I specialize in reviewing Print-On-Demand (POD) published books for my website and Midwest Book Review. Please query for a review by email to hgunther234@hotmail.com.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

THE VALUES PURSUED LIFE - Exellence and Greatness from Within by Gary Gordon

Genre: Christian Inspirational Self-Help
Rating: Good
ISBN: 9781419691966, $13.99, 186 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

"Within each of us lie infinite potential, decency, and yes, greatness. The trick is to tap into our natural reservoir of humility, tenacity and strength. To help release our boldest forces, each of us must consciously and actively embrace the principles of integrity, responsibility, and accountability. We are what we value most.

"The Values Pursued Life by Gary Gordon reads like a tightly woven monologue and stream of consciousness. Lively and original, this vastly powerful guide proves to be a journey in which readers become better leaders, better men and women, better co-workers, bosses, confidantes and friends. The best is yet to come; it comes from inside each of us. Tap into your values and your inner greatness--today."

Through this little story about Shabaroo, an immigrant Jamaican driver, and his employer, "the old man", Gary Gordon works to inspire his readers to greatness based on values such as spirituality, love, integrity, justice, wisdom, perseverance, temperance, tolerance, frugality, principle, empathy, compassion, knowledge, chastity, peace of mind, faith and tranquility. His writing fluctuates between (1) a pollyannaic perspective of the United States, (2) giving advice and (3) poetic descriptions of Floridian flora and fauna. I willl provide you with samples of all three and then you can decide if this books is for you:

(1) From page 71 - "This is a fertile land. This was the country that recognized the importance of values and principles. This was the country of abundance, accountability, freedom, quality, service, and hospitality. This was the nation of moral intelligence, ethical intelligence, and emotional intelligence. This was the country where excellence and greatness abounds. This was the nation where spirituality was placed first on its chain of values; where integrity and honesty are as importance as the very foodds that were eaten for sustenance. This was the land of knowledge, wisdom, and discernment."

(2) From page 47: "'What is emotional intelligence?' Shabaroo asked. 'Emotional intelligence,' the old man answered, 'is having knowledge of your internal state. Having that knowledge gives you wisdom. It is also understanding your emotions and recognizing other people's emotions. It is the ability to use emotions creatively and cognitively.'"

(3) From page 9: "Shabaroo looked to his left. Not far off was a stream. A soft wind swept by. It came smoothly up and over the turnpike overpass and down through the cane fields. Then it subsided.

The wind came back in slightly stronger gusts. It moaned in the palm trees, causing their leaves to sway back and forth. It rippled the gently flowing waters of the stream. After a while it calmed to a feeble stir.

It was early morning, just before dawn. The air was cool, and the stream ran merrily along its course. A leaf fell on its surface, and the smooth running waters deposited it on the bank further downstream."

At the end of each chapter is a positive affirmation in large print, such as: "I AM KIND AND COMPASSIONATE TO OTHERS AND TO MYSELF." It would be my recommendation that the book be professionally edited.

If you are a reader of spiritual self-help books, you will find nothing new here. The Values Pursued Life just might appeal to the Christian teenage market.

Kaye Trout - December 23, 2008