My Life as a Silent Movie: A Novel by Jesse Lee Kercheval


Date Published: March 3, 2014
Publisher: University Press Audiobooks
Source: Review Purchase from Audible
Format: Audiobook
Narration: Rosemary Benson

Goodreads SynopsisAfter losing her husband and daughter in an auto accident, 42-year-old Emma flies to Paris, discovers she has a twin brother whose existence she had not known about, and learns that her birth parents weren’t the Americans who raised her, but a White Russian film star of the 1920s and a French Stalinist.

A story about identity and the shaping function of art, My Life as a Silent Movie presents a vividly rendered world and poses provocative questions on the relationship of art to life.

Buy it here – Amazon IndiaAmazon US | The Book Depository | Add on Goodreads

My View:  When I saw this audiobook up for review, there was something that appealed to me about this book (if you know me well, you know I don’t read book blurbs, so all my good books are usually either by fluke or recommendations). Well, it certainly could have been that Eiffel Tower on the cover (Side note: I love travelling and I am in love with the idea of Paris, still to visit though).

Okay, let me warn you upfront, this audiobook is almost 10 hours long. I know some are like 40 hours long but since I prefer short audios, this was huge for me. But wait, did I feel all 10 hours of it? Nope, not at all. And why would that be? Perhaps because the book pulled me in from the very first word and did not let go. The narration is good enough. But the major meat is the book! Just wow!

First, the author draws a background and you are interested in what’s going on. Mmm hmm… And then there comes the twists and the turns. And Paris! And the walks around Paris. Surprise upon surprise. I was totally overwhelmed (happily!) by the plot, the unraveling of it, the characters who I found myself rooting for. Giggling at times, wanting him to be @%^&$ alive! Woah, a gamut of emotions, all in one book.

There’s some history in there. Something I don’t really like but when you dish it out in a book, I’m all for it. A woman taking a trip across the world to unravel her past – now there’s some magic in that, right? History, art, travel, mystery, a solid plot, a good narration and there you have it, a brilliant book.

A must listen I would say.

4.5/5 stars – I really, really, really liked it! Highly Recommended. 4.5 stars

The 5th Annual Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge: Goals & Updates

I am joining Christmas Tree level for this challenge (5/6 books) and might catch a couple of Christmas movies (Fa La La La Films) and I will absolutely be participating in the Read-a-Thon! Wish me luck! Are you participating? Drop a link in the comments and I will come visit.

Details and sign up:
  • challenge will run from Monday, November 24, 2014 through Tuesday, January 6, 2014 (Twelfth Night or Epiphany).
  • cross over with other challenges is totally permitted AND encouraged!
  • These must be Christmas novels, books about Christmas lore, a book of Christmas short stories or poems, books about Christmas crafts, and for the first time…a children’s Christmas books level!
  • Levels:
            –Candy Cane:  read 1 book
            –Mistletoe:  read 2-4 books
            –Christmas Tree:  read 5 or 6 books (this is the fanatic level…LOL!)
          Additional levels:
            –Fa La La La Films:  watch a bunch or a few Christmas movies…it’s up to you!
            –Visions of Sugar Plums:  read books with your children this season and share what you read
          *the additional levels are optional, you still must complete one of the main reading levels above

The Christmas Spirit Read-a-Thon is back again this year. I’ll be hosting once again over at Seasons of Reading and it’s a WEEK LONG this year! Monday, November 24 through Sunday, November 30! Details and sign-up can be found HERE.

Netgalley November: Goals & Updates

I am going for Easy. Since more than half the month has gone by already. 

So what do you need to do?

Write a blog post/twitter or Facebook status saying you are joining #NetgalleyNovember and how many books you plan to do and then keep us updated on how many you manage to read.

Challenge Categories:
Easy: 1-4
Medium: 5-10
Hard: 11-15
Difficult: 16-20
Netgalley Superstar: 21+

Blog Ahead! Goals & Updates

A bloggery version of NaNoWriMo!

November 1-30th, 2014
So I took my sweet time before deciding to jump in for this. And I am wayyy behind. Let’s get started right away!
My Goal: To pre-schedule 30 review posts.

