shiny things in messy little piles

right books at the right time

Today David Seah men­tioned in an almost aside to a post about learn­ing to net­work (a shared weak­ness) that he had read a cou­ple of books by Paulo Coel­ho and that these were, for him, the right books at the right time.
For me the right book was Coy­ote Blue by Christo­pher Moore. I’ve read and loved a ton of CM’s books since then but only Coy­ote Blue came by at the right moment with the right mes­sage: You are what you are, and any and all attempts to pre­tend oth­er­wise are bound to result in the old man bit­ing you in the ass.

What was your right book at the right time?



  1. Sammie

    Hi mag­pie,

    Found your blog via your com­ment on David Seah’s blog. Thought it was a great ques­tion to ask!

    My “right book at the right time” was the nov­el “Open House” by Eliz­a­beth Berg. I was going through a sud­den divorce and try­ing to stay sane by not stop­ping, mov­ing for­ward all the time and not giv­ing myself time to deal with any emotion. 

    Fun­ni­ly enough “Open House” is about a woman also called Saman­tha going through a sud­den divorce. It fol­lows her through all the emo­tion­al upheaval and the steps she takes to rebuild her life. It was exact­ly what I needed.

    Of the many things I took away from the book, the two biggest were:

    - It’s okay to get angry about it.
    — I, and only I, am in charge of my future.

    Two very dif­fer­ent lessons but at the time they were per­fect­ly right for me.

    Despite the heavy sub­ject mat­ter, the book is fair­ly light­ly writ­ten. If not for the tim­ing I don’t think it would have come across as pow­er­ful­ly. My own life was mir­ror­ing so much of the oth­er Sam’s that every line seemed charged.

    I have a gig­gle some­times that of all the expen­sive self-help books I read, it was a cheap paper­back nov­el that pulled me through that rough time ;-)


  2. magpie

    hey sam­mie,

    odd isn’t it how the tim­ing has to be right?