by Keith Johnson

Tarcher / Penguin. $14.99, 340 pages

When it comes to the idea that there isn’t an original idea out there, they must have been thinking of the self-help industry. The Confidence Solution is based on the idea that most of a person’s problems come through a lack of confidence, and then shows that person how to become more confident as part of an actualization process. Its particular gimmick is a series of interlocked triangles, each of which has a single major concept and three minor concepts to access that concept. If followed, it could actually help someone become a success.

It’s not necessarily a bad book. It focuses in on its message, and delivers it without a problem; this looks like an effective program. It’s just practiced slick, in the manner of a revivalist preacher. Although there is a lot of good advice, it comes off as the first step of a program, and even advertises Dr. Johnson’s services. Someone could definitely benefit from the program, as it is one that has a lot of promise, just be aware that it is the literary equivalent of a 30-minute infomercial; read the book, take what you can from it, and debate what it is selling.

Jamais Jochim