I pulled Luci Swindoll’s Simple Secrets to a Happy Life from my workbag, intent on reading on the ride home. Don’t worry. I wasn’t driving. The woman in the elevator mentioned that she was reading the same book. I did the only natural thing. I challenged this perfect stranger to a race to see who would finish the book first.
The layout is simple and effective with short chapters. Each chapter title is five words long and starts with an action verb. Examples include Keep Your Word Every Time, Acknowledge Your Need for Help, and Do All Your Homework First.
This was the first book I read by Luci Swindoll. Unfortunately it fell flat for me. The title and introduction warn that the advice is simple. A simple reading of the table of contents as a bulleted list might have been as satisfying as the couple hundred pages of text.
That is not to say that Simple Secrets is without merit. There are lots of interesting tidbits about the Swindoll children including her brother, well-known pastor and author Chuck Swindoll. From reading the book, Luci Swindoll seems like a very pleasant and interesting woman, with a great deal of wisdom to share. Sadly, as far as this book is concerned, that wisdom could have been condensed into a pamphlet.
There was one chapter that I would like to pluck out and give to my reading-adverse friends—Build Yourself a Small Library. Swindoll explains how as a child, her family treasured books, a fact that led her on a rewarding path in life. Today Swindoll and her siblings each have home libraries and live by Mark Twain’s reported quote “The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.” I love that.
Who won the book-race challenge? I’m not sure. I never saw the woman from the elevator again. I would be very interested to know if she finished the book and what she thought of it.
Never judge a book by its cover, or solely based on what someone else says. Pick up your copy and judge for yourself. This book may appeal to those interested in:
- Interesting stories about the Swindoll children
- Simple advice like your mother use to tell you
- A reminder to focus on what is important in life
- Practical applications of scripture
The publisher provided a copy of this title through BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.