This month has been pretty slim in terms of the amount of books I’ve actually bought, because two of them are pretty long – at least 700 pages. That being said, they are books I’m pretty excited to read. Maybe some of you have read them before and if so, please let me know what you thought of them. I’m pretty curious to know. Anyway, here goes.
- South of the Border, West of the Sun
“Growing up in the suburbs of post-war Japan, it seemed to Hajime that everyone but him had brothers and sisters. His sole companion was Shimamoto, also an only child. Together they spent long afternoons listening to her father’s record collection. But when his family moved away, the two lost touch. Now Hajime is in his thirties. After a decade of drifting he has found happiness with his loving wife and two daughters, and success running a jazz bar. Then Shimamoto reappears. She is beautiful, intense, enveloped in mystery. Hajime is catapulted into the past, putting at risk all he has in the present.”
This one is a bit of a departure for me, because it’s the first book I’ll ever read in German (for those curious, the German title is Südlich der Grenze, Westlich der Sonne.) I don’t know how easy it will be to understand for me, but the book’s short – no longer than 200 pages – and Murakami’s an author I really like. Generally, I do prefer his more experimental books, and this sounds more in the vein of Norwegian Wood, but I still enjoyed that book a lot. So I’m excited for this.
2. The Name of the Wind
“Told in Kvothe’s own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.
The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature.
A high-action story written with a poet’s hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.”
Generally, I don’t read many fantasy novels, but now and then a book comes along that garners so much attention it’s pretty hard to ignore it. The Name of the Wind is one of those books. I’m gonna go into this one with cautious optimism, because this particular kind of fantasy is not something I really enjoy. But at the end of the day, a good book is a good book, and I don’t really believe in tarring an entire genre with the same brush.
3. The Goldfinch
“It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.
As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.”
I recently reviewed another of Donna Tartt’s books, The Secret History, and loved it. What drew me to this one is that it seems as if it will be completely different to that novel while still being fast-paced and intelligent. Donna Tartt may well become one of my favourite authors in the future, if this book is as good as The Secret History.
There’ll be reviews coming soon, definitely during February, and I’m looking forward to talking about them in more detail. In the meantime, what do you think about these books? Would you recommend? Which is your favourite?
Thanks for reading.