Book reviews

"Gravitas" (Caroline Goyder, 2014)

I honestly wish I had read more reviews before getting this book. It's such a mess. Ironically, it doesn't seem to know where it's heading. If a person would read aloud the book to me I would just not listen to them as the structure makes no sense, utterly failing the 'gravitas' test.

There's no depth to any of the chapters. It is all a lot of quotes from ancient Rome and Greece and then a bit of feel good advice such as "Relax, be present" that literally mean nothing to someone who is not practising meditation already. Complicated stuff is resolved with fluff like that, and then the book briskly moves on to another topic which will get resolved superficially like that as well.

Some sentences also do not make sense. I am not sure if it's a lack of copy editing, a print error, or what. Given the lack of direction, I will attribute it to a copy editing issue. This book could easily be a few blog posts that have been inflated to justify the price of a book, but what a sad choice that is. I'm sorry for the trees.

The author is probably very knowledgeable and there are indeed some (some!) bits of interesting advice, but they get suffocated by the irrelevant stuff and anecdotal evidence and metaphors.

Bring it back to a good editor, and try again.