Books & Stories

Hello, I'm Andrew: a human "grown-up" boy. I'm made out of squidgy bits, concepts, daydreams, Lego bricks and other bits and bobs. I'm some things while I'm awake; I'm various other things while I'm asleep. Drawing, guitaring, reading, writing, observing, playing, enjoying and creating are a few of the "ings" that occur within the time and space that is "me".

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

"Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage" by Haruki Murakami

My rating: 5/5

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage felt more like a short story in comparison to the sprawling tomes which make up Haruki Murami’s previous book, 1Q84. This is not to say there is anything lacking in Murakami’s newest novel, in fact I loved both of his two most recent efforts, but I did so for very different reasons. I was completely absorbed in the world of 1Q84, lost in the depths of the mysteries and metaphysical problems faced by the characters. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki on the other hand, while presenting mysteries to keep the reader gripped, is very raw with human emotion and introspective examination. There is deep contemplation presented regarding personal change and development of self. If anything, while I have found every work by Murakami deeply affecting, this newest was probably hardest to stomach. Perhaps it’s just the time of my life, but the themes presented strike me as utterly convincing and truly real. The experience of a novel depends entirely on the state of mind of the reader, and for me, I am in the very midst of examining my own past, and reflecting on my growth. Some of the passages are startlingly similar to entries in my own writing from the past year, but I can only assume I’m just not as original as I would like; I am again reminded that Haruki Murakami is unwavering in his never-ending poignant, accurate reflections on life and state of mind. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki is very short, so short that upon finishing I felt the urge to immediately start the book again. This isn’t to say that I found it unfulfilling, merely that it really isn’t very long; but yet it felt so entirely relevant that I wanted to take another look.

Can’t wait for tomorrow! New Murakami!

Can’t wait for tomorrow! New Murakami!

thelostaddamskid asked: Hi! So I recently started with Vonnegut and I just finished Slaughterhouse five (after Cat's Cradle) and now I'm not sure what to read next. I started with these two because they were the only ones available at my local bookstore, so now I need to go shop for other titles. Can you please recommend which ones to read next?

Sorry for the delay in replying to your question. I bet you’ve already found your next Vonnegut by now. If by chance you haven’t, I can recommend some books by him that I loved, although it’s difficult to know in which order they’d be best read. There’s so much intertextuality in his books that it’s a pleasure to find references, and to be honest it doesn’t really matter which order you read his novels as subtle character mentions emerge all over the place with little regard for chronology. The first book I read by him was Breakfast of Champions, which probably should have been my last, but I still loved it even if I didn’t understand the references. If you’ve read Slaughterhouse Five and Cat’s Cradle I’d recommend Breakfast next, it’s quite down to earth but still hilarious. I personally prefer Vonnegut’s all-out sci-fi stuff over his military themes though, like The Sirens of Titan, which is great but very different to those you’ve read. My favourite novel by him is often overlooked: Galapagos. It’s a truly poignant book with so much depth and originality I’m amazed it isn’t more well known.

The shiny thing in the sky.

The shiny thing in the sky.

If this lady was a goddess, she must’ve been the goddess of smelly, heavy, useless hippies. But he’d come this far. He’d better keep lugging her along.

—Percy Jackson, in “The Son of Neptune” by the hilarious Rick Riordan.

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

I discovered this book at a used book stall today. I must say, what an excellent title.

I discovered this book at a used book stall today. I must say, what an excellent title.

kaipokok asked: Hi :) do you have any good books to recommend me?

Hey! It’s difficult to know what to recommend as everyone has such different tastes, but the last two I read were great. Over the past couple of days I re-read Mockingbird by Walter Tevis - one of my favourite ever books. It’s easy, entertaining, beautiful and I’d recommend it to anyone. Don’t let any sci-fi cover art put you off; there’s so much more to it! Before Mockingbird, I read The Giver, which is really short and simple but very good; it’s currently getting a lot of attention because it has finally been adapted for film. Other than those two, if you’re ready for something a little surreal that will make you think, then read anything by Haruki Murakami. He is probably my favourite author. Kafka on the Shore is my favourite by him. If you pick one of the above, then my safest bet would be: Mockingbird by Walter Tevis. A novel which should be read by everyone; it is a truly amazing book.

Your living arrangements will have to be different from those of most family units, because the books are forbidden to citizens. You and I are the only ones with access to the books.

- The Giver by Lois Lowry

Pretty accurate description of real life too.

"Wait, 484,000 words? Serious?"
"Yep."
"Okay, so why do you need two bookmarks?"
"Well…"

"Wait, 484,000 words? Serious?"

"Yep."

"Okay, so why do you need two bookmarks?"

"Well…"