Simon Parke (3 stars)

The Beautiful Life (Bloomsbury)


It’s been a fair few years since Moses scribbled down the Ten Commandments and for many of us, they’re a little outmoded. Stepping into the breach, with a whole new set of ideas to live your life by, is former priest Simon Parke. Subtitled ‘Ten New Commandments Because Life Could Be Better’, Parke’s book is neither a self-help guide nor religious manifesto. Instead, he gently talks us through a series of mental states which, if embraced, will reduce stress, guilt, fear and all the other emotions that cripple us on a daily basis.

Nothing worth having comes easy, of course, and Parke’s words don’t always make sense immediately, but most of this inspirational book burns itself onto your consciousness. Parke’s first commandment that we should ‘Be Present’ - living for today, not yesterday or tomorrow - isn’t exactly a new concept, but sometimes it’s the simple things in life we need to be reminded of.

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