2021 Reading Challenge discussion

1Q84 (1Q84 #1-3)
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message 1: by Ilona, Welcome Committee (last edited May 01, 2019 06:29AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ilona | 3740 comments This thread is to discuss 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami.

Pages: 925 pages

Length: 3 Months

Participants: Barbara, Catherine, Cake_bomb, Cheryl, Fatima, Ice, Ilona, Kristin MB, Lindsay, Marc, Nicole, oshizu, Suki, Trisha

Everyone reads at their own pace during a Buddy Read. Because participants can be at different parts of the book at different times, it is extremely important to mark spoilers so that the book is not ruined for someone who is not as far along as others!

Mark spoilers by placing {spoiler} before the text and {/spoiler} after the text but use the < and > instead of the { and }.


Happy Buddy Reading!


message 2: by Catherine (new) - added it

Catherine | 583 comments I'm also pretty excited to start this one! I'm going to end up starting it probably closer to April 7th because work just got super busy so I'm behind on what I was expecting for A Song of Ice and Fire #2 which I want to finish before starting this one, since they're both massive books.


message 3: by Ilona, Welcome Committee (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ilona | 3740 comments I started reading a couple of days ago, but only read two chapters so far. I plan to read Book I in April, II in May, III in June, but that depends on how it goes. If it turns out to be a pageturner, I might read the whole trilogy this month. :)

Have any of you read more books of Murakami? I have only read Kafka on the Shore so far, which I really liked.


message 4: by Ice (last edited Apr 01, 2019 04:04AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ice M. | 72 comments I've also had this book for the longest time and been putting off reading it. This buddy read is just the motivation I didn't know I needed. The copy I have is just the one book with all three books included, which I plan to finish by June. I like the idea of doing book 1 in April, 2 in May, and 3 in June. It makes it less intimidating.

I am also currently reading Murakami's memoir, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. I have not had the chance to read his other works, but I am open to recommendations. :)


message 5: by Catherine (new) - added it

Catherine | 583 comments I haven't read any of Murakami's books before so I'm just jumping right in with this one. I love the idea of splitting it out over the three months but I think I'm going to try to finish it sooner than that because I have the next Song of Ice and Fire to read after it and I'd to get some of my smaller books out of the way in between the two Goliath books, haha.

Does anyone recommend reading Murakami's other books?


Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods* (marcthedarc) | 600 comments Ilona wrote: "I started reading a couple of days ago..."

Cheater! haha

Catherine wrote: "Does anyone recommend reading Murakami's other books? "

I recommend The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I found it fascinating, have no idea what it was about but loved it.

It may take me a week or two to start reading 1Q84 (which I always had trouble searching for until I figured out that it starts with "one" and not the letter "I") but once I do I will probably read it straight through.


message 7: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 1311 comments I think I plan to read and listen to a book each month. I have the audiobook but it is over 46 hours worth so I will alternate reading and listening. I have previously read Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage which I really enjoyed but was pretty odd!


message 8: by oshizu, Challenges (last edited Apr 16, 2019 03:29PM) (new)

oshizu | 4879 comments Hello, fellow buddy readers! I've also owned this book for a while.
I've read most of Murakami's works, not not his latest (1Q84, Colorless, Commendatore).
He's not my favorite Japanese author, but I LOVE Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World which I've read 3 times (once in Japanese).

My Kindle edition is a single "book" in three parts, so I'll hopefully be reading a book a month. Erm, I'm in a bit of a slump lately. :/


Nicole Lim | 10 comments Hello Everyone!

This is going to be my first buddy read ever, so I'm really excited to be reading with all of you and to hear your thoughts! (:

I've just got myself a copy of the book last weekend, so I'm planning to start as soon as I can! The copy I've got encompasses all three parts in one which is great as well. I was planning to read each section each month, unless I get way too engrossed, in which i'll probably finish it by mid next month.

