Infinite Backlog: Nine Big Little Commendatores

I have recently gotten back to reading books and continued my book hoarding ways. I decided that I’m going to try to blog a little bit more and talk about the books I have been reading and see how it goes. This post is going to be a cluster of things but I hope you enjoy!

Killing Commendatore
by Haruki Murakami
Page 132 of 688

Haruki Murakami is one of my favorite authors. I always love how his books can be very calming. My first book that I read of his was ‘Kafka on the Shore’ followed by ‘The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.’ Both books were great and it felt like I was listening to a Radiohead album. With calmness though, comes very very slow storytelling. Murakami novels are often difficult for me to marathon (I did finish After Dark in two days though).

‘Killing Commendatore’ is the newest novel by Murakami and I was looking forward to the book coming out.

The story follows a painter (portrait painter) and his adventures after his wife splits with him. We get the typical Murakami-isms within the first few chapters.

Wife splits up
Ear fetish reference
Dead sibling

After the split, our lead character goes on a self journey around Japan for about a month (imagine Ok Computer playing in the background, nonstop). Our hero has also taken a brief break from painting as he also tries to discover himself. He’s made his living being a portrait painter, which he hates, but he makes a decent living doing it, but he wants to break into painting with his own style (the internal struggle).

During this break, he also has occasional flings with two married women (important).

He ends up house sitting for a colleague. The owner of the home is Tomohiko Amada, a famous Japanese painter who now has dementia and lives in a retirement facility. Tomohiko’s painting style changed during World War II and our lead character is discovering what caused the change. While doing so, he uncovers Amada’s painting titled ‘Killing Commendatore’ which sets off a chain of events.

Spoilers:
Wataru Menshiki is an interesting character. I’m excited to know more about him and his strange house. I’m currently at the part with the gonging song which will lead to a pit where our character will likely spend some large amounts of time in.

It’s not an easy book to sit down and read so I’ll occasionally be spending my time chipping away at it.

Big Little Lies
by Liane Moriarty
Completed

My backlog is interesting because I never follow it. I bought this book on Halloween and finished it this weekend, other books on my backlog have been there for quite awhile. I plan to be more persistent with the backlog.

Anyway, I read this book in preparation for one of my monthly selections for Book of the Month ‘Nine Perfect Strangers.’ Plus I’ve been wanting to read this book before I jump into the TV series.

If you were to pick up a dictionary and look up the word petty, it would likely show some characters from this book (likely Madeline).

This book centers on three protagonists and it all leads up to a murder. The lead characters are as follows:

  • Madeline: A mother of three kids. She is petty and likes to start shit with people. She’s epitome of “Sorry bout it.” That’s probably her mantra. Her youngest daughter Chloe is starting kindergarten. Throughout the book she struggles with her relationship with her daughter and their relationship with her ex husband Ed (who remarried and has a kid in the same class as Chloe). I feel like the pettiness towards Ed is justified because he is a piece of walking garbage.
  • Jane: Single 24 year old mother. She has a son named Ziggy, kindergarten. Jane is new to the town and is quickly taken under Madeline’s wing. On orientation, her son Ziggy was called out for choking a student. Jane’s just trying to fit in with a town full of spiteful jerks. She’s also a sexual assault survivor. The assailant is Ziggy’s father
  • Celeste: She has it all, a loving(?) husband, crazy twins and a mansion. Her husband Perry abuses her but she fights back. Throughout the novel she has ideas that she deserves the abuse since she causes the conflict and fights Perry back during their spats. Perry also feels bad after each fight but Celeste is trying to find a way to leave him and take the kids and goes to therapy

Without giving too much of the plot away, it also deals with helicoptering parents who act children with their children, and it also reaffirms why I do not want children. Celeste was my favorite character in the book.

Give it a read, I enjoyed it!

Nine Perfect Strangers
by Liane Moriarty
Page 96 of 464

I thought it would be a mistake to read another Moriarty novel right after “Big Little Lies” set the bar. I’m enjoying this book though. I didn’t know what to expect, but from what I have read so far, we are getting ‘possibly’ nine different perspectives, which seems like too many points of views.

No problems yet, but check back later once I forget which character a particular chapter follows.

The story follows Frances, a formerly best selling romance novelist, and her journey through Tranquillum House, which is a health resort with a different type of approach. The resort specializes in a 10 day retreat that is far from normal but yields great results from the people who want to repair themselves.

Frances is a likable character with her flaws and she first believes this health resort is absolute BS. Her commentary on the other people during this retreat is great too, I really hope she keeps the catty attitude. I’m also looking forward to this story going from suspenseful to messed up in 20 chapters. This will probably be another quick read as well.

Anyway, that’s if for this little blog post. Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a great day!

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