Monday, April 27, 2009 Posted by Dina N
The Noticer is the latest book by Andy Andrews, a best-selling novelist and prominent corporate speaker. Andrews' other books include Island of Saints, The Lost Choice, and The Traveler's Gift, a New York Times bestseller. I had not heard of Andy Andrews nor read any of his previous books until Thomas Nelson Publishing contacted me to review The Noticer.
The Noticer is based on a true story and is partly autobiographical. As a young man, Andrews lost both parents within a short period of time and ended up homeless, alone, and without hope of achieving anything of substance. The book starts with how he met an old man named Jones who helped him take a step back and see his dire situation from a different standpoint. Andrews overcomes the odds and achieves success - and, per Jones' words, all it takes is a little perspective.
The book continues to follow how Jones and his simple wisdom help other people in difficult situations: poverty, a failing marriage, old age, a troubled business. Most people have probably faced similar problems; if you have not, you likely will. What makes this book unique and inspiring is that, even if you cannot identify with any of these people, the wisdom and advice of old Jones apply to you. The Noticer can help you learn to see things other miss, why things happen and what you can do about it. One of my favorite parts is the chapter where Jones explains to Andy the four major dialects that we use to express love. Jones uses four animals to represent each type - the cat, the dog, the canary, and the goldfish. They correspond to physical contact, spoken words of approval, quality time, and favors and deeds. I believe that everyone can see themselves in one or in several of these four types. Realizing which one you are and knowing where others fall can help you communicate better with your loved ones and ease the frustration we often experience trying to figure out the best way to express our love and appreciation for another person.
The Noticer is categorized under Self-Help / Personal Growth. Generally, I am not a fan of self-help books because I find most of them rather obvious and / or condescending. This book, however, is neither. The Noticer is not just about seeing your glass half-full. It is short and easy to read, and impossible to put down. It is astonishing and captivating. I would not classify it as a self-help book but rather as a must-read book.
The Noticer has inspired The Noticer Project, a world-wide movement to "notice" the five most influential people in your life. Noticing these five individuals is meant to encourage us to step outside our busy lives and avoid waiting for a special occasion to acknowledge how much they have made a difference to us. You can read more about The Noticer Project and find out how to participate here.