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>BOOKLEAVES Meeting

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>I’m so annoyed with myself for going off and leaving the camera this weekend. Not just because I wanted to get pictures of all of us getting our feet nibbled by the “doctor fish”, although that alone would be reason enough to send myself to bed without supper or bedtime reading for a month.

The book we discussed this time was The Little Prince. Believe it or not, this coffee shop/spa where we held the meeting and the fish chowed down on our crusty feet has a mural of The Little Prince on the back wall! Golden hair waving in the breeze and all. Part of me rolled my eyes, but part of me couldn’t help but be impressed with 2 old-fashioned model airplanes hanging from the ceiling right over the air conditioner and near the mural. I wanted a photo so badly. And there was the damn camera, back at Dorm Sweet Dorm. Luckily, everyone else came prepared. [Photos are courtesy of Mitzi.]

Matt and Amber had already read my blog entry about Saint Exupery’s book. Amber said it was funny. Matt let me know in no uncertain terms that I was a grownup. By the time Sunday afternoon rolled around, I was unrepentantly grownup. I reeked of it.

Bernadette said that she has read the book in English, French and Spanish. That actually made me want to read it again in another language. Spanish or Korean would be my obvious choices. The feeling of pride and accomplishment from recognizing vocabulary might make some of the other stuff a little more palatable.

Mitzi got all scholarly on us and talked about articles she’d looked up online that explain some of the symbolism. The flower is supposed to represent women. So, does that make The Little Prince a typical guy, running off and leaving her alone on that asteroid? I missed some of the discussion because I kept running for more free toast and jam. Mitzi also mentioned that one time her (adult, Korean, male) students acted out the book: “No! I need a ship!” Smile when you say that, Princey-boy.

Upon reflection — shallow as it may be — I guess I’m glad that I read The Little Prince. I plugged one of the many gaps in my pop culture knowledge. (One down, 340,000,000,000 to go!) I read a book by an author from another country. (Who turned out to be a hot French aviator who wrote other, more interesting books before he died young, bravely and tragically.) I discovered a story with simple vocabulary and a medium-sized plot. (I could assign this story to my students in the future. Koreans seem to love fables; maybe many of them have read it in Korean — perhaps this could be the makings of a good English conversation class!)

Stuffed on bread and jam, we waddled over to the fish pool, washed our feet and stuck them in the water so the fish could do their duty. I’m not a ticklish person, but when I first put my feet in the pool, I could hardly stand all those fish going after my…O My Sole! Damn! Laughing hysterically, I involuntarily jerked my feet out of the water, and Bernadette admonished me to go out slowly, so that I didn’t accidentally kill any of the fish. That put me in a soberer frame of mind. I like to think that I can behave considerately towards fish that are about to do me a favor. My size eights re-entered the pool and this time, I bravely waited out the tickling feeling, which passed after about 3 minutes. After that, the feeling of their sandpapery little mouths was quite pleasurable, kinky as that may sound. I’m definitely going back again.


For the July 6 meeting, we’re reading and discussing Monday Mourning by Kathy Reichs. I recently saw a couple of episodes of Bones, and enjoyed them, so I’m looking forward to reading this book. On July 27, our book is Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill. I grabbed it after the meeting and began reading it on the train ride home. I also bought Anne Of The Island by L.M. Montgomery, in preparation for The 2nd Canadian Book Challenge. This gave me quite a few books to bring home, and made my backpack a little cumbersome, so to lighten the load, I dropped The Little Prince into a nearby trash bin.

&&&

Of course, you know that last sentence is a complete lie. I’m a grownup, but I’m not made of stone. I’d never throw the little fella in the trash. What about an Ayn Rand novel, you ask? Ask again later. I’ve been feeling pretty mellow since that fish pedicure.

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