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March was Murakami Month. 31 days of special attention for the famous & well-loved author Haruki Murakami. What a good idea for a Hello Japan mini challenge!

This month’s task is to read, or otherwise experience Haruki Murakami’s work.

I have already read a LOT of Murakami’s books, so I decided not to join in the The Wind-up Bird Chronicle read-along, nor the Japanese Literature Book Group choice of A Wild Sheep Chase & Dance, Dance, Dance. But of course I could not let March pass without any Murakami on my plate! And since I don’t get much reading done these days, I have only read Murakami this month! Next to Sei Shōnagon’s The Pillow Book read-along that is…

Cover Blind Willow, Sleeping WomanFirst I picked Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman of the shelf; a collection of Murakami tales. I’m not really a short-story-grrl: I like to dig into a book and need some time to get acquainted with (get a feel for) the characters. My problem with short stories and novella’s is that they seem to be over before they begin :\ But I do want to read the complete works of Murakami, so ‘Blind Willow’ became a buddy read with Elsje. She finished it a while ago whereas I’m still only half way! Is it that bad??? No, not at all ;) I like the characters and the magical atmosphere, so I am really enjoying myself. It’s also nice that I can (often) finish a story in one sitting. But the book does not call out to me to come and read NOW, the way a pageturner does.

So. To complete my mission I could have chosen to write a review of just one of the stories. Or to rent the Tony Takitani dvd again. But nooooo. I did something else I want to tell you about: I reread another, special edition of short stories by Haruki Murakami! It’s called Een stoomfluit midden in de nacht and was a 2006-2007 New Year’s gift of a group of Dutch publishers. Not for sale :) My copy was generously given to me by maupi, who came by it through her work as a translator.

Special edition of short stories by Haruki MurakamiNext to the title story Yonaka no kiteki ni tsuite (originally published in 1995), this publication contains two other stories: Kreta Kanō (Kanō Kureta, 1993) and De tweeling en het verzonken continent (Futago to shinzunda tairiku, 1985). It’s a real scoop because these stories have never before been translated into a foreign language! ^_^

So I now stand for the great task to translate the titles in English — from Dutch, because I don’t read Japanese LOL. The name of the book means literally: A Steam Whistle in the Middle of the Night. Maybe someone can give a hint whether it is the same in Japanese?

* * * Note: the rest of this post contains spoilers! * * *

The story A Steam Whistle in the Middle of the Night is REALLY short: only 3 pages. But it’s the most beautiful of the lot, and maybe that’s why it is also the title of the book; even though it’s the closing story. It’s a heartwarming narrative of a boy expressing his love for a girl. To truly feel the extent of it, she needs to understand first how awful, absolutely gruesome it is to wake up alone in the middle of the night, far from reality. Like being locked up in an iron coffin that has sunk to the bottom of a deep sea — running out of oxygen. The only thing that can bring you back is the faraway sound of a steam whistle. That’s how much he loves her.

Aw.. The image of a steam whistle in the night recalled my childhood, lying in bed on those rare nights of extreme fog.

The first story of A Steam Whistle in the Middle of the Night is Kreta Kanō. Those of you who have read The Wind-up Bird Chronicle will immediately recognize the name :) Kreta works for her Sister, Malta Kanō, who listens to the sounds of body fluids to solve people’s problems. Kreta’s got a huge problem too… She is so irresistible to men that once they lay their eyes on her, they need to possess her: assault being the result. All men. Malta says it’s because her water is out of synch with her body. That’s why men are attracted to her — like the tides, I guess. It’s a fascinating story, set after her adventures in ‘Wind-up Bird’. Kreta also brought to mind the woman in Taichi Yamada’s novel Strangers

The ‘longest’ story in this 61 page booklet is called The Twins and the Sunken Continent (again my translation is very literal so I’m open to improvement :) I should read it for a third time because it’s a typical Murakami, making me wonder what the hell it’s all about. There are two mysterious twin sisters (who are also supposed to appear in his novel Pinball, 1973; a book I unfortunately still lack!), a glass club in Roppongi, weird dreams and a missing colleague called Noboru Watanabe — again a name that may sound familiar. In an early story that was later made into The Wind-up Bird Chronicle both the missing cat and the protagonist’s brother-in-law bear that name. In the novel they were renamed to Noboru Wataya. It is said that in real life Haruki Murakami has a very good friend called Noboru Watanabe ;)

Een stoomfluit in het midden van de nacht is a real gem to have. It even makes me reread – and read once again; something I normally just don’t do.

