Do you know about “the page 69 test”? The idea, floated by Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan, is that when you read page 69 of a book you know whether or not it’s for you.
In the book HOW TO READ A NOVEL, John Sutherland suggests that readers should apply the page 69 test. He argues that “Dust jackets, blurbs, shout lines, critical acclaim all jostle for the reader’s attention.” Instead, he recommends applying the McLuhan (or, page 69, test).
“Marshall McLuhan, the guru of The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962), recommends that the reader turn to page 69 of any book and read it. If you like that page, buy the book. It works.”
I thought it would be fun to test this theory and post a few from my TBR pile.
Let me know what you think in the comments!
One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow by Olivia Hawker
About the Book:
Wyoming, 1870. For as long as they have lived on the frontier, the Bemis and Webber families have relied on each other. With no other settlers for miles, it is a matter of survival. But when Ernest Bemis finds his wife, Cora, in a compromising situation with their neighbor, he doesn’t think of survival. In one impulsive moment, a man is dead, Ernest is off to prison, and the women left behind are divided by rage and remorse.
Losing her husband to Cora’s indiscretion is another hardship for stoic Nettie Mae. But as a brutal Wyoming winter bears down, Cora and Nettie Mae have no choice but to come together as one family—to share the duties of working the land and raising their children. There’s Nettie Mae’s son, Clyde—no longer a boy, but not yet a man—who must navigate the road to adulthood without a father to guide him, and Cora’s daughter, Beulah, who is as wild and untamable as her prairie home.
Bound by the uncommon threads in their lives and the challenges that lie ahead, Cora and Nettie Mae begin to forge an unexpected sisterhood. But when love blossoms between Clyde and Beulah, bonds are once again tested, and these two resilient women must finally decide whether they can learn to trust each other—or else risk losing everything they hold dear.
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