I read a lot (with a two hour commute every day, it’s no suprise). And I’m a big fan of the old writing malarky, so it seems silly that I don’t combine the two more often. From now on, I intend to write a bit more about what I’m reading.
Dear Me, edited by Joseph Galliano, was given to me as a birthday/Christmas gift. And it’s one of those books that I think I’ll always end up coming back to, a favourite which is pulled from the bookshelf when worry fills me up, and in those moments of self doubt that everyone experiences at some time or another.
A simple but effective concept, Dear Me contains letters from a range of notable people, to their sixteen year old selves. The letters, all with varying lengths, styles and messages offer a unique insight into the lives of their writers, the people they were, and the people they became. But along with that, Dear Me, provides readers with advice that they can apply to their own lives, the opportunity to reflect on where they were at 16, and the chance to imagine where they could end up, or where they have found themselves.
With intimate letters from Sarah Ferguson to J Alexander (Miss J from America’s Next Top Model), JK Rowling, Alan Cumming, Hugh Jackman and Stephen King, Dear Me is a collection of histories of its contributors. Entertaining, funny, vividly real and often touchingly tender, the book explores a dazzling array of emotions. But the main message from all of the contributors, one which everyone needs to be reminded of from time to time, is that everything will be OK.
A book which will resonate with readers of all ages, genders, cultures and backgrounds, Dear Me is certainly one that can be read by anyone. Every reader will find their own star letter, one they relate to, or that reminds them of themselves, either now or in their younger days.
Highlights include: Alan Cumming “A teacher at drama school is going to tell you that you’ll never make it as a professional actor. He is wrong. Wrong to say it, and just wrong because you’ll do okay. Try not to let it dent you too much;” JK Rowling “Time spent dreading and regretting really is time wasted (whereas time spent daydreaming, inventing words and writing stories is time very well spent. Keep that up;” and the collection editor Joseph Galliano “Life is not a puzzle; it’s a game and it’s not going on in the other room; it’s wherever you are.”
And if you’ve been moved by the book, and have something to say to your 16 year old self, there’s the opportunity in the back of the book. Several blank pages, free for your advice, thoughts and musings to yourself, at the tender and impressionable age of 16.