I am extremely interested in the subject matter in which this book covers and I have started this book and found some interesting statistics I would like to share with our readers.
From the Preface:
“The United States currently imprisons five to nine more people than western European nations, and significantly more than China and Russian.”
“Roughly 3 percent of adults in the nation are now under correctional supervision: 2.2 million in prisons and jails, and an additional 4.8 million on probation or parole.”
“Black people make up 13 percent of the US population, but account for 37 percent of the prison population.”
I will be sharing more from this fascinating book later in the week. (Hopefully!!!)
On the way to Nashville to pick up my wife at the airport, I stopped in the independent bookstore, Parnassus Books and picked this up last Saturday. I have only read one Murakami book, 1Q84, and found it wonderful. Colorless Tsukuri Tazaki intrigued me because of the closeness of the five friends in high school. I had a similar situation, having three other guy friends who I grew up with playing tennis and have stayed friends throughout our lives, even though I don’t talk to them as much as I would like.
This book does not have that many twists and turns but the character development is exquisite and it really makes you consider what is required to have close friendships and to keep them going. These characters in the book made an investment in each other and yet they could not see what others saw in them, strengths and even weaknesses. Murakami does a great job in exploring these weaknesses and in Tazaki’s case, having the courage to address these weaknesses bit by bit.
I am not a big fiction reader, but I must say that this book was very thought-provoking and in my opinion, is a must read for those that are interested in relationships and their fragility.
I have included an audio book excerpt for you to get a feel for the book:
“Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.”
Remember, you are your own doctor when it comes to curing cold feet.”
“Many a man who is proud of his right to say what he pleases wishes he had the courage to do so.”
“The courage to speak must be matched by the wisdom to listen.”
“Don’t be afraid to go our on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.”
“There are always excuses available if you are weak enough to use them.”
“A real man is one who finds excuses for others, but never for himself.”
There aren’t really enough crutches in the world for all the lame excuses.”
“People are great manufacturers. Some make good, others make trouble, and some just make excuses.”
“Excuses fool no one but the person who makes them.”
“More and more food is coming canned or prepackaged—including food for thought.”
“The one thing worse than a vacant mind is one filled with spiteful thoughts.”
“Our words may hide our thoughts, but our actions will reveal them.”
“You cannot escape the results of your own thoughts.
“Man can live without air for a few minutes, without water for two weeks, without food for six weeks—and without a new thought for a lifetime.”
“It is all right to be always looking for compliments—to give to someone else.”
“If you’re not mature enough to take criticism, you’re too immature for praise.”
“Remember, whenever you’re praised to the sky, it’s best to keep your feet on the ground.”
“It is not he who searches for praise who finds it.”
“It is usually best to be generous with praise, but cautious with criticism.”
I must admit that I have not read much fiction in my life but when I ran across Haruki Murakami and his book 1Q84 and read it, I became enthralled with his writing and his masterful creativity in weaving a story together. I am looking forward to reading his new work: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki And His Years Of Pigrimmage. After having read a review by Patti Smith in today’s New York Times Book Review, I became aware of some of his very early works such as Sputnik Sweetheart, Norwegian Wood and Pinball, 1973. I truly admire someone who can come up with such stories across so many varied characters and such imagination. I will update you on my reading on this.
I have also become very interested, as I have stated in earlier posts about biographies and memoirs of individuals that I do not know very well or not at all. This biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer is one of those individuals that I had heard the name but did not know anything about. I also ran across this new biography in the New York Times Book Review entitled Strange Glory: A Life Of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Charles Marsh. This is a man who became a Christian martyr and put to death by the German gestapo in 1945 and who struggled with the teachings of Christianity in Germany at the turbulent time of Adolph Hitler and how the Nazi’s used these to bless their activities. I will also update you on this book as I am still intrigued about the rise of Adolph Hitler and the German nation between World War I and II.