Book Review| The Second Mountain by David Brooks


So I usually decide what to read by checking the #NYTimes best sellers list, asking a friend or, of course, from the recommendations that you all send me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. This read came straight from the NY Times best sellers list currently at #5, two weeks on the list overall.


The primary reason for starting this blog was in an effort to create a place where a community of friends can grow together unapologetically living out our passions so this book seemed fitting. Personal growth is the central focus of The Second Mountain by David Brooks. Brooks is a New York Times Op-Ed columnist touting the purpose of the book as teaching others how to live a more fulfilling life.


Brooks starts out by orienting the reader to an analogous twin mountain scenario. Mountain one represents the mainstream American Dream: rapid streamlined career, financial and relational success. Those that are at the point in life in which they are climbing this hypothetical mountain constantly ask themselves questions like: Am I who I say I am? How do I measure up to the status quo? This mountain is selfish, self-serving.


Those that are on or climbing the second mountain realize that the “desires of the ego will never satisfy the deepness in themselves.” Therefore they tend to rebel against main stream society because they want to be a person serving others. The peak of this mountain, Brooks argues, is the epitome of a fulfilling life.


Between these mountains is a valley. Here is where people end up when they begin to realize their dreams aren’t coming to fruition. At this point on the journey they can decide to become bitter or decide to begin an ascend up the second mountain. Brooks makes a point that not everyone begins on the first mountain. One can begin anywhere in the schematic but it is their choice as to where they end up.


The author very often quotes from other authors or intellectuals in this books which, in my opinion, makes it hard to get an idea of what Brooks actually thinks in his own words. Though, he does share personal stories and accounts that will help the reader identify with his train of thought, more of which would have made an even better book.


There is certainly a need for the Self-Help genre and this topic hence the success of this book. So I would recommend this book for anyone researching how to find happiness in benefit of experiencing the journey of another. Anyone looking for an entertaining, though provoking discussion sparking deep thinking and brand new ideas should look elsewhere.


As always, when you are finished reading, connect with me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to let me know your thoughts, questions and/or comments. I love hearing from you all!


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xoxoxoxoxox -Happy reading my friends,

RTOR