I have begun the year reading through the backlog of books which has been accumulating beside my bed. One I was keen to get to was the hefty tome of Haruki Murakami’s recent book, Killing Commendatore. But I let it sit, while I read one of his I’d been given earlier as a birthday present; Men without women. This book features seven short stories, plucked from various collections. It contained the wonderful prose and wit, which I’d come to love from this great Japanese author. I have read a number of his novels and have kept all the titles I’ve read. However, If I hadn’t been given a publication of his as a present years ago, I doubt that I’d have plucked one from a shelf. I like reality, the known; whereas Murakami is unafraid of having his characters venture into very different realms, and he has managed to entice me into those worlds, through his mesmerising prose.
I like to take a break late afternoon, and sometimes prop myself on my bed and pick up my latest read. This week I began to re-read a book which was passed on to me in December. On finishing, I passed it onto another friend and regretted doing so, as I had liked the book Charlotte very much indeed.
When I was hunting in our local bookshop, I spotted the book and bought it immediately. I had not read any of novelist David Foenkinos’ books before reading Charlotte. Fortunately the French is translated seamlessly into English by Sam Taylor. It is literally a joy to read.
To many, the theme of generational suicide might persuade readers not to lift the cover; although it was the cover, which first lured me inside. The book seems to come from another era; it is hard-backed and beautifully crafted, with marbled end-papers and simple type on thick cream pages. It is a book to be handled. With Love. Continue reading
I began the year reading Peter Carey’s latest book A Long Way From Home. That it was advertised as a thrilling high-speed story appealed to me and the fact it was written by a favourite Australian author. It’s set in the 1950’s: a time I remember as a young child; though of New Zealand, not Australia.
I was still carrying around the impact of an earlier novel of Peter Carey’s I’d read, called His Illegal self, in which the main character is a boy called Che, whom Carey portrays with utter authenticity. As I opened A Long Way From Home, I wondered whether I’d be equally impacted by a character, and how the story would affect me. Continue reading