This book is distinctly small, not much bigger than the size of my hand and lighter than a medium-sized sandwich.
That may seem like a strange way to start a review. But I find the book's size a great plus. A book that is lighter than a sandwich is easy to take along in a pocket or purse, readily available whenever I have a few minutes free. In the grocery store line? Open it up and read one of the insets.
This is a great book for people who want to put positive psychology to work in their own lives, or those of family members, clients, or colleagues. It contains 22 short chapters starting with What is happiness? and ending with Where next? In between appear many of the prominent topics in positive psychology: savoring, resilience, gratitude, positive relationships, optimism, emotional intelligence, character strengths, mindfulness, mindsets, motivation, and so on. The chapters are short, on average 9 pages long. They are written in accessible language for the lay reader, summarizing points made by leading researchers and illustrating topics with brief but believable stories. Each chapter ends with a section labeled Things to Remember that brings the main points of the chapter quickly back to mind.
Numerous insets make it an easy book to dip into. They include:
- 50 activities labeled Try it now!
- 4 case studies, each a story of a particular individual applying one or more of the concepts in the book in a particular situation.
- 8 questions for contemplation labeled Think about it! Some are accompanied by surprising facts.
- 2 sets of Useful tips
This little book that fits so easily into a pocket or purse is loaded with practical ideas and interesting questions. It would be a good read for someone who has never seen positive psychology, for someone who wants to make some incremental changes toward well-being, or for someone who wants to share ideas with family or close friends. A group might pick it up and work systematically through the Try it now! activities.
I'd start with the one on page 29, Three Ways to Be Good to Yourself.