, the book is separated into several themes, including how to make your life better by best action, simplifying goals for focus and how to be aware of those around you and how to cope with diversity in the modern world around us, including what we eat, how we treat each other and how we deal with technology. He says of the book, “It is to be used as a starting point to leading a happier, more fulfilling, and more rewarding life.”
Written gently and without bravado, Mosley’s voice is that of a bedside whisper, rather than the preacher’s boom, which means his ideas are read slower and designed to be taken in thoughtfully. Mosley should be credited for understanding the sort of reader he caters to and mirroring this in his style: no bold moves here, just persuasive asseveration.
This book won’t tell you anything you don’t already know, and it certainly won’t really give you any guidance on new steps to try, but it acts like a self-affirming book, somewhat like a non-religious prayer book or meditative work. You will agree with some of it, some of it will feel obvious, but then of course you have reminded yourself of that clarity.
I would have liked some reference points or some illustrative exercises and certainly I didn’t warm to the use of “ we” all through the book, as I didn’t really agree with a lot of the concepts and found some outdated or a little naive for my lifestyle, but if I was seeking guidance and balance for my life maybe it would have been the medicine for the soul I was looking for. I’m pretty content with my lot right now, so it didn’t really resonate for me entirely. But I can think of times of crisis when maybe a book like this would have had a place on my bookshelf to get me back on the path to being the best I can be. After all, you have to want to buy into this kind of work to get anything positive out of it.
Another small issue for me is this book is centered on American life, so I felt, as a Brit, slightly alienated at times. It would have been better to be more generalized. Maybe that will come in a second edition later, as a wider readership becomes apparent.
Mosley has however achieved something here – he has gathered all the classic self-help ideas from many sources of wisdom with well-established themes during his lifetime of studying the masters of several disciplines and observations in his profession dealing with all kinds of people on a daily basis and has somehow managed to filter these points down into one well-edited and easy to read book, which ultimately ends up being the only self-help book of its kind you will ever want to buy.
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About Cate Baum
Cate Baum is a filmmaker and writer of self-published book “The Bull and The Ban” (under the name Tosko) and contributed to "Ole!", a book about 21st Century attitudes to bullfighting with Ernest Hemingway's grandson John and New York Times writer Edward Lewine. She is also editor and co-founder of Filmmaking Review, the sister site to Self-Publishing Review. She is married to SPR founder Henry Baum and lives in LA.