Review: All There Is; Love Stories from StoryCorps

All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorpsAll There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps by Dave Isay

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am not a crier by nature. The Notebook didn’t make me cry; though I do always get a lip quiver when I watch Moulin Rouge, I don’t cry; and I don’t typically read a book or watch a movie with the intent that it’ll evoke some strong emotion.

So when I say that I have found the book I’ll keep handy in the event I’ll ever join a soap opera and need to sob on demand, know that means something.

All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps can make me cry in two pages. Not gentle tears, but complete face-twisting uninhibited emotion. And you should absolutely read it.

All There Is is a compilation of true stories collected by StoryCorps as part of their mission to collect stories of people’s lives. These will be given to the storyteller as a family keepsake and another copy goes to the Library of Congress, to pass on to future Americans. It’s a simple mission, but incredibly powerful. If you’ve never heard StoryCorps on the radio, go watch this animated version. It’s one of the stories in the book, but it’s a little different to see it. Go watch right now.

I don’t think this book is necessarily supposed to be sad. The first section is all about finding love, and the stories are all happy endings, and you can practically hear the giggles in the narrators’ voices as they describe their first dates with the people they spend their whole lives with. It’s charming and so authentic, though, it strikes a chord on your heartstrings like nothing else. It makes you believe in true love.

The second segment is about love lost, and that one packs a definite wallop. In fact, my fiance took the book away from me, because by the third story in, I was clutching him and crying uncontrollably. So, to be completely honest, I haven’t read the whole book–yet. I’m going to need to space it out, because this book is so moving it needs to be taken in small doses.

The final section is on love found again. If it’s anything like the first two, I’ll need the tissues handy.

This is no Chicken Soup for the Soul. No, All There Is is your favorite Chicken Soup story turned to 1000. It’s so raw and heartfelt and emotional, so matter-of-fact, so inherently inspirational and compelling, that I promise it will be like nothing else you’ve ever read.

Even if you’re not a crier and can’t bring yourself to read something that’s going to clear out your tear ducts, I recommend you buy this book, to support StoryCorps in their mission. Or donate to their cause.

It’s money well spent.

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