Friday, April 18, 2014

Thirteen People Discuss the Most Precious Thing in Their Lives

Erik Kobell asked thirteen people what they would save from a fire. Some of the people are public figures; some are not. Each identified something precious. The most interesting thing about the responses was that the people identified qualities rather than objects.

One person, Regina Carter, at first identified an object, her violin, but as the interview continued it became clear that what she wanted to save was the sound from her violin. Her choice was one of the most interesting for me. She's a jazz violinist. Initially, she wanted fame and fortune, and she was lucky enough to have them come her way, but once she had them, she realized how much they had stolen her freedom to be the musician she wanted to be.

Kobell breaks the interviews into four sections: Seekers, who are primarily engaged in religious activities; Artists, which includes an interview with Alan Alda as well as one with Regina Carter; Iconoclasts, people who have done things in a non-traditional way; and survivors, which includes an interview with Jane Pauley. The book concludes with thoughts by the author. I enjoyed this chapter. It seemed only fair that the observer should take a turn in the spotlight.

I highly recommend this book. Although it has a spiritual component, it is not a religious book, per se. People of all faiths, or none, can read this book and take away something that could change their lives

I reviewed this book for Net Galley.