The Art of Work was on my TBR list actually thanks to its reviews and interest from like-minded readers. Currently thinking about starting a small shop, it finally arrived into my Kindle, after requested in library few weeks go (! Yes, so many people wanted to read it), and it seemed just on time. And while reading its first pages, I realized it will be a quick read and that maybe that is the reason why I have so mixed feelings about it. Surely, Jeff’s writing isn’t filled with numbers and business related terms, however this is what I somehow expect from such book – at least a little bit!
What distinguishes The Art of Work from many other self help/business is probably mentioning of unsuccessful dreams and giving up. There are passages about continuous failures I liked how Jeff didn’t spend his time of writing this book by making interviews, but also decided to share some pieces of his background and struggles. Also, the end of The Art of Work contains a list of excercises for inspired readers, who can’t wait to start following their calling. Although the points are not completely useless, they remind me more creating some sort of diary and vision bord making. In this, I’m afraid nothing and almost no one can beat Marianne Cantwell.
The reasons why my rating of the book on Goodreads isn’t bigger are following; the most annoying was probably repeating of the same phrases all over in just slightly different way, meaning I sometimes thought I didn’t turn the page. It left me thinking whether it is just my problem, editor’s inattention or author’s need to fill his content with more of valuable lessons? Who knows. Another thing which was bothering me from the beginning was definately uncountable abruptions within told stories. Mind you, I really do enjoy layered fiction, especially when all shatter pieces fall into their place in the end, yet this was not the case. In The Art of Work Jeff often starts with someone’s story, is abrupted for some time, and then continues like nothing has happened. Of course there are times when adding more details or neccesary facts are benefitial, but again, I felt like lost between pages and names, not remembering who this exact person was and what was she fighting with. Therefore I had to get back in chapters regulary to remind myself what am I going to read about. Also, I would appreciate some clear resumé of what Jeff wanted to point out, but instead of it there was something rather Secret-like. Not to mention being someone without much interest in reality television music competitions and also a non-believer, I couldn’t really relate to some of the stories. What a shame.
Obviously, as much as I wanted in the beginning, I couldn’t appreciate The Art of Work enough and I’m afraid if it weren’t so short I may have laid it off. Yes, some people may endure something really terrible to find out their calling and passion, others may just have luck or some mentors nearby (the heck have I met many of them past few years). But some just don’t believe in building bridges and seeing signs. There are many readers who won’t agree with me on this, but I guess it’s fine. People are different, books too, and I just have read better ones.