"Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly." – G. K. Chesterton

Day 28: Favorite Title

This one is kind of an oddball, since it’s not actually asking me to talk about what’s in a book.  I often see titles that I think are clever, usually on books that I haven’t read.  For some reason this one comes to mind:

The title is Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking has Undermined America.  I like it because of the way that it combines a lot of the annoying trends in book titles to fire back at the exact type of mediocrity that creates those trends in the first place.  It’s got the very long title with a catchy first phrase and then an explanation, the words “positive thinking”, and the promise that the author will expose a nefarious trend that’s destroying America, all rolled into one.

The book itself is about the self-esteem movement, trends in medicine and business and education that try to paper over everything with uplifting terminology, and so-called prosperity theology.  It also looks at the philosophical roots of all this gibberish.  Perhaps I’ll read it someday, since I do feel that Ehrenreich is right to dislike all this stuff.

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