Two of my favorite things about reading are the sheer volume of different genres and impressive styles of writing. When it comes to book reviews, however, I’m really picky. Below is my effort to capture little snippets of the following books to entice you to discover them on your own.
The Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage | Haruki Murakami
This was my first time reading Haruki Murakami. Many writers praise him for his style and elements of realism mixed with dream states — and he didn’t disappoint me as I read Colorless Tsukuru. It was a fast read for a pilgrimage of sorts. I’m a sucker for coming of age stories and have come to expect a little beefier of a journey but the way Murakami seamlessly weaved Tsukuru’s youth and adulthood with emotionally intelligent guides really pushed the process along. It was annoying that the meaning of the title was revealed fully in chapters one and four, pulling from the obvious etymology of surnames and a piece of music, but I still gave the book five stars. I also didn’t enjoy the ending but I’m still thinking about the novel days after finishing it, so Murakami succeeded in captivating me — which is all could ask for during the COVID lockdown (which is when I read it).
Dark Matter | Blake Crouch
Are you happy with your life? Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter is a sci-fi thriller, as the kids say, exploring the idea of paths not taken — a concept that originally intrigued me (Do I have any Robert Frost fans?). It was a fast read that kept me guessing until the very end. And then I guess I continued thinking about everything, which is a great way to finish a book. The protagonist, Jason Dessen, is forced to look at a life where he choses a successful career over love. In retrospect, Crouch said in an interview that it was commentary on society’s celebration of workaholics and success. I gave it four stars because the overall story was awesome but the quantum mechanics part was a little hard for me to follow. Yes, I said quantum mechanics … take a read and find out!
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and other stories | Arthur Conan Doyle
I’m a big Sherlock Holmes fan and when I say that I mean I’ve seen all the movies, miniseries and TV shows but I’m embarrassed to say I never read the actual books by Arthur Conan Doyle — until recently. I set out to rectify that detective novel gap, found the best order to read them all, and got started. Among my favorites were A Study in Scarlet, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Sign of the Four and The Hound of the Baskervilles. I gave the entire canon three stars because I personally don’t love short stories and I found Doyle’s style of writing a little difficult to read at times (yawn). Despite my modern brain’s inability to be fully entertained, it’s important to remember that Doyle paved the way for the detective novel trope. So that’s something. Have you read them all?
What have you read lately?