By: Haruki Murakami
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.
Reading Haruki Murakami’s books have been on my to-do list for quite a number of years now. I had been meaning to but for whatever reason I just kept on putting it off. Even my brother read his books before me so here I am, finally getting around to reading his work now (and borrowing my brother’s copy of this book) =P 1Q84 was his most recent book that everyone was talking about (I actually got it for a good price for my eReader so it’s just sitting there at the moment) but Norwegian Wood is the book that first comes to my mind whenever one mentions Haruki Murakami. Contains some spoilers ahead!
The Solitude of Prime Numbers
By: Paolo Giordano
A prime number is a lonely thing. It can only be divided by itself or by one, and it never truly fits with another. Alice and Mattia are both “primes”-misfits haunted by early tragedies. When the two meet as teenagers, they recognize in each other a kindred, damaged spirit. Years later, a chance encounter reunites them and forces a lifetime of concealed emotion to the surface. But can two prime numbers ever find a way to be together?
And for some reason, I am able to squeeze just one more book & review for 2012! =P I was struggling the other day figuring out what to read next and in the end picked up this book from my pile; it seemed a decent length and the premise was intriguing. Because it was written by an Italian author (a bestseller in Italy, apparently), I’ve also included this with the I Love Italy Reading Challenge I’m participating in. Contains some spoilers ahead!
I Love Italy Reading Challenge 2012 hosted @ Library of Clean Reads
Well, it’s the end of the year (more or less; not planning on blogging much on the 31st sooo…) and it’s time to wrap up this challenge. I signed up at the start of 2012 to the I Love Italy Reading Challenge (my first reading challenge–ever!). This challenge included pretty much any genre of book (including re-reads) as long as the book is set in Italy, is written by an Italian author or is about Italy or an Italian person.
- Ciao Italia: 1 to 3 books.
- Bella Italia: 4 to 6 books.
- Arrivederci Italia: 7 to 9 books
- Sempre Italia: 10 to 12 books.
And these were the books I read this past year for this challenge:
- Christi Phillips’s The Rossetti Letter (set in Italy) — review
- Marina Fiorato’s The Madonna of Almonds (set in Italy) — review
- Daniel Levin’s The Last Ember (set mostly in Italy) — review
- Christopher Duggan’s The Force of Destiny: A History of Italy Since 1796 (Italian history) — review
- Italo Calvino’s Le citta invisibili [Invisible Cities] (Italian author; have this book in Italian too) — review
- Elizabeth Edmondson’s The Villa in Italy (set in Italy) — review
- Sara Poole’s Poison (set in Italy) — review
- Sandra Sabatini’s Dante’s War (set in Italy) — review
- Alessandro Baricco’s Seta [Silk] (Italian author; have this book in Italian too) — commentary
- E.M. Forster’s A Room With a View (set mostly in Italy) — commentary
- Leonardo Sciascia’s The Day of the Owl (set in Sicily, written by an Italian author) — review
- Carlo Emilio Gadda’s That Awful Mess on the Via Merulana (set in Italy, written by an Italian author) — review
- Alessandro Baricco’s Oceano Mare [Ocean Sea] (Italian author; have this book in Italian too) — commentary
- Italo Calvino’s Se una notte d’inverno un viaggiatore [If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller] (Italian author; have this book in Italian too) — review
- Paolo Giordano’s The Solitude of Prime Numbers (set in Italy for the most part, written by an Italian author) — review
14 15 books*
* = Should be
15 16, I also read David Gilmour’s The Pursuit of Italy: A History of its Land, its Regions and Their Peoples back in August but never reviewed it because I was busy writing a few articles so I’m not sure if it should be included in the count or not…
Edit: Just finished reading Paolo Giordano’s The Solitude of Prime Numbers so whoo, 16!
Allora, ho letto
quattrodici quindici libri per questa sfida! Molto buono! =D
If you look at my original list, you’ll notice that there were a few books I never got around to, mainly classics like George Elliot’s Romola and Alessandro Manzoni’s The Betrothed. I will hopefully get around to reading it on my own sometime next year or whatnot but in the meantime, I had a lot of fun doing this challenge this year! I was able to get around to Italo Calvino’s works this year as well as other Italian authors like Leonardo Sciascia, which was pretty awesome. (You can read more of my individual reactions to these novels in each of the reviews)
And that’s a wrap! 🙂
If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller
By: Italo Calvino
You go into a bookshop and buy If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino. You like it. But there is a printer’s error in your copy. You take it back to the shop and get a replacement. But the replacement seems to be a totally different story. You try to track down the original book you were reading but end up with a different narrative again. This remarkable novel leads you through many different books including a detective adventure, a romance,a satire, an erotic story, a diary and a quest. But the hero of them all is you, the reader.
I must’ve had this book since I got back from my exchange two years ago and never gotten around to it. I’ve always felt that I needed to be in a particular mood or it has to be a particular season to read this (see my 10 books to read during the winter list). I’ve read his other notable work, Invisible Cities (review) earlier this year and absolutely loved it so I was definitely looking forward to reading this book.
By: Alessandro Baricco
In Ocean Sea, Alessandro Baricco presents a hypnotizing postmodern fable of human malady–psychological, existential, erotic–and the sea as a means of deliverance. At the Almayer Inn, a remote shoreline hotel, an artist dips his brush in a cup of ocean water to paint a portrait of the sea. A scientist pens love letters to a woman he has yet to meet. An adulteress searches for relief from her proclivity to fall in love. And a sixteen-year-old girl seeks a cure from a mysterious condition which science has failed to remedy. When these people meet, their fates begin to interact as if by design. Enter a mighty tempest and a ghostly mariner with a thirst for vengeance, and the Inn becomes a place where destiny and desire battle for the upper hand.
I actually reviewed this novel four years ago (ohmigosh it’s been four years ago? O_o) and decided to re-read it as part of the I Love Italy Reading Challenge. Contains some spoilers ahead!