The third book in my challenge to ready 12 non-fiction books in 2013 is The Sweetness of Life by Francoise Heritier.
In just 72 pages, this book has become one of my favourites of all time.
A best-seller in its original French, The Sweetness of Life has been translated into English for the first time. Its author is an anthropologist and a professor who has previously written books including Masculin/feminin.
The Sweetness of Life started as a response to a doctor who wrote to Heritier to say he was on a "stolen" week's holiday. And so Heritier decided to put together a list of all the things that make up the sweetness of life, from "wild laughter, phone calls made for no reason, handwritten letters" to "rediscovering the macaroon smell of gorse every summer".
In addition to being a gathering of generic moments that make up life, The Sweetness of Life is also part biography, revealing little tidbits about Heritier herself. Her list includes "living sparingly at the time of the Suez Crisis on a thin baguette and a cup of coffee a day", "surviving the attack of a swarm of wild bees in the African bush" and "melting over the devastating restraint of Robert Redford in Out of Africa and the equally devastating insolence of Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind".
The Sweetness of Life is inspiring, and is a book to cherish. It made me stop and think about all the things that make life worth living, and that I should cherish each day.