Saturday, January 11, 2014

Book Review: Life Mantras by a Life Coach by Preeti Subberwal


Book: Life Mantras By a Life Coach

Author: Preeti Subberwal

No. of Pages: 124

Genre: Self Development

Publisher: Power Publishers

Blogger Nimi Vashi from The Readers Cosmos, wrote to me with a book review request for this one. I had read a lot of self-help books in 2001-2002 and then kind of moved away from them except for occasional picks. In 2013, I had read 'F@#K Knows' which was entertaining and eye-opening in a very different and weird way (but effective nonetheless, as long as you could sustain the language and its tone).

The book in question this time around was 'Life Mantras by a Life Coach' and although I would have shunned such a book (somehow I have never found them convincing), I thought this might be a good opportunity to check out some self-help book by an Indian Author and a Life Coach at that. So that's how I came upon this book by an Indian Author which ironically, I read completely outside India (in Kuwait on a business trip) J

I got an author signed copy with a personal note in the inside cover.
First Impressions: The Book is BEAUTIFUL.

Don't be surprised to see that word in my book review for the first time. This books has been explicitly designed to be beautiful. Each and every page has been 'designed' in Adobe illustrator and the whole book is pretty colorful. It is indeed an interesting experience to read a book that is designed in an organized and structured color coded theme. There are 10 lessons (in 10 different colors) and each lesson has its self-development gyan-bites. It was pleasant to read a colorful book after a long time. The quotes in the footer of each page were a nice touch. And did I mention, the book is hard-bound!! A nice coffee-table kind of book

So that was about the looks of the book. Now, let's talk about the content.   

In the book there is a lot of gyan; in fact lots and lots of it. There are about 6-8 gyan-bites in each of the 10 lessons / chapters, so in the end, the author gives you some 75 gyan-sessions (one page for every gyan-bite) through a total of 124 colorful pages.

Sadly, there is (still) too much of text to read. I would have preferred a little less text, a little more pictures and even diagrams. I wouldn't mind the endless text if only there were some 'real life examples' of how to apply those gyan-bites in life.
Everyone can give gyan (heck … even I can give Life gyan) but what will separate an effective Life Coach from an armchair-life-consultant are the real life examples and the ability to make those gyan-bites come alive and practical. I personally was looking at more of practical usable advice rather than spiritual gyaan.

Another Point: Very surprisingly, all the pictures used in the book are European / American. I wonder why the author / designer / publisher chose to do so. There is no dearth of Indian stock photos now (with Indian people and places) and this was kind of surprising and disappointing. Indian author, Indian target audience … why make a product that 'tries' to look American??

Overall, the book is OK. I am sure there will be readers who will find it good and helpful. For me, this did not really work. For me this is a good book to have in the show-case – it looks good. Its more of a coffee-table book for others to see and scan and have a conversation on. I might even pick it up some day again and scan through it again.


Ratings on Book Review Parameters:

Cover Design: 4* / 5

Writing Style: 2.0 / 5

Characters:     NA

Content:          2.0 / 5

Climax:            NA

Overall:           2.0 / 5 


Note: The Cover design gets 4/5 not because the cover design was great; but because the whole book is 'designed'. Each and every page has some colorful design elements rarely found in books so I am giving the score for THAT score under cover design.  

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