cover image Read This or Die!: Persuading Yourself to a Better Life

Read This or Die!: Persuading Yourself to a Better Life

Ray Edwards with Jeff Goins. HarperOne, $29.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-063-07486-6

Copywriter Edwards (Permission to Prosper) urges readers in this upbeat entry to harness the “power of persuasion” to enact personal change. After receiving a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease at 46, the author realized he needed to make a change. He was“overweight, edging toward bankruptcy, and pessimistic about life in general,” so wrote himself a “sales letter” to convince himself to turn things around—and he did, by taking risks (getting tattoos, hiking despite his new physical limitations) and working on his relationships. Using this experience and principles picked up from 40-plus years of copywriting, Edwards outlines steps for catalyzing personal change, whether quitting a job or starting a new habit. The program involves pinpointing the source of psychic pain, “amplifying” it (though one should imagine a worst-case scenario instead of actually hitting rock bottom), understanding that transformation is necessary, making a concrete plan for change, and “requiring a response” within a set time frame. Edwards advances a refreshingly practical approach to personal transformation, with advice that’s based in experience and underlaid by genuine passion for the skill of sales persuasion. Those in need of solutions with staying power will do well to give this a look. (May)