Book Reviews

About Peace

About Peace
by Scott Shaw
Red Wheel/Weiser


I set about this book with the idea that it would be a sort of meditative instruction guide, a collection of simple thought-provoking observances to induce a more peaceful state of mind (this is not an uncalled-for assumption after skimming the prologue). It’s not. I’m afraid to say I was a little disappointed in Shaw’s style — there is too much explanation of what peace is not, and very little help with the concept of finding out what it is.

Of course, it’s not mandatory that a book about peace be helpful in achieving that state, but I have to wonder what the purpose is in pointing out how to not find it. It seems to me that Shaw could have made his words much more meaningful if the situations where one could not find peace were balanced by situations when peace could be found.

I realize that many people would rebuke me with the age old saying of “peace comes from within,” but it’s that obvious statement that Shaw seems to be repeating over and over with no apparent conclusion. All in all, I found the book well-written but mildly irritating. After all, why write a book about something everyone already knows if you’re not going to express an innovative take on it?

Shaw’s work seems to be a jumble of random situations that are predictably un-peaceful, with a few profound jewels interspaced between them and found slightly more commonly towards the end. I was overall unimpressed by this disorganization, though I don’t think my time was completely wasted; some of the more thought-provoking pages were worth a moment or two.


RATING: 2 Broomsticks

» Originally appeared in newWitch #02

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