Tuesday, June 05, 2012

book review: Simple Secrets to a Happy Life by Luci Swindoll

Title: Simple Secrets to a Happy Life
Author: Luci Swindoll

Excerpts from the Amazon product description of Simple Secrets to a Happy Life

"Is it possible to stay full of life, laughter, love, and the Lord through eight decades in this crazy world? Is that even realistic? Yes! There is hope, and Luci Swindoll is living proof.

 With heart and humor, this best-selling author and beloved speaker lays out the truths that can help us all become a little more creative, organized, healthy, and happy. This is not a complex prescription for how to become superwoman. These are simple secrets, the wisdom produced by years of walking with God and living well....

Luci has spent eight decades accumulating the stories, memories, verses, and practical tips that make up Simple Secrets to a Happy Life. Whether traveling the world or building life-long friendships, singing in the opera or working for Mobil Oil, every step has taught her a little more about how to love God, love her neighbor, and love herself."

 My review:

The title of Luci Swindoll’s latest book, Simple Secrets to a Happy Life, does a good job of describing this inspiring and practical volume. In it the almost-octogenarian author shares fifty of those secrets under the broad headings of The Basics, Developing Your Style, Achieving Balance, Living a Good Life, and Staying Connected.

In addition to topics one would expect to see in this type of book (like “Let people know you care,” “Write down the important things,” and “Look for ways to help”) are surprises like, “Know for sure you’re insured,” “Cook something special for yourself,” and “Draw a picture to understand” (where she suggests sketching and drawing as activities to help us understand what we see in the world around us).

Swindoll’s writing style is warm, friendly, and encouraging. The stories she tells on herself make the book relatable to life, interesting, and authoritative. Sometimes they add humor. But more often than not they have an “ouch” quality that makes it easy to see why they have stuck with her and underline the important life-lesson they illustrate. For example, there was the time she got an invitation for breakfast from a co-worker, said she’d attend, but come Saturday morning simply stayed away, rationalizing that it wasn't all that important. Later she discovered that her friend had anticipated her visit all week, prepared for it at length, and was deeply hurt by her no-show — told in Chapter Two: “Be On Time for Everything.”)

Themes that flow through her “Secrets” are contentment, gratitude, generosity, faith, openness to adventure, common sense, self-awareness, independence, hospitality, and graciousness. It is inspirational cover-to-cover with an uplifting and positive take-away for whatever life-stage you’re in.

Simple Secrets to a Happy Life would be good to read any time, but would be an especially great choice for when you are at a life crossroads like graduation, starting a new career, marriage, retirement, or simply as preparation for making the next set of New Year’s Resolutions. Rereading it annually probably wouldn’t be a bad idea either! Now, where did I put my sketch book and pencils?

(I received a digital copy of this book as a gift from the publisher for the purpose of writing a review.)

Book facts: (Hardcover edition)
Title: Simple Secrets to a Happy Life
Author: Luci Swindoll
Publisher: Thomas Nelson, March 13, 2012, 224 pages.
  • ISBN-10: 1400203538
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400203536

Violet Nesdoly / poems
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Robyn said...

Great book review. Thanks! I will be reading this book next. I find myself drifting more and more to spiritual and inspirational books. Maybe it's my age or where I am at in my life. I recently finished an amazing book called, “The Book of Ernest” by Ernest Clement. This is a non-fiction book on spirituality and mankind’s place in the universe written from the author’s own experiences over a period of 15 years. He includes some humor and perspectives on American politics. We can all use a bit of humor. http://www.ernestclement.com/

violet said...

Thanks Robyn. I hope you enjoy the book. Luci's book is certainly not a heavy, deep read, but uplifting and positive for sure.

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