Monday, February 21, 2011
Love, loss and pinball
Last weekend, last Sunday specifically, a few of us had a little Murakami #minireadathon over on Twitter, during which I read Haruki Murakami's first two books, the two short novellas, Hear the Wind Sing, and Pinball, 1973. Having read quite a few of Murakami's other books, it's quite interesting to go back and see where it all began, and to spot some of the themes and ideas that continue to occur in his later work. Like Norwegian Wood which I read last month, these two stories are also set in a relatively normal setting. They don't have his now-trademark surrealism running through them. I have to say that I think I prefer his more bizarre stuff, but these were completely enjoyable to read as well, and a must for any true Murakami fan.
I had started it but set it aside for the weekend, so after the Murakami read-a-thon, I resumed reading Enough About Love by Hervé Le Tellier, a recent release from Other Press. It was very cleverly written, completely engaging, and I loved it! It was also a nice reminder of how much I enjoy reading literature in translation from all countries, not just Japan. OK, I do have a special fondness for French lit as well but it's so refreshing, if that's the right word, to read books from other languages and cultures. I hope to read more in translation this year.
Enough About Love on it, and now, I'm almost done reading Under the Mercy Trees by Heather Newton. A story of family, flaws and all, which I'm really quite enjoying. I actually wasn't sure about it initially as I don't always get on with Southern, small town stories, but it has drawn me right in, and I keep picking it up when I have the chance.
Beside the Sea by Véronique Olmi, published by the fantastic Peirene Press. I've heard many wonderful things about this short novel, and I can't wait to read it. One of the reasons I haven't got to it before now, is I wanted to have the time to devote all my attention to it, and read it through in one sitting. Well, tomorrow is finally the day.
Also this week, I'll be reading Audition by Ryu Murakami, the February author for the Japanese Literature Book Group. There's still time to grab one of his books and join the discussion next week. His books are often quite slim.. nudge.. nudge. And after that, this coming weekend is Persephone Reading Weekend, hosted by Claire and Verity. I'm planning to read Every Eye by Isobel English, that I received from Teresa for the Persephone Secret Santa exchange last December. Can't wait!
Plus Memory's Tigana Read-along starts this week. I just received my copy and am looking forward to finally reading my first book by Guy Gavriel Kay. I don't think I'll have time to start it this week but I hope to catch up with the schedule for Part II in March. And the read-along runs to the end of April - it's a pretty big book after all - so there's still time to jump in.
So, lots of fun books in my future.
What are you reading this week? Will you be reading a Persephone this weekend?
It's Monday, What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.
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