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Life 2.0: How People Across America Are Transforming Their Lives by Finding the Where of Their Happiness (9780609810316): Rich Karlgaard, Rick Warren: Books. As the publisher of Forbes and with an extensive background in Silicon Valley, Karlgaard might be expected to have particular insight into how Americans rattled by the bursting of the dot-com bubble are coming to grips with their tightened circumstances and creating their own minirecoveries. His book's problem is lack of focus—is it a personal account of his learning to fly a small aircraft so he can fly state-to-state to meet local success stories, or is it a more detached observation of the economic forces driving folks out of the coastal metropolises to find larger lives in smaller places? The two halves never really gel, and though the economic aspects of the story generally hold sway, his own stories overshadow the perspectives of those he's reporting. The compelling story of a woman who retires from the State Department to do freelance foreign political consulting out of Bismarck, N.D., for example, is interrupted by Karlgaard's telling of his high school crush. A tail-end list of 150 Cheap Places to Live creates further fragmentation, but it is one of the book's most valuable sections. There's definitely a thought-provoking story to be told here, but it's debatable whether Karlgaard has succeeded in putting the pieces together. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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