Mid-July TBR List: The Overhyped, Marvelous Murakami, and Short Stories

My July reading list has only managed to come together in mid July. Thank you numerous unwarranted trips to the bookstore! Thank you Amazon.com and your lure of infinite books and fast delivery at my fingertips! Because of this I have been finicky over a now large selection of unread books to choose from, starting one until another arrives and I think No, I have to start this one now. But I have finally narrowed it down to three that will fill out the rest of this month.

The Fault in Our Stars, John Green

I have crawled out from under my rock and left the comfort of hibernation to read The Fault in Our Stars, as hyped as it is. I saw a trailer for the film before hearing about the book and it completely deterred me from wanting any part of it’s YA form. Nor with it’s plot, or with it’s sickly characters and sudden teenage love. But Hollywood has the ability to take a great book and market it to sell regardless of whether it reflects the story accurately. These are usually a re-imagining rather than a strict recreation.

When Hazel’s terminal tumor relents thanks to a medical miracle, she is bought a few more years of life. While at a Cancer Kid Support Group she meets Augustus Waters, a brilliant boy who allows her to see a new side of life, being in love.

I hope the book deals with Hazel’s real feelings about her diagnosis and knowing she is going to die as equally, if not more than, it talks about the Augustus and Hazel’s relationship. I don’t want it to be like The Lovely Bones, where a much greater issue lies within the story but all boils down to Susie wanting to have sex with her crush. I want it to deal with Hazel’s mortality and not have the power of love cure everything. I can not deny the book has something that has everyone raving, and my guess is the plot is great.

I also bought Paper Towns for good measure, but I will save that for next month.

Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Haruki Murakami

There is a weird level of excitement within me considering I have never read any of Murakami’s work, but I am positive I will enjoy it. His stories are well written and often take the strange of fantasy and science fiction, which are all wonderful in my mind. After reading a few passages across his books I decided to first dip my toes into Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World. The synopsis is painfully vague, only revealing that amoung a gang of oddball happenings – deranged scientists, unicorn skulls, and Bob Dylan (?) – a man falls into the underworld of contemporary Tokyo, uniting tragedy and comedy.

Murakami’s labeling as a controversial fiction writer and my urge to read international literature more will be soothed by this read!

The Brink, Austin Bunn

I picked up this book for two reasons:

1. Sometimes, I judge books by their covers.

2. I like short stories and enjoy seeing how other writers deal with this form of story telling.

Flipping through to find a passage at random I read of one character being “pleasantly retarded” after too much drink. I put it into my basket because I had read enough. This is Austin Bunn’s book debut and the stories within explore what happens at “the end” (I spot a theme) and beyond that. The stories span a wide range of plots; In “How To Win an Unwinnable War”a summer class on nuclear war somehow leads to the destruction of a family. Videogamers fall in love in the virtual world in “Griefer”. Despite the diversity of these stories all the characters go through changes in their lives and deal with solitude, which I find interesting because right now I am writing a short that deals with this. Something tells me this will be a fun read.

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