When I got the email with a full copy of Life’s Little Things: The Quotes, I did a happy dance. I’d had the opportunity to take a sneak peek at parts and had been so excited by what I’d seen, I’d already planned on grabbing a digital copy on release. To say I was thrilled when I got an advanced copy would be an understatement.
But then, as I often do when I’m super excited about something, I was terrified to actually read it, afraid it wouldn’t live up to what I’d built it up to in my mind. I did this with A Planet for Rent, A Farewell to Arms, the Star Trek reboot, the book of cat poetry I found by T.S. Eliot, and—well, you get the point. It’s a bad habit. I shouldn’t have been worried. Life’s little things was everything I’d imagined and more.
Author and photographer Cendrine Marrouat begins the introduction to her book with a quote from Henry David Thoreau that sums up the intent, execution, and magic of what she’s managed to do:
“Direct your eyesight inward, and you’ll find
A thousand regions in your mind
Yet undiscovered. Travel them, and be
Expert in home-cosmography.”
In Life’s Little Things, Marrouat paired her photography with words meant to inspire introspection and encourage more mindfulness in the small things around us that we often take for granted. Between her breathtaking images and poetic writing, the reader is simultaneously swept away and pulled into the moment. It is impossible to come away from this book unchanged.
Marrouat’s photography alone is reason enough to purchase this book. Though the subjects of each photo are the simple and ordinary, the images are anything but. From a photo where the shadows upstage the flowers creating them, to a caterpillar bridging two warn fence planks under a vibrant sky, the composition of each photograph will inspire you to look deeper, pay more attention, and find the beauty all around you.
In my sneak peek of Life’s Little Things, I got a chance to see some of the book, and fell in love. Marrouat’s writing reminded me one of my favorite poets, Kahlil Gibran. My initial impression was spot on. Each photo is caption by a carefully crafted line or phrase that Marrouat wrote especially for the image. Reminiscent of Gibran’s nostalgic, vibrant, and soulful poetry and prose, the quotes for each photograph evoke the best moments in life. I found myself transported to memories I treasure but often forget. Reading this was like lazing in a hammock under a sun-drenched sky. It was a stirring experience in all the best ways.
The beauty of Merrouat’s writing is sometimes speculative and sometimes whimsical, but it always encourages and inspires. I often find myself contemplating some of the lines that have stuck with me since I read Life’s Little Things. One such line, “Be like the mountain path. Let detours guide your steps,” seems so apt to what I have been going through lately, that the words have danced in my brain at the smallest glimmering reminder: when I’m driving the curved highway to work meetings, as I contemplate the jagged edges of the neighboring mountains at sundown, while watching water bead and trickled down a window pane during a thunderstorm. Point is, there is something in here for everybody, some line, some photo that will speak to you and remain in your heart long after you turn the last page.
Life’s Little Things is a must read. In fact, I highly recommend you buy a physical copy. I did, and I am gleefully awaiting its arrival. This a book you will come back to again and again, and each time you will take something new away. As a result, this book gets my highest rating: this is a Proustian, gin and tonic kind of read–crisp, refreshing, and soul renewing.
You can purchase Life’s Little Things: The Quotes through Blurb.
Marrouat will be joined us recently on Tibetan Lemonade to discuss her artistic process, finding her style, and the parallels between photography and writing. Be sure to tune check out what she had to say if you haven’t already: INSERT. She will be back later this year to talk about putting together press kits. While you wait for her to share her wisdom with us, make sure to check out her websites, Social Media Slant and Cendrine Marrouat Photography.
Kelsey Stone, also known as @scifistone on Twitter, is an aspiring author and current Master’s of Fine Arts in Fiction candidate. Her latest project, a science fiction book titled Sabiak’s Creed, is currently being reviewed by several agents.
As in everything else, Kelsey aims to be candid and forthright in her reviews. She does not sugarcoat, but she aims to treat every piece of literature with the respect it deserves. She is not reimbursed, paid, or bribed, and her opinions are genuine.
Her time for reviews is currently limited by her writing endeavors, but it doesn’t hurt to ask: firstname.lastname@example.org.