So as you can probably tell, I’ve had a great Murakami March!
I hope I’ve made you join in the fun a bit?!

* All stories in Een stoomfluit midden in de nacht are translated from Japanese by Jacques Westerhoven, © 2003.

Earlier I’ve posted some of my thoughts on A Wild Sheep Chase on Graasland (in Dutch).

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Again, I am being a real lookgrrl this weekend. Yesterday some grrls came over to watch the 1967 movie In Cold Blood, which we read together in November (I posted my review of Capote’s book last month). I’m actually writing this Sunday Salon post on Friday, so I have no idea yet what I thought of it ;) And when my bookish things of the week go online, I’ll be making last minute preparations for a Dexter 3 marathon. Yay!

Btw I recently heard that the 2nd series and further are no real adaptations, so you can read the Dexter novels in addition to the serial. That would be fun! I guess I’ll wait until I’ve seen them all though, just to be on the safe side.

A week ago I finally finished the third volume of Natsume Sōseki’s I Am a Cat. I decided I would read on instead of composing a Sunday Salon post. Good idea, eh?

I’m not sure if I’ll write a real review this time because I feel I’ve spent enough time on it already. I’ve learnt a great lesson though: I prefer to read plot driven books! So what am I doing reading The Pillow Book? Erm… not sure ;) I think it will be my last one for a long, long time! Now I’m quite confident that I really shouldn’t read Moby Dick. I’ll just follow my instincts ;) In recent years I’ve bargained with Max Havelaar or The Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company, dragged myself along The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha — and it has been enough. Gee, that I had to become 40 to acknowledge such a thing ;)

Next to The Pillow Book I am also reading Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman: a compilation of short stories by Haruki Murakami. I’m buddy reading with Else, who has started a while back so it’s good to have started catching up. I’m just a few pages in but it already seems to be another great book! :)

The Pillow Book

Arrived at entry: 31/21
Entries read since last time: 31

Ha! Not only have I finally started reading The Pillow Book (Het Hoofdkussenboek van Sei Shōnagon), I’m also completely caught up!

What do I think about it so far? I like it, but it is very patchy. Of course I expected that since it’s not just a diary but a journal containing Shōnagon’s musings and descriptions of (court) life in Heian Japan. And I appreciate reading about the beautiful clothes (although it is starting to be much of the same), seasonal traditions and festivals, but… Shōnagon and I are not befriended. I don’t like the way she seems to look down on people, even laughs at them — especially women. Could it be a competitive atmosphere between women around the Emperor and Empress? I’m in a bit of a hurry so I haven’t thought this through very well.

The Pillow Book is quit poetic and the footnotes and appendix give some interesting, sometimes necessary, explanatory information. But I do not look them all up because that would interrupt my reading too much.

The Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of booklovers on the web, where they blog about bookish things of the past week, visit each others weblogs, oh — and read ;)

Some of you may have noticed, others may not.. Again there was no Sunday Salon on Graasland yesterday. But I’ve got a great excuse: I was at an Emma marathon viewing with some Loekgrrls: we watched all four episodes of the 2009 BBC television series in a row.

I’ve read the 1815 Victorian Romantic novel a few years ago. Being a real Boekgrrl I couldn’t resist: it is Jane Austen’s most famous book. According to Wikipedia it seems to be pre-Victorian though… I will try to find out why at another time. I’m writing this post during my lunch break ;)
[Edited to add: thanks to Claire and Anna I now completely understand why it was stupid to call Emma a Victorian novel! (see comments)]

Even though it seemed a bit burlesque at times, I did like the tv-serial with Romola Garai as our ‘heroine’. At first I wondered where I had seen her before, but thankfully one of the grrls checked the Internet Movie Database on her iPhone. [Note to self: need iPhone badly] Of course: the actress also played Briony in the movie adaptation of one of my all-time favourites, Ian McEwan’s Atonement!

The pace was quite slow — as expected, so it didn’t bother me. Strangely enough at other times I got the feeling it could have been a musical as well… I guess it was the way they moved, combined with the affected style of acting. Don’t worry, they didn’t sing, and hardly danced ;) And Sir Michael Gambon was, of course, adorable as the over-anxious Mr Woodhouse, Emma’s father.

