You Can Be Everything God Wants You to Be (Max Lucado): Review

28 June 2010

Christopher J Wiles

writer | speaker | servant

Gift books are hard to evaluate. The content might be good, but the book not worth your time.

First, let’s be clear: this is a gift book, and contains no new material from Max Lucado. Instead, the 1-2 page devotional snippets are all excerpts from a larger work, The Cure for the Common Life, a book I’ve always counted to be among his better writing.

Since this is the source material, the content of the book is generally good, centering on finding one’s purpose and place in life, which certainly are needs of recent graduates. Again, the book’s content is delivered in short, devotional-style arrangements, also good for short attention spans.

But negatively, I have to take issue with the very format of a “gift book.” For starters, the only way to know the book is recycled material is to read the fine print on the inside cover (“surprise,” to those who shelled out the money online, only to be holding a book they’ve already read). Second, the book retails for a steep $14.99, a high price for such a short book. Finally, the abbreviated format naturally favors simplicity over complexity, which is why some reviewers criticize the work as having more platitudes than actual content (though, to be fair, this reflects the format more than the actual content).

Should you buy it? The content is fairly decent for recent grads, with emphasis on finding one’s purpose through clever stories and an engaging presentation full of pictures and catchy fonts. But at the same time, as with most gift books, it gets read once and tossed aside.

The full version, The Cure for the Common Life, is a vast improvement, and those looking for personal reading should skip this “gift book” and read the whole thing.

Thanks is due to Thomas Nelson Publishing for providing me a complimentary copy for review purposes.

28 June 2010

Christopher J Wiles

writer | speaker | servant

Chris is a writer and speaker. He currently serves as teaching pastor at Tri-State Fellowship and as a research writer for Docent Research Group.

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