Little Paris Bookshop: The Power of Books

It has been awhile since I have had a book club selection post, in case you are new, From Left to Write does not have traditional book reviews. We read books and then we use the book as inspiration to write a post. We might take a theme from the book or even talk about a memory that the book pulled out for us. In any case, these are not your typical reviews, I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them!

Disclosure: This post was inspired by the novel The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George, where Monsieur Perdu–a literary apothecary–finally searches for the woman who left him many years ago.. Join From Left to Write on October 8th as we discuss The Little Paris Bookshop. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes. {I actually received my copy of this book from NetGalley over the summer, but because of B2’s birth it took me this long to read it, so it was great timing that this was the From Left to Write book club selection for September}

Little-Paris-Bookshop-Banner-Large

While I struggled a bit with the length of the book, what I didn’t struggle with was the underlying message. Books have the power to pull us in and help us heal, they can help us through a dark spot or even a bright one and give us a new a fresh perspective.

I remember the first time a book helped me heal. When I was in 6th grade one of my very close friends passed away suddenly. He wasn’t sick, it wasn’t expected, it was incredibly hard on our entire grade, over 20 years later I can still remember how hard the wake was, how a classmate fainted at the funeral. Kids have a hard time dealing with the everyday stuff that goes along with being a pre-teen, adding a death into that mix was something that none of us was prepared for.

I was always a voracious reader, piles of books littered my room, but after the death of my friend I struggled with the happy books I usually read. After a visit to the library and book store I found the book “Say Goodnight, Gracie“. The book was very similar to what I was going through, it helped me process my feelings.

Eleven years later my best friend passed away, again in a tragic accident, he wasn’t sick, it wasn’t expected. He was one of the brightest people I had ever known. I don’t mean in a smart way, although he certainly was very smart. I mean bright in the fact that he always lit up the room he was in, he could make you laugh when you were in the most terrible mood. He even predicted that I would end up with Nick, long before we even started dating.


jack and kelly

Since I transferred to the college that we went too, I ended up taking 4 years to graduate, because a lot of my credits didn’t transfer. 95% of my close friends had graduated and moved an hour away to Boston. I felt pretty isolated, no one that was still in the city with me really or truly understood what I was going through. Again, I turned to books (and food – but that is a post for another day). The one book I read over and over again was “Say Goodnight, Gracie”. This time I related very strongly with the main character, and to this day I still miss Jack very much. I missed him at my wedding, and I wonder who his wife would be, if our kids would be best friends?

I’ve read books since his death that have struck a chord with me, and related to the friendship that we had. While books don’t take your pain away, the help you heal in a way that maybe wouldn’t happen otherwise. I will always be thankful for books that have helped me through some of the most difficult times of my life.

What books have helped you through a tough time?

Five Things Friday: Thoughtful Posts

Five Things Friday

While I would argue that all posts, for the most part, are written to get you to think about something, I picked these 5 posts to feature in this weeks round-up because they are either things I have been thinking about lately, or topics that have been a part of my life.

Marriage Shouldn’t Work – The Wannabe Athlete

wannabeathleteI know Callie’s post is old, but I still love it. I’ve been talking with a good friend lately about marriage, about how some people don’t realize that relationships take work and effort and that it is not a fairytale. No man is going to come sweep you off your feet and keep you on this pedestal for the rest of your life, it’s just not realistic, and too many people want to be constantly wooed. Personally, I don’t want a man who is going to be making grand gestures all the time, because eventually they won’t be grand gestures and I will expect more and more. Instead, I want a man who will help me change the sheets at 3 am when our son gets sick. I want a man who will try all my new recipes, and laugh with me when we realize how truly terrible it is. I want a man, who at the end of the day, is someone I can laugh with, someone I can go out and have a great time with, or we can stay in and still have a great evening with a pizza and movie.

I also really like Callie’s point about protecting your marriage, 10 years ago you couldn’t go find your high school/college boyfriend or fling on facebook, and that was a damn good thing. It is so easy to have someone make you feel special and wooed through a text message or email, but that will only last a short time, eventually they too will stop trying to woo you. Also, check out this post, it has some other great points.

The Guilt Prison – Determined. To Be…

determineduncensored

All of Jolene’s posts make me sit and think all about what is going with me and my life, but this especially speaks to me currently. I have a lot of guilt about the miscarriage and the aftermath. Things have obviously changed, and life has gotten better, but that doesn’t mean I don’t carry the guilt with me. Or the guilt that came with emotional eating for far longer than I care to admit, the guilt of how I let my sadness affect my relationships with my husband and other people I love.

On Unfriending – The Lunchbox Diaries

LBD_HR0604

 

Colleen’s post says what a lot of us think or feel. How crappy we feel after spending time on facebook and looking at what all these other people are doing. Based on this post and Callie’s post I think we’d all be better off deleting the whole thing all together.

Is BARBIE unapologetically herself? – Carla Birnberg

carla

Carla has written multiple times about how great it is to be unapologetically yourself, and now with all the media surrounding the Barbie Sports Illustrated business she weighs in with her opinion. What do you think about what she has to say?

Click.Snap. – Love Life Surf

lovelifesurf

Christine’s posts about yoga are some of my favorite, and in this post she talks about her old yoga videos and how they allowed her to see the progress she has made. I know bloggers give other bloggers a lot of flack for progress pictures, etc… but this proves how I feel about them. Regardless of how fit you might think someone is they might be looking to improve or not realize they’ve improved, and videos or photos can really help you see the changes.

What are your favorite posts this week?