Update

11/24 – 4 review posts scheduled


The Goal
The basic goal is to get “ahead” in your blog posts.
At the end of the month of Nov you’ll have 30 additional pre-schedules than when you started the month.
Who Can Join
Any blogger. New, seasoned, Blogger, WordPress
Any heat level, genre or theme, etc
Types of Posts
Anything you want :)
meme, review, guest post, interview, discussion, etc.
It doesn’t have to be book related
What to do Next!
Create a blog post to keep track of your goals & for people to drop by and give their support!
Join the FB group
(this can be a pretty hard challenge–come get/give some blogger support!)

Insanity by Lauren Hammond

13557662Series: (Asylum #1)
Date Published: May 8, 2012
Publisher: S. B. Addison Books
Pages: 190
Source: Owned – Kindle
Format: Ebook

Goodreads Synopsis: Adelaide Carmichael and Damien Allen couldn’t be more opposite.

Adelaide’s mother abandoned her when she was ten years old, leaving her to be raised by her abusive and alcoholic father. Damien on the other hand came from a wealthy family, was a local celebrity, and seemed to have a bright future ahead of him.

Despite their differences, Adelaide and Damien were young, wild, and fiercely in love. And they had a plan. They were going to run away. Be together forever. And their plan was set in motion, until tragedy struck and for some reason, Adelaide wound up in The Oakhill Institution for the insane. Adelaide has no idea what she did to wind up at Oakhill, but she knows one thing for sure… She wants out.

And after Damien follows her there to aid her in escaping, Adelaide slowly begins putting together the pieces of her memory that are missing. And it doesn’t take Adelaide long to figure out that sometimes… That one true love never dies.

Warning:Do not read if you have a weak heart

Buy it here –  Amazon US (only 99 cents) | Add on Goodreads

My View: I read so many good things about this book and the fact that it took everyone by surprise, I had to read it to see for myself. Also, a book having the title ‘Insanity’ and talking about mental illness will attract any psychologist, won’t it? Especially a voracious reader like me.

So there I was, reading this book for a Goodreads Toppler (read ‘readathon’). With the book, the wait for the good and the surprising began. I read on and waited. I cringed at the first-sight love between a rich boy and poor girl, the characteristic hatred spewing boy’s mother and many such cliches. I still read on waiting for the elusive.

And did it come, you ask? Oh yes, it did. Somewhere near the end. There was a surprise that even my have-read-all-kind-of-books brain couldn’t conjure up. Did it make me happy? Umm, not really. Did it  make me want to grab the next book? Don’t think so. But why not? ‘The writing’, I would say. ‘The content’, I would point out. The author could have easily said this in much fewer pages instead of putting in multiple sexual escapades in order to increase the pages and make it a trilogy. Also, I read a couple of reviews on the third book and they are bad! It says, the ending wasn’t proper, it’s a novella, the author kept them waiting etc.

Frankly, I wasn’t too impressed with the story. I love mental illness stories and plan to write one myself but this one didn’t make the cut. I need content, I need story, I need good writing. One or more of these components were missing. I need better utilisation of my time (good editing) not nonsensical sexual scenes that have no value whatsoever.

2.5/5 stars – It was more than okay but nothing special.

2.5 stars

Ho-Ho-Ho Read-A-Thon: Goals & Updates

It’s been really long since I participated in any read-a-thons on the blog, so here I go.

Ho-Ho-Ho Read-A-Thon

Hosted by Jennifer @ The Book Shelfery (formerly Bawdy Book Blog) and Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer, for this read-a-thon you must read holiday themed or winter setting reads. Read-a-thon starts on November 6th 12:01 am (your time zone) and ends on November 11 at 11:59 pm(your time zone).

So here’s my goal post. I am already late in joining but hoping to read at least one book, if not more and tweet my progress using #HoHoHoRAT.

My TBR list

 

11/9
Pages I’ve read today: 19 + 25 + 18 = 52 pages
Total number of books I’ve read: 3 (short stories)
Books read

11/10
Pages I’ve read today: 219 pages
Total number of books I’ve read: 3
Books read

11/11
Pages I’ve read today: 146 pages and 50% through an audiobook
Total number of books I’ve read: 4 and a half
Books read

 

Wrap Up

Even though I didn’t finish all my books, I think I did pretty good. And started a book that wasn’t on the list earlier. :)

SOIL: Knowledge Innovation Design Thinking Workshop

Imagine my surprise when I was invited to a ‘Knowledge Innovation Design Thinking’ Workshop to experience a tryst with perspectives to be held at the School of Inspired Leadership. That did sound out of my league. But being a creative and inquisitive person, I am always up for some learning. And so I gave it a go ahead and found myself at the School of Inspired Leadership at 5pm on 14th October 2014.

philo

Let me tell you a bit about the School of Inspired Leadership or SOIL as it’s often called. SOIL is a business school providing holistic education that builds inspired leaders by enabling people to know who they are, recognize their purpose and realize their full potential, to build organizations of consequence.

