You are My Moon in My Night

1Q84
Haruki Murakami. trans. Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel
Vintage
2011

1Q84At the great risk of sounding insufferably pretentious, I am a fan of Haruki Murakami. I first received Kafka on the Shore for Christmas in 2005, when I had just recently returned from my first trip to Japan as part of a high school study tour. My mind thoroughly blown, I searched for other Murakami books and have enjoyed most of them. It must be confessed, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle sits half finished on my shelf. But I loved A Wild Sheep Chase and Dance, Dance, Dance and Sputnik Sweetheart. And I read Norwegian Wood at precisely the right time of my life, in my early 20s and on holiday. Though it remains one of my favourite books, I’m afraid to reread it and lose the magic of that first emotional sweep. So with all that said, of course I wanted to melt similarly into 1Q84 in all its expected weirdness, letting the musical references sail over my head like I usually do.

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Never Judge a Book by its Cover, Literal vs Philosophical Applications

A YEAR OF MARVELLOUS WAYS
Sarah Winman
Hachette Australia/Tinder Press, RRP $29.99
July 2015

Winman

 

Never judge a book by its cover.

Ok, that is both a useful and true statement in many ways but, to be perfectly frank, I love an appealing book cover and I really don’t care if that makes me seem shallow. Many a time I have run my eye over a shelf, or table, or pile of books, and it has come to rest on a particularly interesting book cover—be it the colour, the font, or the image—and this has been the introduction to another joyful reading adventure. And this visual shallowness is how I came to get my hands on a copy of Sarah Winman’s new novel, A Year of Marvellous Ways. The blue page-ends, and then the cover image caught my eye, and that was that. Continue reading

The Magi Can Go Home Too, Everyone Can Go Home

ThisHouseIsNotForSale_smTHIS HOUSE IS NOT FOR SALE
E.C. Osondu
Granta, June 2015, RRP $29.99

E.C. Osondu second story collection, This House is Not For Sale is a collection of short stories surrounding the residents of the Family House.  It is a slim volume that packs a punch, provoking thoughts about the nature of truth and story.  Characters and events take on a mythic quality as they are related by the unnamed, unidentified narrator.

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Writers Never Show Their Teeth

THE STORY OF MY TEETH
Valeria Luiselli, translated by Christina MacSweeney
Granta, $24.99
April 2015

Story of my teeth

Firstly, if clowns and questionable dentistry are not your thing I am just going to warn you that there is a scene in Valeria Luiselli’s The Story of My Teeth containing both creepy clowns and discussion of teeth and dentistry—enough so that you will be falling asleep with your mouth firmly closed and keeping one eye on all large projection screens in the near future. However, do not let that put you off entering the world of Gustavo ‘Highway’ Sánchez, main narrator of The Story of My Teeth and self-proclaimed best auctioneer in the world, who on the first page announces that he wishes to tell the story of his teeth. This tale is also Highway’s life story–and not just for the fact that teeth generally being in one’s mouth throughout one’s life imply that the teeth and the owner of the mouth have the same story.

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      TRUTH Temple, Peter (Text publishing: Australia, 2009, ISBN 9781921520716) Peter Temple’s Truth reads like an Australian television miniseries. You can even see where they would show the tits. The novel’s beauty comes from the vividness of its writing. We leave it with afterimages of “sharp-toothed skulls” and “beer cartons blown flat against … Continue reading