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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
“I wish they had told me / when I was a kid / that my allowance wouldn't buy me / a sustainable smile.” (p.16)
If there is one poetry book you should read in your whole lifetime, it is How I Am Different by Thom Kudla, a collection of poems, insightful and inspiring thoughts composed over a period of two years. Each thought or poem is short, concise, and succinct, an expression of an idea, a humorous look into life, a subtle piece of satire.
The book is designed with a thought for each day, and this allows the reader to journey with the author, looking at his growth through the whole period of time the book was written. But I bet no reader will be able to read the book the way the author intended it to be read. Its charm is irresistible and one suddenly finds oneself going from poem to poem and from thought to thought, unable to stop. Some of the thoughts expressed in the book are witty and quotable and it won’t be hard to hear some of the lines coming back to mind in the course of the day.
How I Am Different is the kind of book that needs no commentary because it’s a powerful statement in itself. You just have to read it. For instance, listen to how the author talks about solitude: “I am alone, but I know how not to be lonely. I look forward to life each day because maybe I'll show the world just how much better I am than it. It's a game with no end, no winner, and countless losers. But I don't really see that, yet.”
The entire book is laced with interesting themes that can be grouped under different categories, including existentialism, riddles, insights into reality, acceptance of life, hope, life just as it is, love, humanism, and a lot more. Some of Thom Kudla’s writings are laced with humor, some are just thought-provoking, and others are merely powerful insights and observations on life. At times you’ll feel like looking into the bubbling consciousness of another man, peeping into his soul like a curious child peeping through a keyhole into a dining hall for adults. On Year One: Day 4, the author captures the soul and aspirations of the modern entrepreneur: “I'm killing time making money.”
How I Am Different is a book in which anyone will most likely find inspiring thoughts. I highly recommend this one for those readers looking for something entertaining that could be read over a very long period of time, but it will need a lot of discipline to read this book over a long period of time.