Tag Archives: Haruki Murakami

It’s Monday…what am I reading?

it's monday

It’s been a slow reading week. I was set back by losing my Kobo for a few days. (I found it stuck between my quilt and the footboard of my bed….serves me right for, ahem, not making my bed very vigorously.) The heat made me sleepy and I kept drifting off while reading. But we’re back to normal summer temps and the words are flying by.

In paper:
I read the most wonderful graphic novel, Habibi, by Craig Thompson, author of Blankets. It’s been on my shelf for months, but I just got to it this week. There is a website for the book where you can see images and explore his process of drawing. Here’s my review from Goodreads:

A masterful work of art and storytelling, it is ultimately about the power of love to overcome hardship. I will not soon forget Zam and Dodola. It is as if I have been privy to the secrets of their lives in a fictional area of Mesopotamia. Thompson mixes the ancient world with the present day, stories from the Quran and the Bible, and the earthiness and sensuality of the lives he depicts. His arabic calligraphy is beautiful, and I regret that I didn’t realise there were notes to some of the pages with translation and source information at the end of the book, until I was about halfway through.

I was sad as I reached the end. I wanted to know more about their lives after the last page.

Highly recommended. 5 out of 5 stars

I’m starting Alif the Unseen next, another fantasy set in a mythical Arabian nation. I picked it up at the Random House Warehouse Sale in the spring.

On my eReader:

Now that I’ve recovered my Kobo, I’ll be continuing with Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Next up will be The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. It’s a fantasy set in Alaska in the 1920s, where childless homesteaders build a child out of snow.

In audio:

I’ve just about finished Haruki Murakami’s short story collection The Elephant Vanishes. It’s a wonderful set of stories, some more fantastical than others. For a complete change of pace, I’ll be listening to Fay Weldon’s Habits Of The House next.

I’m off to Stratford tomorrow with some friends to see Mary Stuart. I”m in charge of the picnic lunch so I’m off to prep before bed tonight. Back on Wednesday!

Mary Stuart | On the Stage
Seana McKenna (centre) as Elizabeth surrounded by, from left: Peter Hutt as Aubespine, Dylan Trowbridge as William Davison, Brian Dennehy as the Earl of Shrewsbury and Geraint Wyn Davies as the Earl of Leicester in Mary Stuart. Photo by David Hou.

Monday reading review

it's monday

We’re in a little heat wave these days, so I’m very happy curled up on the sofa with a book and a beverage.

The written word

I finished Spadework by Timothy Findley on the weekend. Here’s my review up at Goodreads:

SpadeworkSpadework by Timothy Findley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A very satisfying novel from a master of the genre. Set in Stratford, Ontario, it tells the story of a couple of theatre people, their 11-year old son, and their housekeeper. Findley writes with deep feeling about the stresses on a modern couple dealing with ambition, the search for stability, and loneliness. Small town life is depicted well, the common knowledge and underside of what seems to be a quaint, Southern Ontario town.

Highly recommended.

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I’ve started F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender Is the Night on my Kobo but am just a few chapters in to it. In other FSF news, I completely missed catching the remake of The Great Gatsby in theatres and am kicking myself. I will have to watch for it in the rep theatres as I really want to see it on the big screen.

The spoken word

Housework is so much more doable less unappealing when I’ve got an audiobook playing. I recently finished Chasing Venus: The Race to Measure the Heavens by Andrea Wulf, a non-fiction tale of the days when astronomical exploration involved ships sailing to distant places to make observations of celestial phenomena. An excellent read for those interested in navigation and astronomy, or general science.

Now I’ve started listening to a short story collection by Haruki Murakami called The Elephant Vanishes. I’m close to halfway through and, as in his novels, Murakami’s prose is quirky and even enchanting at times. Many of his stories have been published in the New Yorker, and it sort of feels like I’m gorging on them, to read a dozen in a row, but no matter. The recording I’m listening to has different actors reading each story, so that helps keep them distinct.

Next up

Coming up in paper will be the graphic novel Habibi by Craig Thompson. I bought it when it first came out but it’s been gracing my shelves since then. It’s a heavy tome, so it’s not a travelling read.  Here’s a lovely piece from The Guardian on the making of the novel, a seven-year enterprise.

On audio, I’ll be listening to Habits Of The House, a newish novel by Fay Weldon, set at the turn of the 20th century. (I just realised that you can’t say “the turn of the century” any more. )

It’s Monday … what are you reading?

it's monday

I just finished up a second read of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking for my book club that met yesterday. I originally read it a year or so ago and, and as introvert married to an extrovert, it made a huge impact on my personal life. Our book club is made up of mostly introverts, with one who wasn’t sure. If you’re an introvert, married to one, or parenting one, it’s a highly recommended read.

I’m close to the end of Andrew Pyper‘s The Killing Circle. The book club read Pyper’s The Demonologist last month with a kind of “meh” reaction. I’m finding this one better, although I”m not really a fan of the supernatural thriller. I’ll post a review when I’m finished.  Next up in paper is Timothy Findley’s Spadework.

I’m also listening to the audiobook of Chasing Venus: The Race to Measure the Heavens by Andrea Wulf. I originally picked it up to fulfill a part of a reading challenge I’m participating in over at Goodreads, as I’m not a huge fan of non-fiction history books, but it’s quite exciting. It details the attempt to measure the size of the solar system based on the collection of data regarding the transit of Venus past the sun on June 6, 1761. This exercise required astronomers, professional and amateur to travel to and take measurements from locations around the world, specifically relating to the timing of this phenomenon. If you’re interested in navigation, history of science, or astronomy, this fast-paced book may be for you. Next up in audiobook format is a collection of short stories by Haruki Murakami from 1995 called The Elephant Vanishes.

What’s on your night table, or in your bag, or next to your sofa?