Hear The Wind Sing 風の歌を聴け
I’m afraid when I first had my hands on Murakami’s work, I had to console myself after a ridiculous week or so of reading and rereading the first few chapters of the book that his work was just something beyond me.
But - as is the case, I find, with books, music or other forms of art, we tend to only appreciate them at a particular ripe point. Tell you the truth, I only picked up my copy of Hear The Wind Sing because I was so excited to try my epub reader, I wasn’t particularly up for some soul-searching, but it surprised me how at 1 AM, the dining chair so warm under my butt, I found myself suddenly at the epilogue and oddly changed; goodness, I’m a Murakami book finisher!
Hear The Wind Sing was quite a treat. It was like having Holden Caulfied re-wrapped in Japanese paper and handed back to me as another present.
I enjoyed its raw and spontaneous, very journal-like storytelling almost like J.D. Salinger’s Catcher In The Rye. I find it just adorable the way this unnamed character - although he does seem like he’s making an effort to be reserved when he talks about love - he doesn’t really try to lowball things that happen to him either. There was this part that read something like “as an added bonus, every time our knees touched, I blushed.”
Boys this age have pretty much the same things going for them - girls, sex and trying to juggle debunking and accepting life’s shallowness. Boyish but surprisingly wise 21 year old schoolboys just have this effect on me. Ugh.
It was only right before posting this that I found out that Hear The Wind Sing is actually the first novel that Haruki Murakami wrote and that this book is a part of a three part story (YAY!) evolving around one of the rather curious characters in the book: the Rat.
I’m just really happy about how comfortable I am with this book’s simplicity. That’s me saying something because I hate books that don’t come with elaborate maps and genealogies and languages I’d have to know by heart to enjoy.
I finished reading another Philippa Gregory novel yesterday morning thinking wow, finally, I could now get on with my own life.
That was until just a bit later the exact same day, reading the spines along the bookshelves, I came across a big fat illustrated book on The Tudors just as dad was driving right by the bookstore.to pick up my mom, sister and I so I practically ran to the counter and threw my money right at the cashier like she was some prostitute or something and she was momentarily stupefied. Her hands were shaking, maybe at how fast everything was happening, poor thing. haha
I can’t explain how triumphant I feel about this purchase - it’s only like the culmination of all the reading, watching, researching - I was sleepless maybe over one or two wikipedia holes or so - and utter fascination about Yorks, Lancasters and Tudors. It’s everything I know and want to know all at the same time!
There are illustrations of parlaying, the court, battles, portraits of kings and queens, a succession table…I flip through the pages and everybody looks familiar as old friends and the pictures of castles all look as if I’ve already been in them. haha. Everything now makes sense.
It’s just brimming with pictures and juicy details! Reaffirming my shameless love for historical fiction,
I went through my journals and notebooks earlier tonight hoping to find content that’s set relatively deeper into my psyche that I could rework into something wax poetic.
The search was in vain but I did come across this illustration of a librarian drawn somewhere in those first few months after I’ve been prescribed my glasses. I find this very haunting. I think it reverberates deep-rooted fears of becoming a young bitch-faced, four-eyed future cat lady exiled to a lifetime alone for romantic hypocrisy.
Which is silly, of course, because I don’t like cats one bit. That would make it groundless.
A couple of drawings that didn’t make it to the issue (sadface) but I’m safekeeping here in case anything happens to my hard drive. Also, because I haven’t been posting anything at all in quite a while. haha. The second illustration is supposed to be for a book review on Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity.
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
I picked this book up at a bookstore some time around the summer because I thought it safe to assume anything George R.R. Martin would vouch for would be worth a read. I trust we’re all such fans of Game of Thrones and A Song of Fire and Ice and can all be friends.
It’s really getting to me how I wildly profess one book as my favorite and then the next book I happen to pick up almost always immediately shuts me up. I don’t know but this may just be the most exciting one I’ve ever read.
The Lies of Locke Lamora is the first book in The Gentlemen Bastards series (but there’s actually a Book 0!). It’s set in what I imagine to be a late medieval or renaissance Italy, only with glass structures and sharks and sorcery and it revolves around a group of con artists who play confidence games on wealthy nobility and call themselves — you got it — The Gentlemen Bastards.
