Extra Books – July

  • In the Company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander McCall Smith
    • Finished on: July 23
    • Published: 2004
    • Genre: Slice-of-life fiction
    • Why I picked it up: Reading the series
    • Rating: 3.5 stars
    • My Thoughts:
      • Normally I wouldn’t make any note of this on my blog, just mark it as read on Goodreads BUT there was a part where I did my little gasp-and-look-up-from-the-book which I never expected to do with this series. SPOILER: 
      • The thing I totally was not expecting was Mma Ramotswe’s confession that she had not divorced Note. I was not expecting something so rattling to the story. It made me anxious about what was going to happen! But of course it all played out well in the end. 
  • A Year in the Life of a Shinto Shrine by 
    • Finished on: July 20
    • Published: January 1996
    • Genre: Non-fiction
    • Why I picked it up: Interest in religion -> Japanese traditions -> Shinto
    • Rating: 3 stars
    • My Thoughts:
      • Gives an interesting look into, as the title says, a year in the life of a shinto shrine. Certain rituals are described in depth. I would have liked to hear a little more about shinto’s role in the community (though the author would probably say ‘WHAT!? BUT I TALKED ABOUT THAT LOTS!’), perhaps more from the people who visit the shrine, but I suppose that wasn’t really the purpose of this book. It was a little dry, as it mostly focuses on relaying what happens at the shrine. But it did do exactly what the title says, so it was still an informative read, just not quite what I wanted to know.
  • South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami
    • Finished on: July 2
    • Published: 1992
    • Genre: Slice-of-life fiction
    • Why I picked it up: Fan of the author
    • Rating: 4 stars
    • My Thoughts:
      • I didn’t make any notes while reading this :/
      • I liked it though! Haha. It was the most ‘normal’ Murakami book I’ve read. Even though I love the more surreal aspects of his writing found in other stories, I enjoyed this story and liked it far better than IQ84. You could argue that the mystery surrounding Shimamoto could be the surreal aspect of the story, which is what I like to think. The characters were so real, I just drank up the narrator’s story. Murakami’s prose gets me ever time!! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say why, though…
  • The Wavering of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa
    • Finished on: July 13
    • Published: November 2011
    • Genre: Science fiction
    • Why I picked it up: Reading the series
    • Rating: 3 stars
    • My Thoughts:
      • Probably my least favourite book in the series thus far, though it was still enjoyable.
      • My favourite story was definitely ‘The Melancholy of Mikuru Asahina’, which progressed the overall story line. My least favourite was definitely the murder mystery game? It was very lacklustre and odd, perhaps it will have more significance later…