Tag Archives: haruki murakami

Book review: Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

As much of a “trendsetter” I am when it comes to such questionable masterpieces such as “Modelland” and “A Shore Thing“, I am always, always woefully late  when it comes to what is actually popular on most readers’ shelves.

For instance, I only started reading Paolo Coelho around his 29th (or is it 28th?) novel, “The Winner Stands Alone”, and my reaction wasn’t exactly the most positive one. I haven’t read a single work by Haruki Murakami, and I haven’t started on “The Hunger Games” yet, although I’ve been itching to do so. As for “Harry Potter”, I only started reading it when “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” came out. I’ve never really gotten into Nicholas Sparks or Mitch Albom, and the thought of even thumbing through Rick Warren’s “A Purpose Driven Life” makes me want to punch somebody’s nalgas.

Having outlined my un-hipness, it therefore shouldn’t surprise you guys that I only started reading Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” earlier this week. I was planning to read it anyway — the US adaptation of the movie airs on the first of February — but I was invited to a press preview and I had to push it up my to-read list because I didn’t want to go in there without having read the book.

Unfortunately, I was unable to finish the book, and I had to go into the movie without knowing what I was going to be in for. I’ll talk about how the movie measures up to the book in another post, but I will say this — the movie certainly didn’t spoil the experience of reading the book.

Continue reading Book review: Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

Your week in books#28

  • Legendary fantasy and science fiction author Anne McCaffrey died of a stroke last Monday at her home in Ireland. Best known for her “Dragonriders of Pern” series, Anne McCaffrey is also the first woman to win a Hugo Award for fiction, the first woman to win a Nebula Award, and the first author to get into the New York Times bestseller list with an science fiction title. (Source 1, Source 2)
  • In more “Akira-That-Is-Not-Akira” casting news, it appears that there is now a shortlist of very white actors set to play a very Japanese character. Among the names being floated are Michael Pitt from “Boardwalk Empire”, Richard Madden from “Game of Thrones”, and Paul Dano from “Little Miss Sunshine”. (Source)
Asa Butterfield
  • Meanwhile, the other bit of casting new floating around on the web is the supposed casting of 14-year-old British actor Asa Butterfield in the role of Ender, for the big screen adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game“. I haven’t read the book yet — Card’s Mormonism conflicts with my homosexuality — so I’d like to know what you guys think of this news. Yay or nay? (Source)
  • The people behind the Oxford English Dictionary have declared the phrase “squeezed middle” as the word of the year. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but isn’t a phrase something entirely different from a word? Don’t want to argue with the Oxford English Dictionary though. (Source)
  • The New York Times lists down the 100 notable books of 2011. Some of the titles in the list are Jeffrey Eugenides’ “The Marriage Plot”, John Sayles’ “A Moment In The Sun”, and Haruki Murakami’s “1Q84”. (Source)

Your week in books#26

  • Here’s the trailer for “Snow White and the Huntsman”, where Bella Swan, after being trained by Thor, leads the Men of Gondor in a rebellion against Aeon Flux. or Aileen Wuornos if you’re all indie and stuff.
  • Two Pulitzer Prize winners will be heading to our fair shores next week! Edward P. Jones, author of “The Known World“, and Junot Diaz, author of “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao“, will be taking part in the Manila International Literary Festival, which will be held from November 16 to 18. (Source)
  • There’s going to be a course on Harry Potter at Durham University in the United Kingdom. The Guardian’s kicker takes the cake, though: “Module will focus on ‘social, cultural and educational context’, but no word on whether Expelliarmus will be applied to students with poor grades.” (Source)
  • I love a good plagiarism story, and boy is this one crazy. Debut novelist Q. R.
    Q. R. Markham, plagiarist

    Markham’s novel, “Assassin of Secrets”, recently came out to strong reviews, with Publishers Weekly noting that the “obvious Fleming influence just adds to the appeal. Turns out, the “obvious Fleming influence” was around because Markham — Quentin Rowan in real life — used Fleming’s actual words, along with the word of Robert Ludlum and many more. The blog “Reluctant Habits” even provides a rundown of the works plagiarized! (Source 1, Source 2)

  • “Assassin of Secrets” most definitely will not make it to Amazon’s Best Book of 2011. Haruki Murakami’s “1Q84” and Erin Morgenstern’s “The Night Circus” made it though! (Source)
  • The New York Observer has a nice profile on Anthony Bourdain, who it appears is now going into publishing. (Source)
  • Barnes and Noble has a new Nook tablet out! (Source)
  • Check out “The Books They Gave Me”, a Tumblr blog focusing on books given by lovers. (Source)
  • Take a look at some stills from the David Cronenberg film, “Cosmopolis”, based on the Don Delilio novel of the same name. It stars Robert Pattinson! (Source)
  • In that other Robert Pattinson film that’s based on a book, he talks about how Bella’s placenta tastes like “cream cheese and strawberry jam”. I can’t wait to watch this movie. (Source)
  • Finally, “One Tree Hill” star Chad Michael Murray is now a graphic novelist, coming out with “Everlast” under Archaia. I will now take this opportunity to post shirtless pictures of him under the cut. (Source)

