Non-Fiction: The Book of Life Reviews

The Book of Life Reviews

This page contains some of The Book of Life reviews written by readers.


Jo Roderick - The Book of Life Reviews

A Do it Yourself Book for Fixing Your Life

While reading The Book of Life I quickly realized that it applies to any age. I’m 71 years old but over and over I found myself thinking “of course!” (light bulb moment) “I can do that”. It also repeatedly crossed my mind that the information and advice in this book would apply to my daughter and even my grandchild, who is suffering from being 16 and unsure of life and herself.

I’m sharing this book with them. I started reading this book and quickly found I had read several chapters. It’s easy to get in to. The writer is literate without trying to show how much he knows. It is written with the right amount of humor. It’s down to earth and peppered with basic life examples we all come across. I highly recommend this book. The Kindle Fire edition is the best because of the formatting.

E. A. Etheridge

A Must Read Common Sense Guide!

This is probably not the “last self-help book you’ll ever read, it’s certainly not the last self-help book Jo is likely to write (and looking forward to more). However, it will make you THINK and help you gain perspective on “self-helpism. Quit obsessing about the future and what you don’t have. Seize the moment. Let go of the fear that holds us all back. A life well-lived must, in fact, be authentically lived, not just contemplated. It’s okay to not be perfect. It’s okay and necessary to feel guilt, and pain. It’s okay and even normal to have dysfunctional families, partners, lovers, husbands and wives. This IS a self help book, however, that doesn’t try to tell you how you should live your life.

The main difference between this and other self help books is that this book encourages you to question and be “mindful” of everything…and most of all to think and feel about the decisions you make in your life and to take responsibility for the choices we make.… always keeping a sense of humor a part of every step! Jo’s wisdom and humor makes this not only an eye opening read but also makes you think…”why didn’t I think of that?” You’ll want to keep it close ..because you’ll be picking it up to re-read often!

Gary M. Wilt

The Book of Life, a MUST read for a brighter outlook on the future

What a refreshing book and easy read. I loved it because it’s real and not preachy, it makes you think. The author, Jo Rodrigues, is down to earth, up front and honest about his own struggles in life. It’s through those struggles that he learned what works & what doesn’t and fortunately he penned his wisdom and shared it with the world. He gives the reader many things to ponder about ourselves, the way we think and how we react to life’s ups and downs giving the reader some food for thought about how to turn a negative into a positive.

The author takes you by the hand and guides you through step by step into the workings of your thoughts and emotions, it’s like having a friend by your side gently coaxing while reminding you to smile. It really made me take a closer look at myself and ask myself some tough question, face some hidden fears and look at life and myself with a sense of humor. Speaking of sense of humor this book isn’t a heavy read it won’t make you cry, beat yourself up or worse want to beat your parents up, the reader will pick up quickly on the author’s sense of humor which I thoroughly enjoyed.

What I like best about the book are the “takeaways” at the end of each chapter. They’re bullet points about the chapter and are great for a quick reference, seriously I have never highlighted & bookmarked as much as I have in this book. This will be the last self help book you’ll ever need, though I’m not sure I’d call it a self help book because the way it’s written left me with the feeling that life isn’t really all that difficult it’s just a matter of changing your perspective.

Connie Ravezzani

An uplifting read

It’s been a while since I last picked up a book of non-fiction and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this gem of self-discovery. The author took me on an inspiring journey, and with his help, I learned once again to appreciate the small things in life. The book made me smile throughout and had me wanting to ‘grab a coffee from the new café across the road’ and save time for observation – wherever I happen to be. The author, by his own admission, spent ten years writing this book so that I could benefit from its insightful content in just one reading. His wise words led me to believe I really could change my mind and my life.

Jo Roderick’s inexhaustible pursuit of knowledge and mastering new skills really is commendable. His passion for helping others is rare. If you ever want to dye a carpet, and I can’t say I ever have, just ask the author because the book is full of amusing and touching anecdotes and his perceptive references to ‘Mother Nature’ are quite life changing. The Book Of Life is refreshingly honest and I salute the author for openly tackling the subject of depression. I really urge anyone suffering from a similar condition to pick up a copy.

I was really impressed by the observations on how ‘one can actually lead quite a happy life in spite of being plagued by depression’. Wise beyond his years, the author advises us that ‘old friends are not automatically good friends’ and I found this very intuitive but on the whole the book is uplifting and full of positive values. In fact, I finished reading it with the impression Jo would be a great guy to know; a true friend even. With his help I am definitely going to practice ‘turning myself into a positive person that expects the best out if life.’

