The Art of The Good Life – 52 Surprising Shortcuts to Happiness, Wealth, and Success

As I’m reading this book, I realized why I never really got into non-fiction and self-help trends because there are a lot of bias around the tricks and tips. However, I want to still write a proper review and analysis of the book as to why I think it’s not great.


The book is about 52 chapters with 5 to 10 pages each explaining how you can have a better life. These chapters are considered so-called “shortcuts” to wealth and success. Well, let me tell you one thing: there are no shortcuts to such things. Reading about it just makes me think how people want a simpler version, a magical formula to a happy life when there isn’t. Everyone is different.


Among of the tips: be an opinion-less person to make our lives easier (which I strongly disagree), true calling is non-sense (and he doesn’t offer an alternative to why he thinks it’s like that) and I find it ironic that he has an entire chapter calling How Ideologues Oversimplify Things and it’s exactly what he did with this book. He plucked out psychology and sociology experiments in order to show how “wrong” we are about our lives while not really giving any relevant information to better ourselves. Another fact hat really bothers me is the fact that he completely wiped out the notion of introspection while promoting a peaceful and mindfulness life.

Of course, it’s not completely bullshit, there are some chapters I agree with for example the one he talks about Envy, although it’s hard to compare ourselves, we should focus on on our own success.


But overall, it’s always the same format : some random anecdote to begin the chapter, following by some science experiment with no references and then his statement of the tip he’s giving. I feel he wanted to cover a bunch of subjects while only mentioning the surfaces so the reader ends up with nothing in the end but a bunch of buzzwords. Instead of really finding one specific niche and develop on it with more concrete arguments.

RATING : 2/5

Thank you to Hachette Canada for sending me a copy of this book to review!Β 

12 thoughts on “The Art of The Good Life – 52 Surprising Shortcuts to Happiness, Wealth, and Success

  1. “Well, let me tell you one thing: there are no shortcuts to such things.”

    Hahahahaa. This was my first thought when I saw your review in my feed, before I even started reading your review πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You strongly disagreeing to the idea of not having an opinion was an amazing start to this review.

    I have such mixed feelings about self help books in general. I think they often don’t take into account the differences in privilege that people experience – kind of like you said, the idea that everyone can live a ‘good’ life in the exact same way is both stupid and impossible. The other thing is that I sort of feel like they only sell so well because they make people FEEL like they are changing their lives without actually doing anything..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All self-help books tend to offer the same advice while oversimplifying things. I think there are way too many factors in determining one’s success; people know what they need to do, but luck and plenty of other aspects will determine if they can do it well or not.

    Great review! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

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