Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Review: "Seven" by Jacqueline Leo

From the Publisher's Website:

"What is it about the number seven that has such a hold on us? Why are there seven deadly sins? Seven days of the week? Seven wonders of the world, seven colors of the spectrum, seven ages of man, and seven sister colleges? Why can we hold seven numbers or words in our working memory--but no more? Author Jackie Leo explores everything about this mystical, magical, useful, and fun number in her new book."

My Review:

I thought that the premise of Seven was very interesting. I have a brother and sister-in-law who got married on 7/7/07 because of the luck that they thought that it would bring them. They even had to have their wedding at an earlier time than they had hoped because there was another wedding booked at the same church for that day. They certainly weren't the only ones getting married- papers reported record numbers of people tying the knot on July 7, 2007. This book even makes a brief mention of this, which I found interesting.

Unfortunately, the interesting facts dispersed randomly throughout this book were really the only things that made it interesting. Most of the book felt to me like they were actively looking for things that they could group into 7's, and that these groupings didn't always make sense. For example, there were lists that originally consisted of say, 10 points, that the author "summarized" in a convenient list of 7 points instead, stating that these were the most important principles. This didn't really make me sit up and take notice. Truthfully we could take any random number, write a book about it, and come up with things that "fit" wth our particular number. I may sound as if I'm being harsh, I just found that some of the facts has nothing to do with the number 7, and everything to do with the author molding them to fit into her book. This point alone made the whole thing a little unbelievable.

The book is grouped into three sections: 7 for happiness, 7 for love, and 7 for success, and if you're looking for a mildly entertaining self-help book focused on generalalities rather than a specific topic, then give this one a try. It just fell flat for me.

Thank-you to the Hachette Book Group for this review copy!

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