Weekly Self-Published Book Review: How to Live the Good Life: A User’s Guide for Modern Humans

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.

When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review by Midwest Book Review:

 How to Live the Good Life: A User’s Guide for Modern Humans

Arthur Jackson

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781432767709

Reviewer: Joseph Yurt

Author Arthur Jackson is methodically passionate about helping humanity live a good life, as defined by him. I found the content of his book, “How to Live the Good Life: A User’s Guide for Modern Humans,” to be at once abstract and concrete, realistic and impractical, engaging and dissociating. In some instances, the author’s thoughts are brilliant; in others, enigmatic. The “good life” Jackson explores is far and away from the shallow pop culture concept of the “good life.” But, if you are an enlightened thinker and have a genuine interest in increasing your personal sense of well-being and in making the world a better place for humankind, the book merits your serious consideration.

The book is not an easy read. I imagine it was not an easy book to write either. Jackson’s forty-year journey to publication involved extensive research and study of religions, philosophies, social sciences and the natural order of the world. For Jackson, the obstacle, which he encountered all along the way, to achieving the good life was the conflict between traditional religion and the natural order. The necessity to resolve this conflict led to the author’s system for the science of religion and ethics. This combination of religion and science is at the core of Jackson’s work.

At the point in the book when Jackson begins to focus on the science of religion and ethics perspective, his ponderings and models became more concrete to me. For example, from this perspective, he reasons that “…the ultimate of reality is not the ULTIMATE that we have been led to believe in. The ideas we have been taught about ULTIMATE are as erroneous as most of the other basic ideas we have been taught.” The ultimate‟ we can reach is to develop ourselves as fully as possible to achieve a sustainable feeling that our life has meaning.”

The last ten of the book’s eighteen chapters are given over to Jackson’s presentation of his “eleven principles of the Way to Wisdom.” It is the author’s contention that an individual’s potential for wisdom is the key to developing moral character, a sense of personal well-being, and a thought process that will make the world better. Details and benefits of each of the eleven wisdom principles are considered and scrutinized in-depth.

In pondering several drafts of my review of this book, I concluded that by its very nature, the breadth and depth of the content included in “How to Live the Good Life” makes adequate summarization impossible. The reality is that this book must be read thoroughly and thoughtfully and in its entirety. And as with Arthur Jackson’s principles, comprehending the layers of this book is not for those among us who are unenlightened.


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