Earth’s the Right Place for Love by Elizabeth Berg

I fell in love with Elizabeth Berg when I saw her title “The Day I Ate Anything I Wanted,” and each of her subsequent books have given me a level of comfort. This one – Earth’s the Right Place for Love – made me cry. If you remember Arthur as the old man in Berg’s novel “The Story of Arthur Trulove,” you might appreciate the prequel in Berg’s latest novel but the story stands on its own as a lesson in grief and moving on.

Arthur is an inexperienced sixteen year old in unrequited love with the beautiful brunette who eventually becomes his wife. A horrific accident irrevocably changes Arthur’s life but cements his kind and determined outlook on life.

Although there’s no way to know what life will bring, Berg uses her characters to keep readers open to possibilities, and promises all will be well, if we can just be patient.

Random Act of Kindness

It doesn’t take much – today I witnessed a good deed – a jogger stopped for a minute to give a homeless woman a bag.   As I surreptitiously watched, the old woman eventually pulled out sample sizes of assorted creams and lotions – even started to read the labels.   The jogger kept going – probably to one of the nearby hotels with those free samples left everyday by the maid.

Books about do-gooders can get schmaltzy – no matter how well-meaning.   Greg Mortenson has a new book, Stones Into Schools, – the sequel to Three Cups of Tea.

Need some quick, clear inspiration? Read a children’s book – Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Day by Pearson and Kosaka has the random acts of kindness theme in under 20 pages – and you can read it online…

And there’s Catherine Ryan Hyde’s Pay It Forward (remember the movie?) – also online…–oE4_atgPRzKmXBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CBIQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=&f=false

For more adult fare, there’s The Altruism Equation: Seven Scientists Search for the Origins of Goodness by Lee Alan Dugatkin – goodness can be explained, it seems,  by a simple mathematical formula.