Listen, Listen to My Heart's Song

Non-Fiction - Memoir
159 Pages
Reviewed on 01/24/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Sheena Monnin for Readers' Favorite

Listen, Listen to My Heart’s Song by M. Barrett Miller is a touching compilation of snippets of life, love, happiness, loss, and the invaluable lessons to be learned as we navigate through life. The author tells the stories of others with wit, charisma, and with great care. Each story is conveyed with clever simplicity, allowing for the fullness of the message to shine through. The reader is encouraged to connect with each story and to reflect upon similar themes in their own lives, providing the right blend of enjoyment of others’ experiences and hearkening back to one’s own. Spanning the country and crossing the globe, we meet people from all walks of life in this book, learning and appreciating pieces of their lives as we go.

I appreciate the desire to tell others’ stories in Listen, Listen to My Heart’s Song by M. Barrett Miller. It provides both contributor and reader the chance to connect, albeit virtually and across the distance of time and place, and to enjoy the commonalities of humanity. The way the stories are told sets the tone for the book, making way for a respectful and pleasant look at lives all at once the same and yet very different from our own. The author is clearly well-traveled and well-connected with people he has known, and, in many instances, helped in one way or another. The author’s generous heart for humankind is the driving force behind the amazing content and touching stories. Listen, Listen to My Heart’s Song is the perfect remedy to a bad day, and the ideal pick-me-up when life feels overwhelming. Well done, M. Barrett Miller.

Pikasho Deka

Listen, Listen To My Heart's Song is a memoir featuring stories collected by M. Barrett Miller throughout his decades of travels across multiple continents, meeting people who inspired him through their words or acts of kindness and generosity. In Rufus River, one of his friends relates his encounter with a taipan snake at an ancient Aboriginal site in the wilds of Cape York Peninsula. In Michael's Story, a resourceful student at Seattle University assembles students, alumni, and friends to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. One of Miller's best friends introduces football to girls with HIV in South Africa. Tom's Story is about a newly recruited teacher in a predominantly black school in the deep south of America leading his students to glory, despite racism and bigotry.

An inspirational book that makes you want to be a better person, Listen, Listen To My Heart's Song reflects the sacrifices and efforts made by humans all over the world to make this planet a better place to live. Author M. Barrett Miller draws from his personal experiences and relates uplifting and heartfelt stories about and from people he encountered throughout his life. Traversing multiple continents and featuring people from different backgrounds, ethnicities, and walks of life, the narrative delves into various topics. However, each chapter incorporates similar themes, showcasing the hope, kindness, and perseverance of human beings. Although I enjoyed them all, my personal favorite was the one where a Native American youth from South Seattle overcomes growing up without parents with an alcoholic for an uncle to become a beacon of hope amongst his peers. Highly recommended.

Natalie Soine

Listen, Listen to My Heart's Song is a book of stories from various people collected by author M. Barrett Miller, a graduate of Seattle University and a member of Magis, Alumni in Service. Barrett learned to carry on with his work and stop worrying about whether he was doing enough. Dealing with a venomous snake, making a “bear away” and learning to sacrifice during challenging times are some of the lessons shared in the stories. Barrett’s charity Let Kids Be Kids, Inc. offers ideas to award acknowledgment to students who are out in the community making a difference. The stories are educational and inspire people to become more involved with welfare organizations, projects, and any programs focused on helping those in need.

Listen, Listen to My Heart's Song is an absolute delight to read, filled with tales of adversity, survival, and courage. Author M. Barrett Miller does a fantastic job of capturing each person’s story and their contributions to society. The variety of characters is interesting and easy to relate to, including African Americans, Native Americans, and many more people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. I especially enjoyed learning about the various charities supported by the sale of this book, i.e. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, The American Cancer Society, the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library, and the Woodland Park Zoo. The book is well-written and a smooth comfortable read – highly recommended for all adults and children. An inspirational journey that teaches people to follow their dreams and never give up.