I have a “World Literature” category for book reviews in an attempt to broaden my literary horizons. I’ve read Jose Saramago, Isabel Allende and Salman Rushdie in the past, but I’d like to get into the literature from other regions of the world. Enter some searching on the blogosphere for recommendations.
I stumbled upon Dolce Bellezza, a book blog that hosts an annual challenge to read Japanese literature. The challenge is simple: read one book between June and January. That’s it. Of course, you’re encouraged to read more than one, but I figured I’d start small. The website that was set up for the task includes an extensive list of recommendations, and after looking them over, I decided on Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood.
I know, I know, everyone reads Murakami. But I’d already read Kafka on the Shore and really loved it, and Norwegian Wood was already on my to-read list from another challenge I didn’t end up starting (reading 5 books published in your birth year), and it was the only book on the list named after a Beatles song:
I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me…
She showed me her room, isn’t it good, norwegian wood?
She asked me to stay and she told me to sit anywhere,
So I looked around and I noticed there wasn’t a chair.
I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine
We talked until two and then she said, “It’s time for bed”
She told me she worked in the morning and started to laugh.
I told her I didn’t and crawled off to sleep in the bath
And when I awoke, I was alone, this bird had flown
So I lit a fire, isn’t it good, norwegian wood.
So, sign me up for the challenge. Anyone want to join?