Friday, August 01, 2008

Caught in the Headlights by Barry K. Phillips

Caught in the Headlights: 10 Lessons Learned the Hard Way by Barry K. Phillips. How many of you groaned when you read that title, thinking, "I come here to Karlene's site for reviews of GOOD books, not ones that make me think"?

Wait. Don't give up on this review yet.

First a bit about Barry Phillips. Barry loves to write and has been editor-in-chief of a national magazine and he's written for Glenn Beck's Fusion magazine. He has also written for a political website. But this book is not at all political. Barry is a religious man, a proudly proclaimed Christian. Those ideas inform the topics in his book, but it is not at all preachy. Barry is has been married to the same woman for nearly 25 years and has 5 children—that in itself gives him the street cred to write a book like this. Barry is also well-rounded. He loves to cook (and eat), hot air ballooning, woodworking, drawing, camping and playing drums. With all those hobbies, I'm not sure how he found time to write this book, but he did. And I'm glad.

Barry Phillips is a fun and entertaining writer and even though he's dealing with life-improvement topics, this is a great read. His humorous, sometimes self-deprecating style alone is worth the effort to read this book. This is a short book and a very quick and easy read. I read through it very fast to do this review, but I plan to go back and read it again slowly because I thought it was that good.

Have you ever gotten what you wished for, only to discover that it's not really what you wanted after all? You know, those times in life when we have that "aha!" moment, when you realize that you've been pursuing the wrong goal? (It's not just me and Barry that have those moments, right?) Barry discusses ten of those key goals that we chase after, that most of us think we want—including happiness, self-esteem, a perfect body. In his unique entertaining style, he examines these goals and values, shares what he believes we should be seeking instead, and then lets us in on what we need to do differently to obtain our new goals.

As I read through this, I found myself at times laughing, at times stabbed to the heart with realization, but always nodding my head in agreement.

Many of you know that since my publishing company tanked at the end of 2006, I've sort of been at loose ends, adrift on a sea of indecision and self-doubt, spinning my wheels a lot as I try to decide what I'm going to do next. This book did not have the answers but it did point out to me some of the things I'm doing wrong. There were several areas that rang so true for me that I know I need to go back and do some self-examination, make some changes. This book came to me at just the right time, when I'm ready to do that. (Thanks, Candace, for asking me to do this review.)

I highly recommend this book. It would also make a great gift book for college graduates (not high school grads—they don't have enough life experience yet), those in a mid-life crisis, or anyone who is "doing all the right things" yet still finds that they're dissatisfied with their life.

You can read a chapter from Barry's book HERE.

Other reviews of this book can be found HERE.

You can purchase the book HERE.


Barry said...

Thanks, Karlene. I'm glad you got past the front cover! I'll check back later on to answer any questions.

Tristi Pinkston said...

I enjoyed the book too, Karlene. Definitely makes you think, but in a good way.

Anne Bradshaw said...

You're right, Karlene. A great book, well worth reading. Actually, there's a copy being given away on my blog today--yay, contest time again!