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IN SOMEBODY’S SHOES

Author: Sandra Bruna Thursday 14 September 2017

We’ve all come back from the holidays, and we’ve all returned to our routine and schedules. That translates into the fact that another year has come and gone and I feel like I’m getting older, because it gets harder every year to go back to normalcy. However, this also means that I’m enjoying everything that I do, and so I’ve made the most of the summer and loved every second of it. Maybe that’s why returning to “school” is hard, but when I stepped into the agency, went into my office, and saw my bookcase filled with successful book and heaps of them waiting to be published this autumn – waiting to become great sellers-, my adrenaline kicked in and I thought: how lucky I am to be working in something that truly speaks to me and makes me happy. So, I put away the nostalgia I had felt and I thought that I have to keep enjoying every second, with whatever it brings, be it the new books of the season or the smell of autumn.

The first book I want to recommend to you is special for many reasons, the first one being because her author, Coia Valls, is one of the best writers I have the pleasure to represent. She’s also one of the best people I know and that I can call friend, and this book -a small gem- deals with a topic that she’s clearly passionate about: empathy. This works wonders for her, as she’s also one of the most emphatic people I know.

However, having empathy isn’t easy, nor it is to define what exactly empathy is. The most accepted definition would be: TO KNOW HOW TO PUT YOURSELF IN SOMEBODY’S SHOES. Have you ever thought how many times have you ever truly done that? It’s a very interesting thought, because there are jobs, such as mine, in which almost every day I have to put myself in someone else’s shoes and try to understand why they do what they do -let me assure you that it’s not easy, but it’s very fulfilling. Coia’s book, called SI TÚ ME ESCUCHAS (‘If you listen to me’), has reminded me of what it is that I do every day. A good friend, also a writer, once told me that without having empathy I couldn’t be an agent and, maybe, he’s right.

John Cavage is the typical successful American man: a young family father with an amazing job, who has overcome any obstacle that life has thrown at him without having to ask for anything to anyone, without having to empathize with other people’s miseries. But the foul play of a colleague who wants his position leaves him without a job and that will force him to look beyond himself. When John is pushed to accept a job as a commercial to maintain his family, he realizes his lack of empathy nullifies him as a person, that there’s something lacking in all his relationships. Luckily, a friend of his will tell him about a mysterious course, done via regular post that will change his life. Stepping into someone else’s shoes opens up a window that maybe you’d have never opened otherwise. To try to understand who you’ve got in front you is a pending task for most of us, and it takes work, but it can be highly satisfying as well. Therefore, this treasure that Coia has to offer to us is the ideal book with which you can treat yourself. Give it, as well, to those who you truly love, because it’s a life lesson, beautifully written by an author who never forgets the most important thing: to smile to her readers. Happy reading!

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