"Broken Music: A Memoir" by Sting
The two most compelling ideas that I came away from the book with are these:
1. The tough times are the ones that shape us to be all that we can be.
2. When we have a very clear goal in mind about what we wish to do with our lives, and we pursue it without ever giving up and with an enormous amount of resilience, there is no way we will not reach that goal.
I recommend this book as one that will reveal the struggles and resilience of a man who never gave up on the goals he had in mind.
The book is also beautifully written. Here is a short excerpt which shows that Sting’s talents extend beyond singing and songwriting.
My father has gone to work. It is a school day and I have woken early. I get dressed and make my way downstairs to build a fire in the back room. As I turn the corner on the first landing, I hear a noise at the end of the passage that leads to a small porch and the front door. Crouching down, I see the shadows of two people behind the opaque glass of the porch. I move very quietly down the stairs, careful not to make any sound, supporting my weight on the wooden banister. I can hear soft moans and the quickening of breath from behind the glass door and see the shapes of two heads pressed together against the wall. I move slowly and silently down the long passage, not daring to breathe. The moaning is louder now, it sounds like pain, and as my hand reaches to open the door, I am terrified and fearless at the same time. I am driven by compulsion and curiosity and perhaps, although I haven’t entirely thought this through, the need to rescue my mother from some terrible danger. As I turn the handle on the door there is sudden panic on the other side of the glass. I manage to open the door only a crack before it is violently shut again.
“It’s all right, it’s all right.” I hear my mother’s voice trying to soothe me with the unconvincing tones of normality. Suddenly we are like a doomed family in a falling airplane, my mother desperate to hide the danger from me and desperate to hide her own face.
I have seen nothing, but I run, and behind me I hear the front door slam. My mother doesn’t find me when she comes up to my room. I am hidden, deep in my cave under the stairs, entrusted with a secret I don’t understand.