Wednesday, February 1, 2012

All There Is: Love Stories From StoryCorps by Dave Isay

About book:

In All There Is, StoryCorps founder Dave Isay shares stories of love and marriage from the revolutionary oral history project, revealing the many remarkable journeys that relationship can take.

In stories that carry us from the excitement and anticipation of courtship to the deep connection of lifelong commitment, we discover that is love is found in the most unexpected of places - a New York tollbooth, a military base in Iraq, an airport lounge - and learn that the course it takes is as unpredictable as life itself.  As the storytellers in this book start careers, build homes, and raise families, we witness the life-affirming joy of partnership and the comfort of shared sorrows and triumphs.

These stories are also testament to the heart's remarkable endurance.  In All There Is we encounter love that survives discrimination, illness, poverty, distance - even death.  In the courage of people's passion we are reminded of the strength and resilience of the human spirit.  This powerful collection bears witness to real love, in its many varied forms, enriching our understanding of that most magical feeling.

About StoryCorps:

Alright, so for those of you who don't know what StoryCorps is: (this is from the intro)

StoryCorps launched in October 2003, when we opened our first booth in Grand Central Terminal in New York City.  It's a very simple idea.  You make an appointment to bring in anyone you want to honor by listening.  When you arrive at the booth you're met by a StoryCorps facilitator who takes you inside and sits across a small table from, say, your grandmother.  You face one another, a microphone in front of each of you, and for the next forty minutes you ask questions and listen.  At the end of the session you walk out with a CD of your interview, and with your permission, a second copy goes to the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, so that your great-great-great-grandchild can someday get to know your grandmother through her voice and story.  Since our launch StoryCorps has spread from coast to coast.  To date nearly seventy-five thousand people, representing the breadth of American experience, have participated in the project.

This book is a collection of stories from the StoryCorps project - specifically, the stories focused on love.  There are three sections: Found, Lost and Found At Last - the first dealing with falling in love, the second with losing a loved one and the third, finding love when you least expected or had given up on ever finding love. 

My thoughts: 

 All There Is truly melted my heart.  All I did was cry or smile through the tears.  It was the best read I'd had in quite some time.  I think the fact that these stories are all real and that you can see the faces of these people after you read all about how they fell in love or had the heartbreaking experience of losing a loved one, you can't help but feel connected to the story and the people involved.  Plus, I love the idea of reading all of these different stories about love, because it made me realize that I am a romantic and that I do love the idea of falling in love.  Its silly to think I hadn't realized that about myself, but its true.  This book really opened my eyes and I appreciate that.  This is a book that I want to share with all of my family and friends and you!  It makes you see how much love matters in life - in fact, its all that matters.

Each of these wonderfully, sweet and genuine stories offer a peek into the lives of people who have experienced the beauty of love and the sorrow of losing a love.  I found myself smiling as I read about the couple who met and married a week later - they just knew!  Or laughing at the woman who refused to date this man she considered to be goofy and who was constantly waiting for her on her stoop - well, she wound up marrying that goofy man and loving him for many years.  And there were some sad stories that truly broke your heart, like the woman who shared her last minutes talking with her husband who was trapped in one of the towers on 9/11 and having to read how she heard the loud rumble of the building collapsing and knowing that her husband was gone.  Those stories tore at your heartstrings like no other.

Truthfully, all of these stories affect you in one way or another and I think that is a true testament to the power of storytelling.  Plus, the fact that these stories are all true, makes the reading experience even more powerful and emotional.  You simply can't help but get caught up in these peoples lives and personal experiences and reflect on your own personal entanglements with love.  This is a book that I will be telling everyone I love about.  Its a book that you want to dip into now and again and re-read when you need a good cry, or when you want to put a smile on your face, or when you simply need to remember that love is all around.   

All There Is is a gem of a book!  You will fall in love with it just like I have, which is why I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone and everyone interested in nonfiction and love stories. 

I want to think TLC Book Tours and the publisher for providing me a copy of this book!


trish said...

Aw! It sounds like such a refreshing book! Not my usual fare for reading, but something I'll be picking up anyway.

Thanks for being on the tour!

Nadia said...

trish, thanks! its not my usual cup of tea either, but I just really fell in love with the book ;)

Ti said...

Such a neat idea. We had a StoryCube here at the university to record thoughts for the outgoing President. It was a weird process! You booked a time, entered this high tech looking cube and then talked about whatever you want to talk about. Some talked about the devastating quake and how we bounced back...some students formed groups and acted out a skit or sang a song. It was really neat.

I think it's neat to have history documented somewhere. These days, our lives are blips of digital content.

Nadia said...

Ti, it is such a neat idea! That is so cool that your uni had a StoryCube! Did you participate? I bet it was weird, but very cool at the same time. Its definitely great to have history documented like this, because you are so right, we are all just blips of digital content lately. Its crazy how all our socializing seems so dependent on social networking sites now. Anyhow, I thought it was a great idea and I really enjoyed the read ;)

B said...

This sounds like it would make a good read for Valentines day! I hadn't ever heard of the StoryCorps project. Very cool!

Nadia said...

Brenna, that's what I was thinking! Perfect read for Vday - would also make a good Vday gift. And, I hadn't heard as much about StoryCorps until I read this book. I had only seen it mentioned on NPR's site. Now I'm glad I know about it :)

Lisa said...

I've always loved to these stories on the radio; a book of them would be lovely. So glad to hear you like the book. I'll have to pick it up!

Nadia said...

Lisa, they are such lovely stories to hear on the radio, aren't they? Definitely get a copy - I think you will love them!

Tamara said...

I'm very intrigued by the Sotry Corps concept. Thanks for mentioning it here. I'm currently consulting with a government agency to find ways to inrease staff innovation. I'm loving the idea of this story telling concept. The book 'All there is' also sounds like a wonderful gift for special friends. Thanks

Nadia said...

Tamara, it is an interesting concept, isn't - sharing stories orally? Good luck with finding new ways to increase staff innovation :) And, I agree with you that this book would make a great gift for friends and family. Thanks for stopping by! Cheers!

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