Wednesday, June 20, 2012

a classic book chosen by reader juliana

our  book  for this month classic has been chosen by a good friend Juliana, in fact our friendship
started based on exchanging book titles that we loved and this very book club since then she has stayed
on the hill, will be joining us in france for a workshop and i will visit her home in Switzerland, pretty exciting what a blog and good book can do. please visit her blog, when i do i am completely in awe of her travels, she also is working on her second cook book and spends much time in her garden!

Juliana has chose Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Sunday, June 10, 2012

a member shares her post about the Elegance of the Hedgehog

Joanne shares her post on the elegance of the Hedgehog, thank you Joanne, i am still in the middle of it but truly enjoying this new discovery.

I joined La Porte Rouge's Book Club at the beginning of this year, because I felt that I had neglected my reading for far too long. And I am so glad that I did, I have rediscovered my thirst for the written word and have read incessantly since then....

I'll make a list one day.


I discovered another wonderful thing! My new and beautiful friend V  from A Butterfly In My Hair 
was the first guest to suggest a book for us all to read. 
I was literally jumping up and down with excitement that she suggested this book, because she had recently recommended the film (which I loved so much thank you v.)

This book by Muriel Barbery is genius.  I read it with a pen in my hand to underline all the wonderful, life confirming things she wrote  through the voices of two amazing women.

Renee - a 54 year old concierge, and Paloma a very intelligent 12 year old that reads Japanese Haikus.

It is the perfect story of learning to live and love again.

One of my favourite quotes:

"'s now that matters:  to build something, now, at any price, using all our strength. Always remember that there's an old people's home waiting somewhere and so we have to surpass ourselves every day, make every day undying. Climb our own personal Everest and do it in such a way that every step is a little bit of eternity."

And :

"There's so much humanity in a love of trees, so  much nostalgia for our first sense of wonder..."

Thank you v! xx

Friday, June 8, 2012

a member shares her book review on The Sun Also Rises

thank you marti for sharing your post with us on. i have read this a few times in my life each time longing for quiet time in a village by the river with a friend and other times not wanting to be any of them yet being so curious about all of them.

( new book coming this Monday) will share another members review
on the the elegance of a hedgehog sunday)

The Sun Also Rises

For book club this month, One silent winter at La Porte Rouge selected this Hemingway classic.

Originally published in 1926, The Sun Also Rises was Ernest Hemingway’s first big hit. Less than ten years after the end of World War I, the novel helped define his generation: disillusioned young people whose lives were profoundly affected by the war. Hemingway bore the physical and emotional scars of the war for the rest of his life, just like the troubled characters he created in The Sun Also Rises, and the novel expresses the uncertainty and aimlessness of this "Lost Generation" 

Jake Barnes and his expatriate friends live in the sensual and self-indulgent world of post-World War I Paris. They spend most of their time partying, drinking, and arguing. From Jake’s perspective, we meet the characters of the story: the most important among them are Robert Cohn, a weak-willed, down-on-his-luck Princeton grad and unsuccessful writer, and Lady Brett Ashley, an exciting, beautiful, and unpredictable British divorcee.

Although Jake and Brett are actually in love, they aren’t together, presumably because a mysterious war wound has rendered Jake impotent. Cohn falls in love with Brett (as everyone does) and, despite the fact that she’s not terribly impressed with him, she secretly goes on a trip with him to the Spanish resort town of San Sebastian. Cohn is infatuated with Brett – he’s completely smitten. Brett is engaged to a wealthy, charming, and utterly inept drunkard named Mike. Jake’s friend Bill returns to Paris from a trip and a plan is born: everyone agrees to go to Spain for some fishing and the running of the bulls in Pamplona
On their brief fishing trip, Bill and Jake have a splendid time They return to civilization and meet up with Brett, Mike, and Cohn in Pamplona for a weeklong orgy of bullfights, alcohol, and high drama. Jake has a true passion (aficion) for bullfighting, but everyone else is simply there to have a good time. Brett begins a rather scandalous affair with a passionate and talented young bull-fighter, Pedro Romero. Jake feels terrible for many reasons – among them is the fear that he has corrupted Romero by introducing him to Brett. Cohn’s thwarted infatuation with Brett leads to arguments with everyone and, finally, he beats Romero to a bloody pulp. As the fiesta winds down, everyone leaves Pamplona in various states of anxiety, depression and frustration.

