Doris S. Platt, Compiled by, Andrea Bocelli, Contribution by, Elie Wiesel, Contribution by . Poisoned Pen/Perfect Niche $12.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-9677590-2-9

Drawing in part on her connections in the international diplomatic community, humanitarian Platt has compiled some 100 reflections on the value of friendship, ranging from thoughts that run a few pages long to one-sentence aphorisms (e.g., editor Suzanne Brady's belief that "A friend knows when to stay loyally in the supporting cast, even if invited to accept a starring role"). Contributors include a few celebrities, such as primatologist Jane Goodall, the Rev. Billy Graham and writers Anne Perry and Joe R. Lansdale, while other big names—Charlton Heston, Elie Wiesel—are represented by extracts from previously published works. Most of the selections, however, are original to this book and by ordinary people, such as Irene Mano Mori, a Japanese-American legal secretary, who writes of the importance of two girlhood friendships during WWII: "Because of my witnessing and experiencing discrimination and sometimes overt racism as I grew up, I did not have the best self-esteem.... These two friends [one Caucasian, the other Mexican-American] helped bring meaning into my life." Throughout, Platt shares anecdotes from her life, recalling her charitable efforts in the former Soviet Union and revealing moments of friendship she's encountered. Although its arrangement at times feels meandering and oblique, this is a fine treasury of inspirational, universal quotations. (Nov. 15)

FYI: Originally under contract to a large European publisher, the book landed with Perfect Niche, an imprint of Poisoned Pen Press, known for its mystery titles, after a contract dispute. A cloth edition, with photos of the contributors, is due next year.

Reviewed on: 10/27/2003
Release date: 11/01/2003
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