Friday, April 12, 2019

(Review) Selections from Across Two Novembers: A Bibliographic Year by David L. Faucheux

Across the top on a tan background, the title appears (some words in black, others in brown). The middle of the cover is taken up by a brown bookshelf holding various books. At the bottom, the same tan background displays the author's name in black.

Note:  There are very descriptive passages about food and alcohol references in this book.

Mr. Faucheux's book is a memoir-journal of a year in his life spanning from one November to another.  It is a year of books, good food, music, friends, quotes, trivia, and tales of navigation through life as a blind man with fibromyalgia.  This is a new, abridged version with updates from the author added.

The chapters are months broken into shorter, dated entries.  But, just because the entries are short, doesn't mean you don't get much out of them.  There is always some knowledge/insight to be gleaned.  Sometimes a lot of it.

Imagine sitting down with a brilliant friend for a leisurely dinner.  He switches topics from Henry VIII to types of vanilla to Louisiana history to his latest favorite read.  You aren't sure what he'll talk about next, but it's almost always something interesting.  That's what this book was like for me, though I understand if some people find it a bit chaotic.

There were times Mr. Faucheux would start to discuss a topic I really wanted him to explore deeper, only to have him leap the track to an unrelated musing (maybe due to it being the abridged version).  Quote example:  "It really does feel as though the country has different sections, each at a different phase in the utilization of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)."  

I feel the author is quite honest when talking about his struggles with society.  The casual ableism leveled at him throughout college because "blind people don't learn X thing or get employed in X field" was sprinkled in like it was commonplace (and it probably was).  When he lost a dream because he couldn't find a way around a technological hurdle, I related to him so much I ached.  Quote example:  "My biggest fear is that I'm simply not able to make a contribution, even a small one, anywhere, in anything."  {Me too, Mr. Faucheux.}  He also speaks on his limitations in an open way.

I enjoyed this read and would recommend it.

One last quote:  "My advice to young blind people is to be whatever you need to be, join whatever you need to join, and use whatever you need to use to get wherever you need to be in life."

Small reviewer nitpick (my personal taste):  On occasion, he uses the word "exotic" to describe foreign characters in books.  Also, the term "gypsy-like" to describe a person.
~*~
Author Biography:  David L. Faucheux was named Audiobook Reviewer of the Year for 2018 by Library Journal and has reviewed for them since 2006. He lives in Lafayette, Louisiana and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Louisiana State University where he also attended library school.

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