SarahMichigan (sarahmichigan) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Books #39-40

Books #39-40: I will be counting "1Q84" by Haruki Murakami as 3 books for my list. It was originally released in three volumes and runs to nearly 1,200 pages. I'm listening to it as an audiobook, and I'm done with the first two volumes and nearly finished with Part 3.

The book's title is a fairly obvious allusion to the book "1984" by George Orwell, but aside from common themes, the books don't have a whole lot in common. Most of the story is told from the viewpoint of two Japanese characters living in the year 1984: Tengo and Aomame. They were friends briefly in grade school but haven't seen each other since then when our book opens in 1984 and the characters are now each around 30. I've seen the book described as being about two people trying to find each other across time and space, and I guess that's all I'll say, since I don't want to give any major spoilers. Some might find the book slow. Murakami goes back and tells the same stories from the characters lives over and over, adding layers of detail each time. I believe this is intentional and relates directly to its shared theme with "1984" - that of "re-writing history." Other shared themes are television and its impact on culture, crimes being committed for "the greater good," and the Cult of Personality. Despite this slow pace, when a scene is supposed to be tense and gripping, it is. Murakami knows what he's doing.

One side effect of reading a story this long is that you really get sucked into that world. I feel like I have been living in a world slightly askew ever since I started listening to the audiobook a couple months ago. I really like the readers for this book, and its been a pleasure.

1. The Battle of the Labyrinth [fiction] - Rick Riordan (unabridged audiobook)
2. Ice Cold [fiction] - Tess Gerritsen
3. Snow Crash [fiction]- Neal Stephenson
4. The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge [fiction]
5. The Brontes - Juliet Barker [non-fiction/group biography]
6. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks [non-fiction]- Rebecca Skloot (unabridged audiobook)
7. The Moon in Our Hands [fiction]- Thomas Dyja
8. The Algebraist [fiction]- Iain M. Banks
9. Moab is my Washpot [non-fiction/memoir]- Stephen Fry
10. The Last Olympian (Book Five in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series) [fiction]- Rick Riordan (unabridged audiobook)
11. Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer [non-fiction/memoir]- Lynne Cox
12. A Year in Provence [non-fiction/memoir/travel]- Peter Mayle
13. A Plague of Doves [fiction]- Louise Erdrich
14. Jarhead: A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles [non-fiction/memoir]- Anthony Swofford
15. White Witch, Black Curse [fiction]- Kim Harrison (unabridged audiobook)
16. The Witches of Karres [fiction]- James H. Schmitz
17. Dawn (Lilith's Brood: Book 1) [fiction]- Octavia Butler
18. Things Fall Apart [fiction]- Chinua Achebe
19. The Bacchae and Other Plays [fiction/dramatic script]- Euripides
20. Meditations from a Moveable Chair [non-fiction/essays/memoir]- Andre Dubus
21. Trumpet [fiction]- by Jackie Kay
22. Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea [non-fiction]- Charles Siefe
23. Fat: The Owner’s Manual – Navigating a Thin-Obsessed World with Your Health, Happiness, and Sense of Humor Intact [non-fiction]- Ragen Chastain
24. Alif the Unseen [fiction]- G. Willow Wilson
25. Black Magic Sanction [fiction- Kim Harrison (unabridged audiobook)
26. George Sand: A Woman's Life Writ Large [non-fiction/biography]- Belinda Jack
27. Adulthood Rites (2nd book in the "Lilith's Brood" trilogy) [fiction]- Octavia Butler
28. Isadore's Secret: Sin, Murder, and Confession in a Northern Michigan Town [non-fiction]- Mardi Link
29. A Canticle for Leibowitz [fiction]- Walter M. Miller Jr. (unabridged audiobook)
30. The Barbary Plague: The Black Death in Victorian San Francisco [non-fiction]- Marilyn Chase
31. The Book of Sarahs: A Family in Parts [non-fiction/memoir]- Catherine E. McKinley
32. The Three Christs of Ypsilanti [non-fiction]- Milton Rokeach
33. Imago (3rd book in the "Lilith's Brood" trilogy) [fiction]- Octavia Butler
34. Escaping into the Open: The Art of Writing True [non-fiction]- Elizabeth Berg
35. Vanity Fair [fiction]- William M. Thackeray
36. What the Dog Saw - and other adventures [non-fiction]- Malcolm Gladwell
38. Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster [non-fiction]- Jon Krakauer, Randy Rackliff, Daniel Rembert and Caroline Cunningham


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