SOIL has several Indian and International partnerships. And therein comes a partnership with Politecnico Di Milano, School of Management (MIP), Milan, Italy. The celebrated thinker Dr.maxresdefault Claudio Dell’Era, Assistant Professor at the aforementioned school was to hold this workshop at SOIL. Mr. Dell’Era is a world renowned authority on Design thinking and Innovation. In accordance with his world status, he is also the Co-Director MaDe In Lab, Management of Design and Innovation Laboratory, and  a renowned specialist in the field of Innovation & Design ManagementWith a Doctorate in Management Economics and Industrial Engineering, and several publications to his credit, Dr. Dell’Era’s workshop was not to be missed. And so I found myself there.

logo

The workshop was a 5 day affair. I happened to be there on Day II. The major learning for the day had been accomplished and now it was time to engage in some practical learning. The participants were divided by groups and had to work on how certain companies selling the same product differ. For example – a group was given United Colors of Benetton vs. Abercrombie & Fitch. A company that is well settled and one that’s coming up (in some part of the world, at least) selling the same product – clothes. Dr. Dell’Era was seen giving hints to the participants. ‘Start with the banner, what does it represent, the color, the symbol? What population does the brand target? How are the garments arranged? Are they in stacks, lined in neat rows? and so on. Participants worked in groups while Dr. Dell’Era went from one group to another giving hints and a little push to get them thinking. ‘Very innovative’, I remembered thinking to myself. I had never thought in those terms before. But well, what did I know about brand creation and management. This went on for an hour. Then the workshop was packed up for the day with an overview of the next day which included discussion on what they worked on in the practical.

And then came time for some personal interaction with the renowned Dr. Claudio. We started off with some personal details about Dr. Claudio, the association of MIP with SOIL and then went into details of innovation and design. I will admit this, sometimes I was lost and tried to gain perspective of what was going on but I managed well for the most part. We also did go on to ponder on some psychological tools that might come up to test for innovation. It set the thinking wheels rolling in my mind like an ‘aha’ moment. That does sound like something I can work on. After about an hour of this interaction, we headed for a lovely dinner and caught up with informal talk with Dr. Claudio.

Overall, it was a great evening and I came back with more knowledge than I supposed I would. I am not that dumb, I guess. But I would have to say if around 2 hours at SOIL helped me broaden my thinking, what would have been the feedback of participants attending the whole workshop? And what about students at SOIL who get exposure to teachers from all over the world? Now that does sound good, really good. If you’re looking at some leadership lessons, do check out SOIL. By the way, SOIL isn’t all about studying in the classrooms, I spied a retreat in the Himalayas, a family day, festival celebrations and what not. Go explore.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

18660669Series: (Vampire Academy #1)
Date Published: August 16, 2007
Publisher: Razobill
Pages: 332
Source: Purchased at Audible
Format: Audiobook

Goodreads Synopsis: St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever

Buy it here – Amazon India | FlipkartAmazon US| The Book Depository | Add on Goodreads

My View:  Frankly, I am really not into paranormal and would rather stay away from vampires. Twilight did hold my attention but it was more of an anomaly than a rule. But when my favorite group on Goodreads had another toppler and I got assigned the task of reading about vampires, I decided to give this series a go ahead since it’s all the rage in books and series alike.  Also, the fact that I had a lot of house cleaning to do and I had this audio on hand made matters easy. I finished this book in a 6.5 hours listening marathon while cleaning and re-organizing my apartment.

First things first, this book was easy to listen to. 2 hours into the audio, I upped the speed from my usual 1.5 to 2 and I was still able to do okay with it. The book started off well enough, pulling my attention to it. But soon I kind of lost interest hoping for something interesting to come by. Well, guess what, it didn’t. I am romantic by nature and do love romance in my books but for the first in the series, I would  have rather had more background about the world created and what was going on instead. I felt the book was stretched more than was necessary and the important details were still missing. There were more questions than answers which I guess is what the first part of a series is all about, which leads me to think that maybe I don’t do that well with series. I have started and abandoned many series because the first didn’t hold my attention. I believe for the series, the rule for the author should be – if there’s too much to tell, divide it into parts, if there isn’t, better make it a standalone instead of stretching things out in order to make it a trilogy. A good example of series that pulled me in would be Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers and Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta. I have read too many firsts in the series lately that I will not be following upon.

