One Simple Idea by Mitch Horowitz

I will have more to say later about One Simple Idea, I only just started reading it, but I went to a reading last night and it was PACKED. These pictures don’t really capture it. It was standing room only and people filled the aisles. The first picture is only a small piece of the left side of The Corner Bookstore.

The subtitle of the book is, How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life. I am the perfect audience for this book. For all my grousing I have always embraced the positive view (every day I write down three things that made me happy, no matter how small my pleasures might be on any one day, ie, “my plants are still alive.”). But I can’t stand when positive thinking glosses over the horrible, or offers aphorisms like, “Everything happens for a reason.” God, I hate that phrase.

In the beginning of the book Horowitz promises to frankly assess the movement. He will criticize what needs to be criticized, and offer a vision for the future of positive thinking. I’m there. The first two chapters made me feel good and I don’t think that was even the point.


A look back into the bookstore, as I was leaving. It was a nice audience. Mitch Horowitz has lovely friends and associates. Oh, and the back room was filled with their children, who were quietly reading books grabbed from the shelves.


Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

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