Today’s post is my second book review. Odd, you may be thinking, that a retired librarian with time on her hands hasn’t had at least as many blog posts about what she’s reading as she has had about what she’s wearing!
I would have to agree and want to assure you that I am going to remedy that this year. But let me add that I am a slow reader and my goal/wish for the year is that I read and review at least a book a month.
I can’t promise that all twelve reviews will be for adult books. I was an elementary school librarian, after all! And I love me some children’s picture books and chapter books. In fact, for years that was ALL I read. I think it was as I was recuperating from Lyme Disease in 1998 and with encouragement from my two daughters, that I gave reading an adult novel a try. I am thinking it was through one of Oprah Winfrey’s book club suggestions that I began reading big girl books again.
Although I can’t remember where I first heard about Twirl by Patsy Clairmont, I am thinking it, too, was through something Oprah-related, perhaps O magazine, where Ms. Winfrey often provides lists of “must-reads”. I ordered it through Barnes and Noble to upload onto my Nook. You can check it out there or at Amazon.com.
The overview or synopsis on B&N begins by asking the question:
Is life making you so dizzy that you’re forgetting what’s most important? [source]
While my life is not as dizzying as it once was, I still sometimes feel like I am perpetually running on a treadmill for one of those heart stress tests. That question spoke to me. I downloaded a sample of the book first (love that about B&N Nook books – you can sample most of them for free) and those introductory pages also resonated with me. So, I bought the book.
Twirl is a combination of self-help handbook and spiritual-life manual. Clairmont describes it this way, “Twirl (this book) is meant to help realign our spin on life so we can proceed with intentionality, remembering in the midst of hardship and responsibility to choose activities that lead to renewal”. [p. 7]
Through an easy-to-read dialogue with her readers, the author examines ways that even the busiest of us can climb off the hamster-wheel of life and rediscover the joy in living.
Chapters with titles such as Read and Laugh, Dance and Evergreen are described by Clairmont as “Post-It notes for our heart”. [p. 8] She begins each one with a quote from a poet, author or well-regarded public figure, including God (through Biblical verses, of course). The chapter Rest begins with
He makes me lie down in green pastures. ~Psalm 23:2.
and emphasizes the importance of assuring that our bodies and spirits are allowed adequate “down time” to rejuvenate. Clairmont provides examples from her own life, Biblical references, occasional statistics and seemingly insignificant trivia to support her impetus for promoting a balance in our lives between work and play. The author points out the importance of laughter in our lives and quotes an article in Psychology Today that states, “Five year-olds laugh 300 times a day. The average adult? Only four.” [p. 48] How sad is that?
Each chapter concludes with food for thought in the form of gently suggested activities one can try to incorporate more rest, more laughter, more dancing into daily life. Setting up a ‘quiet space’ in our home. Reading a devotional. Reciting a childhood poem. Identifying a comforting fragrance, employing a diffuser to enjoy it. Creating a bucket list. Recalibrating with a bubble bath or just blowing bubbles.
Twirl isn’t a polished piece of great literature but it is a great guidebook to living a richer life. It can be read in any order as the chapters stand on their own. It is the kind of book that can be read and revisited again for a refresher course in re-aligning our lives. Much of what Clairmont writes I knew already, similar to the likes of Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac, kind of common sense for the soul.
If you find yourself too much on the hamster-wheel of life, climb off for a bit and give Twirl by Patsy Clairmont a whirl.
Have you discovered a fabulous book? Please, please share it with me! I am always on the look out for a good book and perhaps I could even persuade you to write up a book review for the blog.
Hugs and sticky kisses,