The Optimist

One Man's Search for the Brighter Side of Life

Publisher: Anchor Canada
When it comes to bad news, we’ve never had it so good.

Laurence Shorter is feeling anxious. Every time he opens a newspaper or turns on the radio he finds another reason to be tearful. It’s time to make a change. It’s time to be optimistic!

His plan is simple:
1. Learn how to jump out of bed in the morning.
2. Secure personal happiness.
3. Save the world.

The Optimist charts Shorter’s ambitious, year-long, international quest to seek out the world’s most positive thinkers, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Jung Chang, Matthieu Ricard, California’s renowned Surfing Rabbi, and Bill Clinton. But optimism doesn’t come easy, and Shorter’s resolve is tested at every corner: by a flagging career, a troubled love affair, and his ever-pessimistic dad.

The Optimist is a hilarious and ultimately life-affirming stand against the grind of everyday strife, packed with reasons to be cheerful.

From the Hardcover edition.


Bill Clinton:
“I could draw you an ugly picture about climate change,” he said, “a world without oil, AIDS. I could give you the worst-case scenario. But just recently, I spent a day in Africa, in the Oldivai range, in the Ngorongoro Crater where the first human beings in the world are said to...
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"A delightfully quirky journey of self-discovery that will make your spirits soar."
Daily Telegraph (UK)

"An entertaining read….Shorter is a witty writer… The Optimist won't convert confirmed pessimists but it is engaging enough to make you question negative habits — and perhaps restore a little faith in humanity's future."
Financial Times

"Shorter is a snappy writer--fast, compelling, sympathetic and seemingly honest."
The Guardian (UK)

"Part sitcom, part self-help, part pop psychology and part gentle philosophy. But mostly it's a book about writing a book…. What makes The Optimist a page-turner is that you end up caring about Laurence."

From the Hardcover edition.