Week 24

All the Birds in the Sky is a really wierd book. It’s about two kids who don’t really fit in the world, who find in each other their only friend. Thier friendship has been prophesied to bring about chaos and the end of the world. Oh, and the girl is a witch and the boy a super genius who builds a mini time machine by the time he is 12.  I have mixed feelings about the writing, but overall I am enjoying it.

Everytime I read Murakami, I am bowled over by the shifts in perspective his writing provides me with. His writing is slower than I typically like, but I always feel suspended in a dream. So far, Colorless feels like his other books, and I am ready to take my time and zen with this book.

My Current Reads:

  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage : Haruki Murakami (hardcover)
  • All the Birds in the Sky : Charlie Jane Anders (ebook)
  • The Namesake : Jhumpa Lahiri (audiobook)
  • Death Comes To Pemberly : P. D. James  (Hardcover)
  • Dragons of Autumn Twilight : Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman (ebook)
  • The World According to Garp : John Irving (audiobook)
  • Anna Karenina : Leo Tolstoy  (audiobook)
  • The Stone of Farewell : Tad Williams (audiobook)
  • A Storm of Swords : George R. R. Martin (audiobook)
  • Five Quarters of the Orange : Joanne Harris (ebook)

What are you reading?

36/52 – 52 Book Challenge
2/12 – Back to the Classics
2/16 – Dystopia Reading Challenge
4/12 – Flights of Fantasy
1/5 – European Reading Challenge
63/1001 – 1001 Books to Read


One thought on “Week 24

  1. “Shifts in perspective” is a good way to put it. Some of his work is incredibly empathetic and totally realistic e.g. “Norwegian Wood.” I’d put “Colorless” in this category too. As a reader, I don’t always agree with characters’ decisions, but I still empathize with them. Reading about what they do is like talking to a long-time friend who no longer has much in common with me. I care that they are happy with their actions more than I want them to make sense to me. Murakami’s characters’ brains work differently than mine, but through his writing, I understand completely why they do what they do.
    I think all of what Murakami writes comes from this place of complete empathy and emotional intelligence, but in order to bring the reader along to empathize with his characters’ experiences he drags us into hyper-real, opaque and magically real experiences e.g. “Wind-up Bird Chronicle,” “IQ84.” I guess this is also how his characters become better acquainted with themselves. Magical realist style events/elements are synonymous with some kind of self-discovery that generally is helpful to the character in “Kafka on the Shore,” “Wild Sheep Chase” “Sputnik Sweetheart,” and again in “IQ84.” I think “Wind-up Bird Chronicle” and “Kafka on the Shore” are my favorite Murakami. I really like the historical asides– the sort of bodily heritages from past generations that characters have to discover and the bizarre but somehow familiar physical worlds they find themselves in as they navigate mental landscapes. I didn’t find that in “Colorless” so have taken a break from Murakami since I read it a couple of years ago, but your post reminds me fondly of his writing. I should go back. There is plenty more in his oeuvre that I haven’t read.
    One more thing– I like that he doesn’t use retreaded tropes to describe emotion. This is especially brilliant with the ways he conveys the complexities of love, desire and physical attraction. With Murakami, it is ALWAYS complicated and never the sole focus of his characters’ thoughts. I can empathize with that.


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