Tag Archives: 1Q84

1Q84

Thoughts  1Q84 by Haruki Murakami – translated from the Japanese by Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel, Alfred A Knopf 2011, 925 pages.

I was reading this as part of a readalong last January. I think I am the only one to have finished it.

In mid-February, I posted about completing Book Two and though curious how it would end for Tengo and GreenPeas, I was doubtful that I would ever return to it.

But I did!  Blame it all on being curious about it and knowing I had invested so much time on it already AND so many of you liked it …   I am most proud of myself for completing a chunkster. In fact, it gave me the courage to tackle King’s 11/22/63 (review of that coming soon.)

But back to 1Q84… Perhaps I was in a bad mood for this. Or maybe it was too long? or it’s possible that Murakami and I just are not meant to get along.

I was bored most of the book. I was annoyed that the loose ends never tied up. I was only ‘hohum’ about the ending. And despite you all telling me that ____(insert another HM title)____ is awesome and I really should try to read ____(something else by HM)______, I don’t think I ever will.

There are just too many books in the world I want to read and I am a tiny bit upset that I wasted my time on this one.

At least I can say, “I read 1Q84.”

Two slices of moon pie.   (Again, two stars in goodreads.com means ‘it was OK.’ NOT that it stunk. You might love it – many people have.)

Sam Still Reading loved it. So did Ti of Book Chatter. Check here for other book blogger reviews courtesy of Fyrefly’s Search.

HIdeinWhitetoSkipLine

Copyright © 2007-2012. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Book Two: 1Q84

Discussion of Book Two of 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (page 310-594 in hardcover edition.)

I’m not getting into answering any of the questions from my Book One post. I am not giving a status update on where Green Peas and Tengo are now. I’ll just give a brief reaction without spoilers.

I could easily walk away from this book. Here I am just about 600 pages in — only 300+ to go, and I have had over a week away from it.

Will I finish?! Yes. I’m curious. Mildly curious.

Some books come along and you read them and it really doesn’t matter if you *liked* it or not. Just one of those books you are glad you read, just so you can (show off and) say, “Yea, I read that.”  No argument, maybe some discussion, but just glad to be in on the *know*.

Will I change my current rating of three stars to four? Will be so excited to say I read all those pages and then give it a higher rating or will it all come together and I will find it awesome in spite of the accomplishment?

I really do not like chunksters…

I honestly think I could forego finishing and still be satisfied with my imagined ending of Aomame and Tengo finding each other and living happily ever after.

If I don’t get this thing done by March 1, when I begin a readalong of Cloud Atlas, 1Q84 may end up DNF.

I feel like a contrarian.

Any questions?

HIdeinWhitetoSkipLine

Copyright © 2007-2012. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Saturday Stuff 02.04.12

My husband is obsessed with soup. Every Super Bowl, he makes soup to represent the the teams (or cities) of the Super Bowl to have our own SOUPer Bowl.  This year it is a no brainer; at least for our Patriots:  New England Clam Chowder. But what to do for the NY Giants?!

He’s got cookbooks spread out all over the kitchen. He has print outs of recipes he’s found on the internet. He’s considered Manhattan Clam Chowder (I say, too many clams!) or Matzo Ball (my vote because I’ve never had it) or White Corn with Pork (can’t remember why that qualifies) or a Red Bean White Bean with Blue Corn Chips (colorful). We have to decide VERY SOON because we only have today to go to the grocery store to get all this done.

In the meantime, I have wonderful news to share and some photos as well!  I completed Book Two of 1Q84! Yippee!! Which means that I can take a break. I’m treating 1Q84 like a trilogy and pretending I have to wait for the third installment to be released. I do have to wait until my readalongers catch up anyway. Expect a Book Two post sometime next week.

I have already jumped a few pages into Model Home by Eric Puchner. A book club selection; discussion will be February 22.

I get to go on a trip this month!  Woot. I do enjoy travel. Not to anywhere particularly BEACHY or SUNSHINY-WARM but that’s OK. Hopefully, some culinary adventures await.

Regarding “February is Letter Month“, all is going well. But then, I’m planning on doing this all year long and I’m still excited about it AND I have been rather organized. I have a ton of envelopes pre-addressed which makes it go VERY FAST. Grab and write and mail. Done. Plus, I’m trying to send February birthday cards and Valentine’s cards so ALL GOOD. Here’s is a photo essay of where I do my letter-writing magic:

The SPOT. I bought this desk for $15. Great find, huh?
Every shelf has a purpose...
My letter writing CAMPAIGN box
Cards for any occasion
The Birthday Box
The Postcard Box
The Miscellaneous Envelope Drawer (poor things)

I also make my own envelopes out of cool paper, sometimes.

The 'Just Paper' Drawer

Finally, here’s a pic of the pups. I have since draped a quilt over the entire sofa so they won’t get dirt and dog hair all over it. The one in the foreground on the blue blanket is Esther. Oscar is probably looking at the fire (as he thinks, “Crap, Mom’s got the camera out again.”)

Gots to go work on my Super Bowl dessert – nope, not pie. I’m making a Patriot Swoosh Fruit Pizza!  Sure, I’ll take some pics. 😉

GO PATS!  GO GRONK!  GO WELKER!  GO BRADY!!   

Happy Weekend Everyone!

HIdeinWhitetoSkipLine

Copyright © 2007-2012. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Monday Mailbox 1.30.12

Alyce of At Home With Books is our host this month of the official Mailbox Monday.

   I received the following books in my mailbox:

Lottery by Patricia Wood, a book that Nancy the BookFool gave high marks and an insistent recommendation. I got this at the same time I ordered the Creative Labs mp3 Player that I have already sent back. I am keeping the book. I also ordered

Hearts and Minds by Rosy Thornton because it has been on my want list for years. It hasn’t arrived yet.

The book I should have ordered, meant to order and forgot was this one:

Muscular Retraining for Pain-Free Living by Craig Williamson because my lower back has been out-of-whack and I want to do more strength training.  My PT guy has actually told me that yoga is NOT a good idea right now until my core gets stronger. A massage therapist recommended the book. I have yet to ask PT guy about it.  (PT Guy is very no-nonsense and I’m not sure he has a sense of humor. I have not done much small-talk with him.) Of course, this kind of book isn’t really a read-and-check-off-list but more reference, like a cookbook, wouldn’t you agree?

French Leave by Anna Gavalda, translated from French by Alison Anderson, published by Europa Editions!  Y’all know that I don’t like to read the book blurbs but I did glimpse that it is about family dynamics and is ‘light-hearted, tender and funny’.  I’m looking forward to this.

Take the Cannoli:  Stories from the New World by Sarah Vowell.  Thanks much to Softdrink for sending this AND the one above. I’ve already read the first story but will put it aside until I get to a few of my must reads and this slogger:

HIdeinWhitetoSkipLineI’m on page 454 which is 8 pages away from the mid-point. THE MID-POINT! (read with tone of frustration if you care to.) Tengo has been thinking: “Though not yet entirely confident, he had a kind of presentiment that he might be able to live a somewhat more coherent life than he had so far.”  (I’m a bit baffled; he seemed pretty satisfied with his ‘life so far’.) I tell ya, I don’t know if I’m going to make it. My curiosity is waning knowing how many pages it is going to take to get to a conclusion. I also don’t think Book Two is as well translated (and that has been questioned by others!) than Book One. Bad Omen:  I have read the last page! Uh oh. I did this after about the 20th time of checking how many darn pages are in this thing. I should have purchased the eBook version. And the Twitter chatter from my readalongers has been nonexistent. Where are you, my readalongers?! I have too many books impatiently awaiting my attention. I don’t think Ti would want me to quit but I’m getting bored…

Because look what my friend Holly loaned me.

 Angels and Insects by A.S.Byatt.  Not quite into my mailbox but rather into my hands, but she insists I read so we can discuss. AND it qualifies very nicely for the creepy-crawly category of What’s in a Name 5.  (I know I suggested a readalong of Victor Pelevin’s A Life of Insects (it’s on the 1001 Books list) but I think I might have to postpone (if ever). Sorry to disappoint…)

I have Byatt on my must-get-to author list for 2012 and although I know I said I would try Possession next, methinks this is the better choice right now.

What books did YOU get in your mailbox lately?
Have a Terrific Week!  Happy End of January!!

oh wait. I forgot one…   ZERO: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife, a book I first learned about on a link at Citizen Reader’s and for some crazy reason, put on hold at the library and even more crazily, picked up and now possess and HOPE to read before it is due February 22.  I have also put on hold — on second thought, since I don’t yet have that book, I will wait and maybe do this mailbox post again next week.

H

Copyright © 2007-2012. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Tuesday Topical █ January 24, 2012

Another Tuesday, another random post of randomness.

I am a few pages in to 1Q84 Book Two.

Yesterday was International Pie Day but I didn’t make a pie. Shocker?! I just wasn’t feelin’ it. And I have almost a full 9×13 pan of cheesecake sopapillas sitting in the fridge. This delectable dessert is made of 2 blocks of cream cheese, a stick of butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar and 2 packages of crescent rolls. I really don’t want to be the only person in the house eating that AND a pie.

I’ll make a pie on PI DAY, March 14.  (I hope anyway.)

Now for the whining.

Last week, under fabulous advice from some of my Tweet-Friends who love audio books, I was inspired to purchase a Creative Labs ZEN Mosaic EZ100.  I bought the refurbished one advertised for about half off the *NEW* retail price which unfortunately means that I don’t have any guide books included and I can’t find any serial or models numbers so I am having difficulty with registering the product and getting into the website. I know I’m whining and frustrated and good things do not come of poor attitudes like the one I’m exhibiting but I don’t know quite what to do. I’m tempted to take the thing down to BestBuy under the guise of buying a charger but hoping I can get a live person to show me which buttons to push to make the thing work.

Let me back up a day or two further… I had on my New Year’s Goals to FIND my husband’s MP3 player so that I can make my wish of listening to books come true and I did!  I found it!  It’s a SONY and more than a few years old.

So, I followed the enticing ads to subscribe to Audible.com and get my free book. I selected BossyPants by Tina Fey.

And being stupid and assuming that all mp3 players play audio books, I plugged the thing in and attempted to move my new audiobook to my player. NOPE. Incompatible. Sony doesn’t like to play with others. So now I have a book I can’t listen to unless I play it on my Mac which totally defeats what I want to do which is walk the dogs or mow the lawn.

That’s when I went on to Twitter to seek advice.

Thus the *new* mp3 player from Creative. I got it to charge. YAY. That worked fine. I dropped/dragged BossyPants to it. YAY. I see it! It’s there! I work the menu to select and hit play.

Nothing.

It says NOW PLAYING in the upper right hand corner. It shows a progress bar across the bottom. It even has the scary pic of Tina with the big hands in the background. Nothin’. Rather than a green arrow, I see an orange square. And that’s it. I don’t know what else to do.

I downloaded the Guide book from the website but I don’t think they had a Mac option – it’s just garbled mess.  [FIRST CLUE? or do I need a shovel slammed to my head.]

I am waiting for an email from Creative but it took so long for it to be accepted without serial and model numbers in the form that I don’t know what canned “we-can’t-help-you-without-proper-documentation’ response I might get.

Do you know anyone with a ZEN Mozaic EZ100?  or do I just find a middle school kid and have them figure it out?  Help?

oh hell. I give up. Just going to send it back and buy an iPod.  I just saw in the Forums that   the Zen and Macs don’t play well together.  Why did I assume that this should be easy?

Book One: 1Q84

  Discussion of Book One of 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (to page 309 in hardcover edition.)

The PLAYERS:

We have met Aomame and Tengo, our two main protagonists.  Aomame is a martial arts instructor and physical education trainer with aptitudes for massage, acupuncture and quietly killing wealthy men who beat their wives. Tengo is a writer.

Our secondary characters for the Aomame storyline are the dowager and her body guard, the cop and prowling buddy Ayumi, and her deceased friend who still occupies a lot of Aomame’s thoughts.  For Tengo, we have Komatsu his editor, Fuka-Eri the original writer of the Air Chrysalis novel, her caretaker the Professor and Tengo’s lover lady who is extremely jealous.

WHAT’s HAPPENED SO FAR?

We meet Aomame as she gets stuck in traffic riding in a too-nice taxi that first sets her on the idea that something might not be right about the world but it was the cops carrying guns who really clue her in to oddities.  When she starts finding out about events in the past she knows nothing about but should and sees two moons, she calls this new odd reality 1Q84. She is introduced to a 10 year old girl who appears to have been horribly abused, possibly by a religious secret farming cult.

Tengo gets involved with a re-write ‘enhancement’ of a fantastical story written by a 17 year old girl named Fuka-Eri who says the story is actually true. Tengo is uncomfortable with the ethics question of his involvement, especially when it wins a literary award and becomes a best-seller.  He also feels strangely empowered by the writing challenge and finally begins writing his own work.

Fuka-Eri has history with that religious farming cult having ‘escaped’ — we assume, since she hasn’t really talked about it — 10 years prior. She knows of the Little People, in fact what little we know about Air Chrysalis, they are important. The little girl is unknowingly harboring a few of these Little People and it’s all getting quite strange. I was sad that the dog was killed.

I still haven’t figured out if only Aomame sees two moons or how many moons Tengo or anyone sees in the sky.  The Air Chrysalis story features two moons.

And I suspect the Professor has motives we haven’t yet explored – who is he really?  And Tengo’s lover’s jealousy bothers me. But then, if she feels arrogant enough to keep her husband AND take on a lover, I suppose she feels entitled to have it all her way.

Let’s DISCUSS:

Questions lifted and modified and inspired from LITLOVERS – an online book lovers community:

Q1 – The taxi driver in Chapter 1 warns Aomame that things are not what they seem, but he also tells her: “Don’t let appearances fool you. There’s always only one reality” (p. 9). Does this statement hold true throughout the novel? Is there only one reality, despite what appears to be a second reality that Aomame and Tengo enter?

I’m actually not sure if another reality is being woven into the TRUE reality or why only Aomame doesn’t know about the gun battle that happened a few years prior.

Q2 – Aomame tells Ayumi: “We think we’re choosing things for ourselves, but in fact we may not be choosing anything. It could be that everything’s decided in advance and we pretend we’re making choices. Free will may be an illusion” (p. 192). Do the events in the novel seem fated or do the characters have free will?

Great question.  Hurts my brain to ponder free will versus destiny.

Q3 – The dowager insists, and Aomame agrees, that the killing they do is completely justified, that the men whom they kill deserve to die, that the legal system can’t touch them, and that more women will be victims if these men aren’t stopped. Is it true that Aomame and the dowager have done nothing wrong? Or are they simply rationalizing their anger and the desire for vengeance that arises from their own personal histories?

The bastards had it comin’.

Q4 – Tengo realizes that rewriting Air Chrysalis is highly unethical and that Komatsu is asking him to participate in a scam that will very likely cause them both a great deal of trouble. Why does he agree to do it?

I’m not a literature student and I do get perturbed by plagiarism but I don’t quite get this as being HIGHLY unethical; or is ethical black and white, yes or no.  I have to ask how – and maybe it aint true? how people can have ghost writers or be a big name and have other people write stories for them which is what I’ve heard Patterson does.

Q5 – How does rewriting Air Chrysalis change Tengo as a writer? How does it affect the course of his life?

Duh, yea. Tengo wouldn’t have met Fuka-Eri and you know somehow he is going to rescue her – he is in deep bat shit trouble with her already, emotionally and likely physically.  As long as he doesn’t crawl in to a deep dry well of total darkness to do some thinking, I’m ok with it.

and my top-of-the-head questions:

Does anyone else call Aomame ‘Green Peas’ when they read her name?   (I do.)

Do you like the back and forth chapters between Aomame and Tengo?  When do you think they will meet?  Will Tengo remember her?   Did you figure out earlier than the reveal that Aomame was the classmate of Tengo’s who held his hand when they were 10?

Does Tengo remind you of the guy in Wind-up Bird?   (YES. Somewhat passive? keeps to himself.)

Did you have an uh-oh moment when you realized you don’t quite recall the plot of 1984 and might want to before reading on but then Tengo conveniently gives a quick little recap and you feel better about not remembering that book you probably read 30 years ago?  Yea, me too.

Would you nominate HM for bad-sex-writing?  Read all about that here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/nov/25/haruki-murakami-bad-sex-award
But don’t read too far!  I have already had major plot points spoiled (not that I shouldn’t have seen ’em coming.)

On a scale of SMOOTH & SEAMLESS to BUMPY & JARRING, where would you put this translation?

It does seem a bit quirky-not-good in a few parts but overall, I haven’t really noticed anything too odd.  Maybe I’m not paying enough attention or because I’ve read an HM translated by this guy already, I’m used to it?

HIdeinWhitetoSkipLine

Copyright © 2007-2012. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Hashtag #1Q84

We are starting an extremely informal readalong of Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 this month and be ‘we’, I mean, me along with Maree of Just Add Books and Kailana at The Written World.

and VASILLY!

And when I say INFORMAL, I mean that we don’t have much more of a plan than to chat it up on TWITTER using hashtag #1Q84.  Since Maree is on the other side of the world and I always have to consult exactly what time it is for her (I usually end up googling “what time is it right now in New Zealand” and this is what link I get:   http://www.worldtimeserver.com/current_time_in_NZ.aspx – it tells me it is 1:30 am to my Eastern US time of 7:30 am)

WAIT!  Unless Maree is a night owl, this plan may not work well.  I was thinking we would check in on Wednesday Nights into Thursday Mornings…

Well, we’ll just see how it goes.  Twitter can accommodate spontaneous conversations.

Otherwise, my plan is to have posts every so often with updates. Emails are likely; goodreads.com is a certainty.

UPDATE #1:  I opened the book last night and read two chapters, putting me on page 28.  I have a few wait-around errands today so I might get a few more pages.  I’m reading the hardback print version.

Carry on, Happy January!

HIdeinWhitetoSkipLine

Copyright © 2007-2012. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.