It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?: November 18, 2013

It's Monday!It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.  As you might have deduced, it’s a place to talk a bit about what we’re currently reading, have just finished reading, and what we are about to start reading.

China Mtn Zhang

This week I finished China Mountain Zhang by Maureen McHugh. I expected to like it, but I ended up loving it!  It was subtle, clever and intriguing with wonderful characterization and deep, believable world-building. In short, it was one of the best pieces of “soft” or socio-political science fiction I’ve read in a long time.   Written in 1992, this novel was prescient in many ways.


The Wind-Up Bird ChronicleAs to what I’m currently reading, I am about 100 pages into Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. Murakami is one of my favorite authors, yet I’ve managed to never read this one, which is arguably his most popular work.  I am liking it so far and am looking forward to the slow slip into surreality for which Murakami is so well-known.


I am also nibbling away at Yoko Ogawa’s recent short story collection Revenge. Another contemporary Japanese author with a penchant for the strange, Ogawa seems good to pair with Murakami.  What I’ve read so far has been quite good.  Ogawa does have a similar vibe to Murakami, but there is a slightly darker, more melancholy and more feminine wash over everything.  It’s an interesting juxtaposition.


Next on deck (while I’m waiting for my library hold for my Classics Club Spin pick, The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, to come through) will probably be Heart of a Dog/A Dog’s Heart by Mikhail Bulgakov.   Bulgakov is probably best known for The Master and Margarita, one of my favorite classics, and I’m really looking forward to exploring some of his other work.


That about wraps up my upcoming reading week.  I hope you have a great week of reading lined up, too!


4 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?: November 18, 2013

  1. First of all, thank you for your thoughtful comment on my post for Night Film. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said, and while I’m not physically sick while finishing it, I am a bit spiritually sick. Did it have to become so perverse? More when I officially finish it.

    As to the books you’ve listed in his post, what thrilling reads! I loved The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle although I don’t pretend to understand the conclusion. I love The Master and Margarita, and Heart of A Dog entices me as you mention it here. I couldn’t read much of Revenge because it was so very dark, but Ogawa is a wonderful author. Perhaps you’d be interested in the Japanese Literature Challenge 7 is you love the genre as much as I do?

    So nice to “meet” you.

    • Actually, I found your blog when I was musing on challenges I might like to attempt in 2014. I was Googleing about, wondering if anyone might be running a Japanese or Chinese-themed challenge, as I’ve been trying to read more of both over the past several years, and I of course discovered that you’d been running a Japanese lit challenge for quite some time. I’m very much looking forward to joining for the next one. I’m a bit confused as to when it starts, though, as the most recent info I’ve been able to locate on your blog or the dedicated challenge blog is for #7, which seems to be over or ending. (?) If I’m just missing something, do please point me in the proper direction, as I’m really keen to get involved. 🙂

      I look forward to your full thoughts on Night Film. Thanks for visiting, and it’s nice to “meet” you, as well.


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