Reading Stats [February]

6545492581_400267e41e_oOkay, I don’t know what exactly happened, but last month my brain was apparently on steroids: I couldn’t stop reading. During the shortest month of the year I managed to finish 10 (let me repeat, TEN) books – the most I’ve ever done in my entire life. I found that my strategy to switch between short and long books truly proved effective to battle my reading ADD. That combined with two long weekends thanks to a nasty flu and my final resolution to clean-up unfinished books really boosted my results. This is how I crossed the finished line:

Books finished [10/4]:

  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  • Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie
  • Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
  • The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami
  • The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan
  • Casino Royale by Ian Flemming
  • The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas Pere
  • The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin
  • The Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King

As you can see, I am quite behind on my journaling. I am taking things, as they come at me; it just happens that right now a lot of reading is coming my way, and not so much writing. Good news for my night-stand: finally tackled my fifth Haruki Murakami, which means I can put it back on my shelf. It also means that I have earned my very first badge! Please check it out below. Another accomplishment I had achieved last month was to finish The Three Musketeers. I’ve been meaning to finish this novel for over a year now. Considering how awesome and entertaining it is, I have no idea what’s been taking me so long! Of course I had to start the book from the beginning, because I just don ‘t trust my memory when it comes to long breaks in reading.

Books in progress:

  • 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami [18%]
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas [5%]
  • The Name of the Roze by Umberto Eco [27%]

I’m reading these with my Goodreads group. Somehow we managed to do a side-read for The Name of the Rose outside of two regular chunkster readalongs. We are also planning to do a buddy red for Shogun, so I should be pretty busy for the next couple of months. I have a few others going, but I haven’t picked them up in a while, so there is no real point in mentioning them here.

Additions to the library: 

  • The Divine Comedy [Penguin] by Dante Alighieri
  • Shogun by James Clavell

I bought another copy of The Divine Comedy in an eBook form, which will allow me to read on the go. My original copy is a leather bound compilation of all three books that I cannot imagine carrying around on my morning commute to work. I also bought a paperback version of Shogun, because I have been loving the opening 200 pages so much, I am pretty sure I will want a physical copy for my bookcase.  Other than that I’ve been trying to limit my spending, especially since my boyfriend’s birthday is coming up and I want to take him to a hockey game. Wait for me my dear books, I will come back to feeding you my hard-earned money soon enough.

Badges earned:

murakami button 5





This is the first badge to commemorate my progress through Murakami’s bibliography. Since he is still a living author, I thought it would make the most sense to celebrate my progress in small increments, instead of waiting a lifetime for his complete works. This badge is awarded for finishing 5 full-length books by Murakami. The next level is awarded for completing 10 books.


  1. I’ve read 5 Murakami books, too! (Kafka on the Shore, 1Q84, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, After Dark, and South of the Border, West of the Sun.) Which ones that you’ve read that I haven’t would you recommend?

  2. Nice list! After Wind-Up, I’m partial to A Wild Sheep Chase. Looking forward to you thoughts on 1Q84.

  3. Love your blog header, by the way.
    I nominated you for the Liebster award! If you don’t accept awards, no problem–I still think your blog is nifty. If you do, click on this post for the rules.

  4. Hi Caitlin, Outside of what you’ve read, I only finished After the Quake, The Elephant Vanishes and Norwegian Wood. The first two books are short story collections, and I have mentioned before on my blog that my absolute favorite Murakami story is Super-Frog Saves Tokyo from After the Quake. It’s the most perfect magical realism story of self-discovery. From the Elephant I loved The Dancing Dwarf, which is kind of a dystopian flavored story about an elephant-assembly worker (yes, that’s is correct, they assemble real life elephants). The other few that I adore are The Second Bakery Attack (funny in a dark way) and On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning (which is a sweet romantic episode of what could have been). As for Norwegian Wood, I didn’t love it the first time I read it, but after I digested it a bit more I realized it was a very unique and sad book that did deserve my affection. It doesn’t have the signature magical realism and world bending that Murakami is famous for; instead it is a solid, realistic book about loss, coping and alienation. Norwegian Wood deals heavily with themes of suicide and its aftermath, so it might be a little heavy sometimes. The more I thought about the book, the more I grew to love it. I had similar experience with Kafka of the Shore, which is now my favorite of Murakami’s. If you’re interested in something like that, I would definitely recommend Norwegian Wood.

    And thank you for nominating me! I never thought I’d get an award one day, since my blog is very low profile. I will put up a response post right away.

  5. Welcome Chris! I haven’t read either Wind-Up or Wild Sheep Chase, but I I’ve heard many great things about both. I actually recently got The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle at a book sale for a few dollars. I was super excited! I also read the beginning of it as a short story in The Elephant Vanishes, and it was very… Murakami-like. I have no other words to describe it. Once I finish 1Q84, I might start that one next. Since I am reading 1Q84 with a group and it’s a really big book, I should be done in a couple of months. Or I might post some thoughts when I finish the first part.

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