Jake heads to San Sebastian, where he intends to be alone for a while, but desperate telegrams from Brett arrive immediately. He goes to her in Madrid, where she is alone, having sent Romero away. For the first time, we see Brett afraid, and guilty. The future looks just as bleak – Jake and Brett agree again that, even though they love each other, they can’t be together.
There are several major themes in this book--Dissatisfaction (fun but not contentment)--Identity (none of the characters are what they appear to be)--Masculinity (all the men are insecure so there is constant tension among them)--Drinking (all the characters are problem drinkers)--Post WW1 generation (disillusioned young people)

It was good to revisit an Ernest Hemingway novel.  His ability to make the common place memorable, to build depth of character through simple events, and develop themes that are still relevant today makes for a good read.

Friday, May 4, 2012

a new path for the book club

dearest readers, oh how i regret my absence and i do apologize for it.
I have recommitted myself in making this  a monthly thing and feel so grateful for all your emails
pertaining to La Porte Rouge read with me. I am not sure if you feel the same way but i have chosen the classics because they are so well written, epics of a time i long to have lived in, but i also know as i begin to read things for the four or fifth time i am doing myself a disfavor, for out there pen has been put to paper by some incredible story tellers so i have decided with your permission of course to alternate from classic to contemporary novels every other  month. so please join me in discovering new places, people and lives.

for the first novel non classic ( but maybe one day to future generations) i asked a dear blogger who's love for books is inspiring. Vibeke from the beautiful blog a butterfly in my hair has graciously excepted to give  us our first title. Please enjoy, i know i have promised myself this time to read away from other distractions.

please let me know how you feel about this change i would love to hear about it.

our new book for the month of may is

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

our new book is

Dear readers, i have been a little behind, thank you for your emails. I am also looking for ideas for upcoming months, is there a book out there you have always wanted to read?
this month's book is a short one but simply a beautiful read, i enjoy this book very much and have picked it up a few times  in my life . The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Member shares post on the Fyodor Dostoyevsky's The Idiot

Thank You Marti for your wonderful post. If you have never visited Marti blog please do, she has so much to share and reading it will transport you.

The Idiot

This month's book selection sponsored byOne Silent Winter was the Idiot, a classic Russian novel. As with many Russian novels it is a dark look into 19th century Russia.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky is best known for his novels Crime and PunishmentThe Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov. His literary works explore human psychology in the troubled political, social and spiritual context of 19th-century Russian society. He is often acknowledged by critics as one of the greatest and most prominent psychologists in world literature.  The Idiot looks into the life of a troubled prince.
Twenty-six-year-old Prince Lev Nikolayevich Myshkin returns to Russia after spending several years at a Swiss sanatorium. Scorned by the society of St. Petersburg for his trusting nature and naivete, he finds himself at the center of a struggle between a beautiful kept woman-- Nastassya Filippovna--and a virtuous and pretty young girl--Aglaya Yepanchin, both of whom win his affection. Myshkin is torn between his romantic love for Aglaya Yepanchin and his compassionate love for Nastassya Filippovna, but in the end he loses both of them. Unfortunately, Myshkin's very goodness precipitates disaster, leaving the impression that, in a world obsessed with money, power, and sexual conquest, a sanatorium may be the only place for a person such as he.
This was a very well written novel, characteristically Russian in its somber timbre.  Within the first few pages, the author had set your view of the characters.  You felt that you knew them well.  Like a symphony, the action rose and fell, sweeping you along until the bitter conclusion.
Throughout the book many of the conversations revolved around tea. Tea was taken with all meals and pretty much any other time of the day. Samovars were present in all the homes, Tea was appealing to the Russian life-style because it was a warm and hearty brew. They preferred a strong, dark brew which was sweetened with sugar, jam or honey. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Our New book is and the winner

Dear readers, The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky has followed me everywhere. i even left it on a park bench for someone else to take it  only find it three weeks later on another bench with note. i had put it on the bench originally because real life was breaking my heart and this book seemed a witness to it, so i left it there but always regretted that i did, so to find it again well.......

People who know me know my love for the great Russian writers, some of you have even wrote in surprise that i had not choose one to read. You see one day while complaining about how i could not get into so many american writers a friend told me " ah nadia i see, the Russians they ruined it for you, they are masters at details and human behaviour" that was true, it is the writing language i love the most 
( even in it's translation) my heart belongs to tolstoy and others like him.

this is long read, six weeks instead a month for this book.

The winner for Madame Bovary review post by a reader is

Marti, Congrats please send me your address!