Broadman & Holman
John Trent's The 2 Degree Difference is a 243-page hardbound book that would have made a really good eight-page magazine article with a couple of sidebars. It takes 31 pages just to get started, in that it drags out a saga about a "loser" named Brian whose job and family are a mess. Brian later gets help from his Marine Corps son Andy and a pastor friend Eric, who convince him that small changes over time will result in substantial personal advances.
There are a lot of problems with this book. First, this narrative style of novels that teach business lessons went out of vogue ten years ago when people quit buying Ken Blanchard variations of The One Minute Manager. Second, there is absolutely nothing original here. Even Trent confesses that he is borrowing major themes from Rudi Giuliani's book Leadership, Anne Lamott's book Bird By Bird, and several texts (from which he quotes liberally) written by C. S. Lewis. Basically, the bottom line is just take baby steps, but do so consistently, and you'll finish a great journey. For one man, it means losing 100 pounds. For another man, it means learning to love people he dislikes so that he now can work more effectively with them. For one young girl, it means learning how to master concentration so as to be able to read aloud for long passages.
I, personally, talked about this phenomenon in my book Uncommon Sense more than 20 years ago, and I spent one chapter getting to the point (even with illustrations and examples). More recently, books such as Tipping Points have explained it in great detail. Yet another book on the subject is not needed.
The last third of this book is an analysis of the first two-thirds, in that it reviews what happened to our main character Brian, asks what he learned, and then leaves lines and white space so that you, the reader, can write out applications from your own life. My guess is, readers will have been doing that all along mentally while reading the earlier chapters.
I regret that I cannot recommend spending $19.99 for this book. There is too much filler and not enough original substance. – Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, Christian Book Previews.com
Best-selling author John Trent has realized that, despite the boom in spiritual books pointing to the promise of a more meaningful life, the process of actually changing one’s life is still too overwhelming to hundreds of thousands of readers.
The 2-Degree Difference is his response to that reality. This dynamic book begins with the parable of a man who has tried every motivational resource available, but still keeps falling apart. That is until two men—a world apart—show him how to move from wanting to change to actually changing, two degrees at a time.
Following the parable, Trent provides real-life insight along with a study guide that any person or small group can use to keep moving forward.