Solid Pointers, Regardless of Philosophy. This is a partial review based on the first 5 chapters of this text being provided by the publisher.
Here, one of the icons of my childhood, Max Lucado, takes on the topic “how can I be happy?”. And regardless of your particular belief system, he makes some really great points. Yes, the man has been a preacher most of my life if not longer. His first book was published when I was just 6 yrs old and learning to read, and his style really hasn’t changed in all that time. And honestly, that is one of the things that makes him so great. His style is very conversational and quite funny, and that makes any of his books – this one certainly included – very easy reads.
And yet, it is exactly that approach that gets him 4 stars here. Why? Because I *need* to see the back half of the book to see exactly where between 3 and 5 stars this text will ultimately land. With what he has laid out in the beginning of this book, combined with the titles for the back half that I don’t yet have access to, this book could go anywhere from mind blowing to just run of the mill Lucado (which, again, is still great – particularly in regards to how easy it is to read his books). Based on what I know of him from reading his books for literally most of the time I’ve had the ability to read and of his situation from having grown up in the same types of circles he has lived in throughout my life, I *expect* Lucado to play it a bit safe in that back half. He likely isn’t going to say anything that will get too many people too angry either direction. What he likely says will be theologically orthodox, but verbally kind – that is pretty much Lucado in a nutshell. But man, if he does the unexpected and actually takes some bold-for-his-age-and-position stances… it could be revolutionary.
A pessimist will find several faults here, chief among them the continued use of proof texting, and likely hit that 3* ranking.
An optimist is going to see how readable this text is and how refreshing its message is and likely hit it with the 5*.
This realist could agree with both of them and really needs more information to make a more sound judgement, so the 4* feels like the right option at least for now.
Excellent work, and it truly is an honor to be able to ARC a book from one of my childhood literary heroes.
This review of How Happiness Happens by Max Lucado was originally written on August 22, 2019.