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The Why Cafe

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3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  435 ratings  ·  101 reviews
The inspirational #1 Bestseller by John P. Strelecky. Now translated into twenty-one languages and read by more than a million readers worldwide. In a small cafe at a location so remote it sits in the middle of the middle of nowhere, John--a man in a hurry--is at a crossroads. Intent only on refueling before moving along on his road trip, he finds sustenance of an entirely ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published 2011 by Aspen Light Publishing (first published September 15th 2003)
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The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen CorasantiDark Side by J.M. BarlogThe Orphan Master's Son by Adam JohnsonThe Rook by Daniel O'MalleyThe Why Cafe by John P. Strelecky
Books won on Goodreads
5th out of 319 books — 167 voters
Ascending Into Euphoria by Tiffany TinneyA Vine in the Blood by Leighton GageLetters to a Prisoner by Cornelia "Connie D." DeDonaThe Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen CorasantiSilent Dreams by Helle Gade
Books I have Won thru Goodreads Giveaways.
12th out of 22 books — 13 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 918)
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Afsaneh khajavi
کتابی بسیار زیبا و تعمق برانگیز که با اشاره موضوعات ساده ولی مهم زندگی خواننده را به تفکر درمورد چرایی زندگی اش وا میدارد. ترجمه عالی آقای ملکی به هرچه جذاب تر شدن کتاب کمک بزرگی کرده! توصیه میکنم فرصت خواندن این کتاب کوچک را از دست ندهید .
Amanda
I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway & got it yesterday.

**Do not read this book if you don't want to be tempted by breakfast food that you can't have**

This is small, fast read. It's a quick "thinking" book that asks the reader to look at their daily life and really think about what they are living for.

Do I think this book does it job in helping people in their everyday struggles? Kinda, but not really.

This book does not straightforwardly tell you how to do something or make those life ch
...more
Rimma
I received the book for free through Goodreads First Read

I guess, it is a good books for some, it may not be liked as a book by everyone, it will appeal to many people in the right time of their life.
The traveler who stop to take a bite in the Why cafe asked to answer a questions about meaning of their life; I mean the questions are pointing reader to think about meaning of their life. By asking the questions to put them on a journey to find that meaning for themselves and find their fulfillment
...more
Kimi Sharp
Simple, short read that will make you re-think your entire reason for existing. I would not consider this the most eloquently-written book I have ever read. The author does not even attempt to make you fall in love with his characters, but that's the beauty of it. Instead, you will find yourself deep in self-reflection as you turn the pages.

I loved how the supporting characters tell short stories that you can refer back to in your own life. Such as how Casey couldn't out-swim a Green Sea Turtle
...more
Mike Feher
This book, written on a second-grade level, was loaned to me by a friend and so (as I'm a bit of a book slut) I took to reading it. Suffice it to say, I read at least half of it while stuck on a taxiway before a flight. It is quite simple, almost to the point of being overgeneralizing, but in all seriousness, it has a couple of good points based on the questions the protagonist encounters on a menu at a Normal Rockwell cafe in the middle of BFE. It's premised on a story of Western culture and ci ...more
Uwe Alschner
I am sorry for everyone who hasn't been touched by this. It is a book which truly can change your life. It changed mine.
Whoever knows their purpose for existing has no need to read this book. But they will understand how important it is to find out the answer for that simple yet existential question: Why am I here?

I did not know my purpose before reading this book. I just lived an average life. Success was something which was "out there", which was said to important to achieve, and for which you
...more
Peg
The Why Cafe by John Strelecky. This book was provided to me free-of-charge by GoodReads, FirstReads. This is a short (only 144 pages), easy-to-read, thought-provoking book that asks three questions: (1) Why Are You Here?, (2) Do You Fear Death?, and (3) Are You Fulfilled?

