Book Review: What Really Matters by Haim Shapira

September 25, 2011


“What Really Matters” by Haim Shapira is a non-fiction book which asks many philosophical questions and sometimes even answers them. The literal translation of the title is “Things that Truly Matter”.

Thoughts on: What Really Matters by Haim ShapiraMy rating for What Really matters – 4
Books by Haim Shapira*


“What Really Matters” by Haim Shapira asks some very important questions such as “what happens when Winnie the Pooh meets Woody Allen?”, “how are Wonderland (of Alice fame) and The Matrix connected?” and tries to answer such universal queries as to the philosophy of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The book touches on many subjects which bother many people on a daily base.
What is happiness?
How can we capture it?

As a mathematician, Mr. Shapira also brings some very interesting, enlightening and entertaining statistical studies about the subjects which he writes about. For example, many people would prefer to have a proof of an experience than to actually have the experience with no memory of it (then again, if you have no memory then did you really have the experience?).

Dear Man,

Everyday when I get up I feel how lucky I am to be your wife. Life with you is truly and adventure and I cherish every moment I am with you.

Mrs. La Book

True? False? Who cares – it’s in writing.

A really thought provoking section, for me, was the one about wasting time and doing nothing. When I got married my wife (May She Live A Long Life) was amazed at my inability to relax. We went on a cruise to Nova Scotia on our honeymoon and it took me the whole week to relax and by that time we were already back in New Jersey.
I’d like to think I’ve gotten better.

The author’s notion that time cannot be wasted because it’s always there, it is us that are moving along was also something that really had me thinking for a while.

The only thing which bothered me a bit in the book was the sayings which are peppered throughout as if the author was trying to use up space. While I did enjoy them, I felt that many broke the flow of the book and the thoughts that came with it.

So tell me, would you rather have a letter from your favorite movie star thanking you for the “great time last night showing pleasures I did not know existed” or would you rather have the experience itself?


The book touches on many subjects and beloved stories, “Alice in Wonderland”, “The Little Prince”, A. A. Milne‘s “Winnie the Pooh” to explain or enlighten some philosophical and psychological analysis which the author makes. Mr. Shapira, a university professor and sought after speaker, brings many quotations from noted individuals to help him bring complex concept in a funny, breezy way to the readers.

Books by Haim Shapira*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer:I got this book as a gift
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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What Really Matters by Haim Shapira


  • Leslie @ Tic TocSeptember 26, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Wow, It does sound very provoking. Also quite enlightening. Thank you as always for sharing your thoughts on the books you read, they are not always mainstream and yet you find a way to capture the imagination.


    • zoharSeptember 26, 2011 at 9:46 am

      Thanks Leslie. After some time of killing myself reading books I “thought” would interest my blog readers, I just decided to read books I want to read. Hopefully it shows.

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