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South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami,


I've read the first 40 pages waiting for my husband to join me at a cafe and the rest of them as soon as I got the change. I just couldn't stop reading this novel. Like the other Murakami's novel I've read, the prose is for most part simple and unpretentious yet there are moments of such intensity and grace. The metaphors and the symbols are beautiful,unique and as fine as delicate piece of jewelry. 

It surprised me how much I sympathized with the lead character and the narrator of this story. I love the straightforwardness of this book(and the protagonist), the "I-have-no-clue-what-is-the-purpuse-of-live" type of honesty. There is some wisdom in it, despite the fact that there it is not trying to be enlightening or to provide any type of answers. 

In many ways this novel reminded me of Sputnik, there is something dreamy and fantastical about it that I really like. You're not quite sure is everything that happens "real" or is just part of characters' imagination...and somehow it doesn't really matter because what matters is the inner world of the characters and the writer sure can create it.

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The Lagoon, a short story by Joseph Conrad (book review and recommendation)

Published in 1987, this story is one of the shortest works by Joseph Conrad. Like many of Conrad's other works, The Lagoon is a framed narrative. Before I continue this review, and explain what the book is about, there is something I need to comment on. Most publishers and sites I've come across describe Lagoon as a story about a white man called Tuan, but I personally can't agree with that description. 
This short story doesopen up with a white man, but the story is really, for most part, about the man's Malaysian friend Arsat. Perhaps the most accurate thing to say is that the story is about both of them.  Another thing worth noting is that we never do learn the name of the white man. Tuan is just a word that means 'sir' in the native language of the inhabitans. When other characters address the narrator as Tuan, they are calling him 'mister' or 'sir'.




The opening lines of The Lagoon are quite descriptive, not only setting the tone but introduc…

All the King's Men,a novel by Robert Penn Warren ( Book Review and Recommendation)

THE DARING INTRODUCTION THAT REVEALS A BRILLIANT WRITING TALENT
All the King’s Men opens sharply, throwing the reader into the midst of things. Jack Burden, a young ex-reporter/ writer, a guy who walked out on his PhD, finds himself in the service of Willie, a raising political force. Willie, whose background doesn’t promise a successful politician, but who is ready to fight against the odds. Jack is there by Willie’s side, not because of the money, not because of the power, not because of anything like that. Why is Jack there? Jack isn’t sure himself. It is a complex question, one that keeps popping through the novel, one that gets answered many times and yet remains open to interpretations. Willie, who is commonly called the boss, says that it is because it is in Jack’s nature? Is it so? But what kind of nature are we talking about?
THE NARRATOR OF THE STORY IS OFTEN THE FORCE BEHIND THE EVENTS
Jack Burden is, true to his surname, a burdened man. Burdened with both his and his future p…

Invisible cities by Italo Calvino (book review and recommendation)

Invisible Cities is a novel by Italian writer Italo Calvino. Originally published in  1972, this novel remains popular with modern readers. Before I get to the review, I have a confession to make. I'm actually using a few photographs from another book (written in Italian) because I have listened to an audio version of this book. I could find and repost a photograph of this book, but what would be the point? I prefer to use my own book photography, because it feels more authentic.





I listened to an audio version of this book twice (which technically puts it into a 'reread' category), for two days in a row, while I was working on a new painting. The painting turned out pretty much perfect, should I thank Calvino for that? I'm not kidding, perhaps the beauty of his prose really helped (or somehow improved) my painting process. It is not such a far fetched idea as it might seem at first. The first time I listened to this book, I was mostly focused on the form that is to say…