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Archive for February, 2010

A book review:

Have you ever read a book you couldn’t finish fast enough? Not because it was boring you or because it wasn’t what you were expecting, but because it was wholly compelling?

After reading only the first few lines of If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, the debut novel by Jon McGregor, not only did I want to lock myself in a room until I finished it, I knew that as soon as I did I would want to start it all over again.

I was not disappointed.

Owing, perhaps, more to poetry than prose, McGregor’s masterpiece draws you in from page one, and believe me when I say there is no turning back.

There is nothing here which is extraordinary excepting, of course, the breathtakingly ordinary – the fullness of each character is portrayed in an instant, a flashbulb only, revealing secrets, longings and regrets in stark contrast – all set into the context of a lovely summers’ day.

If I may borrow from a review written at the front of the book; McGregor has the startling ability to remind his readers of the infinity in a grain of sand.

Would I recommend this novel? Yes, to anyone who will listen. Will I read it again? I have already started.

He says my daughter, and all the love he has is wrapped up in the tone of his voice when he says those two words, he says my daughter you must always look with both of your eyes and listen with both of your ears. He says this is a very big world and there are many many things you could miss if you are not careful. He says there are remarkable things all the time, right in front of us, but our eyes have like the clouds over the sun and our lives are paler and poorer if we do not see them for what they are.

He says, if nobody speaks of remarkable things, how can they be called remarkable? (239)

I know it is only February, but this may be my book of the year.

So, to remarkable things.

xo

A

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yes, seriously.

I would like to take a minute to talk about some friends of mine who have embarked on an experience which is very, very awesome. I could struggle here to think of the right words to describe how brave I think Stephanie and Nick are for giving up their metropolitan life and moving to Chile to manage a sheep farm, but I would never be able to do either of them justice.  So I am going to do the only thing I can think of doing and let you read about their adventure in their own words.

Please visit their blog: A Clevelander’s Tale of Farm Life in Chile, I promise you will be impressed.

To Stephanie & Nick: I wish you both the best of luck and I hope we can see each other soon.

xo

A

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