6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A stocking stuffer,
This review is from: Calm (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Lonely Planet is noted for travel books studded with photography, but this isn't one of them. In a little more than 120 pages, I counted only about half a dozen photographs. Each spread has text on the right-hand page and some kind of illustration, mostly drawings, on the left. This small book is most suitable for Christmas stockings or hostess gifts. It could have been a lot better, though. The concept is an excellent one: how do people achieve serenity around the world? If anyone should have a collection of tips, it should be Lonely Planet, whose staff have been everywhere (and more than once!). Some of the entries here are unusual and absorbing, like free-diving, whose practitioners can hold their breaths for up to 5 minutes and use no equipment other than homemade goggles. Other entries may be more commonplace, like cultivating bonsai, but you may never have connected the hobby to the achievement of inner peace. Unfortunately, some entries, like retail therapy, are really stretching the point. That entry discusses the Great Singapore Sale, a two-month-long annual event that draws people from around the world. Think of Black Friday...for two months. Trying to tie that to serenity seemed pretty far out in left field to me. This book could be improved in several ways. First, scrap those illustrations, many of them childish, for photographs. Second, downsize the photos and add more text. In a book this size, to have only 57 methods of achieving serenity is rather stingy. As usual with books of this nature, there is no need to read it cover to cover. Dip in at random. I found it mildly interesting and fairly pleasant, but not an eye-opener.