Hello, friend, and how are you today?
What’s it like where you are? I hope you are safe and well.
I’m going through my non-fiction phase at the moment. I’ve only read one work of fiction this year so far, and that was the brilliant Unexplained Laughter by Alice Thomas Ellis. Her dry sense of humour made me laugh out loud several times.
I’ve been in the mood to read autobiographies and memoirs. I’ve just finished Irvin Yalom’s memoir, Becoming Myself. If you’re looking for drama and grit, then I wouldn’t recommend it. But if you’re looking to read the story of a real man, who has made it his life’s purpose to help people navigate this often cumbersome human journey, then I recommend it.
It felt only natural to move onto his next book, A Matter of Death and Life, that he wrote it with his dear wife Marilyn, after she was diagnosed with cancer. The book is a beautiful meditation on a life well spent, but ultimately it’s an ode to aging and accepting one’s demise.
It doesn’t sound like an uplifting read – it’s not meant to be – but like all the books on death and dying I have read over the years, they always give me a greater appreciation for life and for living.
By contemplating on my own eventual death, I gain more courage to take chances, to go for opportunities, to live a life off the beaten track.
After A Matter of Death and Life, I’ll be reading a work of fiction that I’ve been putting off for a couple of years, simply because I want to devour it like a good meal…
East of Eden by the legend that is John Steinbeck.
My good friend Andy Brown will be reading it at the same time, so we can swap notes and quotes.
All the best,
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