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27 April 2009

Book Review - The Noticer

A while back, Thomas Nelson began a terrific blogger book review program. I just wanted to say "terrific" because it sounds like a silly word.

I received Andy Andrews' new book (to be officially released tomorrow!), The Noticer, a couple of weeks ago and began to read, finding that it was, indeed, a quick read. LPGA Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez has a quote on the front cover: "This is the best book I have ever read in my life." Now, I'm not sure if Lopez' golf skills qualify her as a literary student, but you've gotta admit -- that's an intriguing quote.

I'm not sure how to review it without giving tons of spoilers, but here goes.

The Noticer is a simple story, really, set in Gulf Shores, Alabama. That setting was very cool for me because Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, AL have been our primary summer family vacation spots for many years now, and some of the locations Andrews talks about are ones I can specifically visualize.

The first-person story begins with a man named Jones finding the author living underneath a pier, having given up on life and being at a very dismal point. Jones befriends the author and calls himself a "noticer" simply because he notices things that most people miss.

Over the course of the book, the mysterious "Jones" meets many people, and by offering simple perspectives on human interaction and personalities, proceeds to breathe new life into desperate situations. A man who's suicidal, an elderly lady with seemingly no reason to live, teenagers wondering about dating, etc.

It's actually not too long before you realize that it's essentially a book on psychology. But I've never read a psychology book quite like it. It's done in story mode. Oddly, although there's not a lot of "action" in the story, it was most decidedly a page-turner. The great thing about The Noticer is that at least one of the situations or stories in it will likely relate directly to your life.

I highly, highly recommend that you read it! You'll come away with some greatly changed perspectives on the everyday situations you meet with, and hopefully you'll be able to take them and implement them personally, for the benefit of others (and yourself, too, but I think the main point of the book may be how we impact the lives of other people).

I wouldn't call it a "Christian" book -- that's not its purpose -- but the principles it teaches are decidedly in line with what Scripture teaches.

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