Book Reviews for Bibliophiles Column, July 16, 2011

The Little Red Book of Wisdom, by Mark DeMoss (revised edition, Nashville, TN)

© 2007, 2011

If I had the money, I’d hand this book out on street corners — it’s that good.

Tired of hearing the gospel of selfishness touted by ad agencies? Sick of commentators spewing cynical, depressing stories?

If so, you’ll love this book.  However, if you carry your ennui like a banner, I suggest you read something else.

DeMoss’ volume is small but mighty, an ode to common sense:

  • What does honesty in business look like?
  • How do you really make time for loved ones?
  • What exactly is wisdom in an it’s-all-relative culture?

The author’s choice of topics varies.  One half provides edification for business, the other for personal life.  Many sections remind me of teaching given me by my late father, a young man during the Great Depression.  I mourn as such wisdom dies with every member of that generation.

Sound corny?  It’s not.  Those who never learned such in their homes are poorer for it.  The lack impoverishes us all.

Chapter titles include:

  • A Turtle on a Fencepost
  • Shut Up and Listen
  • Buy Some Stamps

Favorite quotes:

Page 51: “ ‘Turn off your computer … and discover all that is human around us.’ ”  The speaker was Eric Schmidt.  Who’s that, you say?  The chairman and CEO of Google.”

Page 71:  “I’ve never regretted not compromising what we know to tell people what they might want to hear.  Even when it comes at a high cost, honesty is always a bargain.”

Page 105: “…awareness of God’s ownership opens my hands, loosening my grip on stuff. The standard, ‘How much should I give?” gives way to ‘How much should I keep?”

DeMoss, a Christian, gives the most straightforward statement of the Gospel I’ve ever heard on page 186, so well written you’d miss it but for the clear writing.  His style is best characterized by ‘just the facts, M’am’ with a large dollop of gentleness and compassion.  The Little Red Book of Wisdom provides a refreshing cache of encouragement for weary people.  The hours with it are well spent.

NOTE:  Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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