Readers will likely find Goddart’s bulky treatise as thought-provoking as it is overwhelming. Though he carefully defines the many concepts he introduces, their quantity, complexity, and occasionally overlapping meanings (as with “higher self,” “spiritual self,” “nobler self,” and “conscience”) leave readers with plenty to keep track of. Goddart’s division of the book’s primary concept—wisdom—into 33 varieties is thorough but difficult to absorb. He often further divides these subsections— in “The Wisdom of Simplicity,” he itemizes three different ways to achieve this type of wisdom. But though he inundates readers with occasionally repetitive information, Goddart’s multifaceted, analytical writing style also offers a variety of entry points to engage with his ideas.
Goddart’s relationship with the reader emerges as the true strength of the book. Far from presenting himself as a lofty guru, he acts as a warm, welcoming guide, encouraging readers to look within themselves for the wisdom and guidance they need to live their best lives—telling them that “You are potentially, if not already, the greatest authority on who you are and what’s best for you.” Goddart’s supportive companionship balances out the book’s often technical approach and will offer comfort to readers who are struggling with self-doubt on their spiritual journeys.
Takeaway: Goddart’s rigorous but inviting take on self-improvement will challenge open-minded, motivated readers— and provide a reassuring boost.
Great for fans of: Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now, Judith Marshall’s Past Lives, Present Stories.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A-