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Published August 18, 2011
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Today I’m beginning my goal of fake-reading an imaginary book each month. Being well-read is important and it behooves all of us to read the classics and be aware of important new works being produced by contemporary authors. However, c’mon. I ain’t got the time. So each month, I’m going to invent a novel and then review it. Won’t you join me on this non-journey or faux-learning?
 

Book #1: A Thousand Fading Whispers By Melanie Diaz-Fisk

This book was heart-wrenching. It’s a non-fiction account of the author’s struggle with everyone she has ever met all dying in the same fire, and it really got to me. It just shows you that you never know. Her husband died in the fire, and so did her children, parents, siblings, co-workers, the barista from her coffee shop, and everyone she had ever met in a grocery store, train or gymnasium. They all just happened to be in that same building at the same time on the same afternoon when the fire broke out.

And I think what I took away most from this book is that a) that can obviously happen to any of us at anysecond, and b) you have to live your life to the fullest, 24/7. Because, as the author says in chapter 44, “…why do people need things like everyone they know dying in a fire to light a fire in their BELLY and finally…start…living?”.

Diaz-Fisk also does this amazing thing where she starts the book by saying that every person in the world is a poem. And then, at the end of the book, after everyone has all burned up in that fire, she closes with, “Each poem begins/And each poem ends/Now I must live my life as a thousand poems/For all of my dead Friends.”

And that’s when I started BAWLING. Like, for real, I lost it. And I liked how she capitalized the word “Friends”, because they were that important to her.

In conclusion, this book changed my life. It is for-sure the best book I’ve read since Harry Potter. It’s 785 pages long and I literally read it in a NIGHT. Here’s my favorite passage:

“My phone rang and the news was delivered. Your husband is no longer. What? How? Why? No longer? My rock, my very compass, my reason pour vivre, taken from me? Washed away as quickly as a million grains of sand along the water’s edge? I sat there, unmoving, unblinking, for thirty-eight hours, while the phone rang again and again, eleven hundred times.”

So if you like books that are really sad but also give you hope, and are actually pretty funny too at times, then definitely pick up A Thousand Fading Whispers. I’m already so excited to read her next book, which comes out in the fall. It’s about a group of women, but in Pakistan.

By Chris Kelly

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