A Rare Book Review “Envy the Rain”

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I didn’t think it was possible for Jetleg to get worse, but mine has. So naturally instead of trying to sleep, i spent time doing work, messing up my blog, posting a new videoblog, and finally finishing Jamie’s book, Envy the Rain.

Jamie handed me his book during one of our dinner’s in the East Village during my still fresh-in-my-mind visit. I was very excited, having met Jamie a little over a year ago, it seemed like we were good friends right from the beginning. During that same period when I met him here in Amsterdam, he told me about his book. And although I had read some rave reviews and love the man’s blog, I held out til I arrived in the US to get the book and start reading.

Shocking as it may sound, it normally takes me months to finish a book. I read a chapter per night, or less. This manner of reading usually leads me to lose interest or forget where I was anyway. But with this book it was differentl; perhaps because I know him in real life, or because I read the blog regularly, or maybe just because it was so well written, I could barely put it down since day 1.

As I read about his trials and tribulations, there were so many familiar themes and scenery: new jersey, new york city, amsterdam, paris, and of course – a troubled love life. Not that my personal life looks anything like the one presented in the book, but as I read it… I felt like it was me… Is there any clinical term for that? Sympathy pains? Empathy? Whatever the reason, I somehow felt a sense of comradery and commiseration with Jamie. I’m not even positive those two adjectives describe the feeling, but i think it was related.

Beyond the emotional connection, as a brother who has lived in Amsterdam for going on four years, taking occasional trips to Paris, I felt his descriptions for the sites, sounds, and smells of the two cities was in tune with mine. He captured much of what I love about this city in a only a few chapters, which made me feel even more connected with the story.

That’s pretty much my bookreview. I don’t have a powerful conclusion to inspire you with or wrap it up in a neat little bow. I would say that instead of browsing the corporate shelves of whatever mega book store, head over to the known universe and pick this book up. Tell ‘em bicyclemark sent ya.

Now I can go back to not finishing books.

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