If we read for years all novels of the French writer Bernard Werber, we will surely be curious to discover what he reads!
What would be one of the greatest books in literature for you?
I would say all those who brought me a lot, books where there was an emotional shock, books in which the story interested me more than what was happening in my life. I am thinking, among other things, of Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, a great classic of American literature that tells the story of an awakening of the spirit. It’s one of the few books that made me cry and turn the pages and couldn’t stop saying, “Damn, what’s going to happen? Here, in France, it is a book taught in schools.
Can you now tell us about your favorite novels?
First there is Foundation by Isaac Asimov because it’s a book that helped me understand politics and history. For me, it’s like a reading guide, a way to understand how humanity is progressing. I expect from a book the discovery of a concept that I had not understood and Foundation is the first book that had that effect on me. It gave me perspectives on current events.
There is also Dunes by Frank Herbert, which contains many thoughts on how intelligence will save the world. Spirituality and ecology influence the story, they are not just distractions, and for me they are complete teachings.
And then there is Ubiq by Philip K. Dick, the first book that made me realize that I had no way of being certain about information. There is not a single thing about which we can say that we are sure.
And if you could add another title, that would be…
The mysterious island by Jules Verne. I read it around the age of eight and it was there that I discovered for the first time that with a book, you could forget the world.
Recently, did a book manage to thrill you?
Yes, my son’s book, Jonathan Webber, children of discord. It is a historical novel about the Vendée war. I’m reading it, but really, I think it’s good. When he wrote this book, he said to me: “Hey, you’ll like it! »
Is there a book that, for you, was more important than all the others?
A book that spoke to me a lot is the Tao-Te-King, a Chinese book which was written perhaps 2000 years ago and whose writing is attributed to Lao-Tseu, which means “old man”. It’s a book that works on mechanisms of paradox, little aphorisms that explain the world through paradoxes.
Praise of the leak by Henri Laborit has also been on my bedside table for a long time. As soon as a problem arises, I don’t insist, I leave. It’s my way of not getting angry. By fleeing, one does not destroy oneself. Those who always want to be right exhaust themselves and ultimately self-destruct. I avoid all forms of conflict, and as a result, I don’t get angry.
You remember a novel that you skimmed through
I rather remember a novel that I did not like. I read the first volume of Blackwater by Michael McDowell and I was expecting something much better, because I had been told so many good things about it. So I was pleasantly disappointed! On the other hand, the book object is very beautiful.
What do you plan to read over the next few weeks?
There are several books, but I don’t know if I’ll like them. The next one I plan to read is Billy Summers by Stephen King. At times, this author is brilliant and at times, he exploits formulas. I am a very difficult reader. I expect total amazement. I break down how the book was made and I have requirements.
I will also give another chance to the three body problem by Chinese writer Liu Cixin. I started it and I found it a little difficult to read, but now that I know that a series has been drawn from it, I want to see how it is composed.
A PASSAGE AT THE BOOK FAIR
Bernard Werber will be present at the Salon du livre de Montréal, which takes place from November 23 to 27.
At 1 p.m. on November 26, he will participate in the Unusual Book Club: Much More Than Extraterrestrials, and he will also be signing on:
- November 24 at 5:30 p.m.;
- November 25 at 12 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.;
- November 26 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.;
- November 27 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.