O's Little Book of Love and Friendship

Read this in about 5 minutes
While most of us make a tentative “To Read” list on an annual or a monthly basis, a lot of us cannot navigate through it with much success (if you do, do tell me how!). While my annual TBR is silently judging me for conveniently forgetting it, I continue to randomly pick books based on my mood right at that moment, and O’s little book of love and friendship was read during one of those times. Embarking on a day trip and reading two emotionally heavy books, I picked this as it is a compilation of essays published in the Oprah Magazine.

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Cover

Provided by Pan Macmillan India, the cover had me in love the moment I set my eyes on it. A vibrantly colored water color illustration, it has a big O placed in the center, with the title and other details demarked with a white background. The cover does justice to the content of the book, as the description and the title tell one that it’s about different parts of our life- love and friendship, which are the most vibrant colors on the canvas of life. Also, to me these various colors represent how love in all it’s forms paints our lives into a rainbow of colors!

Characters

This book is a compilation of essays (and anecdotes)  published in the Oprah Magazine over the years. It also has an interview of Oprah herself, and has real life stories of various authors. Though there is no particular character per-se, it wouldn't be wrong to say that Love is the protagonist, around whom these stories revolve.

Content

Each writer, shows a slice of their lives- a small or big event and how it has impacted them. Each of these stories show us how these people found love, dealt with the loss of loved ones and battled their way through difficult times. From talking about a date that did not lead to anything, to a shout in the void – only to have it answered, the book takes one on the journey of these people who found their own miracles.

Language

Simple, modern English has been used to appeal to the wide array of readers who would have been reading the magazine. No two writer’s can be told apart as there is a subtle similarity in the writing style. It’s probably the simplicity of the language and ease with which they convey what they have to that holds it all together.

Good Points

It is a feel good book, showing us  how life gives us what it does, and it still turns out to be a beautiful just the same. It leaves you with a small ray of  hope in your heart that maybe at this moment things seem chaotic, and stressful, but it’s neither unusual nor a permanent part of life, but a mere phase. Lastly, it shows us how we may be flawed and we may be afraid, but letting go, and risking it all is really worth it – for your miracle might just be around the corner, and all you have to do is take a step.

Bad Points

I really cannot think of any, because the premise of the book itself is something close to our hearts.

Overall

This is one of those books that I’d definitely re-read many more times, as it is not about a story, a plot or a thrilling climax, but about faith in life and learning from whatever life throws at us. It is surely going to speak to me in a much different way in a few years from now, for I may be in a different place then, with a different perspective.

Who do I recommend this to ?

This non-fiction feel good book would surely make you feel a little happy and positive about life. So if you are at an uncertain place, and overwhelmed by the intensity of life itself – maybe  you should pick this book up and read an essay or two. Mind you , it’s not one of those books with an opening, a body, a revitting climax and an end, but more like an evening spent with complete strangers, who  are from different walks of life, sharing their experiences over a cup of tea and warm cookies, while it gently rains outside.

Quotable Quotes

Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life? ….For how long will you continue to listen to those dark shouters, caution and prudence? Fall in, fall in…
Fooled again. It never stops. First comes love, then comes knowledge. The problem is that it’s new knowledge each time, and it doesn't accumulate into lasting wisdom. It seems to, but it doesn't. Indeed, in my experience, applying the lessons from the past romance to a present romance is the surest way to ruin it. I know this because I’ve tried. And always will.
The date was like an island you stumble on with a stranger, and you spend a few pleasant hours together there, but you can never find the island again. I ached a little.
If we were not soul mates, we were kindred spirits. We shared the religion of language, a belief in words and the strength of their composition.
But in this friendship there isn't a label, there isn't a definition of what it’s supposed to be.

Gazala Amreen

Logophile, bibliophile, writer, designer, high on wanderlust and all things pretty.

Bangalore, KA merakipost.com