Friday, August 27, 2010

:: inspired reading :: Nikolski with guest blogger deanna

indie finds inspired by the book Nikolski
:: top :: geekel + gbrosseau  + holli 
:: bottom :: jenwildcat + blurrylens


i've asked a dear friend, deanna, to be my first-ever guest blogger! she's always inspiring me with her wisdom + wit, kindness + generosity, supermommying + love of handmade. she's a delight & i know you'll love her too. in her series: inspired reading, deanna shares & discusses a fabulous book,  as well as some beautiful indie-finds garnered by her reading of it. yay to  great books & great friends!


Have you ever felt that life was getting a little too ordinary, predictable, or just plain dull? 

I started the summer off in a bit of a rut. The sun was shining but laundry and dirty dishes seemed to pile up as fast as they could be done. One day, while chatting about books, a friend mentioned Nicolas Dickner's debut novel Nikolski, which had somehow eluded my notice in spite of its numerous literary awards. Fortunately I took up this recommendation the next day.

Nikolski tells the story of three young Montrealers. There is Joyce, a fishmonger with pirate ancestors who also freelances as a dumpster diver. Noah is an archeology student who spent his childhood as a nomad, traveling across Western Canada with his mother in a 1966 Bonneville station wagon named Grampa. And there is also an unnamed used bookseller with an heirloom compass that points towards Nikolski, Alaska.

The novel is imaginative, beautifully written, and terribly funny. More than once I was reminded of One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Márquez. As with Márquez, the ordinary laws of physics and probability don't always apply in Dickner's fictional world. Magic is commonplace. Coincidence reigns. Noah awakes one morning to find the ghost of his great-great-grandfather sitting at the kitchen table. One night Joyce discovers the perfectly mummified body of an office worker in a downtown dumpster. The booksellers' flooded basement transforms into an icy sea complete with shells, urchins, and a Leviathan.

Nikolski is one of those novels you don't want to end. Even now, weeks after I turned the last page, I still find myself thinking about its characters and their stories. After finishing the book, life seemed a little more mysterious and amazing. In short, it was the perfect cure for my summer rut, and left me feeling as if one morning I too might find a distant ancestor sitting at my kitchen table.


about the author: Deanna does most of her reading in Guelph, Ontario, where she's a stay-at-home Mom to a spunky 5-year-old daughter. Besides reading, she spends her time writing, baking, and hanging out at the park.


wonderful! thanks so much dear deanna!
so how about you?
have you read nikolski? 
what did it inspire in you?
read a book that's inspired YOU lately? 
please tell us! we'd love to hear!

have a magical weekend, nicies!
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  1. the answer is simple: love yourself love your spirit, by sonia choquette. AMAZING book! you'll want to read it more than once, so it's worth a buy!

  2. This sounds like a great book!! Welcome Deana!!

    The first book that I remember inspiring me at a young age was Fall on your Knees by Ann Marie MacDonald. It reminded me that hope abounds.

    Hope you have a great weekend, RR!!!!

  3. thanks, Deanna. the book that's most inspired me of late: The Boy in the Moon by Ian Brown. Wonderful, perfect context, courage, and creative energy.

  4. I just read One Hundred Years of Solitude this summer - makes me want to read this book. Thanks for the recommendation!

    I've been inspired by a book I'm in the middle of: "Eunoia" by Christian Bok. The first 5 chapters/stories are each written with only one vowel (A only in the first chapter, E in the next & so on). At the end of the book, there are some poems as well. As you may imagine, this quirky rule makes the writing creative & vocabulary rich with unusual words. I'm loving how it shows that sometimes restrictions allow us to be more creative than unlimited possibilities.

  5. Great guest blog. I'm just finishing 'The Time Travelers Wife', and I know everybody else in the world seems to love it, but I'm just not as impressed...

    Wishing you all a lovely weekend!

  6. ooooh! wonderful suggestions, nicies!

    hi mr. rikrak :)

    how fabulous, amanda! have you ever seen him perform? it's amazing! and yay to eunoia and other great books pushing the boundaries indeed!

    thanks sara & monique & onecrafty for your yays and nays!

    yay books!

  7. Thank you for TWO new book suggestions...I will be picking up both of these. Can't wait!

  8. Hi Iam Prabhu from chennai,joined today in this forum... :)

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thanks so much for your comments, nicies!
it's a joy to read what everyone writes here.
thank you!