Thursday, 15 January 2015

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

I put off reading this trilogy for a bit as I wanted to savor every last piece of it. I feel like that every time I get a new Haruki Murakami book.  There is something about his work that feels like you're inside a dream and thanks to the beautiful translation by Philip Gabriel and Jay Rubin, '1Q84' carried on that feeling.

The story centers around two main characters, Aomame and Tengo Kawana in the year 1984. Aomame is an athletic, healthy 30 year old woman who works as a personal fitness instructor.  Her highly accurate talents of manipulating and understanding the human body have lead her to become a very selective murderer for a small organisation.
Tengo Kawana is an unpublished novelist and a math teacher at a cram school. His mentor Komatsu is an editor of a publishing company and approaches Tengo with the idea to rewrite a promising manuscript called 'Air Chrysalis' by a high school student called Fuka-Eri.
Their connection is their childhood, a small amount of time spent in the same class and the holding of hands just once that creates a lasting impression on them for the rest of their lives.  Their differing situations yet special connection bring them into what appears to be a different world. A world with two moons, little people and an air chrysalis. Love also plays a huge part in this story.  I kind of felt that if you were to close your eyes and sweep away the detail, you'd find a classic tale of the trials and tribulations of finding love.  For me it was exactly that but told with the brilliant mind of Murakami, the way he sees it.

I highly recommend this trilogy to everyone. In fact I highly recommend any of his works.  I feel like you can't fully describe a Murakami book because it would be like trying to describe a dream to someone.  You can't really do it justice.

Monday, 5 January 2015


So, it's 2015 which is kind of crazy if you think about it.  As I get older I've found i've started asking not only where the weeks and months go but where the years are going too.  I must be getting old.
I've very much enjoyed my holiday break which has been just over two weeks.  I've got lots of hopes and plans for the new year but I'm generally just happy for a fresh new start.  There's something so refreshing about waking up in a new year which gives you a bit of a spring in your step for the days to come.
To help get organised for 2015 I bought a new diary which I always take ages to choose. Thankfully I stumbled across the website Sticker Stack who's products are sourced from Korea and Japan.  The stationary featured is so lovely and exactly my kind of taste. I got the Iconic Design 2015 planner along with one of their pens. I also got the Diary Deco pack v.5 of stickers as I love filling diaries full of bits and bobs. The quality of the products is exceptional. I very much recommend giving them a look. I'll be going back to them for more stickers and notebooks during the year as delivery was also very quick and everything was packaged up in such a nice way. It was like a second Christmas!

I can't say I'm ready to go back to work as I don't think anyone ever is after a good holiday.  I've lots to keep me occupied in my free time though. I finally chose and bought my new camera which is a Nikon d7100 which I'm so pleased with. I also bought a guide for it off amazon so I've been spending my time reading through that and learning about all the functions. It's nice to have a new hobby to focus on and learn. As well as playing about with my camera I've also done a spot more knitting.  I gave my mum a crochet kit for Christmas and watching her has made me want to get the knitting out again.  Here is a quick little piggy I knitted yesterday.

 I've also done the odd spot of drawing over the past two weeks but to be honest my biggest activity has been eating chocolate and relaxing because after all that's what holidays are for.