I wish I could write fiction. I wish I could write fiction like Bob Rich. This little book is full of gems, ranging from quite a few exactly-100-word stories to engrossing tales of perhaps 8000 words.
How can you bring a character, a situation, to life in 100 words? How can you change the reader’s understanding of the world in a short story? Bob does both. My favourite is Forgiveness, in which a social worker ends up caring for the murderer of his beloved wife and daughter. Reading this story alone has made me into a better person.
Then there are the essays, full of passion. Toward the end is what I take to be Bob’s personal manifesto, The Professional Grandfather. Then there is a collection of three about tolerance: addressing homosexuality, trans, and irreconcilable differences.
I don’t know how to categorise this book. It is much, much more than an anthology. It is not a therapeutic self-help book as such, although it is explicitly tied to Bob’s From Depression to Contentment, which is. But whatever box you might want to put it in, it is entertaining reading that will uplift you, challenge you and help you to grow.