Here’s a photo set on Flickr about filming Emma.

But you might want to hear about my actual reading… Progress in I Am a Cat is slow but steady: I now have less than a 100 pages to go. Once I’ve finished I will really start The Pillow Book, next to Haruki Murakami’s Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman; which I am looking forward to even though I am not too fond of short stories.

The Pillow Book

Arrived at entry: 0/20.
Entries read since last time: 0.

Like last week (when I ran into a ‘caolybag’ book relating to The Pillow Book) I had a chance discovery of something cool: a one-off theatre play of The Pillow Book on March 21st in Amsterdam. Honest, I wasn’t looking for anything pillowbooky! Serendipity rules :)

The Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of booklovers on the web, where they blog about bookish things of the past week, visit each others weblogs, oh — and read ;)

When this post goes ‘on air’ I’ll be lounging in a velvet chair on the final day of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, enjoying 5 movies that were favourites of the festival audience. Oh goody ;)

Of course I’ll be tagging a book along for possible interludes: I Am a Cat by Natsume Sōseki. I’ve started reading the last part (3rd volume) for the Japanese Literature Read-along, which ends February 15th. But that’s not the only read-along I’m participating in at the moment — sort of. This week we’ve begun reading the classic The Pillowbook by Sei Shōnagon. It’s in a leisurely pace of only 10 diary items a week. I’ve received a Dutch translation of the Ivan Morris Penguin edition, Het Hoofdkussenboek van Sei Shōnagon, which seems to be a little abridged. So at times I’ll be reading even less entries… But for now I haven’t even managed my first 10 yet — oops! Well, it’s on my nighstand, together with the Kitagawa Utamaro bookmark I used with The Housekeeper and the Professor — doesn’t that count for something? ;)

Velvet of vvb32reads has started a while ago and decided on editing her post about The Pillowbook on a regular basis. Tanabata from In Spring it is the Dawn will write an update post each Friday. So, how am I going to tackle it? I think I’ll be using my weekly Sunday Salon as a dumping ground for my thoughts on the book! The read-along project will take us until somewhere in autumn, so don’t say I haven’t warned ya ;)

I missed out on last week’s Sunday Salon because I had the flu :( Good thing I had my Hello Japan! music sessions scheduled! Otherwise it would have been even quieter on Graasland.

These are the bookish things I didn’t tell you about yet:

  • I posted a review for The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa, including a small giveaway that was won by Amanda from The Zen Leaf.
  • I finished reading The Rapture by Liz Jensen. W O W what a great read! I was wondering if it could be called a Dystopian novel, but NO. And now I’m not sure if I should disclose what genre it does belong to. I hope to write a post about it soon but to be honest: it is not on top of my list because I had promissed myself to limit myself to challenge book reviews…
  • Also finished reading the last ‘Lynley mystery’ (so far): Careless in Red, by Elizabeth George. I had it on my shelf for exactly a situation like this — being ill. I’ve read all the books in the series in succession. Remember I was disappointed last year when I thought I had another one in my hands but it wasn’t? And now there really is no comfort read standby anymore! :(
  • Of course there are enough other books at hand; and Mr Mailman even brought us some more: Waltz with Bashir graphic novel (the ‘animentary’ was one my two best movies of 2009), Silence by Shusaku Endo (May’s read for the Japanese Literature Book Group), and The Makioka Sisters by Junichirō Tanizaki (JapLit Read-along from July to September). In February-March the bookgroup is reading Dance Dance Dance by Murakami, preceded by A Wild Sheep Chase — which I both recently read so I’ll be buddyreading Murakami’s Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman with Elsjelas instead. His The Wind-up Bird Chronicle is the current read-along and since that was the book that triggered my interest in this author (and Japanese literature?), I can take a break from all the herding ;)
  • A comic book I read is In The Shadow of No Towers by ‘Mr Maus‘, Art Spiegelman. And I wrote a blogpost about my experience with a Dutch classic as a graphic novel: De Avonden. Oh, that was my Sunday Salon of two weeks back ;)

The Pillowbook

Now, about The Pillowbook. It’s a book of observations, musings, poetry etc. recorded by Sei Shōnagon, a Heian court lady to Empress Teishi, during the years 990 – early 1000’s. It is called a pillow book because precious personal possessions like this were stowed away in a cavity of the woodblock (?) that was traditionally used as a pillow. I have tried to find a picture of such a headrest but failed. I’ll keep looking! Or if anyone could oblige??

