Friday, July 10, 2009

Long Overdue Progress Report

Since I posted my world lit list in April, I have been doing all kinds of things--falling in love, moving continents away from the love, you know, stuff that really makes you want to sit down with a good challenging read.

Well, not really.

I've been putting off posting until I had actually read more than a couple of books, but it just keeps not happening! So here's my feeble progress so far.

Mudrooroo - Wild Cat Falling
(Oceania category)

I picked this up in a bookstore a few months before the Project. I was casually browsing for Australian Indigenous writing, and it was one of the few novels in the (big, mainstream) bookstore where I happened to be. I enjoyed it. It's a coming-of-age type story. The narrator is really detatched, kind of L'etrangere-y. The setting is outlaw youth culture in 1950s and 60s Australia (it was published in 1965) and that was really interesting.

Elizabeth Knox - The Vintner's Luck
(Oceania category)

I no longer remember who recommended Elizabeth Knox to me or why. I'm not sure what I was expecting when I picked this up, but what I WASN'T expecting was a (rather hot in parts!) gay love story between an angel and a vintner in France. Really recommended if you are into angels. I am not, but I got the impression Knox did some cool innovative things with the concept. And it was a good book.

Yoshimoto Banana - Kitchen (Asia)

Someone once suggested I read Yoshimoto Banana in Japanese--I found a translation instead, and totally confirmed my impression that the Japanese would be way beyond me. But I really enjoyed these stories, and I definitely intend to read more of her work.

Haruki Murakami - Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

This was my second Murakami novel (the first being Wind Up Bird Chronicle). This one was definitely a bit more out there. I found it was a bit of work to get into it far enough to figure out the whole alternating chapters thing, but somewhere around the half point I started to have at least SOME idea what was going on, and it became a bit easier going. Very cool book, but I can't think of how to explain the cool part without giving it away!

That's it! During this time I've also read 15 novels not on the list, though. I need to focus just a bit more, or I will be doing this in ten years instead of five!


moonrat said...

KITCHEN is the only novel i've read in japanese. i'd already read the english when i tried; i'm not sure if i'd have made it through otherwise. but maybe try now? since you know what's going to happen, maybe you can just plow right through.

i tried HARDBOILED... but couldn't make it past p 50. i put WIND-UP on my Gaps list, bc i heard that's a better starting point.

thanks for the update!

Alyssa said...

I'm not sure, my kanji level is pretty um... kindergarden-y. I might read the two side-by-side some day though.

Emily Cross said...

*shakes head in wonder*

I wish i had the gift of langauge - i went through a phase when i was 16 of trying to speak/read japanese.

I got hello, goodbye and my name is (and my name in kanji) and that was about it.

So you all blow me away!