It's March already! When did that happen? I guess I must have been reading.
I read this mini stack of books last month and I'm pleased to report that my 50-book reading challenge is still on track. Books 6 - 10 are:
6. Kafka on the Shore - Haruki Murakami
7. Burial Rites - Hannah Kent
8. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
9. Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys
10.Oranges are not the Only Fruit - Jeanette Winterson
February kicked off with the odd little world created by Haruki Murakami in Kafka on the Shore. I've been meaning to read his work for a while and I am so pleased to have finally been introduced. This novel is something of a departure from my usual choice of realistic, true-to-life fiction what with its telepathic dogs, talking cats and an appearance from a ghostly Colonel Sanders. It seems that the author has a knack for expanding our real and mundane world into these other curious universes and in doing so offers an insight into a number of themes - coincidence, fate, isolation, identity and the ability to be self-sufficient. Nothing better than a book that gets your brain ticking! I'm hoping that I will find Murakami's other novels just as strange and enjoyable.
My other favourite read from this collection is by another new-to-me author, Donna Tartt. The Secret History is a haunting story of six college students who are indelibly connected after being involved in a tragic event. I have to say thank you to Mr. B's Book Emporium for sending me this novel. Donna Tartt is one hell of a writer and I'm a little disappointed to find that only a handful of books have been penned in her name. At times I forgot I was reading fiction and felt immersed in a real world. Tartt does not force the story or attempt to convince the reader and therefore the writing flows effortlessly. I did not need to pause and try to recreate an image in my mind, it was all just there. I guess the only downside was that I didn't particularly like the characters, although I guess you are not expected to. By the time I had finished the novel, I was kind of pleased that the relentless misery had come to an end. Having said this, I cannot wait to tackle the beast that is The Goldfinch.
Is anyone else attempting a reading challenge this year? How is it going?