John Strelecky shows you how to take a new direction in life by discovering your Purpose for Existing (PFE). By contemplating the three questions on the menu at The Why Cafe and discussing them with the chef/owner, the waitress
...more
Cindy
I won this book from "first reads" awhile ago and I'm sorry it took me so long to read it! A good quick read that asks the question "Why am I here?" There are stories told to John about a green sea turtle, a fisherman and others that have you thinking about how you're living your own life. This is not a preachy book, instead it's a book that has you taking a look at your life and asking yourself "Why am I here?" and What is my PFE? (Purpose for Existing) You could easily find yourself thinking a ...more
Mojtaba
خيلي كتاب پر بار و عميقي بود
داستان چرايي هايي كه خيلي مهمه ولي اكثرا ناديده گرفته ميشه
بيان ساده و محيط دوستانه كافه خيلي به گيرايي داستان كمك كرده
Shannon
This was a very interesting book. Lots to think about. When I read it I thought it was going to be more how-to and it is more a story and you make out of it what you want. I think I'd be a little freaded out at the Cafe but it is interesting to think about and what I should be doing with my life compared to what I'm doing now! I do get stuck in ruts and this is a way to think maybe I could be doing more or better for myself!
India
Just as easy as "who moved my cheese," and just as surprisingly effective.
Travis
This is definitely a cool book, and especially for those who feel frustrated, trapped, or unfulfilled in their daily lives.
The small stories and probing questions presented are great. One of the best ways this is carried is that throughout the book there is no "one size fits all" method. The author recognizes that different people have different needs, wants, and ways to carry those out. A lot is left to the readers' interpretation, which is one of the book's highest qualities.
The setting and i
...more
Sandy
John gets snarled up in some traffic and decides to get off the highway - so much for enjoying his vacation. Little does he know that what he is going to encounter is much more enlightening than some R & R than he thought his vacation was going to provide. I really enjoyed the front and baack cover of this book and I was hoping for some more "deep" profundly moments for myself as I read this book but it just provided for me the reasurrance for the things I already knew. The author John did a ...more
Diane
I am received this as one of Goodreads first-reads in the mail. :) Yay I won something!

This sat on my bed-side table for a month, patiently waiting its turn to be read...I really enjoyed it, overall.

I still cannot believe that The Why Cafe really exists is some middle-of-nowhere place...but hey, if Strelecky says it does, than sure!

Strelecky finds this place as a result of an oil tanker turning over on the highway and he chooses to not stay in traffic for hours, but to turn around and find his
...more
Theresa
I won my copy of The Why Cafe from the Goodreads, First Reads program on December 26 2011 and it arrived on January 11 2012.

This was a short little read so I set myself right to it. John finds himself stuck in traffic, so he ventures off the highway only to get a bit lost. He happens upon a cafe called, "Why Are You Here Cafe". It is an old school kind of diner with the chrome fountain stools an red booths. It seems one only happens upon this cafe if and when they really need it. Like at a cross
...more
Judy (Geeky Reading)
~2.5-3/5
[Also available on my blog.]



The Why Café is about a guy, John, who gets lost and stops in at this café, where he ends up staying a bit longer than planned, just to talk to the wait staff some more. He ends up talking to them about how some people get on their way to feeling fulfilled. How some people wonder what their purpose in life is, and once they find that out and begin working toward completing it, they feel more fulfilled.

Now, this is a very tiny book, at just over a hundred pages
...more
Book Him Danno
Interesting and thought provoking, this little book will take about an hour of your time and yet you will be left with more thinking and pondering than you might what. Why are you here? I will be reviewing this book on my blog soon and I do think this is one for everyone to read and think about.


I loved this book, I have to say that it really made me want to know why I’m here and what I can do with the time I have left. This is not a religious book, it is a philosophical book. Why? Why? Why are
...more
Colby
You may or may not consider the things I included spoilers. I, personally, don't.
I won this in a goodreads giveaway.

I really went back and forth on whether or not I liked this book...the writing is not bad, and it's a very slender volume that, if you wanted to, you could easily read in one setting, but I did not do this. I don't feel like this was a failure on my part as a reader. The book was by no means riveting...it was one of those books that makes you think you should feel good about yourse
...more
Jessica
My Amazon review: It is hard to ignore how insulting this book is.

It takes advantage of a political climate that thinks we must be told what our morals are going to be.

It says nothing anyone with a moral compass and a brain hasn't figured out for themselves.

The idea that someone would find this book enlightening is more frightening than the thought that someone would find The Five People You Meet in Heaven refreshingly insightful.

The writing is below sub-par.

