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Book review: <i>How To Live Life</i> by John Vorhaus

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the cover of the book

Living, right? We all wonder, from time to time, if we could be doing it better, making more of it. Let John Vorhaus, who has successfully been living life for years, give you a few pointers.

The story

Life. Everybody who can read this has one, to a lesser or greater extent. And let's be honest, most of us can muddle through without giving it much of a thought. Sure, we all deal with insecurities, and tend to punish ourselves in various ways by judging harshly our failures and poor mental habits. But often we use avoidance strategies to deal with things as opposed to exploring the way we live in our creative space and using a selection of techniques to improve our quality of life.

A lot of people have written self-help books. It's a pretty big thing, you may well have noticed the large designated space for such things in your local book store. Why this one?

John Vorhaus wants to break down for you how to live life. The wants to help you live thoughtfully, purposefully, consciously, and openly. And he does this in chapter form, concisely providing techniques to assist you in your journey of self discovery, walking you through each step of the way.

The style

So what does separate Vorhaus's book from the many, many offerings provided by every shmuck who thinks they're qualified to tell you how to live your life? Let's begin with the cover. Firstly, it isn't white with an irritating looking couple in ill-fitting denim pretending to have fun pictured on the front – so cosmetically it's already way ahead. Secondly, and most importantly, it's written by John Vorhaus. It therefore is filled with his playful style, his knack of speaking right to you, and most importantly, his sincerity. Each sentence makes you feel as though Vorhaus really wants to impart this gift to you, and also made me, a serial non-participator, actually make some of the lists he suggested during each chapter.

Vorhaus's ability, which I have previously encountered in his other work, to make your individual creative space exciting and navigable, is second to none. I hate self-help as a rule, I find it trite and unreadable. I think what does this person know about my life, what gives this person the right to tell me about myself? I'm generally very resistant to this genre. But Vorhaus somehow manages to get it right. It could be the fact that he's a natural, passionate teacher of craft – be it creative writing or poker – or it could be that he shares with you how he has run through his own process, and makes it feel as though you are developing with him. He reveals things about himself that the reader can empathise with, but also makes the reader more likely to consider their own weaknesses and admit to them, not as weaknesses but as opportunities to develop. Vorhaus's infectious positivity and honest desire to help you live life, based on actual techniques that have worked for him and he wants to share with you, is absolutely worth reading.

Who is this book for?

Even if you hate self-help, this book is a great read. If you're feeling a bit down, a bit filled with flaws, a bit like you aren't succeeding at life the way you could be, give it a go. And if you're currently satisfied with life, read it and see if you can make life EVEN BETTER.

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Read more of John Vorhaus, both fiction and non-fiction. His style is strong, and worth reading in a multitude of situations.


In short

Title: How To Live Life
Author: John Vorhaus
Publisher: Create Space
ISBN: 978-1505603156
Year published: 2015
Pages: 154
Genre(s): Non-fiction
Review Type: