30 Books in 30 Days: 8.27.11

This is Not the Story You Think It Is by Laura Munson

By this point, most of my friends have received my heartfelt recommendations about this book.  But, I haven’t recorded my thoughts about the book in writing, yet.  So, here goes.  Every once in a while, a book hits you as if it were meant exactly for you at the time of life you are reading it.  For me, this book is one of those.  I loved the writing.  I loved the message.  And I loved the way the author recorded her own life while reaching out to others.  Here’s the deal:  This book is ostensibly about marriage and how to weather the storms of its ups and downs.  And, for all you married people out there, run out and get this!  But, for those of us unmarried people out there, this book is just as relevant.  It is really a book about living.  About taking responsibility for oneself at whatever point one is on in one’s journey.  I know.  Very new age-y. But, the book is not new age-y.  It is decidedly down to earth.  And beautifully written.  And full of all of the wisdom of a career writer.  Munson describes how she has written something like 14 novels in her life–none of them published.  And she uses this fact to reflect on the fact that many of us have dreams but in some way truncate these dreams, never really fully embracing the scary reality of going all the way with something we care about.  Hence, after writing 14 novels, she finally writes a memoir that in fact makes it to the big time–and, this propels her and her family to a new level of fame and publicity but also to a new level of understanding of each other.  Read this book if you’re in a marriage.  Read this book if you’re in the middle of life.  It is beautiful.  Through carefully described vignettes as well as spot-on reflections about the ways we embrace and avoid our own fears, Munson reaches through these pages with all the candidness and airiness of a good friend.  I recommend this book wholeheartedly.

You can catch Munson at her blog, aptly named These Here Hills based upon her Montana lifestyle.

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