Jane E James

Editorial Review

An inspiring and insightful guide to modern-day living, a wonderful mixture of the serious and the humorous, the wise and the quirky.

Prof. Hendrik Hofmeyr, University of Cape Town

It was easy to read and understand and full of helpful

This book really helped me improve my outlook. It was easy to read and understand and full of helpful, practical advice. Jo is not afraid to be straight about the advice he gives, but he does it in a very easygoing, sensible way. I would recommend this to other readers who are struggling with just about any problem in life.


The Book of Life Reviews: Five Stars

Really good advice from Jo, down to earth, i wish i had read it years ago!

Karen Lee

Review by Chris

It’s an easy book to read and it gives such a positive prospect in lives and you won’t get bored while reading it . A book for myself and for someone else …. The best gift to friends.


Philosophical Dream

Marketed as self-help, The Book of Life by Jo Roderick is literally a book about life. It’s about everything from guilt and depression to daydreams and spirituality. It’s about changing the way you live and having the life that you want. That might sound like a massive undertaking – and it is, but does the book achieve what it set out to achieve? The answer is an unequivocal yes. I suppose I should explain.

I didn’t pick this book up because it is ‘self-help’ and nor do I believe that I am in particular need of self-help. I also didn’t pick up this book because I wanted to change my life. On the contrary, I love my life. I did, however, pick up this book because I was intrigued by the statements and quotes I kept seeing on Twitter. The thoughtful snippets and contemplative sentences that got my philosenses tingling (you know, like spidey-senses but more philosophical and significantly less spidery). Quotes that ranged from political to ethical and all the simple truths in between, such as “what better reason for fulfilment of my desire but the fact that I was still breathing?” and “has capitalism failed those who have financial abundance more than those who have little?”

What I love about this book is that it’s not prescriptivist and it’s most certainly not pretentious. Jo is not saying “do this, don’t do that, here is a 12-step programme” but instead, the book reads as though he’s having a chat with you about the world, about what he thinks is great (and not so great), and about which way he thinks is best to live life. He offers insightful anecdotes and writes with heartfelt passion that flows out of the book in droves. To make it even better, he laces his prose with humour and a quick yet homely wit that had me smirking all the way to bed time. With all these, it’s easy to see how the book raises you up and motivates you as Jo passes his passion and desire on to his readers.

The book does occasionally assume that you are coming from a bad place, that you are reading it not to gain some of Jo’s wisdom but because you are in dire straits and require ‘fixing’. I felt, at times, like a naughty schoolgirl with a teacher stood over me wagging his finger and making his eyebrows wiggle as he imparted the importance of certain behaviours: “don’t be a vegetable, young lady, and certainly don’t be a robot!” There are the odd passages, too, that lack depth and cohesiveness, reading a little like a string of grandiloquent statements that are stitched together using only Jo’s easy manner and good words but little else. With such a massive task as writing about the whole of life, though, that was bound to happen and I’m quite impressed that it didn’t happen more often than it did. What’s more, I don’t believe that this book was ever meant to be an in-depth look at any particular part of life but rather an overview of many of life’s aspects, and it does that really well. It’s easy-going, it’s relaxed, it’s like Jo is putting his heart and soul on a page and saying “here it is, take it or leave it.”

If I’m honest, I didn’t learn anything new by reading this book, and actually, Roderick didn’t change my mind on anything but it did serve as a reminder to not let every-day life get in the way of your real life – that being the one that you actually want to live. It served as a reminder that we only have one life and it’s pointless to waste it on doing things that make you unhappy. And it served as a reminder that actually, I’m not the only cuckoo bird in the nest – there are others out there who think like me! It may not have changed me, but it did make me think and it brought back to me in the importance of enjoying “life whilst you still have it”. It’s a book that’s littered with questions that will make you stop and think until (if you’re anything like me) you realise that your Kindle has fallen out of your hand and you’ve gone burrowing deep into your own thoughts.

So yes, I believe that this book does do what it set out to do. The Book of Life is exactly that: a book about life. It’s philosophical in its nature and it’s passionate in its delivery. No, you might not need self-help and no, not everything in the book will be applicable to you. But one thing is for sure: many of the things that Roderick purports to be true are indeed true, and if everyone lived in the prescribed way, the world be a much happier, much more pleasant place to be.

Riley J Froud

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