Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Noticer by Andy Andrews

Are you a ‘glass half empty’ or ‘glass half full’ kind of person? Do you notice things from their ‘Oh no’ potential or their  “Oh wow” possibilities? Last weekend at the Agape Women's Retreat I read a Thomas Nelson book, The Noticer by Andy Andrews, an award winning writer and speaker. Against a backdrop of busy quilters with their whirring machines, and those cooking or chatting by the fire, I sat in the sunroom with the other readers and took a trip to the community of Orange Beach, Alabama.
The Noticer is a book about Andy, a homeless young man, and Jones, the older stranger who sets him on a new course of life for his adult years. Jones claims to have been bypassed in the natural talents of running or singing but his gift is that of being a 'Noticer.' 
"I notice things that other people overlook... about situations and people that produce perspective. That's what most folks lack - perspective - a broader view. So I give them that broader view... and it allows them to regroup, take a breath, and begin their lives again."
When Jones passes on his perspective to Andy things begin to change and a new hope propels him to see the future with its many possibilities. He starts to consider how others view him and how this might have an impact on his relationships.
Fast forward ten years, and Jones is back in Orange Beach again. Once more, his perspective on life intersects with the people around him. Those in unhappy marriages, the arrogant, the lonely and the desperate, are all challenged to consider a new perspective. Jones is not a 'solver' of problems. He simply challenges the way people look at themselves, and gives guidance without telling them what they need to do.
The Noticer is a quick and easy read which comes with discussion questions for each chapter. Part allegory, part inspiration, it's not the sort of book I normally choose for myself but I was drawn to its unusual blend of fiction and autobiography.
The Noticer is an enjoyable read. A book you will want to share with a friend and talk about later. You may find you too begin to notice things with a new perceptive.