|Reviewed by Ellen Feld of Feathered Quill Book Reviews on March 19, 2011
There are a myriad of books on the market talking about “miracles among us”? or “live each day as if it is your last,” but for the average person, it’s hard to get motivated by miracles others have witnessed and if you live each day as if it’s your last, you just might do things you regret. What sets Love Each Day apart from all those other titles is that the author has collected a series of stories of everyday people, doing everyday things and seeing the beauty in the simplest and most wonderful of places.
Love Each Day is a collection of 40 “true inspirational stories” that truly are moving and encouraging. In her introduction, the author notes that, “For many of us, too many days are diluted and even destroyed by worry, emotional stress, and obligatory work – hundreds of days fade each year into oblivion, lost in a blur of busyness.” (pg. iii). Just how does the “average” person stay motivated through the mundane daily chores of life? We can’t expect to witness a miracle every day, nor can we live every day as if it’s our last. Why? Because while it’s easy to say, if it were your last day, you?d make decisions and do things that you?d never do if you knew you had to pay your heating bill the next day! No, says the author, those things won’t work. We need to see, and appreciate, the beauty in the world around us and she shows us how by providing examples from others. Whether rich, poor, famous, or unknown, those featured in this book have discovered the true beauty of life and share their experiences for the benefit of readers.
At three or four pages each, the individual stories in Love Each Day don?t take long to read. There is a short introduction to each person at the start of their chapter, followed by the event that holds the most meaning to them. There is no analysis provided by the author, just the thoughts of the person retelling the story – why the memory holds meaning to them. I found this very effective as each individual had a different idea of what was important, but when brought together in one book, the life lessons all merged together. And together, they prove that whether it’s meeting your future bride or winning the Nobel Prize, you must learn to treasure what truly matters to YOU.
As mentioned, those highlighted in this book have found joy in the simplest of places and I found those discoveries refreshing and also sticking with me long after I finished reading. The book opens with Huston Street, the very successful baseball player, sharing his special day, not out on the field, but out on a little row boat, spending time with his future wife on their first date. The story was sweet and really made me think about what is important. It’s not the career, the building up of a resume, but rather people, family and friends, who mean the most. Throughout this book, many of those featured regarded someone or something from their personal lives, rather than a career highlight, as the most meaningful.
One of my favorite vignettes was of the college professor who found meaning, not in his job, but on a trip to Paris, France. Renting a drafty apartment, he and his wife made the best of things and were having a good time until they realized that they’d forgotten to make reservations for that night’s dinner – New Year’s Eve. Too late to get reservations, they found themselves dining on bread and cheese in the drafty apartment and having a grand time. Without any game plan, they explored the city that night, and found things that Parisians did on New Year?s Eve. They stumbled upon a park and, with a bottle of champagne, joined city dwellers watching fireworks. It is that memory that remains with them to this day.
One of the nicest things about this book was the insightful remarks found throughout that could become mantras for staying positive and enjoying life. From, “everyone perceives beauty in a different way,” (pg. 18) to a collection of quotes at the end of the book such as, “every day is precious and every moment you can either talk to your family or be with them is a blessing,” (pg. 118), you’ll walk away from this book with a plethora of new sayings to keep you optimistic.
Because each story is relatively brief and independent of the others, this is the perfect book to flip through and read when you need some inspiration. Each chapter has a topic heading so you have a good idea of the theme and there’s no need to read the chapters in order. Indeed, you may prefer to move around to find stories that seem particularly well suited to your life. But don’t be surprised if a topic that seems completely out of your realm is the one that really hits home.
When you need to be reminded of the important things in life, or you want a warm and fuzzy feeling from reading wonderful, meaningful stories, start reading Love Each Day.
Quill says: Through Love Each Day, the author teaches us how to see the beauty in the simplest of events and to truly enjoy life.
By Reader Views (Austin, Texas)
“Love Each Day” is a beautifully written book that contains 40 inspiring essays about people from different walks of life. The main point of the book is to “Live each day so you would want to live it again.” Each story focuses on an individual’s experience in which they realized that they were having one of those days that they would want to live again. The topics cover a variety of situations which run from having a relaxing day, to qualifying for the Olympics, to setting foot on the moon. Each one is valuable in itself because I felt like it inspired me to see that my ordinary life has incredible meaning, and if I choose to have the right attitude, even the difficult moments can be seen in a more favorable light.
