Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Wishing Year (Noelle Oxenhandler)

The magazine Body + Soul has a book review section at the end, in which I sometimes find books to read. One recent one was The Wishing Year: A House, A Man, My Soul -- A Memoir of Fulfilled Desire by Noelle Oxenhandler. From what I remember of the book review, the essence was that Oxenhandler did indeed get a house and a man, partly from wishing, and I was curious as to how exactly that came to be.

Oxenhandler presents herself to the reader as a skeptic. She lives in Northern California and has many friends who believe strongly in wishing, in letting their desires be known and waiting for opportunities to come from that. And she doesn't feel she fits that mold. So she decides one year to experiment with the power of wishing, the results of which are presented here.

While The Wishing Year is a memoir, it also is part literary analysis of the term wish. Those parts to me weren't as strong or as interesting as the rest of the book. One thing Oxenhandler points out from this research, however, is that the power of the formation of the wish can focus your thinking and actions into fulfilling that wish, consciously or not. And I think this is true, as seen in the somewhat recent proliferation of 100 things lists.

Did I love this book? No. Am I glad I read it? I think so. It never felt like work to pick it up at the end of the day to read, and it was fairly enjoyable overall. If the subject seems like something you're interested, then I think it would be worth picking up at the library.