Hug Everyone You Know

This morning, I picked up my copy of Hug Everyone You Know by Antoinette Truglio Martin. I follow Martin’s blog, Stories Served Around the Table, and greatly enjoy her writing style. I figured I would read a few chapters each week, but…from the initial pages onward, I couldn’t put the book down. I finished the 300 pages in one day!

Instantly, I was transported to Martin’s living room, having coffee together and listening to her story, while her family and friends wandered in and out and delicious aromas drifted from her kitchen. I hung on her every word, cheered her bravery, cried at her heartbreak, laughed at her wit and admired her gumption.  I thought of my own family and friends in similar situations. I gained a much deeper understanding of the infinite complexities behind their smiles and reassurances when they say “everything is okay.”

Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage and Cancer is a heartfelt memoir. It reminds us to never lose sight of the importance of family, friends, community,  kindness and compassion. It is told with warmth, honesty, and humour.  It’s one of those books that gets into your soul and makes a difference. I know that Martin’s story will stay with me for quite some time.

 

 

 

 

52 Replies to “Hug Everyone You Know”

  1. I haven’t read Martin’s book or blog. Thanks Donna, for introducing me to a new author. I finished a book today which I read in a day. It was a ‘holiday’ read but about a woman who has spent most of her life feeling ‘in the corner’ and finally take the leap to follow her dreams. We can be so inspired by real life stories or fiction can’t we? I know when my parents were both suffering from cancer, my Mum who battled for 10 years with breast cancer always had a smile and concern for others. She taught me so much about being a kind and generous human being. I miss both of my parents still. Tomorrow it will be 38 years since I lost my Dad and I still miss his smile. Have a beautiful week, my friend. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hadn’t heard of her blog or her book Donna – but she sounds like a wonderful woman and I’ll being popping over to check her out in more depth. The fact that you read the whole book in a day speaks volumes for the content and the quality of the writing. She sounds so inspiring x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Leanne – I discovered Martin’s writing via The A = Z Challenge. Although I won’t be entering the Challenge this year, I did gain many positive takeaways from being part of it. I’m glad that you are interesting in checking out Martin’s blog. I believe that you will greatly enjoy it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Donna – thanks for this recommendation … we can learn so much from friends who have to live through the process, or experience the process of watching … while books and readings (blogs) I’d have never have come across except for this wonderful world of blogging (which so many sadly cannot understand) – our knowledge and understanding can really grow … I know mine has. Thanks – I’ll put her book into my reading list … cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Hilary – I completely agree that our knowledge and understanding can grow exponentially though reading the words of others regardless of where they are written. I have learned more from this corner of the blogging world than I could ever adequately express. For this, I am incredibly grateful.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Donna – Thank you for the book recommendation. I add it to my to read list. I’ll visit her blog shortly. I just finished reading A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman and visited his blog. It’s one of the books that I couldn’t put down and finished in one day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Ally – I haven’t done a book review on my site for quite some time. (I read so many books that this site would quickly become a Book Blog and I am not a skilled reviewer). But some things just need to be shared. I highly recommend this book to others.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Donna,
    This is now a “must read” for me…as I am caregiving for my dear brother who is recovering from his cancer surgery with radiation on the horizon. I would do anything to help him, but it is impossible to truly understand what he is going through.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Nancy – I was just reading your post while you were reading mine. I LOVE when that happens. Makes it feel like an IRL conversation. I am so sorry to hear about your brother. I highly recommend Martin’s book to you. It is warmly written, with honesty and much positivity. It opened my eyes to many things that I did not understand.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. This sounds like a book worth reading. Cancer is not easy, not easy on the family, friends, and especially the one who has it. I am going thru this right now with a very close family member and let me tell you, it is very hard emotionally and physically!

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  7. My Goodness, Donna! Thank you so much for the kind words and sharing. I wrote the book to bring hope to others without a Pollyanna perspective or war cry. I am so please you enjoyed it. And you are so right in saying that the blogging community is a great place to learn and grow. Thank you for all you do.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi, Antoinette – Thank you so much for commenting. I truly do feel as I spent most of yesterday at your place. Your book is very moving and made me think deeply. I have already dropped my copy off to a friend whom I believe will benefit greatly from reading it.

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  9. Wonderful! Sometimes I just want to keep my mouth shut and instead extend a hug. A hug speaks volumes! As I get older (and wiser) I find that it is not my job to solve other people’s problems, it’s far better that I offer simple gifts of empathy and a hug.

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  10. Thank you for recommending this book! As someone who has gone through cancer treatment (many years ago, thank goodness), and also who has friends going through it now, I can really relate to the importance of being present and really listening. And, of course, the power of hugs.

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  11. Thanks for your recommendation and review about this read, Donna. It sounds like Martin did a really good job showing different facets of her experience, which is not an easy one to write about. And, I hope it has a positive ending!

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  12. Hi, Liesbet – Thanks for dropping by! In her own words, Antoinette strove not to take a “PollyAnna” approach, nor give a “War Cry”. Despite having a very difficult and ongoing cancer journey, her positive “moving forward” approach was very inspiring!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I read the blurb. Amazing book, it looks like. Must read.
    It’s true that friends and family can be a great calming and inspiring influence when it looks like the world around us is crashing down.
    – bpradeepnair.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi, Pradeep – Thanks so much for stopping by. You are correct about the calming and inspiring influence loved ones can provide. My favourite part of this book was that I felt like I was right there with Antoinette, standing among her friends and family, passionately cheering her on!

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  14. Looks like an excellent recommendation. Wish I had access to a library or bookstore easily here on the tropical island of Sri Lanka (which is our home base) but I do not…

    I am a cancer survivor and would be interested to read it. (Perhaps on a visit to the US to see family I will be able to get it then.) I learnt so much from having a cancer and I think we all have much to share especially if it can and does help others to deal with something as huge as this. When we give the news of cancer to friends and family there is an immediate dark cloud of fear, that comes across their faces…. So telling our stories of good health and recovery I think inspire optimism and courage.

    Thanks for sharing

    Peta

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    1. Hi, Jacqui – Thank you so much for stopping by. I agree that there is nothing more engaging than a honest, heartfelt, ‘cuppa-coffee’ writing style. Antoinette’s book is certainly all of that and more.
      I look forward to reading your books and have them on my list.

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  15. Oh, to read a book in one day. Oh, to have a book worthy of reading in one day. Going to check this one out. But thinking it might make me sadder right now. Thank you for this review. Will add this to my Goodreads to-read shelf for the future.

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    1. Thanks, Leslie – I don’t typically read a book in one day (unless it is ultra-light)…but I truly couldn’t put this one down. Although the subject is a difficult one, Antoinette’s honest but positive outlook is incredibly inspirational.

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