During a year that has left many of us looking for answers, Tracy Westall reflects on her latest read, ‘Remarkable People’ by BBC Breakfast Dan Walker, as he recounts some of the inspiring stories of the courage and selflessness from people he has met during his career.
With a title like “Remarkable People” the bar is set high, with a clear expectation of what you should find inside its pages and Dan Walker’s latest book did not disappoint on either count. Written in a relaxed and warm conversational style, it weaves through a selection of people Dan has met in his broadcasting career who have made an impact on him. He consolidates this into nine individual remarkable stories – making it a great bedtime or travelling read as each one is a chapter. Each story transports the reader into the room, so it feels like you are hearing it all first-hand and they really are remarkable stories.
In a year that has left many of us looking for answers, this book is a reminder of what some people face and how mindset makes all the difference. I found it managed to create a really interesting read, with the right amount of emotion, detailing human stories and afterwards making me reflect on what would I do in their situation – these are genuinely every day ordinary people doing or facing some extraordinary things.
No spoilers here but the story of Ilse and James Steyaert-Fieldsend and their little girl Georgia was a truly humbling read as was Figen Murray, the mother of Martyn Hett, one of the Manchester Arena victims. I was left speechless at their human capacity to think of others at a time when the only thing I suspect, I would be capable of thinking about is myself. It is most definitely not a book of tears or mawkishness, it is certainly a book of kindness, optimism, resilience, selflessness, teamwork, leadership and above all compassion and how we can do amazing things together if we just take the time to stop and listen. Really enjoyable read.