Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Guest Blogger - Uncle Mike's Reflections

I'm pleased to welcome back guest blogger, Uncle Michael, who is kind enough to share his reflections on This Book Will Save Your Life by AM Homes.


Reflection Notes & Review
Date: 29th April 2007
Subject: This Book Will Save Your Life by A M Homes

Exactly what happened and why in that way?

I read ‘This Book Will Save Your Life’ in three or four sittings over a week and a bit. A client with whom I have been having some discussion about the purpose of his life recommended it to me. Our discussions centred on the difference between ‘doing’ and ‘being’. My interpretation of his position was that he was just so busy ‘doing’ that he had little time to ‘just be’. I had recommended a book that he had found helpful (Frankl's ‘Man's Search For Meaning, and he thought I would enjoy reading This Book Will Save Your Life. It's a bestseller in the UK, having been chosen in their list by a popular daytime television book club. A paperback with a cover showing six ring doughnuts frosted, chocolate, sugared etc. Doughnuts perform an important part in the novel. I had an unusually long lunch break, bought the book and headed for a coffee shop. Once I started reading I became gripped and consumed a third of the book at that one sitting and polished off the remainder with a week or so.

How did I behave, think and feel?

The book is set in Los Angeles and the central character, Richard Novak, is wealthy, healthy and lonely and in his mid-fifties. At the beginning of the book he is hospitalised overnight with what appears to be a heart attack. On his way back from the hospital he has a chance encounter with a doughnut seller and the story takes off from the. Funny and tender, the story accelerates into excitement and then chaos with self-awareness, family healing, friendship, sex and love all unfolding over the pages.

I identified with Richard as I was similarly hospitalised last year, over a suspected heart attack, which thankfully wasn't. However, I failed to meet up with a doughnuts seller of any description, nor have the excitement and challenge Homes created for her hero. While reading this book, I smiled a lot as I sensed I was really walking alongside Richard and inhabiting his world. His macro-biotic, low carb diet and healthy lifestyle was sabotaged by the sugar packed doughnuts. It seemed to me his life was so much emotionally richer for that.

What were the main Learning points?

If we are open to and accepting of life, then life has a way of bringing us gifts.

So what will I do differently, (is that a SMART goal)?

As usual I am conscious that this reflection says as much about me as it does about the book.

Eat more doughnuts, metaphorical and confectionary, with immediate effect.

I read that the author was adopted, and that some say the emotional intensity of her writing may have been somehow influenced by the experience. She has published her memoirs, ‘The Mistress’s Daughter’. As an adopted person and an adopter myself I plan to read it this year. However with some trepidation about how her interpretation of the adoption experience may affect me. .


Thanks Unc. An excellent commentary, as usual. Any book that suggestions the consumption of donuts for the betterment of mental health is welcome on my bookshelf!


Robyn Mills said...

I'm going to look it out. Sounds like a book both my husband and I would like to read.

Amy Ruttan said...

Oh Uncle Mike sorry I missed your latest review!!!!!

I'll have to get that one for my uncle who did just recently have a heart attack. He's always looking for something to read and identify with.

Sounds like a good one!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Uncle Mike, that sounds like a really neat book -- and I very much like the message it imparts. I'll add it to my TBR (To Be Read) list!

Thanks for another super review -- I enjoy you guest blogging for Wylie. :)

Wylie Kinson said...

Amy - you just jogged my memory. I think I'll get it for my bro-in-law who had a h/a a few years ago. He would really enjoy this one.

I'd give it to my hubby if I thought he'd read it! :)

Christine said...

I just got back from my retreat and am getting caught up with my blogging friends.

This is a great review and sounds like a fascinating book. I'm not familiar with the author, but I'm definately going to look this one up.

Right after I have a long bath...and a nap...