It’s a smartly written novel, it builds up and these funny little interlude chapters pop up with stories from their earlier years of apprenticeship under Chains, a superb thief disguised as a blind priest. I knew the story was twisted right from the beginning, but I couldn’t believe what a crazy insane mess it only ravels you into. It’s just a heck of a lot of fun to read. No unnecessary PG parts to make it interesting when it gets boring because there isn’t even a dull chapter in the book. I remember always wanting to skip all the chapters on Davos in A Song of Fire and Ice.
This book has so much blood all over it and magic and thievery and underground politics and swearing and outwitting, ugh. It will blow your mind.
The Catcher in the Rye (1951)
For the fortunate rest of us talentless enough to ever experience writer’s block, it still is quite possible for us to contract a less malignant but not any less depressing thing I believe we should call a reader’s block.
I’ve had my bookmark between p. 950 and p.951 of George R.R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords since the early part of Christmas break. After reading the first few pages of that chapter about a thousand times, I take it it’s just taking too much of a time for me to take all in so I moved on to the book I got queued up.
I’m pretty glad I asked Kate if I could change from my swimsuit in her room last week. I plucked out Catcher in the Rye from her shelf before coming out because I got so excited she had a copy and it’s one of those books I didn’t want to spoil the experience reading by reading off a PDF.
I read it on Thursday and had such a laugh that I thought of saving the last third for this morning, before breakfast. I really enjoyed the book. There’s much profanity in it, it’s almost rhythmic. You read it fast in a meter quite like they’re your own thoughts. It was a heck of a lot of fun to read. I was somewhat always looking for hints of something depressing about to happen. Books do that a lot - betray people. Hem, hem. Little Women. Movies too. Hem, hem, Dead Poet’s Society. The plot turned out a lot simpler than I had been expecting, though.
It just talks of this boy, Holden Caulfield’s few days out of school after being expelled where he experimented with girls, whoring, drinking, running away, the whole teen angst and rebellion theme, but it did not disappoint me at all. Holden Caulfield is such a cunning character you’ll love him.
I like how he struggles to explain things and ends up whipping up all these side stories with run-on sentences. Kind of like how I think.
I love how he’s such a cynic. He thinks teenagers and adults are all phonies although at some point, when you get to reflect on it, you’d agree a lot of things we do are quite phony.
I like how he’s so frank the way he talks about girls and how they “kill” him.
I like how he’s such a hypocrite and knows it. He thinks up all these whack and scandalous things he’d do but never does.
I like how he thinks he’s dumb.
I love him for flipping when he found FUCK YOUs vandalized all over a middle school.
I love how he adores his siblings; his older brother DB, a writer in Hollywood, his older than her age sister Phoebe, and his other brother Allie; died of leukemia. He really just adores children like they’re the only lovely thing left in this world. These lines just killed me.
"Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around - nobody big, I mean - except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be."
Go read it if you haven’t yet.
Haaave I told you I finally got hold of a copy of Looking for Alaska! I’ve been looking for it in bookstores and torrent sites since reading an excerpt of it here when I got my tumblr. It said something about rain and drizzle something something and a boy not wanting to fuck. Yay. haha.
I forget. I also have John Green’s Fault in Our Stars now thanks to my sister’s friend. Funny, why I find sharing this very important.
I made mum and dad buy me these (Barrington Barber’s Anatomy for Artists, The Complete Fundamentals of Drawing) for my birthday last summer and promised them I’ll read them. I read them alright. For like half a day right after taking them out of their lovely clingy plastic covering and now they just sit in my closet and…yellow.
Sort of got carried away buying books today. Bought:
- Jane Austen’s Emma. Don’t judge me. So I like chick lits.
- J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. For a refresher because I want to remember every single detail before I watch the movie this November. Eeeeee!!!!!
- Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon. Morgan, Merlin, Lancelot, Guinevere, I just had to buy it. Told my sister I bought it for her as a day late birthday present. haha. Hit an awful lot of birds with one stone, it’s sickening B)