Wisdom for Living – Reynold Ruslan Feldman

“Dear Reader, Do you know how wise you are?”

This book is a collection of short ‘pearls of wisdom’, quotes from all manner of people – religious figures, politicians, sportspeople, and more – with a brief ‘thought of the day’ or mini-essay by the author after each. You are encouraged to start a ‘Wisdom Journal’, and each snippet ends with a prompt for a related journalling topic. I imagine, then, that you’re supposed to dip in and out of it, perhaps doing a prompt each day.

The quotes are generally quite good at being motivating, uplifting, or just thought-provoking, but whether they hit any kind of mark is going to be up to the reader. I’m not sure many of them grabbed me in particular, though, and after a while I was finding them a little on the bland side for this kind of thing.

The blurbs after, however, I found of more mixed quality. None are ‘bad’ at all, but the author’s life views are not totally partisan. It wasn’t overt, but there was occasionally a feel of a little bit of patronising, and one or two (out of over a hundred) just triggered ever-so-slightly a hint of sexism for me – I’m happy to say that might just be me, but still, didn’t endear me in the slightest. And unsurprisingly, there is a lot of religion and mentions of God here, which did turn me off the whole thing more – yes, it tries to draw from several religions, but there are still those underlying views. Again, it’s not over the top, but the more I read (and I confess, I started with more than one a day!) the more the whole tone started to irk me, somehow.

I had hoped to find this, as intended I’d guess, an uplifting book of pleasant little insights. It just didn’t end up ticking that box for me.

NetGalley eARC: 176 pages
First published: 2019
Series: none
Read from 29th August 2019 – 14th March 2021 (ahem, yes)

My rating: 4/10

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