Many happy returns

When my writings were less sporadic, I’d keep a running commentary of the books I’ve been reading. I got the idea from Nick Hornby’s collected columns, titled Ten Years in the Tub. The past year (or longer), I’ve gotten away from that. But I have been reading, though not nearly as much as I had in 2020. 

There’s a certain joy in writing about books. I mean, I enjoy reading them. Why wouldn’t I enjoy writing about them. Not criticisms, per se. Not synopses either. Just a quick glance at how I feel when reading them, and if there’s something that really stood out to me. 

Recently I was given The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy by Stieg Larsson. I read them over one week, while I was holed up with COVID. I enjoyed them so thoroughly that I gave a set to another friend of mine at Christmas. 

Plenty has already been written about the series, its author, and its protagonist. But the stirring thing for me is the way such a story is able to grab you. 

I read another book a bit more recently, The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Another thriller of sorts, but this one taking place in a New England liberal arts college for the well-to-do, dealing with the ancient Greek traditions of the Bacchae. 

It was okay. Honestly, I found it very easy to read at parts, though a bit of a slow starter and with an ending that left me unsatisfied. But, not all endings can be satisfactory, and I’m not sure it could have ended in any way but the way it did.

Which brings me to Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84, which I’m currently reading. All 900+ pages of it. 

And, about three hundred fifty pages in, I have no idea where it’s taking me. But for whatever reason, though it’s a bit of a slog at points, I can’t put it down for longer than a couple days before needing to pick it up again. 


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