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The Why Cafe

(The Why Café #1)

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3.69  ·  Rating details ·  12,641 ratings  ·  1,016 reviews
The inspirational #1 Bestseller by John P. Strelecky. Now translated into forty-two languages and read by more than 6 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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JamiG4 In a capitalistic consumer culture, many of us are selling our lives for dollars. What we need to decide is how many dollars to we need (how much stuf…moreIn a capitalistic consumer culture, many of us are selling our lives for dollars. What we need to decide is how many dollars to we need (how much stuff do we need as well) and how long are we willing/able to stay in the rat race to get there. My husband and I saved for years and then retired young to enjoy life. We watch our spending, have no mortgage and few bills and are very lucky to have found our way to here. We live in the woods and enjoy nature more than we ever have. And we recommend owning your time. And we comprehend that privilege and blessing has allowed us much of our success. (less)

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Average rating 3.69  · 
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 ·  12,641 ratings  ·  1,016 reviews


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René Roth
Jun 11, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Offensive rant incoming.

Fuck everything about this book. Over 100 pages of "just do what you love and everything will work out :)))) just be yourself bro :))))"

NO. FUCK YOU. THAT IS NOT HOW IT WORKS.

This book is thinly veiled New Thought Law of Attraction esoteric feel good wish wash, which at least explains why so many people like it. (Spoiler: many people are kind of stupid)
This book is your college stoner roommate telling you that advertising just like, totally makes you unhappy and plays on
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Why Cafe, John P. Strelecky

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 different kind.

In addition to the specials of the day, the cafe menu lists three questions all diners are encourage to consider.

Why are you here?

Do you fear death?

Are you fulfilled?

With this food for thought and the guidance of three
...more
Michael
Aug 08, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I got it from a friend and it was the worst book I've ever read! The writing is terribly boring (I don't know how it is in English, I've read it in German) but the language is so easy and the sentences are so awfully structured... sometimes I wanted to puke...

The story is a typical esoteric story for people who never, I mean absolutely never thought about their life... A tree should have thought more about his life than the people who enjoy this book. The moral of the story is boring and could b
...more
Jessica
Dec 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Tina
May 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
Just don't waste your time on reading this book, even on considering reading this book. Don't repeat my mistake...
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
Naushika
Jan 05, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Horrible. Worst of all the author is taking this seriously. Awfully written and the content itself is the worst esoteric and pseudo-personality-coaching stuff around.

The only way to read this book is together with friends and passing the book round to read it aloud. You will certainly have a great laugh.
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 change
...more
Judith
May 06, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Meh.
Dani
Aug 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So many people wandering around without any thought or idea why they're in this world... Just in case you call the book cliché - there is a pure necessity of such books to exist.
CrowAndKraken
Jun 20, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was recommended to me in the highest terms. "Read it, it's life-changing! And it's absolutely not like any other life guide!" Well... it absolutely is just like any other life guide. Just because it comes in a novel wrapper doesn't make it new, you diddies. It's exactly the same platitudes that I can hear from a kitchen table philosopher on any street corner. Seriously, I had deeper, more insightful conversations when I was a student and drunk at parties than this wishy-washy "Do what ...more
Jersy
Sweet story that motivates to do the things you enjoy. The message isn't groundbreaking but reading this at the exact right moment can most certainly be nice.
I liked the writing and the characters much more than I would have thought.
Sure, the examples and messages could be more general at some parts and less at others but at its core it has the right attitude and conveys it in a way that is actually fun.
Dennaleia
I seldom read a book that is so uncritical and obviously unresearched regarding philosophy, capitalism and the american way of life. And really, it is almost funny (or not) how Strelecky couldn't reflect his personal position as a rich, white, male manager, who could afford to go to and eat at a café at the back of beyond.

But let's briefly integrate the two positive things (spoiler: they doesn't save the book from an angry one-star-rating). The book is written in easy words and obviously makes a
...more
Chapteraway
Deep Shit is going on.
Maria De Bleser
Aug 18, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Bullshit.
Martipaan
Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
It is actually a 3.5/5 stars. It was a nice read, pretty refreshing and if I had no idea about the concepts that are presented in the book, I mat have been more impressed.
Overall, I think the short lenght of the book gives the reader a small life lesson.
Uwe Alschner
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: purpose
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
Kimi Sharp
Feb 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
linda (flourishreader)
I don't know how to rate this book, guys. A friend of mine recommended it to me and that's probably why I would have really liked to love this book but it's just... nothing new, nothing extremely special, nothing that makes you realize things. To make it short; it was unsatisfying for me. (⇀‸↼‶) I think that the whole "café-idea" is really cool but it was not that well made (e.g. the dialogues were flat, the messages were the same and repeated X times, etc.).

All in all, this book is just overhy
...more
Lara Valentina
Too superficial and not deep enough for me..the book shows interesting first signs for ideas, but doesn't question enough. Actually, it only says: "Do what you love" which is basically a good idea, but there are so many questions that weren't even considered like: WHY are we actually here? Is there a creator who is beyond everything? Is there nothing more? Would that change our behavior or PFE? How easy and realistic is "doing what you love"? And is it egoistic/do we have any responsibilities th ...more
Yasmin Halliwell Fraser Bower
This book was nothing like I expected it to be. I picked it up for sale in a bookstore last month because it said something about advertising and changing career paths, which is my field and my professional status at the moment, so it caught my attention.

As it was, the book has an inspirational brand into it. It's porpoise is to make you reflect about your life and decisions, if you ae wasting your time in something you don't actually care about and how to be aware of it, in order to change it a
...more
Bernhard Wirmer
Apr 26, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Surely the most ridiculous and stupid story I have ever read, especially when compared to its ambition to present, according to the title (from the German translation) “A tale about the sense of life”. Maybe the terrible quality of the translation in German has contributed its part.
Karopapier
This book was actually read to me as a series of bedtime stories, and as such I liked it. I highly doubt I would have enjoyed it much had I had to read it myself. The message is obvious right from the start and the author approaches the reader with a moral sledgehammer. Yay for the conclusion, nay for the in-your-face obviousness.
Rimma
Mar 15, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Theresa
Jan 23, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Peg
Jan 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Devon Fritz
Jun 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: deutsch, fiction
I read this book in German because it was given to me and wasn't too complicated. The self-help nature would have repelled me had it been in English. The writing was terrible (could have been the translator's fault), but that isn't the main problem. I shutter to think of the people who get something out of this book that they haven't already thought of through self exploration. The main question of the book is, for example: "why are you here?" Who hasn't already considered this question? Maybe a ...more
Lara
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Nice idea and all but the philosophy behind it all and the way it was delivered was just a bit too banal. Plus I couldn't always agree. Like for example the only reason you can be afraid of death is that once you're dead you won't have the chance anymore to do what you want to do. So if you do what you want to do every day you're not going to be afraid of death anymore. Come on. Ever heard of fearing the unknown?! Oblivion?! Whatever?!
Also not one idea in this book, not one single thought was a
...more
Shannon
Dec 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
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!
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My path to being a writer has been an interesting one. It started when I left my “normal” life behind and decided to follow a life-long dream of seeing the world. I was thirty-two years old at the time. Too old to be leaving a lucrative career and acting like a college kid, many people told me. I heard the word “crazy” a lot when people learned what I was planning.

I’d crawled my way up from the po
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The Why Café (3 books)
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  • Auszeit im Café am Rande der Welt. Eine Wiederbegegnung mit dem eigenen Selbst

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