I really enjoyed reading these stories. I appreciated that each person allowed the author to interview them for this book. Their stories should be told so that we can be inspired to look at our lives and create our own stories. Some of my most incredible life-altering moments have come from mundane experiences. I found myself tapping into a source that allowed me to see things on a higher level. “Love Each Day” reminded me of many of these experiences that I have had. Several have happened while at work. Realizing that I have my own special moments reminded me that I need to appreciate my career more and the incredible people that come into my life.
By reading this book, I see that there is less emphasis on the importance of money and material things and importance placed on engaging in activities that are meaningful and being of service to others. This is where we will find true meaning in our lives. I highly recommend “Love Each Day” by Gail Bernice Holland to graduates who are ready to launch themselves out into the world. By giving them this message early, they will find themselves seeking out much more meaningful careers. I also think that people who are in public service jobs will also benefit from this book. It might even help them avoid burn out.
Article in MercuryNews.com and Pacifica Tribune
Author Gail Bernice Holland challenges – live each day so you would want to live it again
Award-winning journalist Gail Bernice Holland (www.authorgbr.com) has over thirty years of experience interviewing such individuals as: Rosalynn Carter, Desi Arnaz, Nora Ephron, Peggy Fleming, Pearl Bailey, prisoners in Soledad, farmers, teachers, lawyers, doctors – essentially individuals from all walks of life, famous or not. Whether working as a staff writer for Home Magazine in London, as editor of Connections magazine, as Associate Editor of Noetic Sciences Review published by the Institute of Noetic Sciences or a feature writer for the San Francisco Examiner – this well résuméd writer likes people.
“I love my work as a writer and feel it is an honor to interview people and write their stories,” said Holland. “My father once gave me great advice. He said, “Gail, treat all people the same, and treat everyone with respect whether a prince or a pauper.” In my own life, on a personal and professional basis, I have tried to follow my father’s advice.”
In July of 2009, Modern History Press released Holland’s latest work “Love Each Day: Live each day so you would want to live it again.” The 134-page book, the fourth on the Holland bookshelf, is 40 true stories about a day in the life of, among others, a police officer, bus driver, teacher, musician, Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, baseball player Huston Street, astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell, Nobel-prize-winning physicist Dr. Burton Richter, comedian Johnny Steele, a guy who happens to be the founder and CEO of the Men’s Wearhouse, George Zimmer — it is Holland’s celebration of 40 individuals, who in turn celebrate through interview, a day like no other. “The book’s purpose is to illustrate how anyone can love the way they live their life.”
Critics have cited the book as “poignant, inspirational.” Moving stories which give a glimpse into other people’s lives and an opportunity to tap into our own life scripts.”
“I wanted to write a positive book that focused on true, inspiring stories,” said the author. “There is a famous quote that states, “Live each day as if it were your last.” I came up with a new challenge: “Live each day so you would want to live it again.” In the book’s introduction, Holland explains, “It is a concept that encourages you to live a normal life, but with more awareness of how to make your days so rewarding you would want to repeat them. Although it is not possible to literally replicate certain days, when we push the replay memory button and focus on what gave us pleasure in the past, we can gain an understanding of how to live more fully and joyfully in the present.”
The London-born Holland who has also worked in the movie industry and written radio commentaries, said she is the first in her family to be a professional writer. Though there is fame in her lineage. Her mom’s father was Robert McLeod, a famous musician and composer in Scotland. Still, while one discovers articles by Holland in such media headliners as: Saturday Review, Science Digest, Mademoiselle, Quest, San Francisco Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle – the strength in her story is never the fame, nor the lineage, it is the humanness and all the interconnectedness one conversation shared can trigger within people.
As a journalist, Gail has had her own share of many wonderful and amazing on-the-job experiences that have not made it to print. “One fun experience was when I worked as a public relations writer for a motion picture company and they filmed one of their movies on the Hawaii Island, Kauai. I remember interviewing film stars on the beach, such as Keenan Wynn, and in the evening the producer took the whole film crew out to dinner for a delicious meal. I even got paid for this type of work!” Holland laughed.
Holland, who is also the author of: “Forget-Me-Not,” a new edition of her previously published Alzheimer’s book, (Purdue University Press, 2007); “For Sasha, With Love: An Alzheimer’s Crusade – The Anne Bashkiroff Story” (1985, Dembner Books hardcover and paperback); and “A Call for Connection: Solutions for Creating a Whole New Culture,” (1998, New World Library) – is a first hand living experience of being what she writes about in her latest work. “Living a life following what you really believe in and doing what you really want to do.”
© 2011 G