My experience with the I Am a Cat read-along has taught me to leave the introduction till last, so I don’t know much (more) about the book yet in advance. And I’m a bit reluctant to start because somehow (somewhere) I’ve gotten the idea that it might be dull. Something to find out eh? ;) I’m curious to know whether it will remind me of Genji Monogatari (The Tale of Genji) by Murasaki Shikibu, which is from approx. the same time — or if it’s completely different. I actually only read part of ‘Genji’ and have thought back to it when I read other Japanese books, like Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore.

Sorry, lots of text today for you, little images. For me it’ll be the other way ‘round!

The Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of booklovers on the web, where they blog about bookish things of the past week, visit each others weblogs, oh — and read ;)

Cover StrangersI notice I’m recommending Strangers (Ijintachi to no natsu or 異人たちとの夏) by Taichi Yamada a LOT. Other readers’ feelings are mixed — some love it as much as I do, others find it disappointing. I read it in 2005 and immediately wrote an extremely enthusiastic email to my online bookgroup, the Boekgrrls. For now I am just going to recycle my Dutch review here on Graasland, but I hope to get around to translating it in English sometime! Maybe after I have finished my current read: Be With You by Takuji Ichikawa — which reminds me of Strangers. I don’t know why I’m thinking about Yamada’s book so much these days, I also wrote about it relating to my first ‘Hello Japan!‘ mini mission… I even feel like re-reading Sttrangers, something I really never do.

*** The following text is (mostly) in Dutch but you’ll find some English recommendations by famous authors at the end! ***

Ik heb weer een boek gelezen waarvan ik zeker weet dat hij hoog eindigt in mijn top-10 van dit jaar: Strangers, van Taichi Yamada. Een PRACHTIG boek! Het is mooi geschreven, spannend en ontroerend. Het is me lang niet gebeurd dat ik in de trein bijna zat te huilen…

Het is een slim concept: Hideo Harada, tv-scriptschrijver, verloor op 12-jarige leeftijd zijn ouders maar komt 36 jaar later een stel tegen dat sprekend op hen lijkt — even oud als zijn ouders toen ze verongelukten. Niet alleen is dat intrigerend, spannend (‘wat is hier aan de hand?’) en ontroerend, maar ook een erg aantrekkelijke gedachte voor lezers die zelf geen ouders meer hebben. Toch krijg je nooit het idee dat het een verkooptruc is: het is gewoon een mooi, integer verhaal.

Om jullie een indruk te geven hierbij een citaat over ouderschap:

They were there for me, and though by all appearances they spent the day between my visits busy with their own work and play, it seemed quite possible that all time other than the time they spent with me was for them a void in which neither of them actually existed.

Voor veel kinderen bestaan de ouders niet (meer) wanneer ze uit hun blikveld verdwenen zijn.

Ik wens te geloven dat dit de verhaal de schrijver werkelijk is overkomen :-) Niet voor niks lijkt de achternaam Harada sprekend op die van auteur Yamada en schreef hij verschillende filmscripts. Maar ik zeg ‘wens’, want werkelijk geloven doe ik het natuurlijk niet. De suggestie vind ik daarentegen geweldig. Dat Taichi Yamada verder maar weinig romans schreef draagt aan die illusie bij. Strangers is in ieder geval de enige die in het Engels vertaald is: in 2003, 26 jaar na uitkomen.

In de flaptekst wordt het boek vergeleken met Paul Auster en Haruki Murakami. De vergelijking met Paul Auster komt volgens mij door de vlotte, filmachtige stijl. Het verhaal leest als een trein — een echte pageturner. En dat hebben beide ook gemeen met Murakami; die schrijft (be)vreemde verhalen die je bij de kladden grijpen en meesleuren. Zijn hoofdpersonen zijn bovendien vaak enigszins passieve, geïsoleerde ‘einzelgangers’ die bovennatuurlijke dingen meemaken met onbekenden — strangers.

De titel van het boek, Strangers, slaat volgens mij op het idee dat het niet altijd logisch is wie vreemden en wie bekenden zijn. Het verhaal bevat verschillende aanknopingspunten. Als Hideo op bezoek is geweest bij zijn (vermeende) ouders nodigen ze hem opnieuw uit met de woorden

Don’t be a stranger, now.

