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The Why Are You Here Cafe: A new way of finding meaning in your life and your work.

(The Why Café #1)

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3.65  ·  Rating details ·  21,653 ratings  ·  1,662 reviews
The inspirational four time bestseller of the year tells the story of a young man, John, who heads off on a driving trip to "re-charge his batteries". After getting terribly lost, he finds himself at a small cafe in the middle of nowhere. There he finds three intriguing questions on the back of the cafe menu: Why Are You Here? Do You Fear Death? Are You Fulfilled? With the ...more
Kindle Edition
Published June 21st 2019 (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 3.65  · 
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 ·  21,653 ratings  ·  1,662 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
Mike
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
Just don't waste your time on reading this book, even on considering reading this book. Don't repeat my mistake... ...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
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.
Rebecca
Jan 29, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
BAHAHAHAHAHAHA not to shame anyone's favourite book but if this is the most inspiring book you've ever read you should sit down for like 5 minutes and think about your life bc every aspect of this book people could find mildly interesting will come to you by itself

let me quote Melissa Marie Green from 2000's Emo-Crunkcore Band "Millionaires" to sum up this book: "I do what I want, middle finger in the air"

1,5 ⭐️

why not 1 ⭐️ if it bored the fuck outta me you ask? because if this book is what it t
...more
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
Judith
May 06, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Meh.
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
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
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. ...more
Maria De Bleser
Aug 18, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Bullshit.
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.
...more
Uwe Alschner
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Remo
Aug 08, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think the three main questions mentioned in the book are worth thinking about. But I don‘t need a clumsily written book with unconvincing characters to tell me on 122 pages that I have to answer them by myself.
The best thing you can do is to read the three questions on the backcover before you buy the book and use the time you would spend reading it to actually think about them.
Casiana Patrasescu
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kimi Speer
Feb 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Chapteraway
Deep Shit is going on.
Stacey B
A friend of mine lent me her book to see what I thought. It's a short book, so I figured-why not.
She enjoyed the book very much as a spiritual fiction book, while I felt it was a self help book.
Though this "style" is not in my top ten- I did learn a thing or two.
///
I am bothered by some of the reviews and comments that reflect opinions and reactions of a book which is fiction based. I found them to be a rant of hurtful words and chosen verbiage.
Assuming there was no-one holding a gun to their
...more
Martipaan
Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
linda
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
antonia
May 31, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
of course you could say that the core message of this book has already been told many times. however, the way this book spoke to me was different than most of the other books did. i feel like you really have to allow yourself to enjoy this book. to actually think about the questions asked in there. if you’re able to do that, i think you’ll enjoy it as much as i did!
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
Alexa Petre
Mediocre book which took me about 2 hours to finish. Predictive, sappy, unoriginal and, I have to say, not very practical in giving advice. However, I am giving it 2 stars instead of one because it has some worthwhile ideas in it, and for the fact that it doesn't take too long to read it and hence not much time is lost, it can be a tolerable read. ...more
Deb
Dec 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meh....I wanted to like it more and feel more inspired. However, I found myself skimming through the last half.
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
Josi
Jun 02, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021-06
Two stars.
I didn’t really enjoy the writing, and the book didn’t teach me anything new, but there are some nice analogies and for someone else it might provide some new value. But please take it with a pinch of salt, because ‚do what you love and everything’s gonna work out just fine‘ is probably not the only life lesson one should habe internalized.
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.
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388 followers
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
...more

Other books in the series

The Why Café (3 books)
  • Wiedersehen im Café am Rande der Welt: Eine inspirierende Reise zum eigenen Selbst
  • Auszeit im Café am Rande der Welt. Eine Wiederbegegnung mit dem eigenen Selbst

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