I just received the book Every Moment Matters for review from Red Wheel Weiser Conari Publishing and decided it was a great time to pick it up, considering the season. I'd never heard of John St. Augustine but within the first few chapters, I realized that he is definitely a mentor in the same category as Andy Dooley, Paolo Coelho, and Donald Walsch, to name a few.
Though I'm not done reading through it, it has really impressed me. This book is basically a memoir of important moments in John's life that have helped him "savor the stuff of life", the tagline of the title. I am generally not a fan of memoirs, as they often contain random stories out of a person's life that don't necessarily culminate in a clear lesson or benefit to me, the reader. My preference is books that have a clear message or an engaging storyline. The thing I'm enjoying most about John's book is that the messages for the reader are really accessible and the stories are particularly engaging. He has a great storytelling writing style which gives the impression of reading a novel even though these are true stories from his own life.
The chapters are set in a fairly random order. They seem to be centered on the next lesson about the moments of life. I will say that this does feel pretty fragmented however once you get into the chapter, it becomes a self-sustaining snippet of wisdom. Therefore it works fairly well in terms of keeping you turning pages.
One of my favorite stories from the book so far is one John told of his father. Him and his father happened to be together one evening when he was in town visiting. He was sleeping on the couch and his father had taken up the habit of sleeping in his easy chair, so they both happened to be in the same room sleeping for the first time since John was around 4. Over the course of the night, a conversation started between them in which they really opened up. They got things out that profoundly changed each perspective and perception of the other. All of a sudden, they saw each other as the men they were and the connections and commonalities that tied them together in a new way. John's telling of this story is poignant and full of tenderness. It gave me so much to think about and I even was inspired to spend a moment in appreciation for the elder women in my life who mean so much to me. Most of the stories John recounts have this effect.
Overall, I think, especially in the times we are living in, that this book is very inspiring. I think we are all in need of messages like the one this book promotes and this is one of the books that does a great job of simply conveying them.