I've definitely read most of Murakami's previous books a long time ago, but I definitely think there are better Japanese authors out there. A couple of my favorites from his repertoire is probably Kafka on the Shore, and Dance Dance Dance. I've also got myself a copy of Men Without Women which is currently on my TBR shelf. I think this is actually a good opportunity to revisit his works, especially his later ones.

I Am a Cat is also another great read by a Japanese author besides Murakami!

Happy reading everyone! (:


message 10: by Cake_bomb (new)

Cake_bomb I'd really like to join you here!

I already read what is book 1 and 2 in Japan, as they are combined to one in German. But I want to re-read it anyway before I start the third book that I have already at home.



So far, my favorite works of him were "Kafka on Shore", "Strange Library" and "On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl on One Beautiful April Morning". The latter is a collection of short stories, I guess that is also a good start to get into hsi work and see whether one likes it.
Personally "The Wind-up Bird Chronicle" was not my favorite. Still a very good book, but I like others more.


message 11: by Catherine (new) - added it

Catherine | 583 comments Wow, sounds like everyone is already well-versed with Murakami's work. If I end up liking this one, I'll have to read the other works you've all recommended. Thanks!


Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods* (marcthedarc) | 600 comments I imagine that 1Q84 would be a foreboding tome to commit to if you didn't have some sense of what you were getting into with Murakami's work. Good on you, Catherine, for taking the plunge!


message 13: by Trisha, Buddy Reads (new) - rated it 2 stars

Trisha (trishabisen) | 1958 comments Hey all, I plan to start reading this book by mid April since I’m already reading 3 books at the moment (no idea why) which I intend to finish in these 2 weeks. I have read After Dark which was a really short read and liked it. Murakami’s works are deep and deserve more than just reading.

Also, I feel splitting the parts month-wise sounds like a great plan and would give us enough time to ponder over the book and absorb it. Besides, we can squeeze in other books in between hopefully.

Happy reading all!


message 14: by Ilona, Welcome Committee (last edited Apr 06, 2019 04:39AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ilona | 3740 comments It is so great that all of you are participating in this buddy read :) Funny how most of us are familiar with his work, but we all read different books. I definitely have a lot to add to my tbr list!

I have currently read the first 14 chapters of 1Q84 and am enjoying it very much. The two main characters are very different people yet have a lot of similarities, and I love how we slowly get to find out how they may be connected. (view spoiler)


message 15: by Catherine (new) - added it

Catherine | 583 comments Ilona wrote: "It is so great that all of you are participating in this buddy read :) Funny how most of us are familiar with his work, but we all read different books. I definitely have a lot to add to my tbr lis..."

Wow, so far in already! I'll be honest, I haven't even started the book and instead picked up a completely different book to finish while I'm finishing the second GOT book. I'm having a hard time getting myself motivated for this one.


message 16: by Ilona, Welcome Committee (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ilona | 3740 comments Well, it is the only one I am reading at the moment, and I want to finish Book I before starting my other scheduled reads for this month.
I get that it's daunting to start this one if you are already reading a massive book, but 1Q84 is much easier to read than A Clash of Kings in my opinion.


message 17: by Cake_bomb (new)

Cake_bomb I‘m doing both Buddy Reads atm, GoT and this one. I‘d agree that 1Q84 is an easier read. You do not have a gazillion characters and the story line is not as tangeled up with less cross-references.

Weil, let‘s see whether I‘ll manage to read both in time😅


Nicole Lim | 10 comments Ilona wrote: "It is so great that all of you are participating in this buddy read :) Funny how most of us are familiar with his work, but we all read different books. I definitely have a lot to add to my tbr lis..."

Yes! I'm definitely really enjoying this book far more than I expected. I'm only at Chapter 10 but I have so many questions unanswered - how does everything fall together?! The characters are so unique, especially Aomame, and I can't wait to see how she and Tengo begin to interact (if at all!) as the story progresses.