I have read reviews in which readers went ga-ga over Dmitri. Well, no such luck in my case. The characters did not pull me in. They did not make me feel for them. The intensity, the drama was missing. Or am I being biased because perhaps my audio lacked something? I will never know because as far as I am concerned I am done with this series. I might catch the movie though.

What did you think of this one?

2/5 stars – It was okay but didn’t do wonders for me. 2stars

OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu

13326677Date Published: July 23, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 341
Source: Local Library

Goodreads Synopsis: When Bea meets Beck, she knows instantly that he’s her kind of crazy. Sweet, strong, kinda-messed-up Beck understands her like no one else can. He makes her feel almost normal. He makes her feel like she could fall in love again.

But despite her feelings for Beck, Bea can’t stop thinking about someone else: a guy who is gorgeous and magnetic… and has no idea Bea even exists. But Bea knows a lot about him. She spends a lot of time watching him. She has a journal full of notes. Some might even say she’s obsessed.

Bea tells herself she’s got it all under control. But this isn’t a choice, it’s a compulsion. The truth is, she’s breaking down…and she might end up breaking her own heart.

Buy it here – Amazon India | Amazon US | The Book Depository | Add on Goodreads

My View:  I had my sights set on this book even before it released last year. Although I got my hands on a review copy, I couldn’t get to it last year. So when I saw it in my library, I enthusiastically grabbed it.

The book began interestingly enough but soon seemed to lack lustre for me. I kept waiting for it to pick up, then waited for it to just get over and finally struggled for a month before being done with it. Phew! So glad it’s over.

I had high hopes set for this book and it dashed it all. A love story along with OCD interests me as a psychologist and a reader on so many levels. But this book dragged on with no obvious end in sight.

The characters didn’t make me feel and at times, seemed too bizarre. I get OCD, I see it all the time in my clinical practice and quite a lot of the information there was accurate and I applaud the author for it. But there had to be some editing in there.

Also, the story could have benefitted from, you know, actually having a story, rather than basing one on OCD symptoms. It isn’t a memoir after all. For a love story, the guy’s perspective was hardly shown and not even dealt with in its entirety, leaving things to the reader’s imagination. I am all for using my brain cells but at least make me want to do so. This book just made me want to fling it at the wall because it dragged on forever and I hate to leave books unfinished so I struggled through with it, wasting so much of my time. This 300+ page book could have easily been summed up in 200 and could have had an actual story, going by me.

The characters apart from Bea (the main one) are a bit unsteady and I found myself reading about them and saying ‘oh, really?’ in my head. They just don’t seem real enough, the situations seem vague and unlikely. Well, I can go on and on but I truly failed to understand the point that the book wanted to carry through.

Other readers have really liked the book so it may be my psychologist’s biased opinion and not just as a reader’s. So give this a chance at your own peril. I take no responsibility.

1.5/5 stars – The author has worked hard but the book really wasn’t for me. download

A Letter to a Hindu by Leo Tolstoy

imagesDate Published: 1908
Pages: 17
Source: Amazon Kindle – Own copy

Goodreads Synopsis: About the subjection of India, its cause and cure, with an introduction by M.K. Gandhi.

Buy it here – Amazon India | Amazon US | Flipkart | The Book Depository | Add on Goodreads

My View:  In my search for ‘Eleven stories by Leo Tolstoy’, I stumbled upon this treasure. The title intrigued me. I am a Hindu after all. Seeing a personal letter (well, almost) from no less than Leo Tolstoy will get anyone’s heart beating faster and me being an ardent fan, ‘ahh’ is the word. I might have had too much on my to-do list but then this short little letter somehow made some time for itself to be read and I have no idea how everything else shifted to the back burner. ;)

An introduction by Mahatma Gandhi gives way to the book. On a personal note, I am not a big fan of his actions. His beliefs, possibly, but some of his actions just didn’t go down well with me and few of his words in the letter found their way to despise me. But I carried on.

And then came Krishna and Tolstoy, two of my very favorite people or perhaps a semi-God and an author but well who goes by the decree. I love them both! And I completely agree with their beliefs. The quotes by Krishna reminded me why He was the one who had inspired my pen name while Tolstoy’s writing reminded me why Anna Karenina is my all time favorite book and he my all time favorite author.

