Top 10 books I read in 2012: Evidence of Things Unseen (#7)

Evidence of Things Unseen

Evidence of Things Unseen

MARIANNE WIGGINS
Simon & Schuster, 2003; 400 pages.

This novel was a SHOCK to me. A shock because I had never heard a word about it and frankly didn’t expect it to be very good. I have a bad habit that way, maintaining low expectations for novels that I haven’t heard about. Evidence of Things Unseen is an excellent reminder to myself to not be so pre-judgmental about unknown books. Because this book was amazing.

I wouldn’t have changed a single character, a single line in this entire novel. The writing is exquisitely beautiful and simple and the story is unlike anything that I have read this past year. Marianne Wiggins tells us the story of Fos, recently returned to Tennessee from the trenches of France. Fos is fascinated with X-rays, electricity, and bioluminescence. On a trip to the North Carolina coast to study a meteor shower, he meets and falls in love with Opal. Their romance and the trajectory of their life together form the structure of this gorgeous, poetic novel.

I could tell you all of the details of the story, the small flights of the plot, but such a recounting would cheapen the beauty of this book. At its heart, Evidence of Things Unseen is a love story: love between a man and a woman, between people and scientific “progress,” between parents and their child. I just don’t even know what to say about it, except that it is beautifully and perfectly written and I am grateful for it.

Monday Snax

Another busy weekend in North Carolina: Guion backed Daniel Levi Goans at his CD release show in Greensboro, and I was in Charlotte/Davidson, hanging out with my fam and celebrating with Eva and Peter.

Grace was Eva and Peter’s wedding photographer and has just put up some of her amazing photos from their “first look” on the railroad tracks. Check it out.

Quick selection of photos below:

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We took Ally out for a (belated) birthday brunch at The Egg.
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The beautiful, happy bride gets dressed.
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Eva and Peter get hitched! At the Green Rice Gallery in Charlotte.
The cutest child EVER
Thumbnail from phone picture from a home video. Proof that Sam was the cutest child ever to live.

Snax!

“Cruel,” by St. Vincent. New favorite song (I’m OBSESSED) and album. I can’t wait for her concert here in October! This music video is also totally crazy and creepy. (The Fox Is Black)

The Psychologist. Why novelist Vladimir Nabokov may have actually been the greatest psychologist of his time. (The American Scholar)

The Writer’s Voice. A reflection on the experience of hearing a great writer read his or her own work–with links! Listen to the dulcet tones of Flannery O’Connor, W.B. Yeats, Philip Larkin, James Joyce, Vladimir Nabokov, and J.M. Coetzee. (The Book Bench, The New Yorker)

Al Gore’s Excellent Timing. You know all this apocalyptic weather we’ve been having lately? Al Gore chimes in on a reason, and it’s not the Second Coming. These statistics are chilling… or should I say warming? (The Atlantic)

Bookish Illustrations. Lizzy Stewart’s solemn and wonderful sketched book covers for beloved classics. (Wolf Eyebrows)

Meg Gleason: Personalized Stationery. Love these cards, especially the last one in the set of photos. (Design Work Life)

Farm Life. What an idyllic childhood Courtney must have had… Jealous! (Radiate)

Your Wild Horses. Wild, white horses, galloping in the surf? Of course these photos are going to be amazing. (Eye Poetry)

Got a Girl Crush On: Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken. Did this really happen?? Has anyone seen this movie? (Got a Girl Crush)

Pen on Paper: A Defense of Writing. Yet another article about why handwriting matters, this time from The Curator. (The Curator)

Chat History. A true and heartbreaking romance, rendered in Gchat. (Good)

The Dark Side of the Placebo Effect: When Intense Belief Kills. Apparently, if you believe too hard, you can die. (The Atlantic)

Dr. Neubronner’s Miniature Pigeon Camera, 1903. Um, awesome. (How to Be a Retronaut)