everywhere, anywhere, nowhere: book talk.

  • Roland Barthes’ Mourning Diary is written in snippets of thoughts rarely extending more than a few lines each, and it’s a small volume, stocky and sturdy, by looks deceptive because it’s harder to get through than some novels.  Glimpsing into someone’s grief is no easy feat, and I’ve found that this is a book I keep by my Mac and dip into every once in a while when I find my senses becoming dull, absorbing only a few pages at a time before setting it aside again.
  • One of my housemates is an exchange student from Japan, and I noticed on Friday night that she had Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore on her shelf.  Naturally, I had to ask if she’d read him and if she’d read his new novel, and she replied that, yes, she had, all three volumes of it.  The only response I could offer to that was a sigh of envy; 1Q84 doesn’t reach Stateside in English translation until fall 2012; and Murakami Haruki is one of the authors for whom I desire to learn Japanese.
  • Late last week, I broke into my shiny new copy of Demons but am wondering if I should put this one (and other currently readings) on pause for now and focus solely on my current reread of Anna Karenina.  Maybe instead of tackling Proust over the holidays, I’ll aim for Demons and The Brothers Karamazov … all the while sipping heavenly espresso and chowing down meatball subs in San Francisco?  Or pizza slices in Manhattan?  Ought I hoard hopes for potential jaunts to more homey corners of the world this holiday season?