His words rang true to me and I found myself nodding  in agreement. His letter written in 1908 still holds true to this day. But it now assimilates the whole world and is not limited to a Hindu or an Indian. It might well include Israel and Russia and Ukraine and the entire world population. ‘Love’ is the word. Violence and war should give way to love because that’s what is natural and pervasive.

This little letter might hurt a few sentiments because at a point, it even questions one’s beliefs in Gods and religion but all for one’s belief in an even higher aim of life – love. I somehow agree with all that Tolstoy has to say because God is a belief but love is natural. God one learns about but love is an instinct, something we are born with.

I wish Tolstoy was alive. He seems like my dream man. ;) On a serious note, I realised why I had fallen in love with him years ago when I read Anna Karenina. And it’s time I pick up more of him. I’m craving now.

5/5 stars – Absolutely fantastic. Loved it!

images (14)

 

Author Bio:

Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (Russian: Лев Николаевич Толстой; commonly Leo Tolstoy in Anglophone countries) was a Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays. His two most famous works, the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina, are acknowledged as two of the greatest novels of all time and a pinnacle of realist fiction. Many consider Tolstoy to have been one of the world’s greatest novelists. Tolstoy is equally known for his complicated and paradoxical persona and for his extreme moralistic and ascetic views, which he adopted after a moral crisis and spiritual awakening in the 1870s, after which he also became noted as a moral thinker and social reformer.

His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the Sermon on the Mount, caused him in later life to become a fervent Christian anarchist and anarcho-pacifist. His ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You, were to have a profound impact on such pivotal twentieth-century figures as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Crossover Year by Bhargavi Balachandran

19324492Published by: Alchemy Publishers
Genre: Chick lit
Date Published: 11/20/2013
Pages: 288
Source: Own

Goodreads Synopsis: Meet Sri Anuprabha, aka Anu, a twenty-nine year-old banker who is terrified of entering her thirties. She dreams of quitting her job at the bank, sporting yoga pants and traipsing around the world. Her world turns upside down when things go awry and she is faced with the prospect of spending her days watching Tamil serials. She comes up with a five-point plan for reclaiming her life back before she hits the big 30. But things are never as simple as drawing up a flowchart in real life, are they? Especially with a ghastly recession rearing its ugly head…. Anu bumbles through the corridors of domesticity and travels on a funfilled roller coaster ride in a bid to discover her passion in life.Along the way, she meets new people, experiences crazy new things and learns some hard lessons in marriage, friendship, parenting and life. The Crossover Year is a funny, yet heartwarming story of a woman in search of her identity, and a chronicle of her hilarious quest for discovering her inner mojo. Bring out a platter of cookies and a steaming mug of chai, and join Anu on the ride of her lifetime.

Buy it here – Amazon India | Amazon US | Flipkart | Add on Goodreads

My View: I picked up this book for a Goodreads challenge for one of my groups. The challenge was to pick up a book with less than 500 ratings. I have a couple of books lying around which fit the bill but this seemed the most interesting and easy to breeze through, so I ended up picking it up.

I am kind of embarrassed to say this but I have some problems reading an Indian-authored book unless it’s a masterpiece by Rushdie, Lahiri etc. The reason being the English is just different from the ones I am used to reading (non-Indian authors). But every once in a while, I motivate myself and go on. I did struggle a bit initially with the typos, grammatical errors and the different style of writing but later on, I gave in.

As far as the plot is concerned, it isn’t something out of the blue or very novel but it works for a book like this whose genre is chick-lit and is supposed to make you laugh. Well that is actually the plus point of the book. The book is funny at a few places and made me smile, if not laugh. The author has gone to a great extent to up the funny quotient. And I applaud her for that.

As far as reality is concerned, the office politics and some of the instances are spot on but sometimes the book steps way too far from reality to be believable. The main character of Anu is a marvel indeed and you will find yourself laughing at her antics. There are a lot of other characters in the book but I am most impressed by her husband and would have liked if more spotlight had been put on him.

The major weaknesses of the book were a loose plot, too many characters and stories (it is as if the author wanted to put in everything) and some cliches (happy ending et al).

The major plus point, of course, is the funny bit. The book spells good fun and is an easy, quick read lasting a few hours.

2 stars – It was okay.

