The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Here it goes, my first book review.
I love reading something that is more than sheer entertainment. When I choose a book, I want to feel enlightened. I want to scratch the surface of a new subject. I want to read about new ideas and thoughts. With The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, I found just that.


The story, told from two perspectives, begins with a young girl, Paloma Josse. She lives in Paris, in a very fancy hotel. Her parents are wealthy, living an extravagant lifestyle. Paloma, despite living "the good life" is quite the cynic. She is extremely intelligent, I will give her that. But, due to her conclusions about life on Earth, she plans to kill herself. She has the whole scenario figured out.

The second perspective is that of the concierge in the hotel. Renee Michel describes herself as old, fat, and with bunions on her feet. However, she is infatuated with Tolstoy. She even named her cat Leo. She loves literature, philosophy, and learning in general. Beneath a frame less-than-pleasing to the eye is a mind swirling with beautiful thoughts.

What happens next I won't tell. But I will tell you my impression of this novel.

At first I was delighted to read a novel with so many new topics to offer. The characters were fascinating, holding an intelligence I wish I could attain. And then I grew slightly annoyed. They began to seen arrogant and proud, almost unaccessible. Their level of intellectuality was too far above my head. But still I read on.

Just when I thought this book was a failure and an annoyance, a new character comes into play that seems to bring out the best of both narrators. Suddenly they are not living these lonely intellectual lives, but instead come together and find beauty. And the ending, which is very unexpected, brings the book in full circle. I felt satisfied upon the end, as well as truly enlightened.

Overall, I think this book is fantastic. The narration is unique in that instead of viewing the world from an outsiders perspective, or directly through the characters eyes, we live in the mind. I found this to be a fresh change of pace. Muriel Barbery is a groundbreaking modern author and truly inspiring. She launches the reader into a new world, told in a new and delightful way.
Buy the book on Amazon here! You won't regret it.

Please let me know what you think of this review and what I could improve upon! I know I have a long way to go from here. 
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Guiding Me Always.

Here are some pictures I took around campus a while back. My lack of inspiration has continued. I feel like I have nothing about which to blog. I haven't even wanted to get on blogger. I know, it's been a while, but I don't have much to say. 

I do have one new thing, though. I think I want to begin doing book reviews here. Not just a few sentences, real reviews. Expect my first one on The Elegance of the Hedgehog in a few days. 

In other news, Thanksgiving was wonderful for the most part. I have some pictures on that coming later this week. I enjoyed being home, and I am ready to be there for Christmas. I see Thanksgiving break as a tease. It makes me wish I was home to celebrate with my family. I long for decorating the tree, drinking cider, and enjoying the relaxation of the season with my family. But instead I am back at school (there's nothing wrong with that, I do love it here) preparing for finals. In a little over a week I will be packing up my things for good and moving out of the beloved Kappa house for good. My next semester will be taking place in Italy. I still don't believe it's really happening. Me, in Italy, no. For four months? What? 

I can't wait to blog from there, to show you all that I will be doing, all the people I will be meeting. I am more than likely building up this trip in my mind to less than realistic expectations. But whatever happens, I do feel it is where the Lord wants me to be. For whatever reason. 

I read this verse this morning and loved it. No matter how I am feeling, God always meets me where I am. I get so upset, I feel that He is far from me and give up. But every time I come back to Him, He is right there waiting for me and tells me exactly what I need to hear. It's so silly I doubt. Satan plays an awful game. But I thank God that He is stronger. 

The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame. 
You will be like a well-watered garden, 
like a spring whose waters never fail. 
Isaiah 58:11


Sigur Ros.

Sorry for neglecting this blog lately. I haven't been feeling inspired. In fact, I have felt stressed, disrespected, impatient, and annoyed. But we don't have to go into that. I just thank my Heavenly Father that He is with me no matter how I am feeling. His presence does not depend on my emotions. He is constant and always teaching me. 

I did think of one thing I could tell you about. Last Thursday I went to the local independent movie theater here in Columbia, called the Nickelodeon. I saw a movie called Sigur Ros: Inni. Knowing I was going to see the movie with a great friend of mine, I decided to check out the band on whom the movie is based. Sigur Ros is an Icelandic band and they are absolutely incredible. I was blown away by their sound and emotion. They don't sing in English, but their language is so beautiful. 

Here's the trailer for the movie and one of my favorite songs by Sigur Ros. 

 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
     Ephesians 6:18 


The Horseshoe At Night.

These are some pictures I took of the beautiful Horseshoe last week. 
I have been super busy this week. I have an Italian test in less than two hours. Please forgive my lack of blogging. 

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5



 Yesterday was Kappa Kick-off, my sorority's philanthropy. Other organizations around campus form flag football teams and come together for a tournament. We kappas come out to support, and, for me, work on some action photography. Above is one of my favorites. 
My Kappa family! 

I hope you are all having a wonderful Monday. The weather is fantastic here in Columbia as I drink my coffee and try to inform you on what has been going on in my life. I cannot believe I have a little over a month until I have finished the fall semester. This place is my life right now, and I want to soak it all in before I leave it for the Spring semester. As I try to remember all that is the University of South Carolina, I am also living in the future, dreaming of my life in Florence. I began to think of the city at night, I visualize glimmering streets lined by buildings older than all of the United States. The applying and preparing is in full swing, requiring me to dwell on my future travels. I know my dreams are silly, actually being there will most likely be an entirely different story. But I still love to dream. 

One thing I ask from the LORD, 
   this only do I seek: 
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD 
   all the days of my life, 
to gaze on the beauty of the LORD 
   and to seek him in his temple.
Psalm 27:4


Happy Saturday!

Today I am inspired by pretty dresses, wonderful hair, good books and beautiful people. And a few laughs. 

All photos and their sources can be found on my pinterest
My favorite blog right now has to be The Bloggess. Her post yesterday had me cracking up for hours.

Today is a much needed day of relaxation. I can't remember the last time I didn't wake up to an alarm. This is my day to enjoy beautiful things and worship my God. 

This morning I read through Romans 8, probably one of my favorite chapters of the Bible. It is so full of practical information, truths about Christ. 
Here are some of my favorite parts...

 "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."
The Gospel in Paul's words. How wonderful is it that there is now no condemnation for us! For those who believe, we have true freedom! 

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Nothing can separate us from His love. NOTHING. 


Moving Mountains.

Sorry for the delay. I meant to have this post up yesterday, but life is very busy again. As if it ever paused. 
This weekend I went to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee with Greek Impact. We had an away game at UT in Knoxville and stayed in beautiful cabins with a spectacular view, as you can see. 
It was a great time and a great game. But now I am facing a never-ending todo list and I am afraid this blog may have to suffer this week. I also feel like I don't have much to blog about right now. It's cold out, too cold for comfort, and the days are dragging on. 
I am ready to go to Italy next semester. Today I finally felt like it was where God wants me to be. I had been afraid to come to Him with this decision in fear that He might not want it for me. A few days ago I finally let go, and He gave it back to me. All summer I had been thinking about how I need this, not what is my Heavenly Father telling me I need. But when I give it to Him, I remember that He is my creator and knows what's best for me. Easy to say when things are going as I like, but the same is true in every situation. 
Hopefully I can fit some posts in this week, but until then enjoy your week. Be inspired. 

[Jesus said,] "The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful."
    Matthew 13:22