En doordat deze vreemden zo op zijn ouders lijken, voelt hij zich geweldig vertrouwd bij hen — zo veilig heeft hij zich sinds zijn kindertijd niet meer gevoeld. Van zijn eigen ouders zou je kunnen zeggen dat ze vreemden zijn omdat ze op zijn twaalfde overleden – en in hoeverre ken je je ouders als kind op die leeftijd? Hideo is vervreemd geraakt van zijn eigen vrouw en zoon, terwijl een collega hem misschien het meest na staat van alle anderen. En dan de buurvrouw uit zijn flatgebouw, Kei: ook een vreemde die in enkele dagen volledig met zijn leven verweven is.

Tja, voor mezelf heb ik nog wat notities gemaakt maar die verklappen wellicht teveel of zijn juist te nietszeggend voor jullie ;-) Het moge duidelijk zijn dat ik dit boek van harte aanbeveel als spannend, lekker-weglezend kwaliteitsvoer of zoiets ;-) Dit boek is een parel! Lof dus ook voor de vertaler: Wayne P. Lammers, want zonder hem had ik er nooit kennis van genomen en het is zijn taal. Nu allemaal naar de boekhandel om Strangers te kopen, zodat Yamada’s roman uit 1992 ook vertaald zal worden! Ik denk dat ik voor het eerst van mijn leven maar eens een bedelbrief aan de uitgever moet schrijven :-)

Groet, Gnoe

PS. Voor wie mij nu nog niet gelooft typ ik hier bij hoge uitzondering nogmaals de aanbevelingen van twee gewaardeerde schrijvers over.

David Mitchell:

Highly recommended. A cerebral and haunting ghost story, which completely wrong-footed me.

Bret Easton Ellis:

An eerie ghost story written with hypnotic clarity: quickly paced, intelligent and haunting with passages of acute psychological insight into the relationship between children and their parents, which is also what makes this fascinating book so moving.

Today’s Booking Through Thursday question is soooo easy I can’t resist replying shortly during my lunch break.

What’s the biggest book you’ve read recently?

We just talked about that while having a Bookcrossing OBCZ maintenance meeting during dinner on Monday (that’s what happens when booklovers meet ;)

  • Think ‘volume’: With No One as Witness, by Elizabeth George (774 pages; it took me 2 weeks).
  • Think ‘fame’: Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh (post upcoming), followed shortly by The Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro (post also upcoming).
  • Think ‘size’: Falling Angels, by Tracey Chevalier (352 pages of hardback; not extraordinarily huge).
  • Think ‘biggest hype’: books by Haruki Murakami — I recently read Dance dance dance and South of the Border, West of the Sun.

Let me guess: next week’s question will be What’s the smallest book you’ve read recently?! Where can I place my bets?

I should be locked in a cabin with just books and NO internet. Or my computer should block all book blogs. What happened? I joined another reading challenge! Like I need one… with those other 3 I already have going on :\

Well, at least Dolce Bellezza’s Japanese Literature Challenge shouldn’t be too difficult for me: I need to read one work of Japanese origin before the end of January 2010. Hey, I can do that, right? I read three in the first half of 2009 and I have several waiting on the shelf anyway! For example:

Butterfly in the Wind (Rei Kimura), in Dutch
Dreaming Water (Gail Tsukiyama)
The Language of Threads (Gail Tsukiyama)
The Street of a Thousand Blossoms (Gail Tsukiyama)
Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World (Haruki Murakami), in Dutch
The Unconsoled (Kazuo Ishiguro)
Nocturnes (Kazuo Ishiguro)

But first I should make sure I finish my current book because it is taking waaaaaaaay too long!

So, thanks a lot to another cookie crumbles who pointed me in the direction of this challenge… Maybe it provides me with a good excuse to join the 24 hours read-a-thon in October as well? ;)

Edited to add: I was thinking… The Pillowbook by Sei Shonagon is not on my bookshelf yet, but it IS on my other challenge lists already. I should make things easy for myself and try to get my hands on a copy!