2stars

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

818109Translated by: Philip Gabriel
Genre: Literature
Date Published: 10/06/2005
Pages: 615
Source: Local Library

Goodreads SynopsisKafka on the Shore, a tour de force of metaphysical reality, is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom. Their odyssey, as mysterious to them as it is to us, is enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerizing events. Cats and people carry on conversations, a ghostlike pimp employs a Hegel-quoting prostitute, a forest harbors soldiers apparently unaged since World War II, and rainstorms of fish (and worse) fall from the sky. There is a brutal murder, with the identity of both victim and perpetrator a riddle—yet this, along with everything else, is eventually answered, just as the entwined destinies of Kafka and Nakata are gradually revealed, with one escaping his fate entirely and the other given a fresh start on his own

Buy it here – Amazon India | Amazon US | Flipkart | The Book Depository | Add on Goodreads

My View:  This is a spoiler free review. My full review is here.

Before I could even dive into the book, I got confused that I had read a book by the author (which I had not. The book I was getting confused with was Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and only realised my folly when I was writing this review and looked into it). I didn’t like that book very much so I was skeptical to pick this up even though I had heard many good things about this one.

Nevertheless, I did pick it up… and abandoned it after the first chapter. I just couldn’t get into it. So there it lay on my bedside table wanting my attention while I ignored it completely for two days. And then I kind of felt bad about it (or rather decided to give it a try since my friend had procured it from the library with great difficulty and I wasn’t sure if I could ever lay my hands on it again) and picked it up again.

It was the second chapter that had me captivated and wanting more. And then the pages flew by, well at least till a few more chapters.

A couple of incidents further grabbed my attention.  All the while I had this inkling that the words and incidents had a more deeper meaning attached and I should probably slow down and give my brain some time to think. But I was reading on a schedule here and hence flitted by.

I did have some hypotheses during this time.  I filed them away while I read further and those hypotheses kept changing depending on where the book led me.

It was towards the latter part of the book that things turned almost insane.  And I was almost pulling my hair out in frustration. I read on just be done with the book. Once I was done, I had the feeling of wanting to hunt down Murakami, sit him down and ask him ‘Did you go insane by the time you neared the end of the book?’ because it did seem that way to me. Phew!

I decided not to touch another book immediately after as my head screamed to (because it wanted to let go of all the weirdness this book brought about in me) and let it filter through. There was no way in hell I was going in for another reading as some of my fellow readers have done in order to get things straight. No, thank you. But somehow I kept myself from delving back into the book. It was almost like I was trying hard not to think about it. Wonder what it says about me, psychoanalytically.

There are too many questions left unanswered. Not that I mind them. But I mind the fact that this book had too much going on for its own good. Probably it needs to be read more slowly, writing down notes by the side and then contemplating on it. There are themes to be explored in here. But again, there are too many things there will be no explanation to and one wonders then, why, oh why?  So many questions.. Argggh.

Okay. I am not promising anything. But maybe, just maybe, I might pick up this one again a few years down the line and sit myself down with a notebook, read and make notes and solve the mystery. Or else, I will hunt down Murakami and threaten him until he solves all those mysteries for me. To be frank, I like the second idea much better. What do you think?

2.5/5 stars – Somewhere between ‘it was ok’ and ‘I liked it’.

2.5 stars

 

Author Bio:

Haruki Murakami (Japanese: 村上 春樹) is a popular contemporary Japanese writer and translator. His work has been described as ‘easily accessible, yet profoundly complex’.

Since childhood, Murakami has been heavily influenced by Western culture, particularly Western music and literature. He grew up reading a range of works by American writers, such as Kurt Vonnegut and Richard Brautigan, and he is often distinguished from other Japanese writers by his Western influences.

Murakami studied drama at Waseda University in Tokyo, where he met his wife, Yoko. His first job was at a record store, which is where one of his main characters, Toru Watanabe in Norwegian Wood, works. Shortly before finishing his studies, Murakami opened the coffeehouse ‘Peter Cat’ which was a jazz bar in the evening in Kokubunji, Tokyo with his wife.

Many of his novels have themes and titles that invoke classical music, such as the three books making up The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: The Thieving Magpie (after Rossini’s opera), Bird as Prophet (after a piano piece by Robert Schumann usually known in English as The Prophet Bird), and The Bird-Catcher (a character in Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute). Some of his novels take their titles from songs: Dance, Dance, Dance (after The Dells’ song, although it is widely thought it was titled after the Beach Boystune), Norwegian Wood (after The Beatles’ song) and South of the Border, West of the Sun (the first part being the title of a song by Nat King Cole).

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