Books: January

Mysore certainly has this going for it: one has plenty of time for reading. I consistently read more here than at home, as it’s such a pleasant way to pass a hot afternoon, door propped open to let in the breeze (just be careful of those monkeys). Without further ado, the books I’ve read in January:

After the Quake (Haruki Murakami)
The first Murakami that I read, after which (as you can see) I went on a bit of a bender. His writing is simple and profound, with fantastical elements that make you question the world around you, a little bit.

Lost Cat (Caroline Paul)
Read this when I wanted a quick break from 1Q84. Sweet story about a cat owner who gets a little obsessed with finding out where her cat goes to when it disappears… life lessons along the way, natch.

1Q84 (Murakami)
SO GOOD. Sealed the Murakami deal for me. Devoured the 1000ish (who knows, on a Kindle) pages in about a week. Especially good to read while in Mysore, as things can be a little surreal anyway.

Kafka on the Shore (Murakami)
The Murakami binge continues. Talking to cats, traveling through time and space to commit crimes and make love; his writing is weird and addictive.

After the Leaves Fall (Nicole Baart)
I’m not sure where this came from– it was on my kindle and looked pleasant and short, so I gave it a go. Halfway through I realized that it’s classified as Christian Fiction. Which, fine, but I generally don’t like my fiction to have a motive. It became a little heavy-handed towards the end, and (especially after all the Murakami) the story was a little boring. But I’m not a quitter, so I stuck it out until the end.

The Goldfinch (Donna Tartt)
I wasn’t looking for another 1000-pager, but several friends reviewed it enthusiastically, so it was next up. One of the best books I’ve read in years. Thoroughly engaging. The kind of characters that stick with you long after you’ve stopped reading. Now I want to go read everything else by Donna Tartt too.

Whew. What’s next? I’m almost done with The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, short stories by Aimee Bender, that I started yesterday, then I have a few more recommendations that I haven’t decided on yet. Good thing I can get ebooks from my library, otherwise I’d be racking up quite the Amazon bill.

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