Also, does anyone else seem to notice the numerous musical references Murakami uses in this book?!


message 19: by Catherine (new) - added it

Catherine | 583 comments I, reluctantly, am removing myself from this Buddy Read. I'm still working on Clash of Kings, and June just got very busy for me so I'm going to have very little time to read and enjoy 1Q84, and since it's such a big book I really want to give it a fighting chance at my heart. I hope everyone is able to enjoy the book! :)


Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods* (marcthedarc) | 600 comments Sorry to hear, Catherine, if you change your mind I think this buddy read is slotted for 3 months. Glad you are enjoying reading something anyway!

I really need to start this... it will be close to the end of this month, I have a bunch of OWLs reading challenge books to finish first.


message 21: by Catherine (new) - added it

Catherine | 583 comments Marc wrote: "Sorry to hear, Catherine, if you change your mind I think this buddy read is slotted for 3 months. Glad you are enjoying reading something anyway!

I really need to start this... it will be close ..."


Thanks Marc! My eyes were bigger than my Kobo, so to speak. I still want to try to read it this year (fingers crossed), so I'm hoping come Autumn things calm down with work and get settled into a routine where I can give myself more time to focus on the book.

Happy reading everyone! :)


message 22: by oshizu, Challenges (last edited Apr 19, 2019 12:07PM) (new)

oshizu | 4879 comments Hello, Buddy Read comrades!
So......I'm totally blaming this book for my recent reading slump!!!
Though I don't dislike the book (probably), I'm not enjoying it that much either--it's just not what I'm in the mood for these days, it seems.
I've been reading the 3-volumes-in-one-book English translation but ended up buying Japanese-language editions of Books 2 and 3 today. I'm hoping reading in Japanese will offer me a better reading experience?

Anyway....I've read the first 8 chapters, which corresponds to one-third of Book 1's 24 chapters. Yes, I'm counting chapters--it's that bad, lol.

My thoughts up to the end of Chapter 8:
(view spoiler)

Blah, blah, blah. I will be reading this book in 8-chapter sprints (a third of Book 1 at a time) so as to make room/time to read other books this month.


message 23: by oshizu, Challenges (new)

oshizu | 4879 comments P.S. I don't mean to sound so negative about 1Q84.
It's such a hyped book, though, I want it to be better!
Obviously, I'm committed to finishing reading it, having ordered Books 2 and 3 in Japanese even though I already have the English Kindle edition.

Folks, tell me what I'm missing!


message 24: by Ilona, Welcome Committee (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ilona | 3740 comments I am sorry to hear you are in a reading slump because of this book right now oshizu. :(

I do agree that you might need be in the mood for this. Haruki has an interesting writing style with al lot of (view spoiler) (sort of spoiler but not really) This is actually what I like about his books, it's different and weird!


message 25: by Ice (last edited Apr 20, 2019 02:43AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ice M. | 72 comments Hey everyone, I just finished reading chapter 4. I can say that I am definitely drawn to the story line. The eccentric characters and mysterious 'out of the ordinary' events keep me wanting to know more.

(view spoiler)


message 26: by Ice (last edited Apr 20, 2019 11:52PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ice M. | 72 comments oshizu wrote: "Do you think this novel is meant to take place during a specific "realistic time"?"

I think I remember in one of Aomame's chapters (view spoiler)

What I think I personally like about the book thus far is that we are given bits and pieces of information, like pieces of a puzzle. It keeps me wondering, where does this puzzle fit, where does that fit? And I just keep reading to find out more.

I am now in chapter 9 (view spoiler)


message 27: by oshizu, Challenges (new)

oshizu | 4879 comments Thank you for the reminder, Ice!
And, anyway, with a title like 1Q84, how could this book not be set in the 80's?

I just finished reading Chapter 16 (Tengo/I'm Glad You Liked It) and I'm enjoying the book more now.
(view spoiler)

By the way, like Fuka-Eri, The Tale of the Heike is also one of my favorite books of all time. It is a 15th-century transcription of an episodic oral narrative about civil war, a narrative created, elaborated, memorized, and propagated by blind monks.
I guess Murakami could never rank among the favorite authors of an antiquarian like me. :D

I'm really glad for this Buddy Read--the enthusiasm of the rest of you is carrying me through this book!


message 28: by Awais (new)

Awais Iqbal | 26 comments Hello everyone!

I'd like to join you guys in this buddy read :)

Oshizu, who is already a participant recommended me this buddy read. First of all, thanks a lot Oshizu! Its fun to read and share views with fellow bookworms..

I shifted a few weeks ago to a beautiful neighborhood in Istanbul. I was exploring the area when I found a nostalgic little library on the bank of a lake surrounded by a lush-green arboretum. What could be more tempting than experiencing the scintilla of knowledge in perfect harmony with the marvels of nature?

I visited the library and decided to activate my membership. The first book I borrowed was 1Q84. I had no idea about the book or the author but I borrowed with the recommendation of the librarian. So far, its going good. I finished first five chapters and I loved both stories that the book is unravelling. I hope it doesn't disappoint in the latter parts because its going to take at least two months to finish..

Cheers!


message 29: by oshizu, Challenges (new)

oshizu | 4879 comments Welcome, Awais, both to this group and to this 1Q84 Buddy Read.

Kristin, one of our group's great moderators, initiated this Buddy Read and suggested we read this three-part (or three-book, depending on the reader) one part at a time.

Correct me if I'm wrong, folks, but Books 1 and 2 each seem to consist of 24 chapters.
A book a month seems like a very practical pace, Kristin!

Ahhhh, reading in a "library on the bank of a lake, surrounded by a lush arboretum"? Sounds enchanting!


message 30: by Awais (new)

Awais Iqbal | 26 comments Looks great to finish one book a month, Oshizu. I started late but I guess I'll finish the first book just by the end of this month..

I finished chapter 06 yesterday..

(view spoiler)


message 31: by oshizu, Challenges (last edited Apr 23, 2019 07:29PM) (new)

oshizu | 4879 comments I finished more chapters (Chapters 17-20) so, rather than reading to the end of Book 1, I thought I'd post a few comments while they're still fresh in my mind. Just trivial stuff...

Chapter 17
(view spoiler)

Chapter 18
(view spoiler)

Chapter 19
(view spoiler)

Chapter 20
(view spoiler)

An odd array of comments from me, I realize. Oh well.

@Awais
About Aomame being unaware of seemingly major news events
(view spoiler)


message 32: by oshizu, Challenges (last edited Apr 24, 2019 01:41PM) (new)

oshizu | 4879 comments Sorry for spamming this thread with my posts!
Just want to report that I finished Book 1 yesterday and am really looking forward to starting Book 2 next month.

So glad I joined this Buddy Read!
How's everyone else doing with the first book?

@Marc I've cleared my plate (mostly) and am ready to binge-read The Final Empire now. Yay!


message 33: by Trisha, Buddy Reads (last edited Apr 25, 2019 11:31AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Trisha (trishabisen) | 1958 comments Hi all, I finished the first book yesterday and can’t wait to begin the second one. Having said that, I cannot hide the fact that some elements of the book were way too disturbing for me, for instance -
(view spoiler)

Anyway, I have so many questions lingering in my mind at the moment. (view spoiler) I really need to start reading the second part.

Lastly, I’m already a fan of Murakami. His eye for the tiniest of details is worthy of appreciation. The characters have been sketched so vividly and uniquely that I can visualise them clearly in my mind. Every scene is set up in a very detailed way - (view spoiler) Murakami feeds us each tiny detail (and in a way restricts my imagination because I’m bound to think the way he wants me to) and invites us in his world.

I’m so glad that I joined this group otherwise I would have never picked this one up considering the book’s length.


message 34: by Trisha, Buddy Reads (new) - rated it 2 stars

Trisha (trishabisen) | 1958 comments Kristin wrote: "I apologize for being a little quiet lately. I received two interlibrary loans and they are not renewable, so I've been trying to finish them. I'll be able to return to 1Q84 very soon.

@Trisha, t..."


Oops, my bad! Marked the same now. Thanks for pointing that out!


Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods* (marcthedarc) | 600 comments I should never have been given a 3-month window to read this. Still need to start *sheepish grin*. I have it like 5th or 6th next in my reading pile and will try not to bump it back any further.


message 36: by oshizu, Challenges (last edited Apr 25, 2019 03:15PM) (new)

oshizu | 4879 comments Trisha wrote: "Hi all, I finished the first book yesterday and can’t wait to begin the second one. Having said that, I cannot hide the fact that some elements of the book were way too disturbing for me, for insta..."

@Trisha
After finishing Book 1, I agree with you that (view spoiler)


message 37: by Trisha, Buddy Reads (last edited Apr 26, 2019 07:09AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Trisha (trishabisen) | 1958 comments oshizu wrote: "Trisha wrote: "Hi all, I finished the first book yesterday and can’t wait to begin the second one. Having said that, I cannot hide the fact that some elements of the book were way too disturbing fo..."

Hi Oshizu,

I haven’t read Murakami a lot, this being my second read. The first book I read was After Dark which, as I see it now, appears to be strikingly different from 1Q84 from the plot’s perspective. However, both the books have a similar sort of eerie feeling about them. (view spoiler)

Have you read more of Murakami’s works? Is this his signature style?


message 38: by oshizu, Challenges (last edited Apr 28, 2019 10:13AM) (new)

oshizu | 4879 comments Marc wrote: "I should never have been given a 3-month window to read this. Still need to start *sheepish grin*. I have it like 5th or 6th next in my reading pile and will try not to bump it back any further."

Lol, @Marc! Since it's a three-part book, most of us will be reading and discussing 1Q84 at the approximate pace of one part per month.


message 39: by oshizu, Challenges (new)

oshizu | 4879 comments @Kristin
You raise such interesting points!

(view spoiler)

Last week, I felt very grumpy about this book. This week, however, I regard it more favorably (but not as favorably as "The Briefcase" which I absolutely loved to pieces, hehe).


message 40: by Awais (last edited Apr 28, 2019 03:27PM) (new)

Awais Iqbal | 26 comments Kristin wrote: "@Awais, are you a writer? Your description of your new home is very poetic! How lovely, that you get to live there!

@Trisha, thank you so much for marking the spoilers. It is much appreciated!

I..."


Thank you Kristin!
Not yet a writer, but I like to write every now and then about the books or experiences that I get inspired by...

Having said that, I do see myself as a writer in most of the infinite number of parallel universes, if any, out there.. :)
(I don't know exactly whether the word "most" can be used in case the matter in question is infinite. In this case infinite number of universes. But I went with it anyway. Its not a Physics discussion, ahh, God forbid!)

(view spoiler)


message 41: by Awais (last edited Apr 28, 2019 05:10PM) (new)

Awais Iqbal | 26 comments The 10th Chapter was particularly interesting from my perspective. The events mentioned had many similarities with previous writings and perhaps "real events in those years?"

(view spoiler)

@oshizu: would love to know specifically your opinion on this one


message 42: by oshizu, Challenges (last edited Apr 29, 2019 04:33PM) (new)

oshizu | 4879 comments @Kristin - 1Q84
One of the Japanese words for the number "9" (kyuu) is a homophone for the letter "Q." It is a well-known substitution/wordplay because the famous Toukyuu Department Store calls itself 109 (Tou = East but also 10, Kyuu = Rapid but also 9). This dept store was built in Tokyu in 1979, years before 1Q84. Still, combining that wordplay with the title of Orwell's book is a genius twist.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/109_(de...

@Awais
I was living in Tokyo at the time of the Aum Shinrikyo cult's sarin gas attack in subway cars in 1995. That cult was founded in 1984. Here's the Wikipedia entry on that group.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aum_Shi...

Murakami wrote a journalistic work, Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche (1997, i think), about this gas attack which includes interviews with the victims. I have not read this book.

About temporal overlap:
I'm referring to book titles in my Kindle edition's Table of Contents, so I don't think my comment is a spoiler but just in case...
(view spoiler)

The homicidal NHK fee collector that Aomame reads about in a newspaper
(view spoiler)

Sorry, I didn't mean to ramble so much but...I'm a rambler.


message 43: by Nicole (last edited Apr 30, 2019 01:22AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nicole Lim | 10 comments Hello everyone!

Finally managed to finish the first book before the last day of April so i'm doing good on my timeline. I hope everyone else is doing alright as well!

Wow, there was quite a few things happening in the first book - it starts out quite alright, but slows down in the middle but picks up again. Just in case there's anyone out there struggling to get through the first book, there's light at the end of the tunnel!

Chapter 16
(view spoiler)

Chapter 17
(view spoiler)

Chapter 19
(view spoiler)

Chapter24
(view spoiler)

Thoughts on Aomame
I think Book 1 really develops her character. At least more than that of Tengo's. (view spoiler)

Random Thoughts
(view spoiler)

I still think that I have loads of questions unanswered - I can kind of see how things are beginning to fall together, but I don't really understand parts of what's happening at times.. hopefully things begin to clear up a little more in the next book!


message 44: by Ice (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ice M. | 72 comments Nicole wrote: "Also, does anyone else seem to notice the numerous musical references Murakami uses in this book?!"

You are right. There are so many musical references in the book. I wanted to create a Spotify playlist until I found out someone had already done it. Haha. Here is the link to the playlist if anyone is ever interested in listening to the songs.

I just finished book one and I thought I would be a good time to list down some of the possible connections between Aomame and Tengo.

(view spoiler)

I might have missed some other possible connections. Feel free to add in your own. :)


message 45: by Ilona, Welcome Committee (last edited May 01, 2019 12:15PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ilona | 3740 comments Hi all, apologies for my absence the past weeks. I was a bit too busy with work and social obligations.
I love reading all your thoughts on Book I, there are so many details in the writing that I don't notice everything for example how(view spoiler).

Has anyone already started Book II? I am currently reading chapter 5 and it seems to me that the three books are basically one big story.


message 46: by Gini (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gini | 37 comments Murakami is into music. Even has a book out where he and Seiji Ozawa (forgive the spelling) have some wonderful conversations. Think he had a record shop at one time too.


message 47: by Ice (last edited May 01, 2019 05:59PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ice M. | 72 comments Gini wrote: "Murakami is into music. Even has a book out where he and Seiji Ozawa (forgive the spelling) have some wonderful conversations. Think he had a record shop at one time too."

Murakami also talked about running a Jazz bar prior to being a writer in What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. This probably explains why one of the characters in 1Q48, (view spoiler)


message 48: by Gini (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gini | 37 comments Jazz bar... yes, that's right. Thanks.


Nicole Lim | 10 comments Ice wrote: "Nicole wrote: "Also, does anyone else seem to notice the numerous musical references Murakami uses in this book?!"

You are right. There are so many musical references in the book. I wanted to crea..."


This is genius! I didn't know there was a playlist either. I might give it a listen while continuing reading the next couple of books - it might help in getting me into a particular headspace especially i the reading gets draggy. Thanks so much!

I've also realized that that Murakami has written a book with Ozawa - Absolutely on Music: Conversations with Seiji Ozawa. Might be worth a read for anyone who's really interested in both music and writing!


message 50: by Ice (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ice M. | 72 comments @Nicole, thank you for the recommendation. I will look into this. :)

@Ilona, I started with book 2 yesterday. I am also currently in Chapter 5 and I have to say that things are starting to get much more exciting. In Chapter 4 of Book 2, (view spoiler)


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