In the spirit of Sarah Selecky’s novel…
I am writing to you today about an exciting life-changing opportunity – Sarah Selecky’s new novel Radiant Shimmering Light. This brilliant book has enhanced the way I see the world. It has inspired me to be my natural self every day, and I strongly believe it will do the same for you.
I was in the dumps when the opportunity came to me to read this book. I was sick with a bad cold and I had no energy. The last thing I needed was a seriously depressing book to fill my time (although, generally I quite enjoy those!). Radiant Shimmering Light made me smile, even chuckle to myself, smugly. It highlights and satirizes some of the wacky stuff that goes on in the internet world these days. (None of which, of course, I participate in! Well, it’s true that you can sometimes find me on Facebook or Twitter, but never both at once! I mean, come on. And it’s true that sometimes I post pictures of books I get in the mail, and books I’ve read, and maybe a few pictures of my sweet children. But that’s not the same thing.)
The characters in Radiant Shimmering Light are obsessed with posting Instagrams and Tweets and Newsletters, and with checking their Likes and comments. They feel compelled to snap pictures of everything and post it instantly, tagging people and sending them all the hearts.
When 40 year-old Lilian (Hooray for characters in their 40s!) goes to work for her internet-famous cousin in New York City, her dreams start coming true; she connects quickly with the other female employees, she becomes more in tune with her spiritual self, she feels valued, and she starts making enough money to pay off her debts and then some.
Lilian becomes part of something that is bigger than herself – something that every woman wants – to be empowered and live your life to the fullest. To be spiritually connected to everyone else on earth and psychically send them positive vibes and lots of love (’cause that’s totally possible).
But you and I both know that the only way to reach true enlightenment is to read books. Right? I mean, books are the only thing that matter in this world, and for those of you who haven’t figured that out yet now is your chance to see the light.
I’ve included this tutorial (for free!) for any of you who are interested in learning how to empower yourself through reading and change your life. I can only hope that you continue to share your knowledge and experience with other readers and non-readers. Spread the book love and literary connections!
And please, Dear Readers, take the opportunity to find out more about Consumed by Ink and what we’re all about here. And, oh yeah, don’t forget to read Radiant Shimmering Light. Make sure you leave some quiet time to reflect on it, as you read, to get the most out of it. You won’t regret it!
Until next time, may you feel whole and alive through literature and your fellow readers.
Click here to to fill out a survey and let me know what you think of my new format. While you’re at it, click here to show your love and donate some money to a good cause! And don’t forget to click here to vote on what you’d like to see me read next.
Thank you for all your support today and in the past. Let’s journey ahead together.
Love, Naomi xoxo
(Okay, I got a little carried away at the end there.)
My Real Thoughts
What I loved:
- I really do think her depiction of our on-line world is brilliant.
- I found Lilian’s character endearing. Even though her addiction to social media is irritating (I think it was supposed to be, and is it really that much worse than the rest of us?), it’s obvious that she cares about the people she connects with. I couldn’t help but smile at her attempts to correct her “negative self-talk”, and her pleasure at being of value to others.
- The story was unpredictable. I thought I knew where it was going to go. But I was wrong. Which made me think about it more. Which led to my realization that the book is more brilliant than I first thought. Somehow she pokes fun at the same time as being serious about it. How does she do that?
- The descriptions of the food were so much fun to read. Even at the beginning of the book, Lilian is eating things like coconut, apricot, and chia granola bars and gluten-free toast with tahini. But once she gets to New York, the food gets really crazy. (And delicious!)
My only complaint:
- Near the end of the book, there are a few too many descriptions of auras and their wide variety of colours. It made the last quarter of the book feel longer than the first three quarters.
A few good passages…
I power my phone down and slip it in my purse’s phone pocket. There’s a floating moment, not unpleasant, where I feel the freedom of not having it in my hand, but this quickly turns into blankness that I fill with thoughts. What am I missing? Should I have deposited the money right away? What if people are commenting on my feed? I won’t get my texts, but anyone who sends me a text won’t know where I am, or why I can’t answer. Unless they see my feed, because I just posted a pic of where I am right now, so they can see that. Oh, my active mind!
I get a pretzel from a street vendor I pass on my way to the subway. I cover each bite with a squirt of yellow mustard. The dough is soft and warm and steamy in the chilled air. I lose myself in it: the crunch of the salt and the tang of the mustard. I know the gluten is inflammatory, and the white flour will make my blood sugar spike. All this salt will make me bloated. I know it, but I eat it anyway.
“You broke through the physical plane… Our bodies aren’t separate from our minds and our spirits. And obviously, our emotions. You’re in the emotional body now. I’ll give you some Jin Shin Do to help balance your Qi, so you can integrate.” (Huh?)
Goodreads synopsis (in case my newsletter didn’t cover it all)
The Quill & Quire: “The new novel extends Selecky’s examination of the collision between meaning and marketing in the 21st century, introducing timely themes such as tech entrepreneurialism, New Age spirituality, and the rising tide of online feminism.”
Hamilton Review of Books: “Selecky’s tone strikes a subtle balance between mockery and earnestness, both drawing readers in while holding them at a safe distance. She makes amusing use of electronic communication to drive the story forward… Brimming with insights into female-driven motivational seminars in the age of #MeToo, Radiant Shimmering Light speaks to our desire for community in a time of intense technological connection and consumerism.”
The Star: “Selecky pokes fun at the culture of online empowerment that attracts women in particular — that strange mix of spirituality, philosophy and self-help with a healthy dash of capitalism — without mocking or dismissing it. Her main character is painfully earnest and, through her, she communicates that what might look like a pyramid scheme to some can feel deeply genuine to those looking for meaningful connection.“