The Elegance of the Hedgehog

The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Author: Muriel Barbery
Pages: 325
ISBN: 9781609450137
Available:
Release: 2008-09-02
Editor: Europa Editions
Language: un

Explanation of the Book:

The phenomenal New York Times bestseller that “explores the upstairs-downstairs goings-on of a posh Parisian apartment building” (Publishers Weekly). In an elegant hôtel particulier in Paris, Renée, the concierge, is all but invisible—short, plump, middle-aged, with bunions on her feet and an addiction to television soaps. Her only genuine attachment is to her cat, Leo. In short, she’s everything society expects from a concierge at a bourgeois building in an upscale neighborhood. But Renée has a secret: She furtively, ferociously devours art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture. With biting humor, she scrutinizes the lives of the tenants—her inferiors in every way except that of material wealth. Paloma is a twelve-year-old who lives on the fifth floor. Talented and precocious, she’s come to terms with life’s seeming futility and decided to end her own on her thirteenth birthday. Until then, she will continue hiding her extraordinary intelligence behind a mask of mediocrity, acting the part of an average pre-teen high on pop culture, a good but not outstanding student, an obedient if obstinate daughter. Paloma and Renée hide their true talents and finest qualities from a world they believe cannot or will not appreciate them. But after a wealthy Japanese man named Ozu arrives in the building, they will begin to recognize each other as kindred souls, in a novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us, and “teaches philosophical lessons by shrewdly exposing rich secret lives hidden beneath conventional exteriors” (Kirkus Reviews). “The narrators’ kinetic minds and engaging voices (in Alison Anderson’s fluent translation) propel us ahead.” —The New York Times Book Review “Barbery’s sly wit . . . bestows lightness on the most ponderous cogitations.” —The New Yorker

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Author: Muriel Barbery
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781908313584
Available:
Release: 2013-09-02
Editor: Gallic Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Renée is the concierge of a grand Parisian apartment building, home to members of the great and the good. Over the years she has maintained her carefully constructed persona as someone reliable but totally uncultivated, in keeping, she feels, with society's expectations of what a concierge should be. But beneath this façade lies the real Renée: passionate about culture and the arts, and more knowledgeable in many ways than her employers with their outwardly successful but emotionally void lives. Down in her lodge, apart from weekly visits by her one friend Manuela, Renée lives resigned to her lonely lot with only her cat for company. Meanwhile, several floors up, twelve-year-old Paloma Josse is determined to avoid the pampered and vacuous future laid out for her, and decides to end her life on her thirteenth birthday. But unknown to them both, the sudden death of one of their privileged neighbours will dramatically alter their lives forever.

A Strange Country

A Strange Country
Author: Muriel Barbery
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781609455866
Available:
Release: 2020-04-14
Editor: Europa Editions
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

An epic fantasy of poetry, imagination, and the eternal conflict between good and evil, from the New York Times-bestselling author of The Life of Elves. Alejandro de Yepes and Jesús Rocamora, young officers in the Spanish regular army, are stationed alone at Castillo when, out of nowhere, a friendly redhead appears to them in the cellar. There is something magnetic and deeply mysterious about this Petrus. Alejandro and Jesús are bewitched, and, in the middle of the sixth year of the longest war humankind has ever endured, they abandon their post to follow him across a bridge only he can see. Petrus brings them to a world of lingering fog, strange beings, poetry, music, natural wonders, harmony, and extraordinary beauty. This is where the fate of the world and all its living creatures is decided. Yet this world too is under threat. A long battle against the forces of disenchantment is drawing to a climactic close. Will poetry and beauty prevail over darkness and death? And what role will Alejandro and Jesús play? Muriel Barbery’s richly imagined novel, the sequel to The Life of Elves, will transport readers to a lost world exposed to the constant churn of civilizations and remind them of the power of poetry and imagination. Praise for The Life of Elves “A truly enchanting story, beautifully told and rich in meaning.” —Irish Times “A beguiling fairy tale.” —The New York Times

The Gourmet

The Gourmet
Author: Muriel Barbery
Pages: 144
ISBN: 1906040265
Available:
Release: 2009
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A great food critic who can make or destroy the reputation of a chef with a stroke of his pen, Pierre Arthens faces his imminent death by trying to recall the one perfect flavor he sampled in his youth, a flavor that he believes forms the ultimate truth of his life.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Author: Muriel Barbery
Pages: 325
ISBN: 1933372605
Available:
Release: 2008
Editor: Europa Editions Incorporated
Language: un

Explanation of the Book:

The lives of fifty-four-year-old concierge Rene Michel and extremely bright, suicidal twelve-year-old Paloma Josse are transformed by the arrival of a new tenant, Kakuro Ozu.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery Book Analysis

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery  Book Analysis
Author: Bright Summaries
Pages: 24
ISBN: 9782806270313
Available:
Release: 2015-12-21
Editor: BrightSummaries.com
Language: un

Explanation of the Book:

In this clear and detailed reading guide, we’ve done all the hard work for you! The Elegance of the Hedgehog is a witty and satirical reflection on culture and appearances. Throughout the friendship between a gifted 12-year old and a concierge who is more than what she lets on, Muriel Barbery denounces the pretentions of the French bourgeoisie and their tendency to rely only on appearances. Find out all you need to know about The Elegance of the Hedgehog in just a few minutes! This practical and insightful book includes: • A complete plot summary • Character studies • Key themes and symbols • Questions for further reflection Why choose BrightSummaries.com? Available in print and digital format, our publications are designed to accompany you in your reading journey. The clear and concise style makes for easy understanding, providing the perfect opportunity to improve your literary knowledge in no time. Shed new light on your favorite books with BrightSummaries.com!

Gourmet Rhapsody

Gourmet Rhapsody
Author: Muriel Barbery
Pages: 156
ISBN: 1933372958
Available:
Release: 2009
Editor: Europa Editions Incorporated
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A great food critic who can make or destroy the reputation of a chef with a stroke of his pen, Pierre Arthens faces his imminent death by trying to recall the one perfect flavor he sampled in his youth, a flavor that he believes forms the ultimate truth of his life.

The Hedgehog And The Fox

The Hedgehog And The Fox
Author: Isaiah Berlin
Pages: 96
ISBN: 9781780228433
Available:
Release: 2014-11-13
Editor: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Isaiah Berlin's classic essay on Tolstoy - an exciting new edition with new criticism and a foreword. 'The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.' This fragment of Archilochus, which gives this book its title, describes the central thesis of Isaiah Berlin's masterly essay on Tolstoy. There have been various interpretations of Archilochus' fragment; Isaiah Berlin has simply used it, without implying anything about the true meaning of the words, to outline a fundamental distinction that exists in mankind, between those who are fascinated by the infinite variety of things (foxes) and those who relate everything to a central all-embracing system (hedgehogs). When applied to Tolstoy, the image illuminates a paradox of his philosophy of history, and shows why he was frequently misunderstood by his contemporaries and critics. Tolstoy was by nature a fox, but he believed in being a hedgehog.

The Children s Book

The Children s Book
Author: A. S. Byatt
Pages: 624
ISBN: 9780307373830
Available:
Release: 2009-11-03
Editor: Vintage Canada
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

From the renowned author of Possession, The Children’s Book is the absorbing story of the close of what has been called the Edwardian summer: the deceptively languid, blissful period that ended with the cataclysmic destruction of World War I. In this compelling novel, A.S. Byatt summons up a whole era, revealing that beneath its golden surface lay tensions that would explode into war, revolution and unbelievable change — for the generation that came of age before 1914 and, most of all, for their children. The novel centres around Olive Wellwood, a fairy tale writer, and her circle, which includes the brilliant, erratic craftsman Benedict Fludd and his apprentice Phillip Warren, a runaway from the poverty of the Potteries; Prosper Cain, the soldier who directs what will become the Victoria and Albert Museum; Olive’s brother-in-law Basil Wellwood, an officer of the Bank of England; and many others from every layer of society. A.S. Byatt traces their lives in intimate detail and moves between generations, following the children who must choose whether to follow the roles expected of them or stand up to their parents’ “porcelain socialism.” Olive’s daughter Dorothy wishes to become a doctor, while her other daughter, Hedda, wants to fight for votes for women. Her son Tom, sent to an upper-class school, wants nothing more than to spend time in the woods, tracking birds and foxes. Her nephew Charles becomes embroiled with German-influenced revolutionaries. Their portraits connect the political issues at the heart of nascent feminism and socialism with grave personal dilemmas, interlacing until The Children’s Book becomes a perfect depiction of an entire world. Olive is a fairy tale writer in the era of Peter Pan and Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind In the Willows, not long after Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. At a time when children in England suffered deprivation by the millions, the concept of childhood was being refined and elaborated in ways that still influence us today. For each of her children, Olive writes a special, private book, bound in a different colour and placed on a shelf; when these same children are ferried off into the unremitting destruction of the Great War, the reader is left to wonder who the real children in this novel are. The Children’s Book is an astonishing novel. It is an historical feat that brings to life an era that helped shape our own as well as a gripping, personal novel about parents and children, life’s most painful struggles and its richest pleasures. No other writer could have imagined it or created it.

Less Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

Less  Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
Author: Andrew Sean Greer
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9780316316149
Available:
Release: 2017-07-18
Editor: Lee Boudreaux Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A struggling novelist travels the world to avoid an awkward wedding in this hilarious Pulitzer Prize-winning novel full of "arresting lyricism and beauty" (The New York Times Book Review). WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE National Bestseller A New York Times Notable Book of 2017 A Washington Post Top Ten Book of 2017 A San Francisco Chronicle Top Ten Book of 2017 Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence, the Lambda Award, and the California Book Award Who says you can't run away from your problems? You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. You can't say yes--it would be too awkward--and you can't say no--it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world. QUESTION: How do you arrange to skip town? ANSWER: You accept them all. What would possibly go wrong? Arthur Less will almost fall in love in Paris, almost fall to his death in Berlin, barely escape to a Moroccan ski chalet from a Saharan sandstorm, accidentally book himself as the (only) writer-in-residence at a Christian Retreat Center in Southern India, and encounter, on a desert island in the Arabian Sea, the last person on Earth he wants to face. Somewhere in there: he will turn fifty. Through it all, there is his first love. And there is his last. Because, despite all these mishaps, missteps, misunderstandings and mistakes, Less is, above all, a love story. A scintillating satire of the American abroad, a rumination on time and the human heart, a bittersweet romance of chances lost, by an author The New York Times has hailed as "inspired, lyrical," "elegiac," "ingenious," as well as "too sappy by half," Less shows a writer at the peak of his talents raising the curtain on our shared human comedy. "I could not love LESS more."--Ron Charles, The Washington Post "Andrew Sean Greer's Less is excellent company. It's no less than bedazzling, bewitching and be-wonderful."--Christopher Buckley, The New York Times Book Review

Turning

Turning
Author: Jessica J. Lee
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780735233270
Available:
Release: 2017-05-02
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Longlisted for the 2018 Frank Hegyi Award for Emerging Authors “Jessica J. Lee is a writer of rare and exhilarating grace. In Turning, she sounds the depths of lakes and her own life, never flinching from darkness, surfacing to fresh understandings of her place in the welter of natural and human history. A beautiful, moody, bracing debut.” —Kate Harris, award-winning author of Lands of Lost Borders Through the heat of summer to the frozen depths of winter, Lee traces her journey swimming through 52 lakes in a single year, swimming through fear and heartbreak to find her place in the world Jessica J. Lee swims through all four seasons and especially loves the winter. "I long for the ice. The sharp cut of freezing water on my feet. The immeasurable black of the lake at its coldest. Swimming then means cold, and pain, and elation." At the age of twenty-eight, Jessica, who grew up in Canada and lived in England, finds herself in Berlin. Alone. Lonely, with lowered spirits thanks to some family history and a broken heart, she is there, ostensibly, to write a thesis. And though that is what she does daily, what increasingly occupies her is swimming. So she makes a decision that she believes will win her back her confidence and independence: she will swim fifty-two of the lakes around Berlin, no matter what the weather or season. She is aware that this particular landscape is not without its own ghosts and history. This is the story of a beautiful obsession: of the thrill of a still, turquoise lake, of cracking the ice before submerging, of floating under blue skies, of tangled weeds and murkiness, of cool, fresh, spring swimming—of facing past fears of near-drowning and of breaking free. When she completes her year of swimming, Jessica finds she has new strength, and she has also found friends and has gained some understanding of how the landscape both haunts and holds us. This book is for everyone who loves swimming, who wishes they could push themselves beyond caution, who understands the deep pleasure of using the body's strength, who knows what it is to abandon all thought and float home to the surface.

The Cleaner of Chartres

The Cleaner of Chartres
Author: Salley Vickers
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781101599631
Available:
Release: 2013-06-27
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

“If you enjoy the work of Marilynne Robinson, Penelope Fitzgerald, James Salter…you should be reading Vickers.” —Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World There is something very special about Agnès Morel. A quiet presence in the small French town of Chartres, she can usually be found cleaning the famed medieval cathedral or doing odd jobs for the townspeople. No one knows where she came from or why. Not diffident Abbé Paul, nor lonely Professor Jones, nor even Alain Fleury, whose attention she catches with her tawny eyes. She has transformed all their lives in her own subtle way, yet no one suspects the dark secret Agnès is hiding. Then an accidental encounter dredges up the specter of her past, and the nasty meddling of town gossips forces Agnès to confront her tragic history and the violent act that haunts it.

13 rue Th r se

13  rue Th  r  se
Author: Elena Mauli Shapiro
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780316121644
Available:
Release: 2011-02-02
Editor: Reagan Arthur Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

American academic Trevor Stratton discovers a box full of artifacts from World War I as he settles into his new office in Paris. The pictures, letters, and objects in the box relate to the life of Louise Brunet, a feisty, charming Frenchwoman who lived through both World Wars. As Trevor examines and documents the relics the box offers up, he begins to imagine the story of Louise Brunet's life: her love for a cousin who died in the war, her marriage to a man who works for her father, and her attraction to a neighbor in her building at 13 rue Thérèse. The more time he spends with the objects though, the truer his imaginings of Louise's life become, and the more he notices another alluring Frenchwoman: Josianne, his clerk, who planted the box in his office in the first place, and with whom he finds he is falling in love.

The Hummingbird s Daughter

The Hummingbird s Daughter
Author: Luis Alberto Urrea
Pages: 512
ISBN: 0759567514
Available:
Release: 2006-06-01
Editor: Little, Brown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Discover an epic historical novel of a young saint escaping death from Pulitzer Prize finalist Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The House of Broken Angels. This historical novel is based on Urrea's real great-aunt Teresita, who had healing powers and was acclaimed as a saint. Urrea has researched historical accounts and family records for years to get an accurate story.

Examined Life

Examined Life
Author: Robert Nozick
Pages: 308
ISBN: 9780671725013
Available:
Release: 1990-12-15
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

PHILOSOPHY/EASTERN RELIGIONS

A Reliable Wife

A Reliable Wife
Author: Robert Goolrick
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781565129771
Available:
Release: 2010-01-05
Editor: Algonquin Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Rural Wisconsin, 1909. In the bitter cold, Ralph Truitt, a successful businessman, stands alone on a train platform waiting for the woman who answered his newspaper advertisement for "a reliable wife." But when Catherine Land steps off the train from Chicago, she's not the "simple, honest woman" that Ralph is expecting. She is both complex and devious, haunted by a terrible past and motivated by greed. Her plan is simple: she will win this man's devotion, and then, ever so slowly, she will poison him and leave Wisconsin a wealthy widow. What she has not counted on, though, is that Truitt — a passionate man with his own dark secrets —has plans of his own for his new wife. Isolated on a remote estate and imprisoned by relentless snow, the story of Ralph and Catherine unfolds in unimaginable ways. With echoes of Wuthering Heights and Rebecca, Robert Goolrick's intoxicating debut novel delivers a classic tale of suspenseful seduction, set in a world that seems to have gone temporarily off its axis.

Savvy

Savvy
Author: Ingrid Law
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9781440634857
Available:
Release: 2008-05-01
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A vibrant new voice . . . a modern classic. For generations, the Beaumont family has harbored a magical secret. They each possess a “savvy”—a special supernatural power that strikes when they turn thirteen. Grandpa Bomba moves mountains, her older brothers create hurricanes and spark electricity . . . and now it’s the eve of Mibs’s big day. As if waiting weren’t hard enough, the family gets scary news two days before Mibs’s birthday: Poppa has been in a terrible accident. Mibs develops the singular mission to get to the hospital and prove that her new power can save her dad. So she sneaks onto a salesman’s bus . . . only to find the bus heading in the opposite direction. Suddenly Mibs finds herself on an unforgettable odyssey that will force her to make sense of growing up—and of other people, who might also have a few secrets hidden just beneath the skin.

Infidel

Infidel
Author: Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Pages: 361
ISBN: 9780743289696
Available:
Release: 2008-04-01
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The author of The Caged Virgin recounts the story of her life, from her traditional Muslim childhood in Somalia and escape from a forced marriage to her efforts to promote women's rights while surviving numerous threats to her safety. Reprint. 100,000 first printing.

City of Light

City of Light
Author: Lauren Belfer
Pages: 512
ISBN: 9780307764027
Available:
Release: 2010-09-01
Editor: Dial Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK It is 1901 and Buffalo, New York, stands at the center of the nation's attention as a place of immense wealth and sophistication. The massive hydroelectric power development at nearby Niagara Falls and the grand Pan-American Exposition promise to bring the Great Lakes “city of light” even more repute. Against this rich historical backdrop lives Louisa Barrett, the attractive, articulate headmistress of the Macaulay School for Girls. Protected by its powerful all-male board, “Miss Barrett” is treated as an equal by the men who control the life of the city. Lulled by her unique relationship with these titans of business, Louisa feels secure in her position, until a mysterious death at the power plant triggers a sequence of events that forces her to return to a past she has struggled to conceal, and to question everything and everyone she holds dear. Both observer and participant, Louisa Barrett guides the reader through the culture and conflicts of a time and place where immigrant factory workers and nature conservationists protest violently against industrialists, where presidents broker politics, where wealthy “Negroes” fight for recognition and equality, and where women struggle to thrive in a system that allows them little freedom. Wrought with remarkable depth and intelligence, City of Light remains a work completely of its own era, and of ours as well. A stirring literary accomplishment, Lauren Belfer's first novel marks the debut of a fresh voice for the new millennium and heralds a major publishing event.

What the Lady Wants

What the Lady Wants
Author: Renée Rosen
Pages: 448
ISBN: 9780698137561
Available:
Release: 2014-11-04
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In late-nineteenth-century Chicago, visionary retail tycoon Marshall Field made his fortune wooing women customers with his famous motto: “Give the lady what she wants.” His legendary charm also won the heart of socialite Delia Spencer and led to an infamous love affair. The night of the Great Fire, as seventeen-year-old Delia watches the flames rise and consume what was the pioneer town of Chicago, she can’t imagine how much her life, her city, and her whole world are about to change. Nor can she guess that the agent of that change will not simply be the fire, but more so the man she meets that night... Leading the way in rebuilding after the fire, Marshall Field reopens his well-known dry goods store and transforms it into something the world has never seen before: a glamorous palace of a department store. He and his powerhouse coterie—including Potter Palmer and George Pullman—usher in the age of robber barons, the American royalty of their generation. But behind the opulence, their private lives are riddled with scandal and heartbreak. Delia and Marshall first turn to each other out of loneliness, but as their love deepens, they will stand together despite disgrace and ostracism, through an age of devastation and opportunity, when an adolescent Chicago is transformed into the gleaming White City of the Chicago’s World’s Fair of 1893.