The other day as we were sitting here at the Raised on Hoecakes world headquarters, we received an email from someone claiming to be a senior account manager at the “A Group” who asked if we would be interested in reviewing the soon to be released book “Embracing Obscurity,” by “Anonymous.”
“Oh great,” we thought, “another ’419 scam’.”
For kicks, we started to dig around a little and found that the company is legitimate.
Our curiosity was piqued to say the least.
The writer of the email, Rodney Brown, said that he had seen our review of the Tim Tebow book “Through My Eyes,” and was wondering if we would be interested in reviewing a book being published by B&H Publishing called “Embracing Obscurity.”
(We have no delusions that we were picked to because of the greatness of our review of the Tebow book. We aren’t that good or special. We know the A Group did something like a Google search and we were there.)
We called Mr. Brown and talked to him for a bit. We made sure he knew that we would review the book as we saw fit, and if he was expecting a favorable review because he was sending us the book for free, well, that wasn’t going to happen. We also mentioned that there were laws about giving something in exchange for a favorable review.
Mr. Brown was upfront and said they would send a copy of the book and a copy of the law which covers reviews. His job, he explained, was to get people to review the book thereby creating a sort of viral marketing campaign.
We agreed and the book will be coming to us so look for a review in the future.
As part of the email, Mr. Brown attached a letter from the author which you can read here.
There’s even a video on the concept of the book:
At first we thought the author may be expanding on the commencement speech given by Wellesley High teacher David McCullough Jr. entitled “You’re Not Special.”
But McCullough’s speech deals with “special” in light of “you’re not entitled to anything,” a sentiment with which we agree.
“Embracing Obscurity” seems to want to deal with “obscurity” from a different angle – that of whether we should be happy and thrilled to live in “obscurity” in light of faith and God.
This whole thing can be a deeply philosophical discussion. For example, we have a good friend in Peru who is a pastor. Over the years of teaching and preaching to his church, as well as youth groups here in Florida, we suspect he has impacted hundreds of thousands of lives. We don’t think anyone can say that is “obscurity.” At the same time, he did not go seeking fame. He did not set out to be “not obscure,” but rather followed God’s path for his life. That path took him to where he is now.
It should be interesting to see how the Anonymous author balances the idea of following the path God sets out for ones life, the notoriety that sometimes happens because of that path, the need to be content in following the path absent of any worldly recognition, all the while recognizing that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.”
“Embracing Obscurity” has potential to be an interesting read. Whether in our opinion it realizes that potential, we’ll let you know.