The MV Book Club turned one last month (March) and we celebrated it by discussing IQ84 by Haruki Murakami.
This is a long novel divided into three parts with 1,318 pages but most of us managed to finish reading it before the meeting and came prepared with our opinions, prejudices and interpretations.
The discussion was led by Reiko who cleverly counteracted the various viewpoints with alternative opinions thus providing us with a perspective of the book that had more shades than what we envisioned in the first read.
Personally, I was disappointed with the book chiefly because the hype around it had raised my expectations. Fully expecting to love the book, I started reading it with high hopes and I did enjoy the beginning but the story fizzled out in the end and so did my interest in Murakami. I like books with a supernatural bent but will pick a Clive Barker over a Murakami.
Our birthday ‘buffet’ was made up of freshly baked madeleines, courtesy of Marie who liked the reference to Proust in IQ84 and Dutch cookies from Kokkie. Add a card and candles from Lena and we were ready for our birthday song. Ironically, the first book we read was Shantaram which is close to a 1,000 pages and we started our 2nd year with another long book. Maybe we should make this our tradition thus reading only one long book a year.
We are reading two books this coming Thursday (18th April): “First They Killed My Father” by Loung Ung and “The Female Cell” by Rumaizah Abu Bakar, a fellow volunteer with MV. I have read both books but will save my comments for the meeting.