Continue reading Your week in books#26

Your week in books#24

  • Here’s a short and interesting clip where book cover designer Chip Kidd talks about how he designed the book jacket for Haruki Murakami’s “1Q84”.
  • Following this Murakami route, there’s a really great profile of him on the New York Times. (Source)
  • Fans of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and H&M are in for a treat as the retail chain releases a clothing line inspired by the book and the upcoming Hollywood adaptation. (Source)
  • “A Game of Thrones” author George R. R. Martin talks about Peter Dinklage, the TV adaptation of his famous series, and how he sometimes turns to Westeros.org to keep his facts straight. (Source)
  • The Guardian takes a look at the latest ‘Sherlock Holmes” story penned by “Stormbreaker” author Anthony Horowitz. (Source)
  • Check out this great illustration of Batman battling all his foes at the Wayne Manor! (Source)
  • Finally, “Harry Potter” characters drawn as hipsters. (Source)
  • Edited to add: “Hunger Games” character posters under the cut!

Continue reading Your week in books#24

Your week in books#19

  • Here’s something that may interest Haruki Murakami fans: Knopf Doubleday just put up the book trailer for “1Q84”, Murakami’s latest book.
  • While I don’t think I’ll be getting an ebook reader anytime soon, I have been known to patronize the format every now and then, mostly if they’re in the public domain and available on Project Gutenberg. Which is why it’s quite sad to hear about the death of its founder, Michael Hart. (Source)
  • We all know that reading is good for you and that it helps you understand other points of view and empathize with people. But did we really need to have a group of scientists tell us about it? Researchers at the University of Buffalo say that “reading fiction improves empathy”. In other news, the sky is blue. (Source)
  • Finally, The Guardian has a great essay about the current rise in popularity of the Bronte sisters. I, for one, think it is because the new Jane Eyre adapatation has Michael Fassbender in it. And if by some weird reason you don’t know who Michael Fassbender is, check him out under the cut. (Source)

Continue reading Your week in books#19

Your week in books#18

  • Did you guys know that there’s actually a Facebook page for people who hate reading? As of right now, the “I Hate Reading” Facebook page has more than 450,000 likes, while the similarly themed “I Hate Books” has more than 280,000. The “I Hate I Hate Reading Facebook Page” Facebook page (that’s a mouthful) meanwhile, only has a little over 500. (Source 1, Source 2, Source 3)
  • The Guardian also has an essay by author Ewan Morrisson basically saying that books as we know them are done for and authors should all just give up. Joy. (Source)
  • Any Haruki Murakami fans reading? Are any of you currently living in New Jersey? A school district in NJ just pulled out “Norwegian Wood” from a school reading list because of a lesbian sex scene included in the novel. The Family Research Council (bleaurgh) says it’s is further evidence of the pushing of the “homosexual agenda”. (Source)
  • Perhaps the book banning that’s been going on the past few weeks are just a dry run for Banned Books Week (Sept. 24 to Oct. 1)? Whatever the case may be, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression has a handy and simple guide on how to celebrate it. (Source)
  • I know that some of my friends are slowly making that transition to e-books, and that not a lot of people can afford to buy all the different e-book readers that are out there. Good thing eBookNewser has got a handy guide to convert PDF files to ePub or Kindle files. (Source)
  • And since we’re on the e-book train already, a New York start up named Booktrack is coming up with e-books that now come with their own soundtracks. (Source)
  • The New York Times also has an entertaining essay on one person’s thought on “what we do with books”. (Source)
  • Lastly, to counter the gloom and doom the first few items may have left in your mouth, how about taking a look at some of the pictures from a book so aptly titled “Wet Men”? It’s the new coffee table book from photographer Francois Rousseau, who some of you guys may remember from his Dieux de Stade calendars and videos. Take a peek at them under the cut! SO NSFW LIKE YOU WOULDN’T BELIEVE.

Continue reading Your week in books#18

Your week in books #3

I’ve had a busy week, so apologies for not being able to put up your weekly installment of “Your Week in Books” yesterday. Here it is now!

Vladmir Nabokov hunting butterflies in Switzerland
  • Aside from being the author of “Lolita“, Vladimir Nabokov was also an avid collector of butterflies. It appears that way back in 1945, he had come up with a hypothesis that a specific species of butterflies migrated from Asia to the New World, which professional lepidopterists dismissed. Turns out he was right, after all. (Source)
  • The University of East Anglia (UEA) has been given 50 letters written by J.D. Salinger to his friend Donald Hartog. The UEA website doesn’t say what exactly are in those letters, but Mediabistro says it reveals that Salinger liked Burger King and Tim Henman. Okay. (Source)
  • Haruki Murakami’s new novel, “1Q84”, will come out in October. Paul Bogaards is Knopf’s publicity director. (Source)
  • For those interested in how books get made, check out how the University of Iowa Libraries bound together a 10,000 page poetry book written by David Morice. (Source)

I’m also hoping to finish “I Am Number Four” later today and have a review up by the evening, so watch out for that one!