BOOK REVIEW: 'Trendspotting' does not foresee it all

In this book, Richard Laermer, CEO of RLM Public Relations, waxes philosophic on everything from tomorrow's microwaves to the elderly. While his credentials are solid, his sarcasm lends the tongue-in-cheek tone needed to take on the presumptuous task of predicting the future.

In this book, Richard Laermer, CEO of RLM Public Relations, waxes philosophic on everything from tomorrow's microwaves to the elderly. While his credentials are solid, his sarcasm lends the tongue-in-cheek tone needed to take on the presumptuous task of predicting the future.

Prophecies go from optimistic ("alternative energy will make the world more efficient") to existential ("the more we avoid the struggles of life, the less our lives will change"). The most entertaining section, "Think Like the Jetsons," gives glimpses of ultramodern gadgets on the horizon. But for every Sharper Image moment, Laermer states something that makes you question his qualifications, particularly in his chapter on spirituality.

While the predictions keep you reading, they're also the main problem. The author gets caught up in foreseeing trends and doesn't get to the how-to until the last chapter. Even then, his insight is basically just a list of websites. Laermer keeps the reader busy, but in the end, breaks his original promise.

Title Trendspotting

Author Richard Laermer

Publisher The Berkeley Publishing Group, 239 pages

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