for those who are in or around sane

Monday, August 4

july books, ketchup & mustard

where in the world did the month of july go?? i spent a lot of time at work, that's for sure... i also got out to michigan twice for fun and blueberries galore... baseball games... wine store shenanegans... bike rides (and tire pops)... and i topped it all off with a glorious gals weekend.

mn was a great time - i havent seen 10 since the wedding and lo since earlier this year, so hanging out with them was like putting on my favorite outfit and jonesing to my favorite cd while eating my favorite foods all at once! lo has a good start on finding that big, white, poofy dress, 10 & i have some new trendy sales-tax-free clothing and my belly is full of mn treats.

the enchantress of florence by salman rushdie
during my down time i managed to get through two books by two incredible authors. the first is rushdie - arguably the greatest living writer. his sentences are so well crafted you have to mull your way through his books. i'm frankly jealous of the love and attention each word gets.

i'm feeling lazy and honestly, i'm super busy this week, so i'm copying an review: Trying to describe a Salman Rushdie novel is like trying to describe music to someone who has never heard it--you can fumble with a plot summary but you won't be able to convey the wonder of his dazzling prose or the imaginative complexity of his vision. At its heart, The Enchantress of Florence is about the power of story--whether it is the imagined life of a Mughal queen, or the devastating secret held by a silver-tongued Florentine. Make no mistake, it is Rushdie who is the true "enchanter" of this story, conjuring readers into his gilded fairy tale from the very first sentence: "In the day's last light the glowing lake below the palace-city looked like a sea of molten gold." At once bawdy, gorgeous, gory, and hilarious, The Enchantress of Florence is a study in contradiction, highlighted in its barbarian philosopher-king who detests his bloodthirsty heritage even while he carries it out. Full of rich sentences running nearly the length of a page, Rushdie's 10th novel blends fact and fable into a challenging but satisfying read. --Daphne Durham

norwegian wood by haruki murakami
i plowed through the second book in a ridiculously short period of time. after reading an article about how murakami started writing (in an attempt to catch up on my new yorkers) i went immediately to borders and snatched up his first novel, norwegian wood. yes, it's got a lot to do with the beatles song. but its also a moving coming of age story that spans generations and cultures.

37 year old business man toru watanabe narrates his transition into adulthood through his greatest love story. toru's best friend mysteriously chooses to end his life at 17, leaving his girlfriend naoko to mourn with toru - their tentative companionship blooming into a necessary function of life. their love grows from loss but fails to mature when naoko enters a mental health retreat far away from toru's tokyo home. toru's life moves slowly and tentatively forward with naoko at this distance - i cant really say more than this without giving much of the novel away.

it's a wonderfully written translation. the reason i read it so quickly is because, ironically, i was swept up in murakami's short-sentenced, methodical prose. he sets down his characters precisely and with high respect for individuality and choice. and i have to mention that this is the book that launched his international fame. i know most folks would recommend his award-winning the wind up bird chronicle, but i feel that this first novel speaks volumes about who murakami is as a writer.

august predicts to be another busy month, but with a few long plane trips which will allow me to keep elbow deep in good lit. i'm hoping the balance of a faboo book list and travel/conference schedule will keep me from completely hating my busy life.