Perhaps I've been putting off writing this blog because I am disappointed in myself with the number of books I actually wound up completing during February. I could defend myself-- it's a short month; I was busy working three jobs and mailing GS out to the world; it was one of my saddest and most stressful months in a while-- but the one very noticeable thing is that I didn't read much poetry. And there is no defense for that. I read poems online. I read submissions for GS. But I didn't pick up a book of poetry and commit to it. Here's what I did read:
BOOKS READ FEBRUARY 2015
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
I started this back in January as my "long" winter reading, and it took me into mid-February to finish. Sometimes, when I take awhile to read a book, I silently berate myself over it. With this book, I didn't want it to end. In fact, I was disappointed when it ended. Not with the ending itself, which works, but with the fact that so much-- as, I suppose, "in real life", whatever that is, especially in context with a book like this-- goes unanswered! I loved the parallel but sometimes not exactly parallel storylines and the inevitability of certain things. Even though I knew that certain characters seemed destined to meet up and live on, whenever their lives were in danger my heart still raced. The book was 3-in-1; in Japan, the books were published separately and then collected together as one. This makes me think that there should be a fourth book. I wanted that much more of it, that I would READ an entire fourth book, and I almost think that there HAS to be one in the works. I just have so many questions.(SPOILER ALERT) What happens to Fuka-Eri? Where does she go? She obviously has great weird power, but is that diminished now that her father is dead and Tengo has left 1Q84? While her storyline is the most compelling to me in 1Q84, I'm curious also about the fate of Sakigake and the Little People. Does it go on? Does it diminish? Do they find new people to communicate through? What exactly were they communicating and why in the first place? Did they "create" 1Q84 simply by existing in it? And when Aomame & Tengo leave to the world of the backwards Tiger, what is different about that world and the world they came from before 1Q84? Are the Little People not able to access the new world? Their child--who is s/he and do the Little People continue to seek the baby once it's born, even in a new world, or is that possibility lost because of the backwards tiger world? I could go on. But I'll stop.
Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto
Geoff and I found out that our dog was dying just as I was finishing 1Q84. I have great memories of reading the huge tome with her at my feet, and when I finished it, I wasn't sure what to read next, so I stuck with Japanese writers and read this book, a novel. I had read a book of Yoshimoto's short stories back in December and really liked them. This book had a same strange but sad tone, and it was populated by grief. The characters seemed to all be grieving something, and if they weren't, they soon found themselves doing so. There was one long story and then another shorter one. I found it very appropriate that I was reading this novel while we were in the grips of losing Jezzy, and the peace that she writes about grief with is so powerful. I dog-earred a lot of pages to return to when I need them, when I feel as though my sadness is suffering. Yoshimoto understands, but writes about it so eloquently that it's almost soothing to the soul.