by Kristin S. Kaufman

Brown Books Publishing, $22.95, 184 pages

Is This Seat Taken?, a book by Kristin S. Kaufman, explores how random, ordinary encounters can be the catalyst needed for personal growth. From a cab ride to dining alone on Valentine’s Day, she relates how 25 captivating personal experiences, when reflected upon, enabled her to realign her life and goals, leading to a greater sense of meaning and fulfillment after having spent 25 years in a stress-filled corporate environment. Kaufman explains how ordinary occurrences can be useful instruments to teach valuable life lessons, such as being aware of our surroundings, living in the moment, and asking relevant questions. If applied, these lessons can enable the reader to achieve the same level of personal fulfillment that the author recounts.

Each chapter includes inspirational verses, thought-provoking quotes, and appropriate questions that challenge individuals to do their own introspection of daily occurrences in order to find their deeper, hidden meanings. Although Kaufman’s personal stories are intriguing, the idea of living in the “now” is a topic that has been explored by many, maybe even too many, over the last decade. This could leave those readers searching for something new slightly disappointed.

Kimberly E. Logan