My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Review: The Good Life Method: Reasoning Through the Big Questions of Happiness, Faith, and Meaning

The Good Life Method: Reasoning Through the Big Questions of Happiness, Faith, and Meaning The Good Life Method: Reasoning Through the Big Questions of Happiness, Faith, and Meaning by Meghan Sullivan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An interesting review of virtue ethics from two (2) philosophy professors at Notre Dame.  While the primary alternative used was utilitarian ethics, or consequentialism, there is a very brief mention of deontological ethics as well.   And so we get a very good introduction to the likes of Plato and Aristotle, Socrates and Seneca, Aquinas and Kierkegaard with brief comparisons to stoicism and epicureanism.  What we don’t get is specific answers … and the authors explain why that is toward the end of the book …

“Many a cult has used philosophical language and frameworks to direct people on pseudo-spiritual journeys of self-discovery. These inevitably end poorly for everyone involved. If a philosopher promises to give you the good life, you should go skeptical.” 

With all of that, the authors present the material in a way to guide the reader to discover which questions they should answer and how to think about them (with a decided Catholic PoV).  Each of the chapters focuses on a specific element of “The Good Life,” beginning with how you might define what that is.  Woven into that are fairly long “personal apologies” that helped tie in the philosophical concepts presented therein.  At the end of each chapter, they provide a section called Truthcraft/Soulcraft to encourage “Strong Questions”  that help the read put the ideas into practice.  Over all, I found it did an fantastic job of doing exactly what the author’s set out to do … to make me evaluate exactly what I want out of life.


I.  The Good Life
1. Desire the Truth
2. Live Generously
3. Take Responsibility
4. Work with Integrity
5. Love Attentively

II.  God and the Good Life
6.  Wonder about God
7.  Take a Leap of Faith
8.  Struggle with Suffering
9.  Contemplate Your Purpose
10. Prepare for Death

Code: The Limited of Philosophy

I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#TheGoodLifeMethod #NetGalley.

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.