Book Review: “You Must Change Your Life” by Thomas J. Millay


I think there are a few books on the topic of reading. One that easily comes to mind is How to Read A Book by Mortimer J. Adler which is a classic and a must read. If we go to the Christian perspective on reading, we have to think hard.  Lit by Tony Reinke is one or a book you saw on sale at a bookstore titled Reading Between the Lines by Gene Edward Veith Jr.

Limited it might be on topic of reading, it is nice to see that there is a new book. It comes from a relatively unknown author, not so popular publisher but we are into something good knowing  Soren Kierkegaard is the main man on this book. But unlike the books I mentioned awhile ago, this is not on how to read or what to read but goes on to answer the question: why we should read.

You Must Change Your Life is book on the subject of why a person should read through the lense of Soren Kierkegaard. Thomas J.  Millay lays these essential reasons in this short volume.

If you don’t know Soren Kierkegaard, well the opening chapter will take you through on who is he and why he matters. Millay, as a Kierkegaard scholar, is so spot on on this chapter, it gives you fuel to drive through the rest of the book.

I enjoyed how Millay treats every chapter of this book. You’ll always get a surprise. Whether pitting Kierkegaard and Augustine on their views on reading, using Kierkegaard’s works, or using Scriptures and (spoiler!) appealing to another church father to expose the flaw of Kierkegaard’s view on reading (which is totally my favorite chapter), it’s truly a delightful read. Of course, chapters 3 and 4 will have a bit of roughness, nevertheless,  You Must Change Your Life is a rewarding journey.

As I have said, every chapter has a surprise and the last chapter is a bang (which I really like). But the bang was a sound of a “gun” Millay aims at Kierkegaard flaw. The bullet is a church father’s view on the end goal of reading that we must consider. What a great way to end this book!

You Must Change Your Life fuels the heart and mind on why reading is essential. It will drive the reader the true end goal of reading that is truly life changing.  It serves also as a primer to readers (like me) on Soren Kierkegaard and his existentialism. In this brief book, readers can expect, aside from the main premise, topics covered in bite size, specifically on Kierkegaard, that are great jump off points to other body of words a reader would consider exploring. But for now, enjoy this masterfully and scholarly accessible book. Highly recommended!

My verdict:

5 out of 5

Purchase the book by clicking here.

(Review copy of this book was provided by Cascade Books, an imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers)

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