Your Beautiful Life: A Gift

Brian Smyth

Publisher: Xlibris Pages: 446 Price: (paperback) $106.00 ISBN: 9781514447437 Reviewed: June, 2016 Author Website: Visit »

This colorful, visually inviting book is brimming with thoughts, quotes, and inspirational messages.

Your Beautiful Life: A Gift is a hefty, oversized, glossy book that encourages readers to see the gifts in each day, and to embrace life’s wonder and possibility. Divided into sections representing 30 days, the book delivers a hearty dose of thought-provoking material for each “Day”: questions, quotes, poetry, short stories, famous people, brain teasers, and more. Bright, graphical images keep it lively and promising.

The volume is bursting with creativity, but readers will wish for more direction on how to navigate the material. While the author includes an introductory note offering two “routes” through the book, his instruction is vague and overly broad (he directs readers, for example, to look for ways to “get in touch with whatever you are experiencing or feeling”).

This lack of concrete direction carries throughout. For example, readers encounter a daily offering of celebrity role models and are prompted to consider what qualities these celebrities have worth emulating. But many of the people presented aren’t well known; are readers expected to research each on their own? Often, the feature notes that the celebrities “were born on this day,” but this is puzzling, as the book includes no dates. A daily “Listen To” item — accompanied by a scannable QR Code— forgoes instructions on use. While many readers will know how this works, others will not.

Mechanical issues also muddy the book’s uplifting intention. The type font varies dramatically from page to page as does the author’s use of capitalization. This adds to the sense of excitement, but also imparts a frenetic, disorganized feeling.

The book is aimed at those seeking direction and meaning. Left unguided to navigate the volume of daily material here, someone presently overwhelmed by life may find the task daunting. That said, this is a cornucopia of stimulating material. Those willing to explore in a self-directed way will find much inspiration on these pages.

Also available in hardcover.

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