It’s Monday March 2nd. What are you reading?

Hello hello! I know I announced I was on a blogging break, but King’s March is totally happening, which gives me a boost to read and post more. This does not mean I’m fully back on track, but that I’m going to post something occasionally. This meme is meant to show you what I have read during the past week and what I’m reading right now and I wanted to show you that, so let’s go. :)

Right now (and also during last week, because I’m a slow reader when also writing my thesis) I’m reading the Dutch edition of Euphoria by Lily King. I think I’m a cheater for King’s March, because this is a King too, right? ;) The translation came out today, so let’s hope I can finish this in a few days. I’m liking it so far! When I finish reading this one, I’m going to officially start reading for the King’s March event and I think I’ll pick up King’s Misery. I’ve never read it and I have the book on my shelves, so I’m excited for it.

It’s Monday. What are you reading?

Event Announcement & Sign-Up: King’s March 2015!

In February 2014 Rory from Fourth Street Review and I came up with the idea of a month-long Stephen King event. While she is a King expert, I’m a King newbie (but a little less newbie than I was during last year’s event!). So we both have a different perspective on this awesome writer and his work.

This year we decided to host the event again as reading King for a whole month is just awesome.

The Event

We all know Stephen King: it doesn’t matter if you’ve read anything by him or not. He’s most famous for his horror novels, but with this event we want to show you he has so many sides to him (or at least his work has).

We’re inviting you to read and watch anything King-related in the next month. This can be any of his novels or movies that are based on his novels, but also non-fiction work written about King, interviews, anything. You can check out Rory’s blog for Stephen King reviews or explore the King’s books and movies yourself: anything is possible. Just do what you feel comfortable with and let us know how you’re experiencing your King month.

How To Participate

All you have to do to participate in this event is to post about at least one thing King-related. You are free to read as many King books or watch as many King movies as you want, but you can also stick with just one book (some of the books are real chunksters). You can let us know you’re going to participate by signing up with the Mister Linky below, but you can also join in the fun halfway through the month. Every FRIDAY during the event there will be a link-up on both our blogs where you can share your reviews, info posts and any other King-related posts.

You can already put up a post on your blog announcing that you’re going to participate and reflecting on which books you’d like to read. If you do so, please use the event button in the post or in your sidebar and link back to Rory’s blog and mine. You can also let us know you’ve put up a post by leaving a comment. Want to join in the fun on Twitter? Just add the hashtag #kingsmarch to your tweet, so we can interact.

Giveaways

To make this event even more fun, everyone who’s participating in this event will get an entry for winning a book by Stephen King. If you write one post during the event, you get one entry; if you write five, you get five entries. Just make sure you link up this post in one of the weekly link-ups. I’ll host a giveaway on my blog and Rory will do the same for hers. We’ll both be using the same linkups, so you don’t have to enter at both our blogs. More details will be announced at the beginning of the event.

I hope you’ll all join in the fun and spread the word about Stephen King and this event!

[blogging break]

Dear readers,
As you might have noticed it’s been really really quiet around here. And there’s only one reason for that: so much work to do! I’ve started writing my masters thesis and that’s why I’ve decided to set my priorities straight. And book blogging is, unfortunately, not one of them right now.

I don’t want to feel like I háve to write blogposts, so I’ve decided to take a break. That doesn’t mean I won’t post anything, but it means I’m not going to post on a regular basis for a while. My thesis has to be finished by April 7th, but I’ll start my internship at April 20th, so let’s hope that I’ll have more time to talk bookish things by then.

In the meanwhile I can still talk to you on Twitter and I’ll definitely post some bookreviews every now and then. So I won’t be completely gone, just a bit absent. ;)

Review: Hear the wind sing / Pinball, 1973 by Haruki Murakami

Author: Haruki Murakami
Title: Hear the wind sing / Pinball, 1973
Series: The Trilogy of the Rat #1-#2
Genre: General fiction
Publisher: Kodansha
Publishing Date: 1979
Pages: 282
Source: Dutch publisher

bolthebookdepository

Hear the Wind Sing is the first novel by Haruki Murakami; it first appeared in the June 1979 issue of Gunzo, one of the most influential literary magazines in Japan. It’s the first book in the Trilogy of the Rat. Pinball, 1973 is the second book in this trilogy. The plot centers on the narrator’s brief but intense obsession with pinball, his life as a freelance translator, and his later efforts to reunite with the old pinball machine that he used to play. He describes living with a pair of identical unnamed female twins, who mysteriously appear in his apartment one morning, and disappear at the end of the book. Interspersed with the narrative are his memories of the Japanese student movement, and of his old girlfriend Naoko, who hanged herself, like the character of the same name in Murakami’s later novel Norwegian Wood. The plot alternates between describing the life of narrator and that of his friend, The Rat.

So, you’re into Haruki Murakami’s novels? Then you should definitely read these ones. Hear the wind sing and Pinball, 1973 are Murakami’s first two novels, which had been published in Japanese magazines only. Now that this Japanese writer has become a writer of bestsellers, his first works have also been translated into English. The Dutch version is out today, for the first time, so that’s why I’ve read it only now. The Book Depository tells me a hardcover edition of the two stories is on its way to the English-speaking public and will be out in August 2015, but correct me if I’m wrong. ;)

So, about the stories. They’re actually not that special if you’re looking for thrills, action or perfect prose. As he says in the first sentece: “Perfect prose doesn’t exist, and neither does perfect desperation“. But.. if you’re a Murakami fan, I think this is the perfect book for you. I haven’t read that much of him, only parts of books, but these two novels definitely announce the beginning of his writing career, both figuratively and literally. While you can feel he’s searching for the right way to write a novel, you can also see his writing style developing while writing. This is most visible when you switch from the first book to the second. Pinball, 1973 is much more surreal than Hear the wind sing and the way he writes becomes much more his own way.

While these books are not the most amazing books I’ve ever read, I can definitely see the potential Murakami had when he started writing his first novels. And these novels make me want to read more by him. 1Q84 is already sitting on my shelves (though it’s such a daunting amount of pages!), so I’m hoping I can get to that one soon. Have you read books by Murakami? I’m curious about what you think and which ones you recommend.