cover image THE LUCK FACTOR: Changing Your Luck, Changing Your Life

THE LUCK FACTOR: Changing Your Luck, Changing Your Life

Richard Wiseman, . . Miramax, $23.95 (232pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-6914-5

Filled with real-life stories from hundreds of interviews; inspirational quotes from the likes of Benjamin Franklin and Oprah Winfrey; and graphed research data from his eight-year study of luck, Wiseman's book promises to offer "a scientifically proven way to understand, control, and increase your luck." While many believe luck is a mystical force influenced by superstitious rituals, Wiseman, psychology chair at the University of Herfordshire in England, claims lucky people simply possess four basic psychological traits unlucky people don't: the ability to maximize chance opportunities, to listen to "gut feelings," to expect good fortune and to see the bright side of bad luck. Questionnaires and exercises offer guidance on how to acquire or enhance luckiness while keeping a "luck journal" and incorporating techniques to increase intuition, stop negative self-fulfilling prophecies and learn how to effectively network. The format is marked by redundant chapter summaries, but Wiseman's upbeat, charismatic tone might persuade even skeptical readers of the transformative effect luck can have in their personal and professional lives. (Apr.)