[Wrap-Up] Books read in March 2017

Time for another monthly wrap-up! This month I read a total of six books, three short story collections, and one poetry collection.

My March reads:

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[Book Review] After the Quake by Haruki Murakami

41jdookhyml-_sx322_bo1204203200_Title: After the Quake
Author: Haruki Murakami
Genre: Fiction, short stories, magical realism, contemporary

Where I got the book: I purchased this book through Bokkilden.

My rating: ★★★☆☆

Summary: Satsuki fears her hatred towards one man might have caused a natural disaster. Four-year old Sala has nightmares about the Earthquake Man, who is trying to stuff her inside a little box. Katagiri returns to his apartment to find a giant frog on a mission to save Tokyo from a massive burrowing worm. This collection of six short stories are all written in response to the catastrophic 1995 Kobe earthquake.

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[Book Review] Nothing is Strange by Mike Russell

41c2ttp3cmlTitle: Nothing is Strange
Author: Mike Russell
Genre: Fiction, short stories, surrealism

Where I got the book: I received a free e-copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

My rating: ★★★★☆

Summary: A couple wants to prove that their love is real. A man clones himself. An audience waits patiently for a woman to escape a locked wooden crate. A man shows off his beard of transparent bees. These are just a few of the 20 short stories included in this bizarre, mind-expanding collection.

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[Book Review] Silence by Shūsaku Endō

41yiu5tgxgl-_sx328_bo1204203200_Title: Silence
Author: Shūsaku Endō
Genre: Fiction, historical fiction, religion, classics

Where I got the book: I purchased this book through Book Depository.

My rating: ★★★★☆

Summary: In the 1640s, Father Rodrigues, a Portuguese Jesuit priest, sets sail for Japan. His mission is to help the oppressed Japanese Christians and to find out whether or not his mentor Ferreira has renounced his faith, as the rumors claim. Rodrigues soon experiences the harsh reality of religious persecution firsthand, and as his suffering increases he is forced to make an impossible choice: abandon his flock or abandon his God.

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[List] Man Booker International Prize Longlist 2017

The longlist for the Man Booker International Prize 2017 was announced last week and I’ve been looking into the books that made it on there. I have to admit that I’ve usually not paid a lot of attention to the Booker Prize (or all that many other prizes honestly). Little over a year ago I also wasn’t reading as much and as widely as I do now, so that probably has a lot to do with it as well. But since reading (and really loving) Han Kang’s “The Vegetarian” last year, which was the 2016 international winner, I made a mental note to make sure I properly check it out this year!

I probably won’t be reading everything on the longlist, but I’ve listed some books below that definitely have caught my attention and that I would love to read soon.

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[Book Review] The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

51mw5yfmqxl-_sx324_bo1204203200_Title: The Handmaid’s Tale
Author: Margaret Atwood
Genre: Fiction, classics, speculative fiction, dystopian

Where I got the book: I purchased this book through Book Depository.

My rating: ★★★★★

Summary: In the not so distant future, the former America has become the oppressive Republic of Gilead. Before Gilead, Offred led a normal, happy life together with her husband, her daughter, and her job – and she even still had her own name. Now, in an age of declining births, she is a Handmaid, a woman who is only valued because she is fertile. She has been stripped of her rights, her identity, and her body, and is only there to provide a child for her Commander and his infertile wife. If she fails to give birth or dissents in any way, she will be shipped off to the Colonies, a wasteland permeated by radioactive toxins, or hanged at the Wall.

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[Book Review] Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami

51dhqi5bufl-_sx324_bo1204203200_Title: Strange Weather in Tokyo
Author: Hiromi Kawakami
Genre: Fiction, contemporary, romance

Where I got the book: I purchased this book through Bokkilden.

My rating: ★★★☆☆

Summary: 37-year old Tsukiko is drinking alone in a local bar when she happens to meet her former high school Japanese teacher. Unable to remember his name, she falls into the old habit of calling the 67-year old man “Sensei”. Tsukiko and Sensei are both lonely people, and though they are in many ways a mismatched couple, they continue to meet and their friendship deepens.

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