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Title The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Author Muriel Barbery
Publisher Europa Editions
Release Date 2008-09-02
Category Fiction
Total Pages 325
ISBN 9781609450137
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

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

Title The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Author Muriel Barbery
Publisher Gallic Books
Release Date 2013-09-02
Category Fiction
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9781908313584
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

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 by Muriel Barbery

Title A Strange Country
Author Muriel Barbery
Publisher Europa Editions
Release Date 2020-04-14
Category Fiction
Total Pages 288
ISBN 9781609455866
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

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 by Muriel Barbery

Title The Gourmet
Author Muriel Barbery
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 2009
Category Food critics
Total Pages 144
ISBN 1906040265
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

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.

Title The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Author Muriel Barbery
Publisher Europa Editions Incorporated
Release Date 2008
Category Fiction
Total Pages 325
ISBN 1933372605
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

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.

Title The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery Book Analysis
Author Bright Summaries
Publisher BrightSummaries.com
Release Date 2015-12-21
Category Fiction
Total Pages 24
ISBN 9782806270313
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

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!

The Hedgehog And The Fox by Isaiah Berlin

Title The Hedgehog And The Fox
Author Isaiah Berlin
Publisher Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Release Date 2014-11-13
Category Literary Criticism
Total Pages 96
ISBN 9781780228433
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

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.

Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery

Title Gourmet Rhapsody
Author Muriel Barbery
Publisher Europa Editions Incorporated
Release Date 2009
Category Fiction
Total Pages 156
ISBN 1933372958
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

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 Children S Book by A. S. Byatt

Title The Children s Book
Author A. S. Byatt
Publisher Vintage Canada
Release Date 2009-11-03
Category Fiction
Total Pages 624
ISBN 9780307373830
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

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.

The Last Chinese Chef by Nicole Mones

Title The Last Chinese Chef
Author Nicole Mones
Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date 2008
Category Fiction
Total Pages 293
ISBN 0547053738
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Struggling to recover in the wake of her husband's premature death and stunned by a paternity suit against her husband's estate, food writer Maggie McElroy plans a trip to China to investigate the claim and to profile rising chef Sam Liang, who introduces her to the Chinese concept of food, while drawing her into his extended family and helping her come to terms with her life. Reprint.

The Hummingbird S Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea

Title The Hummingbird s Daughter
Author Luis Alberto Urrea
Publisher Little, Brown
Release Date 2006-06-01
Category Fiction
Total Pages 512
ISBN 0759567514
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

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 by Robert Nozick

Title Examined Life
Author Robert Nozick
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Release Date 1990-12-15
Category Philosophy
Total Pages 308
ISBN 9780671725013
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

PHILOSOPHY/EASTERN RELIGIONS

Turning by Jessica J. Lee

Title Turning
Author Jessica J. Lee
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2017-05-02
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 304
ISBN 9780735233270
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

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.

Savvy by Ingrid Law

Title Savvy
Author Ingrid Law
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2008-05-01
Category Juvenile Fiction
Total Pages 368
ISBN 9781440634857
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

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.

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

Title A Reliable Wife
Author Robert Goolrick
Publisher Algonquin Books
Release Date 2010-01-05
Category Fiction
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9781565129771
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

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.

Title Less Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
Author Andrew Sean Greer
Publisher Lee Boudreaux Books
Release Date 2017-07-18
Category Fiction
Total Pages 272
ISBN 9780316316149
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

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

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Title Infidel
Author Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Release Date 2008-04-01
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 361
ISBN 9780743289696
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

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.

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Title Hate List
Author Jennifer Brown
Publisher Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date 2009-09-01
Category Young Adult Fiction
Total Pages 432
ISBN 9780316071208
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

For readers of Marieke Nijkamp's This Is Where It Ends, a powerful and timely contemporary classic about the aftermath of a school shooting. Five months ago, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets. Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends, and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life. Jennifer Brown's critically acclaimed novel now includes the bonus novella Say Something, another arresting Hate List story.

Brother I M Dying by Edwidge Danticat

Title Brother I m Dying
Author Edwidge Danticat
Publisher Knopf
Release Date 2007
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 272
ISBN 9781400041152
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

In a personal memoir, the author describes her relationships with the two men closest to her--her father and his brother, Joseph, a charismatic pastor with whom she lived after her parents emigrated from Haiti to the United States.

The Prison Book Club by Ann Walmsley

Title The Prison Book Club
Author Ann Walmsley
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2015-09-22
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 304
ISBN 9780143194170
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A daring journalist goes behind bars to explore the redemptive power of books with bikers, bank robbers, and gunmen An attack in London left Ann Walmsley unable to walk alone down the street, and shook her belief in the fundamental goodness of people. A few years later, when a friend asked her to participate in a bold new venture in a men's medium security prison, Ann had to weigh her curiosity and desire to be of service against her anxiety and fear. But she signed on, and for eighteen months went to a remote building at Collins Bay, meeting a group of heavily tattooed book club members without the presence of guards or security cameras. There was no wine and cheese, no plush furnishings. But a book club on the inside proved to be a place to share ideas and regain a sense of humanity. For the men, the books were rare prized possessions, and the meetings were an oasis of safety and a respite from isolation in an otherwise hostile environment. Having been judged themselves, they were quick to make judgments about the books they read. As they discussed the obstacles the characters faced, they revealed glimpses of their own struggles that were devastating and comic. From The Grapes of Wrath to The Cellist of Sarajevo, Outliers to Infidel, the book discussions became a springboard for frank conversations about loss, anger, redemption, and loneliness. The Prison Book Club follows six of the book club members, who kept journals at Walmsley's request and participated in candid one-on-one conversations. Graham the biker, Frank the gunman, Ben and Dread the drug dealers, and the robber duo Gaston and Peter come to life as the author reconciles her knowledge of their crimes with the individuals themselves, and follows their lives as they leave prison. And woven throughout is the determined and compassionate Carol Finlay, working tirelessly to expand her program across Canada and into the United States. The books changed the men and the men changed Walmsley, allowing her to move beyond her position as a victim. Given the choice, she'd forsake the company of privileged friends and their comfortable book club to make the two-hour drive to Collins Bay.