Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
GOODREADS – AMAZON
Released: First in 1987
Keywords: Adult, Suicide, Grief, Loss, Japan, Depression, Sex, Romance
“When he hears her favourite Beatles song, Toru Watanabe recalls his first love Naoko, the girlfriend of his best friend Kizuki. Immediately he is transported back almost twenty years to his student days in Tokyo, adrift in a world of uneasy friendships, casual sex, passion, loss and desire – to a time when an impetuous young woman called Midori marches into his life and he has to choose between the future and the past.”
This was my 4th Murakami book that I read and I went in with lower expectations as I knew it was just contemporary with no magical elements, I generally find contemporary’s boring but as this is Murakami and this is probably his most well-known book I wanted to read it. It has gone in as my 2nd favourite book by him after Kafka on the Shore which was very unexpected! It’s a fairly depressing book with a major focus on mental health, suicide and depression so at time’s not very fun to read but I couldn’t put it down. It left a very haunting mark on me and I can see it being one of Murakami’s that I read again in the future.
There is also a considerable amount of sex talk and sexual scenes but within this very depressing context, I really enjoyed all of the female character’s and how different they were and how the main character was attracted to them in different ways.
If you’re a fan of Japanese lit in general and for whatever reason havn’t read this one yet, definitely give it a try, it might be a good start for people new to reading Japanese lit too.
My rating: 5/5 stars
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
by Haruki Murakami
GOODREADS – AMAZON
Released: 12th April 1994
Keywords: Adult, Japan, Magical realism
“Toru Okada’s cat has disappeared. His wife is growing more distant every day. Then there are the increasingly explicit telephone calls he has recently been receiving. As this compelling story unfolds, the tidy suburban realities of Okada’s vague and blameless life, spent cooking, reading, listening to jazz and opera and drinking beer at the kitchen table, are turned inside out, and he embarks on a bizarre journey, guided (however obscurely) by a succession of characters, each with a tale to tell.”
I honestly have no idea how to review this book, but here is my feeble attempt. It took me roughly 2 months on and off to finish and not because I wasn’t enjoying it, I just found it to be quite a heavy read compared to Kafka on the Shore which I finished within a week. This is mostly due to quite a few historical flashbacks which did get quite graphic and quite honestly a bit depressing. I found this book had a lot of nods to depression which I personally found to be relatable but also at times hard to read.
It was filled with all of the usual weird magical realism elements that I love and most of it really didn’t make much sense, but then I’m not sure it’s supposed to. What a great cast of characters though, I particularly loved any scene that involved May and the role she played for the main character.
I’m glad I read this book and look forward to reading more of Murakami’s novels, would recommend for fans of magical realism and weird stories that don’t quite make sense but make you think hard about the world.
My rating: 4.5/5 stars
Books I Read and Finished in June
– July TBR
– Mid Year Book Freakout Tag
– Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa
– Goodbye Tsugumi by Banana Yoshimoto (spoilers)
– ONEUS: Raise Us Album Review
– Me vs. My Friends ft. Lena (BTS Edition)
– Animal Crossing: New Horizons #1
– Hyped YA books I have read
– Books of 2019 So Far
– Aches and Pains
– Alive or Dead
Favourite K-Pop Releases in June
My reading really wasn’t that great in June, I just wasn’t feeling it, and Wind-Up Bird took me so long to finish (not that I didn’t enjoy it, it was just very long and heavy). I’m back in more of a reading mood for July and am excited for my TBR so we will see if this month will be better.
I feel like my blogging kind of fell off towards the end of the month, like my reading, even though it has been the best month so far for view/visits. I’m going to try and post more in July for sure.
My friend Lena picked up a 2DS so we could play Animal Crossing: New Leaf and it’s been really fun playing it again while I wait for the Switch game to come out. I’ve also been constantly playing BTS World since it was launched last week O-O
I’ve decided to casually learn a second language using DuoLingo (I bet you can’t guess which language haha), this is the first time trying to learn a language and actually wanting to do it, rather than being forced to learn German in school which I literally only remember a few words of now. So far so good and it’s actually pretty fun!
I’ve also (very recently) taken trying to lose weight seriously, I really hope i stick to it cos damn I feel like a whale. Will update on progress in next months wrap up and possibly do some posts on it if it goes well.
Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch update:
Looks amazing but got pushed back to March 2020
I have known Lauren aka Sizzle aka the owner of Books and Tea discord server since I joined it back in August last year and she has been such a huge help in my blogging journey and is just an all-round awesome gal.
She started doing this series on her own blog and I decided it might be fun to do and she agreed, you can see her post browsing my book shelves here.
Basically we swap pictures of our book shelves and go through picking out books we have read, would recommend, want to read e.t.c. So let’s get started!
Let me know in the comments any books from her shelves that you have read and loved!
Continue reading “Browsing Bookshelves: Lauren @ Northern Plunder”