Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Books about happiness and how to achieve it seem to be all the rage lately.  I was interested to read The Happiest Life to see if I could gain any insights that would help me lead a happier life.  The author of the book, Hugh Hewitt, is a nationally syndicated radio host, and in the book he discusses the many famous people he's interviewed over the years.  He gives some insight into what makes for a good interview, even if he and the interviewee don't always see eye to eye.

He lists both seven gifts and seven givers who can impact the lives of those they interact with.  The seven gifts are encouragement, energy, enthusiasm, empathy, good humor, graciousness and gratitude.  Each gift is explained in its own chapter with plenty of examples that Hewitt has witnessed in his own life.  The seven givers are the spouse, the parent, family members, friends, the coworker, teachers and the church.

I wish this book could have been more focused on the message, instead of using every opportunity to bash those with differing political or ideological viewpoints from the author.  There are many snide comments and belittling asides about those he perceives as not having he same viewpoint he does.  There's also so much name-dropping and thanking of those who have helped the author along the way that the book becomes very tedious in places.  I think if you can look at his seven gifts, and realize that they can be "given" freely and without much effort to friends and strangers alike, you don't really need to wade through the self-congratulation that makes up the bulk of the book.

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of The Happiest Life from the BookSneeze program in exchange for this review


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I'm a librarian who is interested in all things British. I try to visit London as often as possible, and am always planning my next trip. I lived in Sweden for a few years with my Swedish husband, so the occasional Swedish reference may occur . . .

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