From strangers and from friends, I’ve gotten the most eloquent responses from people who have read An Effort to Understand, none more touching than an email this week from Jerry Wohletz, a Chicago speechwriter who moved to Bentonville a couple of years ago to become director of executive communications at Walmart. He confessed that he hadn’t gotten to my book, until now:
We had a baby today and I read the book top to bottom on a hospital couch with a tiny baby in my arms. Which, I think, is the ideal frame of mind for a reader of your book.
David, it’s magnificent. I’ve admired you as a writer and have learned much from you during our 5/6-year friendship. But there’s so much more here than professional guidance—actually, so little of what’s in the book registered as professional, it was entirely personal. …
… Your book has me feeling energized and inspired—to make an effort to be a better dad and husband. You make it look easy, but you shared honest, personal stories in here that make it clear it’s not effortless.
Really—this has meant so much to me today.
In book publishing as in life, the numbers are important. But the letters are what it’s all about.
And the babies, of course.