“To me, there was magic in the learning.”
– Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama’s book “Becoming” is an excellent read. It is interesting, funny and you can learn a lot from it. I think it is also (or maybe even especially) an excellent read for everyone who is being forced to stay at home because of the Corona Crisis. Why?
Practicalities first: the novel has got 400+ pages, which is great, because we have a lot of time to spend at home and what’s better than having a good read to kill all that time?
Apart from that, the book has got a very positive and uplifting tone, something we do not find in the news nowadays and something we all need more than ever.
The book also contains many life lessons. Let me share two lessons you can find in this book and you can use in this special situation we find ourselves in.
One is that more choice leads to more stress. Many of us experience the opposite right now: more stress because we have little choice. A different perspective may be very welcome.
A second one is that Michelle Obama shows us the power of a loving and caring family and the power of friendships, relationships all of us can use and offer at the moment.
There are many more lessons this book contains. Read on to find out which ones from Michelle Obama’s extraordinary life you can link to your “normal” life in the current Corona Crisis.
“Sometimes there is only one thing left to say…..PS, I Love You”
– Cecilia Ahern
The quote is (surprise, surprise) from the novel PS, I Love You. A perfect gift and read for Valentine’s Day.
What is it about?
Well, about letters from one lover to another to start with.
Writing letters is often done at the beginning of a romance. Not so in this novel. The letters, that all end with PS, I Love You, are not written at the beginning, but at the end of a romance. The romance does not end because one of the two falls out of love though. The romance ends because one of the two falls ill. Terminally ill.
Holly and Gerry are childhood sweethearts, they marry and the whole picture just looks like a fairy tale, but without the “and they lived happily ever after”. Gerry gets a brain tumor and just before Holly turns 30 she is a widow. She does not know how to get on with life after this tragedy, something Gerry had anticipated. That’s why he has written 10 notes to her, all with some kind of assignment for Holly, helping her to get on with life and to be happy again.
Prepare yourself with a handkerchief when you start reading the novel, but rest assured: it’s a heartwarming one, a loving one, an uplifting one and one that shows the power of love in many ways.
Read on for more details and for discussion questions you may like to use in your book club or for yourself, simply to get more out of your read.
“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.”
– Francis of Assisi
On the second Sunday of December it is Worldwide Candle Lighting Day. People around the world come together to light candles for children who have lived tragically short lives for any number of reasons; sickness, accidents, war… The candles show that they will always be loved and never forgotten. The candles are lit at 7 pm local time, meaning that a consistent warm glow passes around the planet for a full 24-hour day.
I am not just writing this, because last Sunday was the second Sunday of December, but also because the loss of a child and how to live on after that tragedy is the central theme of the novel “The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes” by Ruth Hogan, a novel I can highly recommend.
When you think you are in for a very depressive read with this novel, well…..think again! The novel has an uplifting tone and message, shows the power of friendships, makes you feel the warmth of gathering together and addresses the heavy subject in a very respectful manner. Quite an accomplishment. There is lots of humour in the novel as well and it is written in an easy yet beautiful English style, including lots of Britishness.
For all of you who love feel-good novels, adore the English language & landscape and especially for those of you who have to miss someone dear this Xmas, treat yourself on this fabulous read! For a full review, please continue reading. For those of you who’d like to discuss the novel in a bookclub, at the end of the blogpost are some discussion questions you can use.