personal reflections

Questions and Gifts

An unexpected walk to get lunch with a colleague today, filled with general chit chat on how our day was going and our plans for the evening and weekend. The subject of books came up and I asked if there was one book she would recommend for me to read this weekend, what book would it be?

She probed a bit further – what sort of book did I want? At first I said any sort of fiction (I don’t read a lot of fiction – not because I don’t enjoy it, just most of my books are learning pursuits). But I realized as she was describing a few authors that I didn’t want any sort of book, I wanted to read a great book, one that would come close to taking a place in my top-three-most-favourite-fiction-books-of-all time list:

  • John Irving’s The Hotel New Hampshire
  • Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha
  • Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife

She responded instantly. The Alchemist. She hadn’t read it but it was her brother’s absolute favourite book, and she said, he knows books. Done deal – the book is now waiting for me on my Kindle to read on the plane tomorrow.

Question asked. Gift received. A lesson to be experienced over and over.

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