Tuesday, November 22

Goose and Gosling

That dreaded email from the library: 

Reminder Notice

Your record shows the following items will be due within the next three days.

Items not returned by the due date attract an overdue fee of 35 cents per item per day.

Renew these items now via eLibCat.

1. call number: AD - FICTION FOE
ID: 34000070248760
Extremely loud & incredibly close / Jonathan Safran Foer.
Foer, Jonathan Safran, 1977 -
due: 24/11/2011, 23:59.

Needless to say, I rushed straight onto the e-library catalogue and pulled up my account to renew my checkouts.  

Renewal failed.  Item has holds. 

Oh the horror!  With only three days to finish the book, mountains of homework, two exams, two shifts, no time, no time, no time.

It's amazing - they always say it's so - you can always find time if you care enough to.  Last night, amongst math textbooks, formulas, and exercise books, I made time to finish the book.  I'm not sure when I finally turned off the light and went to bed, but I know that I was satisfied with my efforts, and more than satisfied with the book itself.

Many Colours of Happiness!  You deserve a huge pat on the back for recommending me Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.  And a hug.  And a box of chocolates.  And a bouquet of sharpened pencils. 

This book 'got' me more powerfully than any book I remember reading.  It is so beautifully written, and profound with its ingenius, ingenous quality.  He does this incredibly wonderful thing where he plants a little idea, a seemingly meaningless idea, at the start.  It delights you then.  This sweet, challenging idea, but it fades to the back of your mind because it is nothing but a thought.  But he doesn't allow it to end there.  He brings it back and reminds you of it, and ties it up so that every phrase, every idea, every thought turns out to have a purpose.  It blew me away.  It knocked my socks off.  It's like in those colouring in books where you draw a line to connect the mother animal with its offspring:  dog with a puppy, goose with a gosling, bear with a cub.  A small idea, connected to a grand one to make an incredible point.  Nothing has astounded me so much.

Thankyou for this extremely loud and incredibly close experience.  I walk away changed. 


  1. I'm so so glad to hear that you loved it!!! I remember the first time I read it; I was on an aeroplane and I got to the part about the blank pages (don't want to ruin it for anyone else, but I'm sure you know what part I mean!) and I started sobbing uncontrollably. I never cry during movies or when reading, and I remember my sister just looking at me and saying 'whatever your reading is going to be my new favourite book.'

    Good luck with all of your school work! Also, as I am going away from the 19th of December to the 1st of Feb, I was wondering if you would like to do a guest post for me? It can be about anything you want :)

  2. I must thank you, too, Many Colours of Happiness. I am onyl halfway through so far on account of exams taking up my reading time but I am really, really enjoying this book. It is absolutely smashing! Thank you so much, Book Florist!

  3. I'm so glad that you're enjoying it, Tangled up in Blue. There are some absolutely gorgeous scenes in it. You are in for a great adventure!


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