Good Reading : March 2015
GOODREADINGMAGAZINE.COM.AU GOOD READING MARCH 2015 60 Unstoppable Nick Vujicic Icouldn’t even begin to imagine how I’d cope in life without legs or arms. So I was drawn to this book with its positive title and smiling, limbless author riding a surfboard. When Nick Vujicic decided he wanted to tell everybody about his meaningful life without legs or ar ms, he started two organisations – Life Without Limbs and Attitude is Altitude – and began a busy round of speaking engagements to audiences of up to 350 000 over five days. He loves his life and delights in sharing how he puts his faith into action. Unstoppable is a spiritual handbook and memoir for those suffering negativity and failure. It addresses issues of depression, suicide and bullying, repeatedly using fundamentalist Christian beliefs. The author’s Serbian grandparents were persecuted for their Christian beliefs and had to flee to Australia to freely live their faith, which may explain why he seizes every opportunity to share the story of his own faith. The repetitive formulas could seriously limit his readership, but they appear to be the key to his amazing positivity and his passion and purpose for living. If you can tolerate his fervent, evangelical style and can accept how his belief system has given him ‘unstoppable’ endurance, decisiveness and persistence, keep reading to appreciate this inspiring human being. ★★ Allen & Unwin $19.99 Reviewed by Judith Grace Seven Letters from Paris Samantha Vérant Ever yone loves a happy ending, and that’s pretty much guaranteed once you’ve read the preface to this memoir. It’s a feel-good story about a woman in her late 30s in the US who leaves a loveless marriage. She has lost her job, moves back in with her parents, becomes a dog walker to survive and eventually files for bankruptcy. But who can ‘reboot her life and restart her heart’? That new life begins with memor ies of a whirlwind romance in Par is 20 years before, resulting in seven wonderful love letters from a Frenchman. Author Samantha Vérant had never replied to those letters – for reasons that become clear – but thanks to the inter net she discovers her rocket scientist’s email address and sends a brief apology. From then, she and Jean-Luc correspond, phone and eventually meet again in person. She becomes part of his life, which has been romantically complicated. Like her, he was also involved in a divorce at the time she sent her tardy apology. It wasn’t just a man and a woman who were involved in this lovers’ reunion. There were parents, siblings, children and friends; two languages; and even the French bureaucracy complicated the process of getting marr ied. Vérant keeps the pace of this memoir rolling, although she does reveal her various insecurities along the way, all resolved by the man she calls her ‘Prince Charmant’. A sweet story to restore anyone’s faith in the power of love. ★★★ Bantam $34.99 Reviewed by Jennifer Somerville When Nick Vujicic decided he wanted to BIOGRAPHY / MEMOIR WOM word of mouth About the author RATINGS ★ ★ ★★ ★★ ★★★ ★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★★ RG AUSTRALIAN AUTHOR Nick Vujicic was born with tetra-amelia syndrome, a condition in which all four limbs are absent. He has written that he keeps a pair of shoes in his closet because he believes in miracles.