May 3, Tuesday evening -- Reading Paul Auster

In the last bit of sun before sunset at the Atlas Cafe
Reading City of Glass, the first book in a detective trilogy by Paul Auster that a friend of his recommended.

Recently he was reading Freedom, a novel by Jonathan Franzen, author of The Corrections, which he'd checked out at the library, but had to return before he'd finished because there were holds on the book, which makes it not subject to renew. The book is almost 600 pages and follows the lives of a suburban couple, the oversexed relationship between their son and the neighbor girl that began in the tree house, a scandal in Washington, warmongering, and the conservation of song birds. (I read this recently and loved it.)

His favorite book, or one of them anyway, is The Windup Bird Chronicle, by the Japanese contemporary writer, Haruki Murakami. I told him that I liked Murakami's books too, except for the nonfiction book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, about the author's long distance running career, and he said that a friend of his had actually recommended it and said it was really good. I told him I thought it was boring and not as imaginative as Murukami's other books and then I wondered if maybe I was wrong and had just missed some subtlety ....though my sister hadn't liked it either. Finally, I shrugged and say that maybe I just wasn't in the right mood when I read it.

If you've read What I Talk About When I Talk About Running let me know what you thought about it.


berenice said...

hi Sonya, I enjoyed very much your post, both Murakami and Paul Auster are among my favorite authors... I am glad you like Murakami too, I haven't read the The Windup Bird Chronicle but Kafka on the Shore, his short stories Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman and A Wild Sheep Chase are great reads! and I sort of 'promise' you not to read his runner book ;) doesn't sound too interesting, maybe 'cause i am not a runner...

if you haven't read Paul Auster, I'd recommend it to you, his New York Trilogy is a great detective story trio, but also many of his books are great, Oracle Night, and his Collected Prose are very good too... good to know he's been read not only in NYC and Brooklyn!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sonya,
I really loved his running bio. I think you might have to be runner to really enjoy it. I related to much of the book and recommended to lots of fellow runners. There something very ascetic about running and Murakami breaks down that relationship quite well. Here's my favorite quote from the book, "Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest."