2 books down


I just finished The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. And I am incredibly conflicted. First I should say that I struggled through the entire book, however I think the blame lays entirely at my door. I don’t think I am smart enough to enjoy the book. The book is basically written as a series of essays written by either Renee, a middle-aged concierge or Paloma, a twelve-year-old girl. I was interested in the events of the book, however a majority of the essays had nothing to do with the actual storyline. These were often far above my head (and/or interest level). I don’t like to admit it, but I never would have finished the  whole thing if it weren’t for the reading challenge. And I am glad I finished it; there were portions that I thoroughly enjoyed. I actually laughed out loud at one point… On the train… In front of a lot of people.

One of my major complaints is the length of the sentences. I know, this sounds ridiculous, but look at the following sentence!

When we westerners walk, our culture dictates that we must, through the continuity of a movement we envision as smooth and seamless, try to restore what we take to be the very essence of life: efficiency without obstacles, a fluid performance that , being free of interruption, will represent the vital élan thanks to which all will be realized.

I had to read the above sentence several times before fully comprehending what the author was trying to express. Anyone else?

Also, not a complaint, but just a heads up: there is a lot of philosophy (and phenomonology) talk. Of which I have little to no interest in.

In short, I personally did not really enjoy the book. But I think that was merely because it was not what I was looking for. The fact that I didn’t enjoy the book does not mean that it wasn’t well written or that someone else wouldn’t enjoy it. I am going to rate it two stars. But don’t let that deter you! If you like philosophy and boring essays, then this might be a perfect book for you.

With the completion of The Elegance of the Hedgehog – I earn 5 points.




Book # -1

So if I read a book in November and didn’t realize that the Winter Book Challenge had started, it still counts right?!?! So, according to Amazon, I bought The Twelve on November 19, so definitely within the time frame. It is the second book in Justin Cronin’s Passage trilogy. It is a post-apocalyptic series, that reminded me of the style of Stephen King’s The Stand. I am not going to write a detailed review, however, I really enjoyed the book. It was the type of book that I read as quickly as I could so that I could find out what happens next ASAP! I am pretty sure I missed a lot of the intricacies. No worries though! I will re-read the first two books before the third one comes out. In the attempt to determine when the third book will be released (no luck, so apparently a long time from now) I discovered that they are planning on making movies based on the trilogy. I am not sure any movie will be able to do the books justice.

I am going to count The Twelve under the category “Read a book with a number in the title” 20 points!

So my running total is 25 points! Progress is slow…


3 thoughts on “2 books down

  1. Clip Snark says:

    I very much enjoyed The Elegance of the Hedgehog and I have recommended it to many people. I will have to take your critique into consideration before I recommend it again. There is a lot of philosophy in it and if that’s not your thing it may be tough to get through. This doesn’t mean that you’re not smart. 🙂 After I read the book, I looked up a little info about the author and found that she is a philosophy professor. 🙂

    • Beth says:

      I really feel like if I were a better person I would have liked it! But no, I am not into philosophy at all. There were parts that I really enjoyed though. It makes perfect sense that the author is a philosophy professor. I felt so bad writing the review and went over it several times before posting.

      On another note, I was looking through the Chicago Building Code yesterday – there was a Larson advertisement in there!!! Hope all is well. How is the longer commute going?

  2. Megan C. Stroup says:

    So happy to welcome you to the challenge! Be sure to stop by on January 1 and check in with your progress on the month 2 post. You can check in any time between January 1 – 10 and I’ll add you to the scoreboard! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s