Books! What are you currently reading or just finished?


No, It’s from 1994. it was given to me back then as a gift from a girl I loved. A remarkable gift, I think everytime I reread the four stories.

The Illustration is by Armin Maurer. Just had a look for him and he did this one too. Called The Fly Conjurer:


The second illustration doesn’t look like Evens at all. Just a coincidence, probably. Thanks for the info.


Just re-read “Kafka on the Shore” by Murakami and decided I’d keep it going by re-reading “1Q84”. I didn’t particularly enjoy that one, so I’m curious if I’ll find more to appreciate the second go around. I loved “Kafka on the Shore” both times, definitely one of his better ones I think :slight_smile:


Yeah, Kafka and The Wind Up Bird Chronicle are my favourites of his. I finished South of the Border, West of the Sun a few weeks ago and quite enjoyed that too. Quick, easy read.


The Wind Up Bird Chronicles is a astonishing book.
I love it, but somehow I don’ t know why, for its so strange


Went back to uni, and seems as if I have forgotten how to construct a sentence


Wind-Up Bird is probably my favorite too, but I remember feeling like Kafka on the Shore was right up there. Wild Sheep Chase was really cool too from what I recall. I’ve read Wind Up Bird several times and was debating that again, but feel I should give 1Q84 another shot.


All these positive things about Wind Up Bird. Awesome, just ordered for partner for xmas. She’s reading Japanese novels prep for a hiking trip in the spring!

Thanks for inspiring me to put something novel under the tree!


Let us know what she thinks. I have wondered if some of the Murakami books aren’t more suited for a young male reader since the protagonist is often a sort of aimless young male. It seems he’s intentionally tried to move away from that sort of main character more recently. Am I the only one who wonders this? Maybe I’m reading too far into it…


I’ve been on a sci-fi buzz for a while now. Just got the second two of this series.


Seems my library doesn’t have the better-known Murakami books. Thoroughly enjoyed Wild Sheep Chase and Hard-Boiled Wonderland, being the aimless young male I am


Wind-Up Bird Chronicle seems to be acknowledged as his peak. Hard-Boiled Wonderland is one of the 2 or 3 I’ve not checked out.


Oooh, Japanese novels!

Funny, Friday, I ran across a new translation/new novellas of Tanizaki I’d not known about. I’m tempted to pick it up. And dumbass me forgot about them while at my favorite local indie bookstore oh, about half an hour ago.

Bought “Lab Girl” (because I play a botanist on TV) and Ocean Vuong’s “Night Sky With Exit Wounds” for me, and a handful of books for my son.

Back to Japanese novels: I went through a period when I was reading a fair amount: Tanizaki, Kawabata, Mishima (“Confessions of a Mask” kind of blew my mind back then), but the author who stuck with me the most–indeed, whom I rate as one of the all time greats in any language–is Ryunosuke Akutagawa. Short body of work, for a sadly short life, but if you’re a fan of say JL Borges, you will love Akutagawa. Extraordinary, stunning writer, quite apart from his Japanese contemporaries.

Incidentally, he wrote the short story on which Kurosawa’s “Rashomon” was based, although interestingly, there is another story called “At the Gate” which, in my opinion, has nearly as much to do with the genesis of the movie “Rashomon” as the story “Rashomon.” Just my weird opinion though.

He’s not widely read, and is worth reading.

Read most of Murakami up through the early 2000s. WUBC was good I thought; preferred it to WSC, but of the novels I think I actually slightly favored “Norwegian Wood” (or was it “South of the Border, West of the Sun?”).

I’m actually of the minority opinion that his strongest, or at least most interesting writing are the short stories collected in “The Elephant Vanishes.” I read them all twice. I liked them that much. Strongly recommended.

But take that with a grain of salt. My favorite Hubert Selby Jr. books are also his short story collection “Song of the Silent Snow,” my favorite Chekhov are actually his short stories, and my favorite Hemingway are his short stories.

Ignore at will.


Oooh, Japanese novels!

thx for your tipps. Tanizaki is great.
Have you ever read something from Kazuki Kanishiro? Go or Fly Daddy?


Protip: print this out as a bookmark for your Murakami books :slight_smile:



Definitely need to get back into Murakami…

Ages back I read this (after a trip to Japan), I have a friend that did JET (or some such) and couldn’t put it down.


Just finished The Flame Alphabet.
…I feel like I’ve been reading him in just the right order. It felt like he took themes/imagery from the short stories in Leaving the Sea–as if they were studies–and weaved some of that into this narrative…but of course the reverse happened. He took this book and shattered it into fragments. This guy has me hooked but I need to read some things by other people before I circle back to Age of Wire and String

So now I’m onto…


Now onto some non-fiction to mix it up.


“A Man Called Ove” - About a curmugeon who recently lost the love of his life. And his longing to be with her again.


Relevant, and a surprisingly good narrative.

I think i’m gonna pick up this one again as well.

It’s a huge book, but once again, this guy knows how to write a historical narrative. The history is all here, and yet his character studies are very engaging. Hitler and his “high command” (himmler, goering, goebbels, etc) all exhibit this dichotomy of needing to appear stately and powerful in public, but privately acting like a bunch drug-addled teenagers desperate to maintain control while shooting themselves in the foot with their stupidity and “madcap” adventures. They were a group of deformed, mentally ill, fiends that were able to take the reins of a financially unstable country through a few serendipitous acts of insanity. On a platform of nationalism. You get the image of the marx brothers rolling through town in a shitty car with a “make germany great again” logo on the side. The parallels between them and our future administration are very on-point too.

You get plenty of Justice-with-a-capital-J too because ya know, they all die at the end.