*This book was sent to Alyssa in exchange for an honest review.
April 2013 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Amazon + Good Reads
"This delightful and engaging story outlines the experiences of a young, poor, and disillusioned reporter who is enticed to do a series of articles about Paul, an unconventional philosopher and motivational speaker. In lieu of payment, he gets to travel to and dive on Roatan, arguably one of the most beautiful, pristine islands in the Caribbean. Through a series of meetings, the reporter gets to know Paul's innermost philosophies. He learns an alternate way of living from a man who strives to perfect handstands on a dock and practices the art of happiness.
The author developed the book as a guide to help his children live their lives in a way that would allow them to enjoy the journey. Drawing on wildly diverse disciplines including stoicism, neuroscience, skepticism, behavioral economics, and spirituality; the reader is taken on a journey that exposes the author's philosophy of life. He demonstrates that happiness is indeed a choice.
All places detailed on Roatan exist and are more beautiful than described. Color Photos (if supported) are by kind permission of Shawn Jackson."
First, I would like to quickly thank the iRead Book Tours for giving me the chance to participate in this tour, and for sending me a copy of To Hold the Sun for review!
To Hold the Sun begins when our main character is offered the chance to travel to Roatan, a beautiful tropical island, to interview and follow an up and coming self-help guru named Paul. While this opportunity would be fantastic for anyone, our MC is at a crossroads in his life. He's disillusioned and is having incredibly difficulty financially. Over the course of his week in Roatan, the MC follows Paul who helps him change his attitude and general outlook on life.
To be honest, I am not very familiar with self-help books (or even fictional books that are self-help in nature). I am fortunate enough to have a relatively positive outlook on life and so the methods outlined in Watkins' books don't really appeal to me. However, I will say that I can see how a character like Paul would help a reader who found him/herself in a similar situation to the main character. But I wasn't able to get much out of the book simply because I didn't feel that I needed the advice.
Overall, I can appreciate the story for what Watkins was trying to achieve. He decided to write To Hold the Sun as a way to guide his children as they grew into adulthood, and as I am in my mid-twenties, I've come to appreciate any advice my parents want to give to me. I would recommend this book to any individual who enjoys self-help books, who enjoys mind over matter techniques, and perhaps anyone who needs a pick me up!