Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

I have just finished re-reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog  by Muriel Barbery, translated from its original French.  We will be discussing it in next reading group.  I had forgotten this but I was reminded by someone with a better memory that I was the one who picked it.  I am wondering how it will be received.

Our last book was The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.  Funny, I remember exactly who recommended that one.  It was also a second reading for me.  I remembered the story and I think Kingsolver is a very good writer, but I did not remember the brilliance of the structure of the book.  Perhaps it takes a second reading to be fully appreciated.  My fond assessment of the book was a minority opinion, however.

I suspect that will also be the case with Barbery's book.  Si très français, which I say with the utmost fondness. It was a difficult read in the sense that I had to look up words and references to philosophy, yet the story was fairly simple.

I have a small fear that I may be asked to leave the book group. This happened to my sister in her book discussion group. She was told she had the tendency to think too much about the books. I tend to go on about the writing rather than the story. Maybe it was the way we were raised. Others seem to find us rather odd sometimes.


13 comments:

  1. Your post made me giggle a bit. I was only in one book club and it wasn't for me. What they found interesting to read bored me more often than not. They were more impressed with their interpretation of the story than the story itself. But they were most impressed with themselves. I found I needed to leave or find another book club with people who enjoyed sharing different ideas, not listen to themselves pontificate. We all need to find our niches don't we? Never did find another club so I just read what I enjoy and that's that. :-)

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  2. Asked to leave a book group...that's terrible, and yet for some reason it makes me laugh. Sorry, just difficult to picture.

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  3. Yikes. Kicked out. Never heard of it though my book club is on line and its easy to avoid controversy with the "politeness rule."...:)

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  4. I think it is wonderful that you belong to a book club and they are lucky to have you - you probably make them think and we all need that!

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  5. The retired English teacher in me says it is impossible to "think too much about a book"! Also, if the writing itself is not worth talking about, you may as well read Harlequin romances!

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  6. Perhaps you can start a "kicked out of book clubs" club. Bet you would find like and interesting minds.

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  7. Wow, I did not know one could be asked to leave a group...because they take reading too seriously? I think you should look for a group of reader intellectuals!

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  8. I have read both of those books. While I am having a bit of trouble remembering "Hedgehog", I will never forget "Poisonwood Bible"!
    I think I would love to be in a book club with you!

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  9. I have never been part of a book club and now I know why. I would have been kicked out for sure.

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  10. Kicked out of a book group? "For high treason, misdemeanors, and thinking too much about the book, we find you guilty of violations of Article 5, section 17, clause 093.A1f."

    It seems to be a sign of the times, we don't want you to think too much.

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  11. That' would be strange -- asking someone to leave the book group for what you describe doing in your review. Can't imagine that happening in our group. I like Kingsolver, knowvive read that book several years ago and enjoyed it. Our next book is The Notorious RBG. There have to be enough copies available at our library to have a suggested book accepted for our yearly list. Now, some members with vision issues are even past large print stage and must have audio books.

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  12. I've never belonged to a book club, but I can't imagine that one could be kicked out of the club.

    I'm a bit weird in my reading habits. I purchase books by their size - the thicker the better - so I've been known to read some really unusual books. (Not either of these) I do have some favorite authors so will relax my rule for them but I prefer a read that keeps me reading for several days or weeks. Nothing worse than a book I can read in a night.

    Good luck with your discussion group. Hopefully they'll recognize the beauty in the writing.

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I appreciate readers' comments so much. You don't even always have to agree with me.