Select one of the keywords
The Thinking Life: How to Thrive in the Age of Distraction    by P. M. Forni order for
Thinking Life
by P. M. Forni
Order:  USA  Can
Griffin, 2012 (2011)
Hardcover, Paperback, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

P. M. Forni's The Thinking Life: How to Thrive in the Age of Distraction is an accessible mix of philosophy and self-help on a topic that's highly relevant today. The author aptly quotes Paul Keating at the front of the book: 'Ours is an age of distraction. The background of our lives is the white noise of inconsequential television programs, pompous pundits, shrill talkback callers, ten-second news grabs, and the cult of celebrity.'

What to do about it? Rediscover the thinking life. Forni advises us that 'there is no substitute for uninterrupted reflection and introspection - not if we want to discover who we really are, check if we are true to our own values, learn from our mistakes, and plan our future.' He warns of an increasing imbalance of retrieval and retention from Internet usage, so that Google is making us stupid and reminds us that 'What constitutes a good life has not been a mystery for more than two thousand years.'

Forni continues to offer sage advice in chapters including Finding the Time to Think; Reflection: The Art of Going Over Your Life; Making Wise Decisions; Managing Adversity; and We Are What We Think. His chapters end with exercises 'meant to maximize the benefits of the material covered'. They include addressing 'the uses of humility in today's world', and asking 'What are the consequences for individuals and societies when their members choose feeling good over being good?'

Forni exhorts us to lead 'the thinking life, which entails engaging in life fully by placing serious thinking at the center of it ... the kind of life in which happiness blooms.' His is a remarkable book, one that I intend to encourage my two sons to read. I recommend it to you and hope that it receives the wide attention that it deserves.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more NonFiction books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews