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.
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!
photo credits: little aesthete