2 Chairs: The Secret That Changes Everything, by Bob Beaudine
[Note: This book was provided by BuzzPlant in exchange for an honest review.]
As someone who reads many books that offer platitudes of positive thinking , this book offers something that is both unusual and distinctive and something that is familiar at the same time. In looking both at the nature of what this book has to say and the people who praise it, many of whom are people involved with sports and likely clients of the author in his day job as a sports/entertainment search executive, it is little surprise that the author comes from the background he does. In many ways this book is both very short and very long–it is less than 200 pages and does not take long to read, but on the other hand, it contains a little bit of very worthwhile content and a lot of fluff that seeks to expand out the book’s material to the point where it is viable to be published as a book. One gets the feeling that this book’s material would make an excellent short blog series, but the idea of this book is just not profound enough to justify making it book length, and so much time is spent talking up how important the author’s idea is that the idea itself, when discussed, seems a bit empty and superficial and lacking.
The contents of this book take less than 170 pages and ten chapters, starting with an introduction where the author discusses the importance of what he learned from his mother, then a discussion of three questions to ask ourselves before engaging God in daily conversations with him before we do anything else in the morning: Does God know our situation? Is it too hard for God to handle? Does God have a good plan for us? These rhetorical questions (with obvious answers yes, no, and yes), are then followed by a seven step process on practical mysticism, as the author encourages us to discover the secret of 2 Chairs, calling our genuine friends who will be willing to help us in trouble, seeing the field, recognizing that change will do us good, being strong and courageous, ordering ourselves eyes forward, and doing what needs to be done, before closing with a discussion of the death of the author’s mother. Throughout the pages, the author mixes occult-based appeals to the power of positive thinking, a salesy approach to the world and to how we operate within it, and occasionally touching discussions of the actions of his family members and his own relationships with them and with God.
This is not to say that there is not a lot of worth in the book’s contents, but this seems to happen almost besides the point, such as when the author discusses the importance of his family background. In general, though, this book operates from the point of view of someone in sales and marketing, and as is usually the case, this means a certain superficiality in its content and a focus on repackaging what is familiar in such a way that it seems like a new and “secret” formula for success that encourages someone to do what they should already be doing, namely having conversations with God where we patiently bring our problems and concerns to God and, with an open mind, listen to the plans that God has for us and the insights that He can bring into our lives so that we live with hope and a sense of realistic optimism. It is clear that the author is the sort of person who would be a fascinating dinner partner and someone who has a gift for gab, but what is best about this book is not really all that new or surprising at all, but is merely packaged in such a way that it might seem to those who do not read this sort of book often. All too often, though, this book reads like a sales pitch instead of an invitation to a better relationship with God, and that is unfortunate.
 See, for example: