Friday, June 13, 2014

Book Review: Life-ology 101 When All Else Fails, Smile by Michael Soward

Life-ology 101: If All Else Fails, Smile
by Michael Soward
Publisher: Xlibris
Published: Sept 16, 2013

Amazon Synopsis:

Life is what it is, and sometimes the pain, the unusual twists and turns of it are unavoidable, though through its entirety one must always smile, for this is a great start of the healing process. Author Michael Soward has lived by these words, and in his new book, Life-ology 101, he shares his life journey with readers everywhere, giving them a brief written snapshot of his life from childhood to his arrival in New York City, and all the adversities he met and overcame along the way.

Life-ology101: If All Else Fails, Smile is an autobiographical chronicle of the life and times of Michael Soward, following his journey from his days as a teenager who came from a 
strict African-American household to a liberated young adult exploring a nation that was also experiencing sweeping changes. Readers will witness the metamorphosis of a man coinciding with the transformation of an entire society, a domino effect wherein both will never be the same again. Soward’s compelling narrative contains invaluable life lessons on freedom, on a personal and societal level, and on the great responsibilities that come with it.

Book Links
Amazon  *  Goodreads (audio version)

My Thoughts:

Michael Soward looks back on his life and shares the lessons from his life that he has learned that have helped him be a positive person.

He recounts his growing-up years under the care of his grandmother in the segregated south where he received weekly beatings that often drew blood. His mother had passed away and his father had left him and his brother under her care. He grew up in a very poor home, often eating bread for breakfast that his grandmother heated up in the woodburning stove to chase the ants off.

After having lived such a difficult life, I think it is very commendable that Mr. Soward is able to look at things so positively. I think that it is his passion for his Lord Jesus that is the connecting theme that holds this positive outlook together. His faith is part of all that he does. It guides him in the choices he makes.

Sometimes I felt that Mr. Soward was talking specifically to a black audience or a black male audience and so I felt that that particular section was not relevant to me. Perhaps it was simply his choice of phrasing "The Pain andJoy of Living Black Male-Wise", "type of things that happen to black fathers on this, our very special day"? In reality, I think that what he had to say is relevant to everyone, and I was thrown off by his word choice.

Mr. Soward's writing style appears to be somewhat rambling, rather like that of a journal or perhaps a personal conversation rather than a formal book. This is neither good nor bad, simply a matter of personal choice.

I think that there are some important lessons that we can take away from Mr. Soward's book. The most important one of course, is right there in the title Life-ology 101 If All Else Fails, Smile. Whatever happens in life, you might as well work towards finding the positive in it. I gave this book 3 stars out of 5.

Thank you to the author who provided a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

Here's a radio interview that Michael did with WOCA Florida 

About the Author:

Michael Soward currently lives and serves in New York as an independent nationwide consultant for aspiring Gospel and Jazz artist and writers. He continues to help build careers and recording products within these industries through his persistence, knowledge of these markets, promotion and marketing skills.

Author Links
Website  *  Twitter  *  Facebook

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