#EmptyShelfChallenge Book Review: Love Does

Books completed since December 27, 2013: 1


I finished this book (finally) several days ago, and I’m conflicted on this review.

I have seen or heard over a dozen interviews with author Bob Goff, and I think he’s an incredibly genuine, engaging person.  I’d absolutely love to have dinner or a cup of hot chocolate with him.  Especially hot chocolate, as our temperature just crept up to 1F late this morning.

I laughed out loud several times through his widely popular NYT bestseller, Love Does.  If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a memoir of sorts in which Bob challenges readers to “discover a secretly incredible life in an ordinary world”.  It’s spawned conferences and bible studies (one at my own church), videos and countless great conversations.

It’s an easy read, full of thoughtful stories of Bob’s life.  If anyone has ever lived a life of whimsy and abandon (in a good way!), it’s Bob.  Some of the things he’s done are nothing short of mind-blowing.  His kids have had adventures I’d love to provide my own, so in this sense I finished the book greatly inspired.


For months, I’ve read so many rave reviews.  People who are inspired to do incredible things.  Phrases like “completely life-changing”.  For me?  Meh.  I wanted it to be.  Perhaps my expectations were too grand?

It’s worth reading.  More accurately, I think Bob is someone worth following in every form possible – social media, upcoming writing, any time you can hear him speak.  For crying out loud, the man is a best-selling author and answers his cell phone every time it rings, if at all possible – the cell phone with the number publicly broadcast in the back of his book.  But I can’t say the book matched my expectations.  Perhaps if I had read it before reading The In-Between?  Not that they’re exclusive… maybe I’ll need to read it again in the future.

I have a feeling I’m in the minority, but hopefully you aren’t hearing me really rip on the book.  I did love so many of the stories, but as someone in my Bible study said, it felt a little like a funnier “Chicken Soup” book.

If you read it, what did you think?  I’m so encouraged by the people who did find life-changing messages in it, that I’d love to hear yours!


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  1. says

    It is a very different kind of book. I didn’t get a lot out of it personally and I appreciate you voicing your opinion on it. Bob is incredible and he’s doing awesome things for sure, but I think Bob’s approach is definitely not one size fits all. We are not all going to have an office at Disneyland, or invite world leaders over to spend the night. And that’s 100% fine.
    Jim recently posted…The Secret About Pursuing A Dream

    • Jennifer Kaufman says

      Hooray, one comment, no haters! ;) I chuckled when you mentioned the office at Disneyland, because I started out the book thinking Bob and I were going to be kindred spirits. I actually *have* taken work to Tom Sawyer Island (though the Florida incarnation), on more than one occasion. It was subsequent chapters that I find myself disconnecting. I definitely agree that he’s a very cool guy, doing incredible things!

      Thanks so much for your comment!

  2. says

    I liked the book, it gave me a different focus on being intentional and saying yes. I liked peering into his life adventures a little bit, and the fact that he got into law school through sheer persistence. It did not change my life but, I have been more motivated to be less procrastinating after reading it twice (Audible). Sidenote, a book has to suck for me not to like it. PS: Thanks for your honesty.
    dilemmamike recently posted…I Needed A Place To Stay

  3. Rachel says

    I LOVE the book! I’ve read it a few times. One reading was actually aloud to my husband who doesn’t enjoy reading (unless it’s railroad related). He liked it as well. Bob definitely lives a different kind of life. It is crazy inspiring to me. But I can understand where you’re coming from. As much as I love, love the book, I thought I might go nuts if he used the word “whimsy” one more time :)

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