Sunday, 24 August 2014

Author Spotlight: Haruki Murakami

Finding the new Haruki Murakami book, 'Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage', waiting on the doorstep on my return from holiday has inspired me to write my first Author Spotlight post. Hopefully there will be more to come should I feel equally as inspired. I have actually been too busy reading the book to write this post until now, attempting to savour the novel rather than binge read the hell out of it (very much against my nature when it comes to Murakami).

I thought the best way to assess the Murakami situation was to highlight all of his books and write a mini 'un-review' for the ones I have read. I am so glad I have yet to read my way through his back catalogue, as my Amazon wish list would be so lacking without them sitting there. Again, they are there to be savoured not binged through. I suppose one day seeing them all on my bookshelf will also be a pretty nice feeling.

In chronological order:
Hear the Wind Sing/Pinball, 1973 - Two books you say? His two first books to be exact, published in 1979 and 1980 respectively, and the start of what was to become the 'Trilogy of the Rat'. These two books are out of publication and difficult to find in Japanese let alone English, with translated texts currently on eBay for hundreds of pounds! Apparently Murakami isn't hugely proud of his early attempts at writing, and we are unlikely to see the reappearance of these books any time soon. I might hunt for pdf versions online one day for posterity, but reading them this way wouldn't give me the pleasure of a 'proper' book. 'A Wild Sheep Chase' completes the 'Trilogy of the Rat' (with the book 'Dance, Dance, Dance' included in the series to a lesser extent), and is considered Murakami's first real novel.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

What I Want To Read (that isn't already on my TBR shelf).

As seen in this post, my 'to be read' bookshelves are already relatively excessive and ever increasing. I am not a hoarder or overly materialistic in any other way - I am just obsessed with books. We all have our vices. I decided to pool my messy Amazon wish list into a few nice neat little piles here, and possible even prioritise (hahaha - failure guaranteed).

List 1: Pre-ordered books/Coming Soon -
'The Paying Guests' by Sarah Waters - I have read 'Fingersmith', but little else by Waters, and this books appearance on my list is mainly due to word of mouth and the promising premise.

'The World of Ice and Fire' by George R. R. Martin et al - I am full on obsessed with this series. Fantasy is rarely this well written, and the whole world and every character in it utterly enthralling. I am also lying in wait for the release of 'The Winds of Winter' by George R. R. Martin, the next book in the series proper, though no release date has been set so, I wont hold my breath. The release dates are as unpredictable as the books themselves and Oh Lord, I can't wait.

'Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage' by Haruki Murakami - Murakami is one of my favourite authors, and is certainly the author that makes the most appearances on my bookshelf. I have yet to read a book of his that has not been completely original in every way. This will also be the first book of his I have pre-ordered and waited for, as his back catalogue has easily been sustaining me until this point. This new book has been compared to his masterpiece 'Norwegian Wood', so it's fair to say I am pretty excited.