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on January 9, 2013
Ann LeCaire wrote as though she was writing in her dairy or journal. At times it's an interesting read; at others it's rather slow and makes you feel like it's time for a short nap. It also gets repetitive, and it often makes you wonder "Why?"

Keeping silence on days such as Christmas and birthdays did not seem to make any sense - and felt more like creating distance from friends and family than being there to share celebrations with them. And refusing to answer anything, even in writing (despite the fact that she wrote on silent days) also seemed distant and antisocial.

I usually read a book through from beginning to end without taking a break for a while mid-way. For this one, I had to stop about half way through and read a few books before coming back to finish this one. It was just getting too long and drawn out and making me feel a bit listless. In the second half, her story perked up a bit, and her story became more interesting.

This was a bookclub book, and the title made it sound intriguing. By the time I finished it, however, it felt more like I'd read a book by someone tied into a path with no flexibility or enjoyment, almost as if she was trapped with no way out.

I have a lot of quiet time in my life, and quite moments and interacting moments seem part of a normal way of being. It seems rather odd and uncomfortable to make something so pronounced out of being quiet and to structure it so strictly. It's always good to take time for yourself and make time for yourself. But relax. Go with the flow. Breath. Enjoy life, and don't tie yourself in knots over schedules and calendars and can't do's and must do's.
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on January 5, 2018
The practice of silence can bring positive results. But when it conflicts with those you love (a silent day when it is your daughter's birthday) isn't a negative? The practice is more practical for the author since she is an author who writes from home. For most people, their job would not allow silence on the prescribed days. The author gives many insights, but practicing silence is not something that many people can do
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on August 1, 2012
This is a beautiful and inspiring book and it was a perfect read for me while on vacation in a cabin all by myself. This book captures the silence and solitude that we all yearn for, yet struggle to capture in our everyday lives. While not all of us are as lucky or can as easily close the door and the blinds to the world and partake in silence, the book did inspire me to practice silence within my own limits and to what extent it will fit into my life. Small steps can provide huge benefits.

... Going deep, I knew, often leads to change. Was silence, then, to be a stone that would fall deep, reconfiguring the depths of my being, even as it sent ripples circling out? I released the thought almost as soon as it came, as I was not ready to consider its implications. I knew only that after this one day I felt profoundly rested and replenished, as if I had gone on a weekend retreat...
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Interesting initially but boring after a few chapters... sounds too much like any other philosopher with a theory of everything and a solution to all your and everybody's troubles.
I have yet to find a one size fits all remedy to anything, sorry
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on March 12, 2014
Can't read this book too many times. Such a well-written chronicle of the author's journey and daily discovery into a new way of being. Presented such a beautiful portrait of a beautiful life along with it's impact on her friends and family. She was poignantly honest about feelings and frustrations in different situations and at different points along the ongoing years of this path.

A gifted writer, one can always get new meaning reading the passages over and over. Small book will be read into the future. Joins the top of my favorites list!
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on November 13, 2014
A friend phoned me after reading this book in a day, longing to share it with someone. Well-written and beautifully illustrated, it's a pleasure to read. While the points she makes are salient, I couldn't help feeling she was a bit self-indulgent and lucky to have both a lifestyle and resources to make a commitment of a weekly day of silence. It's natural but artificial, relaxing but challenging, freeing yet self-imposed. Still, the author is inspiring in her quest for silence, solitude and self-discovery.
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on September 12, 2012
Anne LeClaire's book is a beautifully written account of her practice of silence over seventeen years, twice each month. Remarkably, it is a journey into the the many ways being silent has spoken to her. Far from mute, being silent makes the communications she has with husband Hillary, family and friends richer, deeper -more poignant. This gift of beach stones and birdsongs has a subtext of stories that happen as those around her respond to her silence in differing ways.

Anne LeClaire's words give the reader an opportunity to consider the path of silence as an avenue to centeredness. It is one woman's brave travel on the road less taken in this age of infinite communications. She says at the close of one chapter, silence "can be gentle and peaceful. Risky and brave. Angry and punishing. Thoughtful and wise. Intimate. Loving. Restorative. Reflective. Sacred or profane...to honor or shame. To diminish or empower." Just as speech can be all these things, so can silence be. I have experienced this book as a thoughtful reflection that I have read over and over again, each time allowing it to teach me through its words the power of quietude.
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on June 18, 2015
This book has greatly helped me. When I realized "quiet", or the absence of sound, was not "Silence", and that Silence is a divine state that cannot be "made" but (in)perienced, that was when I found the doorway to a more intimate relationship with God and a much better understanding of myself.
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VINE VOICEon November 14, 2013
A very readable account of one woman's foray into occasional silence.
This is a great book for book clubs as it seems to generate a lot of reactions.
LeClaire is a good writer who explores what it means to actually listen to the world. So, it's not so much about being quiet as what happens when one tunes in.
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on July 3, 2010
LeClaire took the time to write what I already knew deep down in my heart, but reading it was so affirming that I decided to actually enter in to the silence I'd desired for so long. Thankfully, I have a supportive husband that knows silence and solitude replenish me in such a way that he gets the better part of me once I come out of such a season of rest. Last Monday I completed my first 24-hour of silence. And like the author, at the end of the period, all I knew is that I hungered for more. So with the support of my husband, 3 teenage sons, and a live-in mother I'm declaring not only every other Monday as a day of silence (as did the author), but EVERY Monday.

It's funny how people respond. My mother would talk to me during the day but only in a whisper. My husband wrote me notes (as if he, too, couldn't speak.) My youngest son, age 14, seemed to take the whole thing personal at first, as if I were strictly withdrawing from him, but soon realized it was just a matter of time and space that I needed to rejuvinate. My middle son, unaware of my declaration of silence, called me on my cell mid-day. I texted him back that I had begun an experiment of silence and asked him to text me instead. The next day he called and said, "Are you talking yet?" I think they all thought it was a little unusual, and yet I couldn't help but suspect they all envied me a bit in their own private way.

In my profession as a public speaker and performer, I feel like I'm always required to talk or listen to someone, 24/7. How refreshing to finally do the "unthinkable" and say "NO MORE talking for me. For a little." And to realize that even in doing so, life goes on. The world doesn't end after all. Yes Virginia, we really can return to a measure of simplicity, solitude and even silence in life, if only we will.

Thank you, LeClaire, for giving me the liberty to enter in.
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