recently on my nightstand there has been a selection of books i read. i’m not going all out to review them. i’m just listing them and giving you the essential information, just in case you need some summer reading.

recently on my nightstand recently on my nightstand

crash by j.g. ballard. it’s a must-read classic featuring people fetishizing the human-machine interaction. really hot, too! as an option, you can see cronenberg’s 1997 film. although, in this case, i definitely prefer the book.

concrete island by j.g. ballard. it’s about the alienation of the modern man from the basics of life. imagine some robinson crusoe trapped on a traffic island in the middle of london. apparently, christian bale is set to star in a future film adaptation.

i got these two books in some vintage store in london’s east end, at the end of march. weirdly enough, i had just read somewhere about the brutalist architecture of the barbican center.  it seems to have inspired high rise, the third book in this trilogy. i liked ballard’s manly and grown up style. i’ll try to read everything he’s written.

after dark by haruki murakami. i only realized i was re-reading it after a while. i remembered i had read it in romanian, on loan from my local library. i liked it more this time around. probably because i know tokyo now and the story makes more sense this way. a nice cinematic snapshot of the city mixed with some of the author’s usual immersions in fantasy.

the dying animal by philip roth. another re-read. i don’t remember how or when i had read this one. anyway, it is not his best work. there seems to be a film based on this novel as well, called elegy and starring penelope cruz and ben kingsley.

the elephant vanishes by haruki murakami. i have just finished murakami’s earliest collection of short stories. there are bits and pieces of the future novel, the wind-up bird chronicle. for instance, the name of the lost cat/brother in law is used here for a future brother in law. picking up these references is a great game for somebody who is already a fan.

i prefer reading the original version of a book, if possible. i’m a translator myself and i’m the first to understand how it is impossible to accurately convey the same feeling via different languages. there are great translations, i agree. but i personally prefer the original. for instance: murakami’s translators employ slang and i’m completely thrown off by the american flavours mixed in the japanese stories. it’s so wrong and distracting! but, since my japanese is zero, i need to make do.

the moe manifesto by patrick w. galbraith. you must have already seen the review for this one. but i do have related news though: it proved to be the beginning of my new partnership with tuttle publishing. apparently, there is a lot more reading in my close future. stay tuned!

recently on my nightstand recently on my nightstand 1

photo credits: little aesthete