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For when you're hiding out on Saturday night, skipping the party
If you feel guilty for opting out of the social whirl, find reinforcement in the precocious wisdom of the pre-teen protagonist of Muriel Barbery's, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Paloma, who anticipates how grim forced gaiety can be. "If you imagine that getting high at a party and sleeping around is going to propel you into a state of full adulthood, that's like thinking that dressing up as an Indian is going to make you an Indian," Paloma reflects. "It's a really weird way of looking at life to want to become an adult by imitating everything that is most catastrophic about adulthood." Not every party is catastrophic, of course, but Barbery's thoughtful novel reminds you of the pleasures of staying in and enjoying your own company, when the mood strikes.