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This Is Not The Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 1, 2010
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"Brave Enough" by Cheryl Strayed
From the best-selling author of Wild, a collection of quotes--drawn from the wide range of her writings--that capture her wisdom, courage, and outspoken humor, presented in a gift-sized package that's as irresistible to give as it is to receive. Learn more | See related books
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"This Is Not the Story You Think It Is is true to its title. The book took me by surprise. I read it in one sitting and loved Munson's tone, wit, wisdom and writing."
"Let me tell you what this book is about. This is a book about saying yes. It's the story of Laura Munson's alchemical ability to create abundance and bounty in the face of scarcity and abandonment-no small triumph. Filled with gems big and small. . . Munson is a wonderful guide-wise, brave, and tenaciously honest."
-Melanie Gideon, author of The Slippery Year: A Meditation on Happily Ever After
"This book is fabulous. Laura Munson's noble quest to become the source of her own happiness will take you by the hand and heart as it guides you through the steps to living a life without suffering. Her story pulls back the curtain on the only magic we ever need to know: how to make the shift from fear to love."
-Arielle Ford, author of The Soulmate Secret
"Laura Munson's powerful and buoyant book gives us wisdom in generous slices. But it is Munson's abilities as a storyteller that show us how to discover-how to find and feel-the real wisdom that may arise from our lives, as messy and heartbreaking as they may be. Woman, wife, mother, neighbor-this fine writer converts her own life's journeys into a series of vignettes so focused and compelling, so heartbreaking, sometimes so funny, that they resound with the force of parables."
-David Baker, poetry editor of "The Kenyon Review"
"Laura Munson has served up a whopping portion of sanity. This book has the potential to start a cultural revolution."
-Leif Peterson, author of Catherine Wheels and Normal Like Us
"I loved this book. It's unusual, memorable and wry, laugh-out-loud funny too."
-Leslie Morgan Steiner, author of Crazy Love and Mommy Wars
More About the Author
The reaction stunned me. It was the number one most read article on the New York Times website for the days following the essay's publication; the top searched for two months. It crashed the New York Times website comments section, and created a firestorm all over the internet, around dining tables, at offices, and book groups across America and internationally. It was reproduced in The Week and on Oprah Online, and in many newspapers.
The essay was the short version of a memoir I wrote during a rough time in my marriage because I needed that book on my bedside table--one which would speak to me from the trenches, letting me know that I could be powerful and even happy, especially in a crisis. Mine could be a different response than what we see so often in our society. I didn't have to be reactionary. I didn't have to play victim. I didn't have to suffer. But I couldn't find a book like that--a simple story of a woman's journey that wasn't specifically spiritual or self-help, but like sitting with a gentle friend who is willing to be vulnerable and share her world so we don't have to feel so alone. I couldn't find that book, so I wrote it. That's what we writers do. We write what we know. We write for ourselves and we write to provide relief for others. We write our way through life, and in some cases, we write our way to life. That's how it happened for me during that challenging time.
My agent, Tricia Davey (Davey Literary & Media) went out with the book version that Monday morning, and after writing for twenty years, having completed fourteen novels and endured countless rejections...within forty-eight hours, I had a book deal.
The book is called "This Is Not The Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness," and came out in April 2010 by Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam.
Both the essay and the book are ultimately about how to be responsible for your own well-being, especially during a crisis. Plug it into any crisis. Plug it into any and no religion. It's a powerful way to live. I'm thrilled to announce that the book landed on the New York Times bestseller list, that Book of the Month Club named it one of this year's best books, and that it is currently a bestseller in Australia. It will also be published in Germany, The Netherlands, UK, China, and Taiwan.
I look forward to sharing the rest of my story with you all!
Come say hi on my website: http://www.lauramunsonauthor.com. And sign up for my monthly HAVEN NEWSLETTER, in which I select a topic, write about it, and encourage you to join me in a live chat on my blog: http://www.lauramunson.wordpress.com.
Top Customer Reviews
The reader becomes Munson's confidante and with her, experiences the disappointment, rage, and hurt caused by her husband's thoughtlessness, but we also discover the joy that comes from the realization that while we can't always control events, we can control our reactions to them. Munson recognizes her husband's pain, and somehow she manages to give him the space he needs to heal, while guarding her own well being as well as that of their children. It's not easy, and her life becomes a series of little battles as she protects her children, maintains her own career, keeps the household running while being compassionate about her husband's state of mind without getting sucked into it. Somehow she also upholds her vow to be happy and not suffer. It helps that she's a writer, has a great therapist, and a few trustworthy and non-judgmental friends and her own interests as well as living in a place of great beauty, with twenty acres, two ponds, a horse, four gardens and two great children, though she thoroughly makes her point that pain is pain, no matter what the economic context.Read more ›
Her journal is choppy and self-indulgent, and she is embarrassingly disconnected with reality. I find it hard to relate to someone who constantly complains about their massive debt and financial situation, yet travels to Italy, has a horse and a boat, and never considers getting a paying job. She doesn't even seem remotely interested in where the money is coming from to buy the organic vegetables she uses for canning tomato sauce, a process we had to read about ad nauseum as she tried to paint a picture of what a great mother looks like. And she is annoyingly self-important, talking about her gift of "creating beauty around her," as if the rest of the world is full of hacks who have no idea how to arrange flowers or set a table.
I did not find Ms. Munson to be an empathetic or relatable person in this book. Although her husband is equally unattractive given his bad behavior, I found myself rooting for him to make the break so he wouldn't have to listen to how awesome she is for the rest of his life, strutting around the house in her chaps and arranging her grandma's silver. I continued reading the book in hopes that there would be some pearls of wisdom somewhere (there weren't). Finally, an "end to suffering" when I finished it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wanted to like this book and it started off promising. As the story went on it didn't mirror what the first chapter was all about. Read morePublished 3 days ago by William J. Finnegan
Just finished reading this little gem of a book for the second time, and I think it's getting better each time! I loved it before and I really love it now. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Barbara Brittain
I picked up this book after it was mentioned in my Writers Group as a great read by a woman from "no where USA" that made the best sellers list. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kimberly B.
really liked this book. so honest and thinking out loud. I felt her painPublished 3 months ago by syh
The title of this book is appropriate!!! I wasn't expecting this to be such a GREAT read! It's like she's talking in my head! I love her easy writing style. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Michelle S George
This book was a huge help to me when I really needed it. I really loved it. Thank you, Laura!Published 6 months ago by Christine
A memoir of sorts....filled with pain, reality and redemption. Honest and true. AND a story of growth. I loved this.Published 8 months ago by Joyce M. Anderson
Her ordeal was fairly short, but the way she handled it was very inspiring and helpful to me.Published 8 months ago by Michele L. Silvers