The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami
Turns out the guy who recommended Murakami for Book Club was right – Norwegian Wood is much better than Sputnik Sweetheart (thank goodness), and my review of it will be up soon. I’ve already been recommended another one by him, in fact – The Wind-up Bird Chronicle. A reasonably hefty book, I don’t think I can even try to explain it – and apparently that’s beside the point, anyway. Better not to question it and simply be carried away by Murakami’s brand of magical realism. Oh, how I love magical realism.
River of Smoke, by Amitav Ghosh
This author has the most beautiful covers on his books! Looking at this reminds me a little of The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet cover, which is not so surprising, considering both stories are set in Asia and involve sea voyages! An historical epic novel about the opium trade that is the second in the Ibis Trilogy (Sea of Poppies being the first). It all sounds incredibly glamorous, shipping and exchanging tea and silks from all sorts of exotic places. I don’t know much about the opium trade part of history, but I’m looking forward to learning.
American Tabloid, by James EllroyWhat on earth am I doing reading a crime novel, I hear you ask. I don’t quite know, exactly. I’ve just been told it’s a great way to nosedive into the crime genre, and I wouldn’t mind the chance to be more well-rounded in my reading. American Tabloid is a gritty, ruthless account of the glory days of America – the reign of John F. Kennedy leading up to his assassination in 1963, complete with a myriad of mob killings, extra-marital relations and underground conspiracies. Sounds delicious, don’t you think?
An Instance of the Fingerpost has often been compared to Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose.. Since I haven’t read either, I am not sure the comparison makes much of a difference to me, except I know I’m meant to be impressed. Set in the 1600s, a man dies under suspicious circumstances and the story turns into something of a whodunit, involving four unusual characters who each identify their version of the events. Yet only one will reveal the strange truth. Ooooh, mysterious.
Have you read, or are you planning to read, any of the above books?