January’s WIRT: 1Q84

Hello peeps!

Welcome to my first WIRT (What I Read Tuesday). This will be a monthly feature where I blog about books I have read as I complete 2015 Around the World Reading Challenge and I tie them into the blog’s theme.

1Q84Let’s begin in Japan with Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84This was my Book Club’s January pick and both author and book were completely unknown to me.

It is a fictional story based on an alternative world in the year 1984. Since the heroine of the story, Aomame, is sure to no longer be in her world, she names her new home 1Q84 (Q stands for question mark). In this new world there are two moons, a religious cult with “little people” who mostly say “ho ho,” and an air chrysalis (literally… a chrysalis made of air).

The book is also filled with Japanese cultural elements, from their love of brand names, their traditional meals, and funeral customs, among many others. This I found very interesting.

This is the most convoluted star-crossed lovers story ever… also, it’s a book about books, movies, art, and music. Not suprisingly, the author refers to Orwell’s 1984 but I am not sure I was able to connect this book with that one. Perhaps other readers have made the connection. I was introduced to Janáček’s Sinfonietta, which is supposed to express courage and determination to fight for victory, which makes sense since the protagonists are doing just that. I am sure that all the references the author makes have a deeper meaning but I have to admit that most I didn’t get. On a separate note, the author did inspire me to read Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. One day.

 

On a note more in line with this blog, Aomame, the heroine of the story is a personal trainer and super healthy eater (she’s also an assassin). At some point in the story she must go into hiding and develops a plan to stay fit and healthy. I found it pretty good:

Aomame’s Regime (in hiding)

  • Get up at 6:30 am and have a simple breakfast.
  • Spend an hour or so doing house chores.
  • Exercise 90 minutes.
  • Lunch: green salad and fruit.
  • Afternoon activities: reading, tv, nap, etc.
  • [There’s no mention of dinner but I suppose she has something]
  • Enjoy the sunset.
  • Bed at 10:30 pm.

I wish I had her self-discipline… but I did get some ideas.

Overall, I gave this book 3/5 stars on Goodreads. I didn’t love it but I did like it and I will definitely try another one of Murakami’s books since I did enjoy his writing.

Favorite Quote

Screen shot 2015-01-27 at 5.55.24 PM

This really shut up all my questions 😆

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12 comments

  1. I love this author, but haven’t read this book yet. It sounds like something I would enjoy though. For a fitness theme you should read his book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. It has some great thoughts about exercise, and I found it very inspirational.

  2. Thanks for participating in my around the world challenge! I have not yet read Murakami, but he sounds intriguing. Maybe he will be my Asian author for the challenge. 🙂

  3. Sounds like a weird book. Not my kind of read but glad you found it interesting.
    That sounds like a fun reading challenge though. I am still finishing up my winter reading challenge but haven’t found books for the last couple of categories yet. I have to start looking for that. My challenge ends in February and then I start working on the POPSUGAR challenge. I love having goals, even for my leisure activities 😀

  4. Enjoyed your review even though I am really not interested in the subject matter of this book. How do you find your authors?

    1. Haha! I would not have picked this myself although I do enjoy science fiction and magic realism so it was OK for me. I find that joining a book club is a great way to get exposed to different authors and genres. Goodreads is great to find new authors based on the books you like and/or have already read. Happy reading.

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