If we all knew the secret to writing a book that resonates, that engages the reader, that elicits loyalty in the reader and passion about sharing the words, there would be a lot more books in the world. If there were a lot more books like "Four Word Self Help: Simple Wisdom for Complex Lives" by Patti Digh, the world would be a happier, more beautiful place.
"Four Word Self Help" is the kind of book you savor. This purse-size book is sturdy, small and beautifully crafted. Visually, there is color and movement in the illustrations, collages, photos and paintings paired with each four word missive. The four word phrases call to mind the intergenerational word-of-mouth kind of wisdom so missing in the world today. When I read this book, I hear Patti's voice talking to me, I imagine us talking about "create a safe space" or "eat less, move more".
Books like this move quietly though us because they seem like they have always been with us. They are not teaching us something we didn't know but reinforcing something we carry deep inside us but don't necessarily investigate or practice. Bringing these thoughts out in a beautiful, small, mobile package means we can move these practices to the surface of our lives and start discussing them, exploring them, incorporating them.
"Four Word Self Help" is divided into twelve sections or "hot-button issues": community, love, stress, travel, soul, wellness, success, green, activism, children, generosity and endings. There is something for everyone from the author of the blog, 37Days.com. I have already started giving copies away as gifts, if the truth be told.
Published by Skirt!, an imprint of Globe Pequot Press of Guilford, Connecticut, you can purchase it in a variety of places (37days.com, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Borders, Powell's Books, etc.), along with Patti's other books, "Life is a Verb" and the forthcoming, "Creative is a Verb".
Also, a special note for the locals: Patti will be in Portland for a reading at Powell's Books in Beaverton on November 5, 2010 at 7:00pm. On Saturday, November 6, she will be teaching a writing workshop called "Walking Into Fire: Sidestepping Fear, Writing your Heart out and Letting Your Story Tell Itself" with Jen Louden and Susan Piver. I've already signed up, so maybe I will see you at the reading and/or the workshop!
**Disclosure: In exchange for my participation in the "Four Word Self Help" Blog Tour, I received a complimentary copy of the book from Globe Pequot Press.