The Skimmer

2 minute read
Andrea Sachs

Peaks and Valleys: Making Good and Bad Times Work for You–At Work and in Life By Spencer Johnson, M.D. Atria Books; 103 pages

You can hardly blame a publisher for wanting to play it safe in these economically treacherous, print-endangered times. But was it really necessary to ape Johnson’s motivational manual Who Moved My Cheese? in every way, from its distinctive cover to its format (inspirational parable) to its length (fleeting)? Granted, the author’s previous book was a No. 1 blockbuster that sold more than 20 million copies worldwide, but the difference is that his original was far superior: a deceptively simple but ultimately smart lesson on coping with the inevitability of change. Here, the pensées are punier. A confused young Everyman journeys to the top of a mountain, where he is instructed by a wise old man given to restating the obvious (“Find and use the good that is hidden in the bad time”). The peaks and valleys of the title are the ups and downs of life that we all must master in our own way. Got it? Next time out, one hopes that the author–who has a genuine talent for motivating readers–will find the courage to look for some fresher cheese.


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