Debut author Schuck uses an optimist/pessimist dichotomy to pose questions about values and the concept of balance.
This illustrated “Children’s Book for Grown-Ups” is based upon the perennial question of whether one considers a partially poured glass to be half full (the positive outlook) or half empty (the negative). In this book, the glass contains a line-art illustration of a live goldfish, symbolizing that the water contains life itself—a person’s entire cosmology. Indeed, in Schuck’s interpretation, the empty/full dilemma is shown to have a great deal of nuance. That dreaded empty space above the meniscus? “It’s really more like: ‘filled with Opportunity!,’ ” he writes. A glass can be too full, he says—particularly of bad things. One may also share their overflow with someone else, or one’s glass may have a crack in it, defined as “Risk,” which one must accommodate in some way. A repeated motif involves contrasting lists of ingredients (or personal qualities) in one’s glass, which can include everything from “dirty diapers” to “faith” to “sex-life.” These items are printed in many different typefaces throughout; the laundry list approach is understandable, but the wide variety of type styles employed here are distracting and excessive. Still, the fact that the author gets all these suggestions and directives across in just 48 pages should endear the book to readers whose nightstands are already full of self-help works by David D. Burns, Marianne Williamson, and other life coaches. Even Richard Carlson’s 1997 classic Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and It’s All Small Stuff seems massive by comparison.
One of life’s littler instruction books, and one that goes down easily.