“How to be the Luckiest Person Alive” by James Altucher is the author’s first self published book that he is pushing at the Amazon minimum price of 99c as the object is to get read, not get rich. It is not his first book, he has published through the more traditional route before but I haven’t read any of them for comparison.
I have been an avid reader of his blog for some time now. He is prolific, occasionally produces profoundly insightful gems and has pushed the line so far out on how much honesty one can put into bloging it is amazing. There are a great many blogs by and for wannabe entrepreneurs out there, the ones that standout are not those that claim to purvey fullproof get-rich methods so much as those that discuss their failures as openly as they discuss their successes. James’ blog is stunning in his discussions about and deep honesty in portraying his failings, and yet he is a slightly socially reclusive geek who has made the occasional multi-million dollar success. The journeys from crashed out, penniless failures back to success and happiness, by following his Daily Practice , are entertaining rides indeed.
So I was hoping that the book would be a collection of work cropped from the gem posts, taking a chronological route through his journeys to frame the value he espouses in his Daily Practice which he swears is the key to becoming and remaining happy and successful.
Unfortunately, it just doesn’t do that. The material is in a scattergun pattern and contains way too many of his “List of…” type posts. Those work in a blog post, not in a book. The editing seems to simply have been pasting material straight from the blog into a Word template and a search/replace of “blog” for “book” and “post” for “chapter”. This is a real shame, because many of the best pieces are in there, but instead of being a platform for delivering more of the wheat with less of the chaff it just looks a bit amateur.
As an interesting collection of work from his blog, it’s certainly a good introduction, but it can only be read as a selection of blog posts, not as a book.
My disappointment in the work had put me off getting his newer book, however I re-skimmed the whole of this one again before writing up this review and was reminded that, when he is on form, James’ work can be amazing to read… so I have just shelled out the 99c for the follow up work “I Was Blind but Now I See” in the hope that he has learned the lessons from this attempt and made a more serious attempt at planning, designing and editing a book this time around. A review will follow in due course.