Here is all you need to prove what a
...more
Susanne
I finished this book today and am not really sure yet, whether I like it or not. It did touch me, but then again I sometimes was appalled because it seems to overly simplify things. Then again, all great and important things are simple when you take a closer look. You experience yourself walking a few steps on that questions-path, but then you trip over several "but, what if"s, and have to get up again. I am considering reading it again, though. There is food for thought, but you definitely have ...more
Jessica
Simple. Straightforward. Eye opening. It is an excellent “lite” version of your typical ‘what is my purpose in life’ type book.

I enjoyed many of the anecdotes in the book however, I felt that the very basic, almost bland, way they came up minimized how profound they actually are. I’m not sure but it felt almost juvenile? Perhaps that was his intention- to make the book speak to the lowest common denominator, maybe so it could be accessible and easy to read for anyone. On the bright side of this
...more
Cindy
Jan 06, 2012 Cindy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
I won this book on Goodreads and received it in this mornings mail. Since it wasn't long, I decided to sit and read it in one sitting!

It was a enjoyable book that really made you think. Three questions are throughout the book: Why are you here?, Do you fear death? and Are you fulfilled? and John finds them on a cafe restaurant menu when he gets lost driving. The people in the cafe explain the questions.

The PFE, Purpose for Existing, really stuck in my mind. I will probably read this book again
...more
Ranoom
great ^^
Linda
Aug 19, 2013 Linda added it
Shelves: own
I didn't rate this book because it's not the kind of books I tend to read; so I don't think it's fare to the author.
John does raise some really good issues as to why we work our behinds off, just to poses things we really don't need or seldom us after we buy it, because either we're working all the time to pay for these things or because it wasn't really what you wanted anyway.
He says we work all the time,to save up for retirement and for the time we finally get to do the things we like to do. W
...more
Debbie Robson
Well this was very timely. It seems I really do need reminding about staying focused on fulfulling my PFE (Purpose For Existing). There were some really helpful pointers presented in easy to understand (and more importantly remember) analogies ie not spending so much time on the incoming waves that you miss catching the outgoing ones.
For me this is the passage that had the most impact:
"Even people who feel they have a Purpose For Existing, and believe they have the right to fulfull it, sometime
...more
Carol
I received a free copy from Goodreads First Reads giveaways.

I loved the initial claim that the cafe felt like something out of the Twilight Zone - I love that show. I really am interested in the premise of the book. However, I was not a big fan of the execution of the information. I was glad it was short so I could get the message. The constant conversation and reiterating the questions over and over again got a tad tiresome, but I do understand where the author is coming from. It was probably b
...more
Courtney
2-2.5 stars. It had a good message and I loved the premise of a philosophical café, but the writing style was a little hackneyed and overly simple in an annoying manner (such as the obvious food metaphor, and the 'how does she know what I'm thinking' trope that's poorly done). However, I did appreciate the golf anecdote. Also, I was familiar with the fisherman's tale, although I prefer Jutta Bauer's little book called 'Selma' about a sheep who has found contentment.
I'm not currently in a place i
...more
Shelley
A fast read. John P. Strelecky has converted one of his speeches (never heard him speak, I"m just presuming) into a novel of a man losing his way on the road and stops to eat in a restaurant that is in the middle of no where. He is lectured by the owner (the cook) and the waitress. I don't understand how he spends 8 hours being there lectured. Is no one tired? Can anyone really sit in a booth for that long period of time eating? Can anyone be lectured for that long without going crazy? How about ...more
Masoud Niazi
The Why Café by John Stelecky is a story of a man who happens onto an all night café and finds 3 compelling questions on a menu. Why Are You Here? Do You Fear Death? Are You Fulfilled? Sparked by a fun and interesting midnight conversation, he begins to contemplate his purpose for existing, his PFE.
Kai
I find "The Why Cafe" to be a life finding moment. Reason I say that is because when you're not doing what you like or love, life can be quite redundant. As indicated in when we get burnt out, we take a vacation to recharge and we continued to do this continuous until we find something that we really like.

This book really put things into perspective. It is a book to read especially when we are having a mid-life crisis and to find out is wrong with our lives. It begins with three basic questions
...more
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Following a life changing event when he was thirty-three years old, John was inspired to sit down and tell the story of "The Why Cafe." Within a year of its release, word-of-mouth support from readers had the book inspiring people on every continent, including Antarctica. It went on to become a #1 Bestseller, and has now been translated into twenty-one languages. John has since written other books ...more
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