So I'm no literary critic (and I'm glad I'm not), but I do know what I like, and coming-of-age stories set in the 1960's probably fit the bill better...moreSo I'm no literary critic (and I'm glad I'm not), but I do know what I like, and coming-of-age stories set in the 1960's probably fit the bill better than any other genre.
Norwegian Wood happens to be the first Haruki Murakami book I've had the pleasure of reading, and I must say, I'm pretty late to the party. I will also say that halfway through, I went ahead and purchased 1Q84, as I was having such a good time and I didn't want the Murakami-fun to stop.
Anyway, back to the book.
Norwegian Wood was an easy read, and I don't know about y'all, but that's how I like my reading most of the time. Murakami did a fantastic job of recreating the 60's setting, particularly by dropping musical odes to many of my favorite musicians (I'm a huge Beatles fan).
I thought the characters were well developed, and each had a very particular role throughout the book. While it would've be nice to see a bit more character development, I suppose in many ways this is a reflection of life. Sometimes people don't change (regardless of how much you would like them to).
I especially enjoyed the contrasting personalities of Naoko and Midori. Again, Murakami did a wonderful job of portraying how different Toru's life was with each girl.
So yes, I gave the book 5 stars, not because it's a literary masterpiece, nor because I will be recommending the book to everyone I meet. No, I gave it 5 stars because it delivered everything I wanted from a leisurely read, and some.
When I was a kid I used to read and re-read the Phantom Tollbooth like it was going out of style.
Flash forward to 2010, and here I am, finally reviewi...moreWhen I was a kid I used to read and re-read the Phantom Tollbooth like it was going out of style.
Flash forward to 2010, and here I am, finally reviewing one of the most precious books of my childhood. I'm sure it's been said once, but I'll say it again, this book is no children's book. Sure, it has many elements of a child's book, and at first glance it may seem as such, but upon re-reading it for the umpteenth time I realized how enjoyable the book can be to anyone. It simply doesn't matter how old you are, it's a great great great book.
The word play made me smile and shake my head countless amounts of times. The sheer simplicity of it contributed to its beauty.
I think it also helps that I relate so closely with Milo, the protagonist. I sometimes have to remind myself of the beauty of the world amidst all the negativity floating around the air.
To me, there will never be a book as touching as The Phantom Tollbooth. Not very many books, if any can do that for me. Cheers Mr. Juster, your writing is a true inspiration! (less)
I loved this book, for many reasons, but mainly because I took it along with me on my recent trip to Paris. In many ways, I was hitting the road much...moreI loved this book, for many reasons, but mainly because I took it along with me on my recent trip to Paris. In many ways, I was hitting the road much like Sal did, though in 2012 as opposed to the 40's.
Things have changed drastically since then, but the overt sense of freedom and detachment that travelling promises from life's long grind still remains.
The brutal honesty of Kerouac is matched only by his ability to paint elegant renditions of life on the road.
There is a reason this book is beloved by many. It's a wonderful journey detailing all that life has to offer, and ultimately, takes away.(less)
I'm the type of person who loves to learn, yet cannot find enough time in the day to actually sit down and well, learn. At least in the traditional se...moreI'm the type of person who loves to learn, yet cannot find enough time in the day to actually sit down and well, learn. At least in the traditional sense.
While I am the proud owner of a plethora of non-fiction books (ranging anywhere from the study of music to Presidential biographies), many of these books remain unfinished. This is not the case with this particular book (and that, in and of itself, garners a 3-star rating by default).
Josh Foer's book is an entertaining romp through his year long journey through the rabbit hole (also known as the U.S. Memory Championships). He skillfully weaves interesting narrative with real, empirical studies that both entertain and enlighten.
I found myself applying a lot of his findings to my own life, and while my memory did not improve significantly, I think the very fact that I am more aware of my mind's capabilities (and functions) is helpful enough.
Foer tends to romanticize the art of memory, and I cannot help but agree with him. While I always instinctively aware that memory and the mastery of (essentially) everything are inextricably linked, it took a thorough reading of Moonwalking to really appreciate that connection. Memory is an art form, and one worth refining (particularly in this wikipedia'd age of collective thought) .
Anyway, I had a fun time reading the book, and that's all I can really ask for.(less)
A very nice short read. I finished it in about 2 days of casual reading.
The books centers around the premise of a young man named Anton who is so inte...moreA very nice short read. I finished it in about 2 days of casual reading.
The books centers around the premise of a young man named Anton who is so intelligent (which is why I relate to it so much, ha!) that it obstructs his ability to live peacefully. Always mindful of everything around him, It's difficult for Anton simply exist.
There are a few "laugh out loud" moments, and it's great for someone looking to just pick something up and go.