Tuesday, July 22, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Some books just make you take a good look at yourself

By
From page B1 | November 01, 2013 |

When I opened the book and started to read, I already knew it was going to be different from what I usually read.

I don’t usually go for books that force me to deal with a lot of introspection. I’m an avoider when it comes to that. Too messy, too painful.

So when I began my journey along with “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry,” a book set in England by a British author, I didn’t expect the type of book that was going to force me to look back on the past 30 years of my life.

What I thought I was getting myself into was Harold’s journey. He’d made some mistakes in his life and when he got a note from an old friend/co-worker, saying she was dying of cancer, he set off to the post to mail her a simple note in return. He ended up walking – walking to Berwick to see his old friend Queenie. He felt that by walking the hundreds of miles, he was keeping her alive. He left behind a shrew of a wife, Maureen, and a nosey neighbor, Rex.

Harold was a simple guy – didn’t need or want much, took all the brunts and shoves life had to offer with no complaint and no push back. Not exactly my type of person. I was having difficulty feeling sorry for any of them. Feeling rather superior and disdainful, I kept reading. Mesmerized, actually, by the words of author Rachel Joyce. I. Could. Not. Stop.

Unfortunately, the book took me to the deep recess of some memories I didn’t ever want to tap into. That’s what Joyce did to this reader – I’m fairly certain I’m not alone.

The journey became less about Harold and Maureen, and more about me. I can’t say I had a lot in common with the lifestyle the couple and their son lead, but the author was so masterful in her writing that my own past mistakes came rushing to the surface as Harold’s several-hundred-mile journey continued. Every time Harold and Maureen discovered something about themselves, I discovered some past misdeed about myself; things I should not have done or said, and the thought process began as I figured out how to make things right.

I’m not sure I’ll ever do anything about those things I regret, but it forced me to think in a positive light about the negative. Less dwelling and a more proactive thought process.

I finished the book and just sort of sat there, memorizing the ending and how, more truthfully, it made me feel about myself in general.

A little introspection isn’t a bad thing. I’m glad I got my dose of it.

So this is a head’s up – this is my book of 2013. This is a book I’m actually going to buy someone in particular and mail to them anonymously. (I think I’m safe with this column and my anonymity.) This person needs a butt kick, just like I did.

I will recommend this book to everyone, but fair warning, don’t read it unless you’re prepared to delve into a deep place of introspection along with Maureen and Harold.

In the end, Harold wasn’t such a doormat and Maureen wasn’t such a negative wench. Life and how they dealt with adversity played a key role in the unhappy, unaware people they had become. They lost their way in life.

They just needed that all-important kick in the butt to find it again.

If you read the book, pay it forward. Send it to someone who you think could benefit from that kick.

 Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or swinlow@dailyrepublic.net. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Weather for Tuesday, July 22, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
Library friends set spring book sale

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A6

 
 
Carpenters training center set to expand in Fairfield

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5, 4 Comments | Gallery

Man, woman, comic and dance contest primed for box office

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

 
Polk first to file for Fairfield council

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

Rockville Trails hike on August calendar

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
Governor signs 2 bills by Frazier into law

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5

 
Video chair exercise class returns to senior center

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

2 Vacaville homes hit by gunfire

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

 
.

US / World

Detroit retirees vote in favor of pension cuts

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Clinton: US, Europe should get tough on Russia

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 2 Comments

Gaza death toll rises as truce effort intensifies

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Israeli aircraft hit more than 70 targets in Gaza

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

Rebels release train with bodies from downed jet

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Afghan vet who fought wounded gets Medal of Honor

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Hopkins pays $190M in pelvis exam pix settlement

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Ex-teacher convicted of pushing wife off cliff

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

 
Full-contact youth football practices restricted

By The Associated Press | From Page:

BART police enforce stretching ban at stations

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

 
 
Report: Retaliation by supervisors common at VA

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Law blocks some brown lawn fees during droughts

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 5 Comments

 
California won’t send troops to Mexican border

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 4 Comments

Murder charges filed in California bank robbery

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

 
Cause of deaths in FedEx truck-bus crash released

By The Associated Press | From Page:

California reduces deportations for minor crimes

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

 
Official: State can send inmates to medical site

By The Associated Press | From Page:

.

Opinion

 
Walmart donation benefits Meals on Wheels

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

Batson’s column on Mideast peace is wrong

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 5 Comments

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: July 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

 
.

Entertainment

Love and Manson guest on ‘Sons of Anarchy’

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
‘Fargo’ gets 2nd season on FX with new cast, crime

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Box office top 20: ‘Apes’ holds reign with $36.3M

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
TVGrid July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

.

Sports

Hugo Perez Elite Training Camp to be held in Vallejo

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
Duvall, Kontos help Giants beat Phillies

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Lady Vols coach wants a stronger finishing touch

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Gail Goestenkors quits WNBA job, enters hoops hall

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Chamberlain’s arm and beard fitting in with Tigers

By The Associated Press | From Page:

This date in sports history for Tuesday, July 22, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Big 12 commish’s dire warning about pending change

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Big Papi passes Yaz with 453rd career home run

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Chargers bolt into camp with high hopes

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Broncos primed for another super run

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Seattle says what happened last season is history

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Tony Stewart riding high from sprint car victory

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Head of 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics resigns

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
6 South Americans refuse to return to Donetsk club

By The Associated Press | From Page:

BMC, Team-Garmin Sharp back for USA Pro Challenge

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Tour leader Nibali: A ‘flag-bearer’ against doping

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Witness: Sterling needs Clippers sale to pay debts

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Jeter turns small part of attention to business

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Raiders enter camp with ‘chip’ on shoulders

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

49ers start fresh after forgettable offseason

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Cain heads to DL with elbow injury

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Business

Microsoft makes design central to its future

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

 
Allergan to cut 1,500 employees in restructuring

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Zits july 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Bridge July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Blondie July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Cryptoquote July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Beetle Bailey July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

B.C. July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Crossword July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baldo July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sudoku July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Dilbert July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Word Sleuth July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5