If you asked me what’s my favorite book, I’d have a hard time answering it. There are just too many! But here’s some of my favorite authors and their books that have become my firm favorite for years.
Eight people (plus a hired butler and a cook) get seemingly random invitations to stay in a private island. On their first night, it is revealed that these 10 people have done something bad in the past and escaped justice. One by one gets killed, with the same pattern as the nursery rhyme Ten Little Indians, and the mystery remains unsolved long time after the last victim dies.
Just a few words to describe this book: incredibly brilliant and imaginative. What makes it so brilliant? Well, the plot, the suspense, and the mind-blowing twist. I’ve read it a few times now and it still gives me chill. Agatha Christie’s best piece, definitely.
Hajime spends his childhood in loneliness, until he finds solace in the friendship with Shimamoto. Their friendship ends when Shimamoto and her family move. Many years later, they meet again when Shimamoto suddenly appears in a bar owned by Hajime. Shimamoto keeps slipping in and out of Hajime’s life, and in the end, it leaves him question whether this whole thing is real.
This book was recommended to me by Katka, and as soon as she claimed it was her favorite of Murakami, I bought it and read it in one day. Despite his distinctive grim tone in this book, Murakami succeeds in making it a page-turner, while also staying true to his kind of ending: ambiguous, leaving it to the reader for interpretation. He’s still as good as anything with analogy, and building sense of reverie throughout the book. Some of my favorites lines:
‘For a long time, she held a special place in my heart. I kept this special place just for her, like a “Reserved” sign on a quiet corner table in a restaurant. Despite the fact that I was sure I’d never see her again.’
‘Sometimes when I look at you, I feel I’m gazing at a distant star. It’s dazzling, but the light is from tens of thousands of years ago. Maybe the star doesn’t even exist any more. Yet sometimes that light seems more real to me than anything.’
A narrator tells the story of a relationship through up and down, in the form of dictionary entries (hence the alphabetical order, instead of chronological). Describing words with feelings and events in the relationship, it gradually gives the picture of what have happened in the relationship.
I admit that the title is a bit icky (I guess I’ll find everything with the word ‘lover’ to be icky), but rest assured, the content is not. It’s raw and heartbreaking, and it feels personal in a way I could totally relate to it. Clearly, this book is for the fans of romance, so if you’re not one, maybe give it a miss.
A few favorite lines:
‘There are times when I doubt everything. When I regret everything you’ve taken from me, everything I’ve given you, and the waste of all the time I’ve spent on us.’ — describing the word ‘abyss.‘
‘I spent all this time building a relationship. Then one night I left the window open and it started to rust.’ — describing the word ‘corrode.’
‘The mistake is in thinking there can be antidote to the uncertainty.‘ — describing the word ‘vagary.’