October 15b- An evening with the writer Amélie Nothomb

Dear October,

this afternoon I went to the “FNAC” in Paris, a store dedicated to culture: books, films, music, … and you find occasionaly artists who present their latest creation in person. Today, it was Amélie Nothomb, who came to talk around her 23rd novel: Pétronille.

The Belgian author, was impressive, dressed in black. I love her writing style, and it was the first time I saw her in person. Years ago, I watched a French film inspired by one of her novels, situated in Japan: “Fear and Trembling”. It concerned the experience of a young, European girl who takes an internship in a Japanese company. Her superiors give her a hard time, and she finds a way to react that corresponds to the Japanese culture: she decides to stay until the end of the contract, and even thank the people who tried to make her leave.

I am not going to reveal the plot of the latest novel, Pétronille, that I almost finished while I was waiting for the author to start, but I admit I enjoyed her speech as much as the written work: it is fresh, and it brings a point of view with it, that is very personal.

Had I more time, I would have stayed until the end, but I needed to see a friend and missed- this time- the opportunity to engage a conversation, because the author is welcoming interaction with those who read her books.

I will leave you with one of her quotes:

“God isn’t chocolate, he’s the encounter between chocolate and the palate capable of appreciating it.”

Thank you Amélie Nothomb!

http://www.albin-michel.fr/Petronille-EAN=9782226258311

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October 15- Learned Optimism Test

Dear October,

part of my autumn resolutions is to motivate myself and get a new habit. While I was searching for inspiration, I came across this “Learned Optimism Test”, that is adapted from Dr. Martin Seligman’s book, “Learned Optimism”, published in 2006.

I took the test, it is on a Stanford University site and it is possible to get one’s score online. I got a moderate optimistic result, and might need to do better 🙂

http://web.stanford.edu/class/msande271/onlinetools/LearnedOpt.html

What do you think?