Ja, ik ben op de helft van mijn huidige boek (What came before he shot her, van Elizabeth George), maar dat is niet waar deze post over gaat. Het is 1 juli! Tijd om kort terug te blikken op de 17,5 boeken die ik in de eerste helft van 2009 las.

agendaBoeken die eruit springen:
The Remains of the Day van Kazuo Ishiguro
Brideshead Revisited van Evelyn Waugh
Dans dans dans van Haruki Murakami
Zo God het wil van Niccolò Ammaniti

Maar nog niets waarvan ik nu al weet dat het zéker in mijn top-3 favorieten van dit jaar terechtkomt. De volledige lijst kun je vinden op mijn Bookcrossing boekenplank. Was ik nou ook maar halverwege met wat ik dit jaar nog moet lezen voor mijn persoonlijke challenge..! :(

Voor de tweede helft van 2009 kijk ik érg uit naar de volgende boeken op mijn Mount TBR:
Revolutionary Road van Richard Yates
Away van Amy Bloom
The Wasted Vigil van Nadeem Aslam
The Mapmaker’s Wife van Robert Whitaker
To Kill a Mocking Bird van Harper Lee (als de Bookcrossing boekenring op tijd binnenkomt)

Wat hebben jullie in het vooruitzicht? En wat las je dat ik, als het even kan, nog dit jaar te pakken moet krijgen?

Booking Through Thursday dares us this week to organize our books in a different way, using titles as a guideline.

Although I wouldn’t actually dream of doing this IRL on my book shelves, it was sure fun being challenged to think about it! So I’ve got 3 title stories to share with you (saving the best for last).

It was hard getting all titles readable in the picture, so I got a little help with the first one ;)

After the quake
The unconsoled
Black dogs
Dance with death
Through the green valley


In the country of men
The romantic
Servant of the bones
Steps
In cold blood
Through the green valley

My favourite:

After dark
Everything is illuminated

This week all book geeks should catch up on their book reviews. If they’re following Weekly Geeks, that is ;) This specific recurring question is how I came to know of Weekly Geeks so I can’t refuse, can I?

Now before I go on, MY QUESTION TO YOU is: which one would you like me to write about? And what question(s) about the book should I answer in my post?

So, here are some of the books that I still need to review…

ammaniti 9789048800452

Crossroads (Zo God het wil / Come Dio Comanda) by Niccolò Ammaniti (2006)

I bought this book because of a very positive review in Simon Mayo’s Book Panel. Great podcast to listen to btw! Crossroads was compared to Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (but said to have more humor), and to movies by the Coen Brothers… I finished it recently during my holiday on Madeira. I’m waiting for Mr Gnoe to read it because I would really like to discuss whether this is a good book or if it will be thought another The Shadow of the Wind in a while…

akkerman 9789046805428

The Native (De inboorling) by Stevo Akkerman (2009)

In 1883 a Colonial Exhibition was held in Amsterdam, and real people from the Dutch colonies were part of it. De inboorling is a novel about a black Dutchman who, at a time when the Rijksmuseum is planning an exhibition in remembrance of the centennial of this event, discovers his great grandfather was one of the people exhibited. An interesting ethical subject for a museum employee like me! I bought this book at Teylers Museum, where an exhibition about exploitation of humans in exhibitions and art fairs just closed (De exotische mens).
scarlett thomas

The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas (2006)

I am really embarrassed that I haven’t reviewed The End of Mr. Y yet, because it was given to my as a RABCK by Rapturina: a Random Act of Bookcrossing Kindness. And I have a personal rule that I always review bookcrossing books that are sent to me, either as book ring, ray or rabck. Also I can’t send this book on the road again until I’ve made a journal entry about it! This novel about books and time traveling was an appropriate read when I had the flu ;)

tenzuidenvdgrens_w

South of the Border, West of the Sun (Ten zuiden van de grens, ten westen van de zon / Kokkyo no minami, Taiyo no nishi) by Haruki Murakami (1998)

Haruki Murakami is one of my few favourite authors. Some fans read all his books in one continuous flow, others (like me) like to take it slow and read a book every once in a while. Savour it, so to say :) South of the Border is my 9th book of this author since I started with The Wind-up Bird Chronicles in 2004 and I read it together with Elsje, who’s a Murakami addict of the other type ;)

BTW Did you know there’s a new Murakami novel coming soon? It’s called 1Q84 and has been for sale in Japan since the end of May. It’s a great succes already. Ha! Another 1000 pages to enjoy soon ;) Erm, soon? It will be published in Holland in 2011…

Anyway, here’s a bonus for all Murakami lovers in suspense of the new novel: 1984 by the Eurythmics on YouTube. Why? Q = kyū= 9 > 1984!

ETA: in the end I reviewed The End of Mr. Y based on your questions!

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