I guess it was inevitable. All that hype. All the lead-up. All the excitement around the release of Murakami's 1Q84 and reading it right away, even though we all know I never read big, important, much ballyhooed books right away. What was I thinking?
At least I re-read all his stuff. (Oh no, I used that DFW word to make you all think I'm not as smart as I really am and to seem all casual-like. Watch out.) And I'm finally reading other things. Which is an odd sort of relief mixed with guilt. Murakami guilt: it's all the rage, haven't you heard?
At the lovely #midnightmurakami event at Skylight Books (truly sweet to meet other Murakami fans who would otherwise never venture out of their homes to speak to people in a group publicly, over cookies & tea), I picked up a few distractions:
- Ether by Ben Ehrenreich (so used to his brilliant non-fiction, thought this would be a nice change)
- Ghost Lights by Lydia Millet (she is a genius. period.)
Don't get me wrong, I've been petting my gorgeous 1Q84. I've skimmed. I'm just not ready to commit with so many other novels to devour first.
At the start of this month, I spent time in the Bay Area for a host of events and meetings and family gatherings and managed to sneak in a few days in Napa. No Napa trip would be complete without a trip to Copperfield's Books in Calistoga, where I picked up a few more distractions:
- Naked Wine by Alice Feiring (oh the irony of reading this surrounded by big Napa cabs)
- Blue Nights by Joan Didion (she will be in LA next week!)
- Half Empty by David Rakoff (to counter the intensity of Didion!)
- The Score Takes Care of Itself by Bill Walsh (hello, #49erfaithful !?!)
And so, you can see this fancy web of distractions I've carefully crafted. Support my indie bookstores, buy books that are not 1Q84, read those books and somehow subvert the blame all the while still suffering from acute Murakami guilt. Perhaps you are actually reading 1Q84 and have thoughts to share? Would love to hear them.
Alas, I've got another distraction to cultivate: 49ers/Giants in an hour.