Last week, I went into my favorite independent bookstore (Tecolote in Montecito) a little downhearted and confused. Why? Well, because I’ve had a pickle of a time finding a book that I love-love-love. I have made valiant attempts at reading a number of books (that came highly recommended), but I couldn’t focus and couldn’t finish. In a nutshell: I’ve had ADD of the highest order.
So, when I told Mary and Penny this, they said, “You must read The Most Beautiful Book in the World. It is perfect for you.”
How could I not be enamored by the title? I mean The Most Beautiful Book in the World…? Come on.
When I saw that it is a book of Novella’s, however, I whined (because I was in that kind of mood): “I don’t like Novella’s.” Mary said, “You will like this one. Plus you have ADD, so you only have to focus for 20 pages at a time.” …then she said, “If you don’t like it, bring it back.” Basically I had no choice but to walk out of the bookstore with The Most Beautiful Book in the World (I love just reading/writing the title!).
In the broadest sense, these stories uncover the hidden sources of humanity’s best qualities (and therefore Silver Linings): happiness, forgiveness, love, and generosity. Schmitt’s (a French author and filmaker) tormented characters stumble upon these redemptive qualities in the unlikeliest of places, often despite their own reprehensible behavior. Schmitt has an uncanny ability to capture the essence of his characters, to reveal them quickly and then turn the very thing that makes them tick against them, all for the positive.
These stories show how a single act of kindness and open-hearted honesty can change the course of people’s lives. Behind each story lies a simple truth: happiness is often right in front of our eyes, though we may frequently be blind to it (Silver Lining). Boy, oh, boy do I really get this.
Not only did I love this book, but it was the catalyst to get my reading juices flowing again (Silver Lining). I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did!
Books are delightful society. If you go into a room and find it full of books – even without taking them from the shelves they seem to speak to you, to bid you welcome.
~William Ewart Gladstone