A few weeks ago I found out that The Bibliotheque will be hosting an awesome reading challenge on her blog. The “Comfort Zone Reading Challenge” pushes you to read 17 books that belong to genres outside of your comfort zone. As soon as I saw this challenge, I immediately signed up because I have so many books on my shelf that I haven’t read yet for the very same reason – they are out of my comfort zone.
Today I’d like to share with you the very first book I managed to tick off my list during the month of January. I know it’s already the middle of February but I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t share my January book for this challenge:
COLORLESS TSUKURU TAZAKI BY HARUKI MURAKAMI
Colorless is the remarkable story of Tsukuru Tazaki, a young man haunted by a great loss; of dreams and nightmares that have unintended consequences for the world around us; and of a journey into the past that is necessary to mend the present. It is a story of love, friendship, and heartbreak for the ages.
I wasn’t planning to read this book in January. It seemed like a book that I needed to psych myself up for. I could not have been more wrong! After skimming through the story, I eventually found myself knee deep into the plot with no hope of turning back! The writing is that gripping and beautiful. I wasn’t aware of turning the pages because I was so completely absorbed by Tsukuru’s journey. This was quite the surprise for me because in my experience books that were originally written in a different language lose a lot of its beauty in translation. I’m so happy to report that this was not the case with Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki.
Something that really stood out for me about the main character, Tsukuru Tazaki, was that he comes across as a much younger person. He seemed naive even after what he’s been through and had an awkward way of interacting with people. I thought this character trait was quite endearing and made it all the more relatable. As a reader I could feel how deeply his past affected him and how it laid a solid foundation to his personality as a man.
The story itself was rather “out there” in a sense. To be completely honest there are still a few questions that were never really answered for me. Even with these plot gaps I liked how Haruki Murakami brought in all these different themes of sexuality, mental health, love, relationships and friendship dynamics. It also vividly captures the stages of one’s life and how a person can change over time according to outside forces. I found this to be fascinating – how one incident in your life can change your entire path. It made me think of every person I ever encountered and had me wondering what made them to be the people I’ve come to know. It had me looking back on my own life and I tried pinpointing details in my past that left a lasting impression on me. This book was deep, you guys!
I’m still not entirely sure what to make of the ending. It was left kind of unfinished and open, so I was rather disappointed with that detail. I have a list of questions regarding certain characters and particular incidents that took place in different stages of the story. I’m truly struggling to come to terms with it. Was this the purpose of the book? And even after a few weeks of processing this story, I’m nowhere near understanding everything that happened… I don’t think a book ever left me this dumbstruck and perplexed.
I gave this book 3.5/5 stars in Goodreads and it definitely won’t be the last Haruki Murakami book that I read.
Are you taking part in the Comfort Zone Reading Challenge? What books have you read so far? And what books do you plan to read in the upcoming months?