10% Happier by Dan Harris

The full title of this book is
10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story.

It is quite a mouthful. The book is about meditation and how the practice of mindfulness can help you discover yourself and become aware of habitual patterns of behavior which are pointless and often harmful.

What makes the book intriguing is that it is not written by a self help guru, a Buddhist or a psychologist. Dan Harris is a television journalist. And this is a memoir exploring his personal journey away from drugs and towards greater self awareness.

The book is well written. I liked the insight into the world of television news and Harris’ own story which is interesting. But ultimately, the book is about meditation and its usefulness in modern life.

Harris does a good job of taking us through his experiences as he gradually builds the case for meditation. And it helps that he comes to the entire experience as a sceptic and asks all the questions that readers might be tempted to raise.

It is a good book. It is not brilliant, but it is honest and it makes for engaging reading. Harris has an easy writing style and a sense of humour that is self deprecating and genuinely funny on occasion

I usually avoid any thing that even vaguely suggests self help, but I liked this book.


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