“Roots: Success and Greatness Starts Within You” is a read that aims to help its reader to set up foundations for personal success and development.
The book contains three core parts: Wisdom, Action and Health. Those are further divided into multiple, short chapters that talk about fear, pride, purpose, habits and many, many more topics.
It seems to be a suitable read for anybody who is looking to improve their life but isn’t really sure where to start. Due to the fact that this read covers so many broad themes at an introductory level, everyone is bound to find something for themselves. It provides the reader with advice and exercises, backed up with examples from the author’s personal life.
I am not going to go into too much details about the content of Roots. With a little bit over 200 pages, it is too vast to even try and summarise it. Also, because it is a self-help book, it would beat the point of you reading it. Instead, I will focus on specific aspects I personally liked and disliked.
Each chapter starts and ends with a relating quote, but it is also filled with helpful insights and real-life scenarios. In certain chapters, for example in the ones about meditation and physical exercises, the author suggests a guide on how to start it. It is a very interactive, involving read and it feels more like a conversation.
James is very honest about reaching out to many sources in order to improve his own life and to share his own experience in this book. He includes all those resources and any additional reading, so if anybody wants to follow up on specific topic mentioned by James, he/she has a point of reference. That’s why, in my opinion, reading Roots is a great way to start your journey to success and mindfulness as you get an introduction to many life aspects you can improve upon. And if you wish to take it one step further afterwards, you know where to look.
However, it is not a perfect read.
In general, I do not have a problem with the author sharing his/her personal experience with the readers, but in Roots, certain real-life examples were too specific, maybe even too personal. Whenever James used sports to illustrate his point, I just zoned out, it is not something I’m interested in. I feel like there could be a more general example used to try and include broader range of audience. There was too many personal issues of the author surfacing out from this read. A lot of mentioning of pressure to finish college and getting 9-5 job, pressure from parents, etc. At times, it did not feel like I was reading an unbiased self-help book but rather a biography.
Lastly, for such a small book (230 pages), there is a significant amount of mistakes in it: grammar mistakes, missing punctuation, missing and/or misspelled words, etc. However, I wouldn’t be too concerned with that, it can be fixed rather easily for next printing.
Overall, enjoyable, eye-opening and thought-provoking read. I enjoyed certain chapters more than the others but I think that’s one of the best features the book has to offer . Due to it’s broadness, I was able to find something helpful for myself, something I can relate to. I can always go back to it and practise the parts of interest.
What James is saying in this book is important, however the delivery of it can be improved on, but where there is a will, there is a way. I hope the author will have a look back at his writing style, it could benefit him to adjust it for any future publication to make for a more cohesive and uniform read. I would like to see it happen, because I will be looking forward to more books of his. I wonder where his life is going to lead him next, through what experiences that he will then be willing to share with others.
I would like to thank James for sending me the ARC of his book to review. If you’re interested, you can pre-order “Roots” here before its release day, October 22nd.