Brighter By the Day

I’m a big fan of Robin Roberts and her books.  

In case you missed it, you can click here to read my blog post about her book From the Heart: Eight Rules to Live By

And you can click here to read my blog post about her other book Everybody’s Got Something

Which means I went ahead and ordered her most recent book Brighter By the Day: Waking Up to New Hopes and Dreams without even having seen the book in person.

I was not disappointed. My copy is full of sticky notes and many passages are marked with my highlighter. This book is really such a gift. And while we’re at it, Robin Roberts is really such a gift. 

It’s the way Ms. Roberts writes, as if she’s sitting down giving you a pep talk. Here are just a few gems to share with you:

“Yet here’s what I believe: Optimism is a muscle that grows stronger with use.”

“I’d like to pass on to you the gem my parents once gave me: You already have everything you need to forge a new path for yourself. I know you’re fierce, because it takes chutzpah to consider a new course. And I’m betting that you’ve got hope that tomorrow can be better, ‘cause otherwise, you probably wouldn’t have picked up this little tome.” 

“Confidence isn’t the absence of fear; it’s the presence of mind to move through the trembling.” 

“During my dual showdowns with cancer, I brought my gratitude A game. I knew I had just two plays: I could allow the illness to destroy and define me, to permanently cripple my spirit. Or I could embrace the experience as a rebirth, as a butterfly struggling against the walls of its cocoon, and getting stronger as it does.” 

“People often see the glass as half-empty or half-full. I simply see the glass.” 

“Do you want it more than you fear it? It’s what I now ask myself whenever trepidation makes a house call.” 

“We may not ever fully comprehend why catastrophe has befallen us, and that’s okay. Our job isn’t to comprehend it. It’s to redeem it for good.”

“My village — not an absence of fear — got me through the most harrowing two ordeals of my life-time. That is why I know this: Strength, the real kind, isn’t about braving the behemoths on our own. It’s about being willing to receive — to embrace the help, hope, and healing others want to give us. Vulnerability is the gateway to fortitude. An ever-deepening intimacy with those we love is the enduring treasure.”

“When I’m dealing with a situation I think is all-important, I put it through a litmus test: In a year or two, will this matter? Often it won’t, even in a few months. That awareness changes my perspective and re-anchors me in the present.”

“That’s part of what it means to be brighter by the day: to be mindful of every breath we’re given. Don’t rob yourself of that treasure.”

Book Lover = Book Buyer

Why do you buy the books you do? (Notice how I just automatically assume you’re a book-buyer.)

I just finished reading Emily Henry’s People We Meet on Vacation (so enjoyable, 4-stars on Goodreads). And now comes the hard part — deciding which book to read next. 

I looked at my over-flowing books-to-read shelf and realized I buy books for different reasons.

Recommendation from a friend:

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert 

Read and loved a book written by this author and felt compelled to buy the author’s latest release:

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Brighter By the Day: Waking Up to New Hopes and Dreams by Robin Roberts

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

These Precious Days: Essays by Ann Patchett

Watched and/or listened to an author interview and was then inspired to purchase their book:

All In: An Autobiography Billie Jean King

Love & Saffron: A Novel of Friendship, Food, and Love by Kim Fay

Heard good things about the book:

Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Heard good things about the book and met the author:

After Happily Ever After by Leslie A. Rasmussen

For my own knowledge as I write my memoir-in-essays:

Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer’s Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting, and Surviving your First Book by Courtney Maum

Blueprint for a Nonfiction Book: Plan and Pitch Your Big Idea by Jennie Nash

Your turn readers. What books are on your shelf waiting to be read? What motivated you to buy them? Please share; I’m always looking to add titles to my “want-to-read” list. 

Everybody’s Got Something

I recently finished reading Everybody’s Got Something, a memoir written by Robin Roberts.  I knew very little of Ms. Roberts’s story, largely because I don’t watch morning news shows.  But her book came highly recommended by a friend of mine, and I’m glad I read it.  So in case you haven’t read it yet, I wanted to share some of the take-aways that most resonated with me.

  • Sometimes you have to go back to basics:  When you are down and you don’t know how to pick yourself up, start where you are.  Left foot, right foot, breathe.”
  • “When you’re facing a health crisis, you crave normalcy.  So much in your life isn’t normal anymore.  You feel reluctant to tell anybody, because you don’t want to be treated differently.”
  • This statement is just oh so true for me:  I just wanted to feel better the next day than I’d felt the day before.  It had been so long since I’d felt normal, whatever normal is.”
  • Ms. Roberts gets a whole lot of credit because she used “my diagnosis to raise awareness…  And in the words of her beloved Momma, “Make your mess your message.  Find the meaning behind whatever you’re going through, because everybody’s got something.”

And I’m trying.  I’m trying to raise awareness, to create some meaning in a medical condition which largely isn’t understood or easily treated.  Because I know it’s not just me.  Whether it’s evident or not, everyone’s dealing with something.