Posted in Month TBR Pile, Month Update

Month Wrap-Up: May 2018 and June TBR

Read in May 2018: 13
From my May TBR
 
Others
 

Reviews:

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki MurakamiBeautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Participated in Bout of Books 22

Book(s) of the month

Difficult to choose with so many 4 stars but I will go with these
June 2018 TBR
 

2018 Challenge Updates

  1. Read at least 40 books (Goodreads goal) – Goal completed – 48
  2. Read more classics (at least 15) – 6
  3. Read more owned books (at least 20) – 12
  4. Read huge books (at least 3) – Shantaram, Gone with the wind and one more – 0
  5. Re-read  books – 0
  6. Read more non-fiction/ memoir/ autobiography (at least 10) – Goal Completed – 13

Total number of Pages read this year: 11436

2018 ultimate reading challenge

  1. A book you read in school
  2. A book from your childhood
  3. A book published over 100 years agoHeart of Darkness
  4. A book published in the last year – Genuine Fraud
  5. A non-fic book You can do it
  6. A book written by a male author – The Gift of Therapy
  7. A book written by a female authorSunbathing in the rain
  8. A book by someone who isn’t a writer – When breath becomes air
  9. A book that became a film – The painted veil
  10. A book published in the 20th century Changing Planes
  11. A book set in your hometown/ region
  12. A book with a name in the titleA Man called Ove
  13. A book with a number in the title – Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights
  14. A book based on a true storyDying Well
  15. A book someone else recommended – 1984
  16. A book with over 500 pages
  17. A book you can finish in a day – Ghachar Ghochar
  18. A previously banned book
  19. A book with one-word title – Malice
  20. A book translated from another language – Moonrise From the Green Grass Roof
  21. A personal growth book
  22. A memoir or a journal – Tiger tiger
  23. A book by someone from another country – The Notebook
  24. A book set somewhere you’ll visit this yearThe Blue Castle
  25. An award-winning book – Pulitzer Prize – Angela’s Ashes
  26. A book you read in school
  27. A book with a character with your first name
  28. A book with a place in the titleThe Mayor of Casterbridge
  29. A book set in the futureCinder
  30. A play – The live Corpse
  31. A scary book
  32. A funny book – Where did you go, Bernadette
  33. A book of short stories – Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
  34. A trilogy or series Me Before You
  35. A bestseller The Hate U Give
  36. A book you own but haven’t readHaroun and the sea of stories
  37. A book about philosophy
  38. An epic poem
  39. A Victorian novel
  40. A book of poetry
  41. A book with a colour in the title
  42. A book with an appealing cover – Everything everything
  43. A book about psychology – Love’s executioner and other tales of psychotherapy
  44. A book about science – The Mind’s Eye
  45. A graphic novelAsterix the gaul
  46. A self-published book
  47. A book from a different cultureShanghai Girls
  48. A young adult book – This sky
  49. A book of non-fiction essays – At the same time
  50. A book by an author you haven’t read beforeGifts
  51. A book set in a country you’ve never been to – Into the water
  52. A book set in the place you live today

36/ 52 Done

How was your May reading-wise? Leave a link to your wrap-up post and I’ll come visit.

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Posted in 4 stars, Book reviews

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami

9833 (1).jpg
Translators: Philip Gabriel and Jay Rubin

Genre: Short Stories

Date Published: August 29, 2006

Pages: 333

Source: Library

Goodreads Synopsis: Collection of twenty-four stories that generously expresses Murakami’s mastery of the form. From the surreal to the mundane, these stories exhibit his ability to transform the full range of human experience in ways that are instructive, surprising, and relentlessly entertaining. Here are animated crows, a criminal monkey, and an iceman, as well as the dreams that shape us and the things we might wish for. Whether during a chance reunion in Italy, a romantic exile in Greece, a holiday in Hawaii, or in the grip of everyday life, Murakami’s characters confront grievous loss, or sexuality, or the glow of a firefly, or the impossible distances between those who ought to be closest of all.

Buy it here – Amazon India | Amazon USThe Book Depository | Flipkart |

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My View: Murakami. *Sigh* Here we go. After two books and two short story books, I am beginning to get Murakami. No no, don’t get me wrong. No one can ‘get’ Murakami (not me, at least). I have even come to doubt if Murakami gets Murakami! What I mean is that I have made my peace with him. So while Kafka on the shore had me pulling my hair (read more about that here) and wanting to hunt Murakami down (which I tried to unsuccessfully, on my trip to Japan), Colorless Tsukuru had me heaving a sigh of relief. Men without women had me rooting for Murakami (more on that here) and recommending the book to each and everyone I knew.

What did Blind Willow and Sleeping Woman do? It made me urge all my bibliophile friends to drop whatever they were reading and begin this with me because I wanted to talk! Which is what you want to do when you are reading a Murakami. It feels better to have some company while hitting your head on the wall. And my precious friends did give me company. Not one, not two but four friends decided to give me company. With one story a day each. 2 stories later, one dropped out. 3 stories later, another one dropped out. 4 stories later, the last two dropped out. *Sigh* It was good while it lasted. We had all these different interpretations going on. It was fun!

But I didn’t give up. That has to be something, right? I persisted. And not with a push or force. It was natural, I wanted to. I decided to take it slow and continue reading one story a day. Giving it time to find its way through the mazes of my mind, set its rhythm with my breath, and settle in somewhere deep within the recesses of my heart. Murakami weaves a net and you fall in, struggling in the beginning but the more you struggle, the more you are tangled up and then eventually you give up, you surrender. And it is then that it hits you. How good it feels not to have to struggle. Just to let go. To be. To savor the breeze in your hair, to let the world pass you by. And you’re there, entangled but content.

I have come to realize interpretation isn’t everything (grapes are sour, eh? 😉 ). Sometimes the story and the writing needs to be savored and inhaled not inspected and analyzed. Murakami is one such author. He pulls you in and doesn’t let you go. No matter if you don’t understand what just happened.

Life happened.

You should read it. Don’t fall into the ‘interpretation’ trap though and you’ll be just fine.

4/5 stars – I really liked it4 stars

Author Bio:

3354.jpgMurakami

Haruki (Japanese: 村上 春樹) is a popular contemporary Japanese writer and translator. His work has been described as ‘easily accessible, yet profoundly complex’. He can be located on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/harukimuraka…

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 ChronicleThe 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 Boys tune), 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).