Book Reviews

Review: Peaks and Valleys by Spencer Johnson, M.D.

Very creative. We see here a cover that uses letters to visualize the concept of this book.


( Extracted from Amazon )

A young man lives unhappily in a valley. One day he meets an old man who lives on a mountain peak. At first the young man doesn’t realize that he is talking to one of the most peaceful and successful people in the world. But in the course of further encounters and conversations, the young man comes to understand that he can apply the old man’s remarkable principles and practical tools to his own life to change it for the better. Spencer Johnson knows how to tell a deceptively simple story that teaches deep lessons. The One Minute Manager (co-written with Ken Blanchard) sold 15 million copies and stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for more than twenty years. Since it was published a decade ago, Who Moved My Cheese? has sold more than 25 million copies. In fact there are more than 46 million copies of Spencer Johnson’s books in print, in forty-seven languages—and with today’s economic uncertainty, his new book could not be more relevant. Pithy, wise, and empowering, Peaks and Valleys is clearly destined to become another Spencer Johnson classic.


I enjoy reading self help books. I have read quite a few of them ranging from soul searching to human symbolism and psychology. Peaks and Valleys was gifted to me by my Mother ( hey Mom! ). It delivers a metaphorical story in an easy to understand format and is a very quick read. I found it too elementary for my specific liking, covering a concept that I have thought about several times having no direct external introduction to. Honestly, this book is written for a twelve year old reading level. However, the most simple concepts in the universe are sometimes the most valuable. Let me be very clear about one thing: this book covers a very valuable strategy that can break you out of an undesirable cycle pattern in your life.

I have also read the book Who Moved My Cheese?. I have a similar opinion of that book as well. I would say that every mentor ( whether you be a father, big brother, counselor, teacher, boss, etc ) needs to give these books to their mentees. It is important to learn these concepts as they are to be learned and practiced early in life.


While not particularly engaging in an abstract manner, this self help book delivers a message that I believe to be very valuable. It is well written and delivers the message contained in a very organized manner and in a memorable way. I give this book  ★★★☆☆ 3 stars out of 5 – worth reading, but leaves my personal desire to find something very special or interesting a bit unfulfilled. If I was reviewing the fact that the book is essential knowledge for youngsters before you start making important adult decisions, I would have given it five stars.

Guys, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S. D. McKinley

By S.D. McKinley

S.D. McKinley lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. He was born in the first half of the 1980's and grew up in Wisconsin as a young boy, then moved to Georgia when he turned exactly twelve years old. During teenage years, he raced dirt track go karts and played guitar. He discovered his current love for all kinds of art after his mid-life crisis at 25 years old. S.D. McKinley began writing books in 2017.

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