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Search tags: ruth-ozeki
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review 2017-12-19 00:00
A Tale for the Time Being (Audio)
A Tale for the Time Being (Audio) - Ruth Ozeki This was my pick for Read Harder 2017's Task 19. There are actually several characters of color who go on spiritual journeys. A Tale for the Time Being has two protagonists, both are women of color and then some second tier characters have their own spiritual journeys as well. The book opens with Nao, who I would call the main protagonist. She is one of those characters who live between cultures and is therefore harder to understand and has a harder time relating to people of either culture. She's lonely at school where she can't relate to other students who grew up in Japan, but also at home. Her parents have enough of their own issues that they don't have the awareness to deal with hers, until Nao's issues practically hit them in the face.

Ruth is the other protagonist. This part of the story is a little more familiar for Western audiences despite that Ruth is a protagonist of color. Also of Japanese heritage, she takes a special interest in Nao's diary after it washes up on the shores of her local beach in Canada along with other items from Japan. The assumption around town is that these items were washed away in the tsunami that had hit Japan in 2011. More than anything else that has washed up though, this diary and the few things with it are more personal to Ruth. Her character arc and spiritual journey is just as pronounced as Nao's as she searches for what may have happened to Nao.

For me, Nao's journey is by far the more interesting one. She goes through so much and her family had been through so much. There's also a magnificent shifting of perspective and the way they know and see each other. Its a multigenerational kind of story that has several beautiful layers but also several horrific and triggering scenes. Some triggers to expect in this book are suicide and suicidal thoughts, rape, bullying, depression, and child prostitution.

With triggers like that, I was also surprised to find the rather perfect way it resolved. There's some magical realism that comes into play, but it had been there from the beginning too. And perfect does not mean that life goes on as if nothing ever happened, quite the contrary. There are still mysteries left to the story too, but these are the kind if mysteries that are true to life. Sometimes we just don't get to know about some things we are looking for. I rather liked that.

Altogether, it's one of my favorite books this year.
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review 2017-10-24 00:00
A Tale for the Time Being
A Tale for the Time Being - Ruth Ozeki This book just didn't work for me. It's written well, but it just isn't my kind of story. It made me feel depressed.
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text 2017-07-10 15:10
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
My Year of Meats - Ruth Ozeki

Why did it take me so long to read this book? It´s so good, I loved every page of it. My favorite read of the year so far.

 

  

 

 

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text 2017-07-09 05:48
Reading progress update: I've read 10%.
My Year of Meats - Ruth Ozeki

We left our mark in truck stops and motels across the country. So much was new to them. In Taos, New Mexico, Suzuki and Oh stayed in a pink adobe suite with a fireplace. They got drunk and made a small, cozy fire in the hearth, and when they ran out of firewood they burned the telephone book and the Bible, then a chair and a bed-post, and finally the bedroom itself. After the fire departement had left, Oh explained, somewhat sheepishly, "In Japan fireplaces are not so common."

 

I wouldn´t have expected this book to be so funny. I´m really enjoying it so far.

 

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review 2017-04-25 20:35
A great and beautiful drift
A Tale for the Time Being - Ruth Ozeki

This is a story about drift. Drift in the sense of ocean currents that wash artifacts up on a distant shore. Drift in the sense of our lives, as we bob along, hopefully keeping our heads above the waves but sometimes finding it easier to let ourselves sink down to the bottom. And I think that the best headspace to read this book in, is to allow yourself to drift through the story.

 

It is a story that winds the lives of our two narrators, calling into question the role of reader and storyteller by way of quantum physics and Buddhism. Curious? Confused? Either you'll really get into A Tale for the Time Being, or it won't be your cup of tea. I suspect that fellow Murakami lovers will enjoy the existential nature of it.

 

So I'm not going to tell you any more. I'm not going to dissect character or give you more plot than you already have. Get comfortable, open it, take a deep breath, and plunge.

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