No elegance in this hedgehog: The Life of Elves

I loved The Elegance of the Hedgehog.  Anyone I’ve ever talked to about The Elegance of the Hedgehog loved it too. And yet, Muriel Barbery’s third novel The Life of Elves is a literary calamity.

I am two-thirds through this book but I realised this weekend that the avoidance techniques I’ve employed to not finish this book (‘hmm… I’ll just read this real estate magazine again’) have won out. The Life of Elves will go back to the bookshelf unfinished (Book I Forsook #2).

Four reasons to read All The Light We Cannot See

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr won the Pulitzer Prize last year. If that’s not enough for you, here are four (other) reasons to read it:

1. The cast of characters

The two main characters are a blind French girl named Marie-Laure and Werner, a German boy who is scooped up by the Nazis and placed in a paramilitary college. The war means that both children need to exercise adult sensibilities and make adult decisions; throughout the novel, the protagonists’ innocence continuously knocks against the demands that war makes of them.