Tuesday, 24 January 2012

My First Ever Vlog and Book Review of South of the Border West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami

I have been thinking about venturing into the world of vlogging for a while now. I use YouTube like TV whilst I am at university and have become particularly fond of some of my favourite beauty gurus vlogs of late. 

I just didn't really know how this would tie into my love of reading, and this blog until I came across a vlog posted on Girl Who Reads. She was just talking about what she had been doing recently and what books she had been reading, and suddenly it clicked.

So I charged up my camera, and after just a few takes and some editing I had created my first book review vlog. I still have a long way to go in the quality of the filming, sound and content department, but I really hope I can use this as another tool to share my love of authors, books and reading. 

So finally, what the video was all about: South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami.

Summary courtesy of Goodreads.com: Growing up in the suburbs of post-war Japan, it seemed to Hajime that everyone but him had brothers and sisters. His sole companion was Shimamoto, also an only child. Together they spent long afternoons listening to her father's record collection. But when his family moved away, the two lost touch. Now Hajime is in his thirties. After a decade of drifting he has found happiness with his loving wife and two daughters, and success running a jazz bar. Then Shimamoto reappears. She is beautiful, intense, enveloped in mystery. Hajime is catapulted into the past, putting at risk all he has in the present.
My friend Laura raves about Murakami, her favourite author, and recommended that I took a look at some of his books. He is know for using a pinch of surrealism and fantasy in his novels, which sounds like something I would love to read. She lent me this book, which is the only one she had with her, with the warning it is a bit different to his other works, but still well worth a read. 

It is a relatively small book, only 213 pages but is superbly written. The beauty is in the little details. This quote in particular I really liked:
"Her hand, which up till then had laid on the back of the sofa, she now placed on her knee. I stared vacantly at her fingers tracing the plaid pattern of her skirt. There was something mysterious about it, as if invisbly thread emanating from her fingertips spun together an entirely new concept of time." (pg: 15)
If I am honest, this isn't a book I would choose to read, but I am really grateful that I have had an introduction to a fantastic author. There is a lot of buzz about him online, and some of his other books sound a lot more my style. 

You can watch my video about it here:

Regretfully I have to give this book only a 3/5 

Thanks for reading [& watching],

Love Rie x


  1. Weird seeing you on video! =P This is an excellent first blog, I have seen much worse ones out there! Oh and you did pronounce the name correctly! =]

  2. @Sam I can't believe I pronounced it right :D Have you heard of him before? Thanks for the huge compliment was very nervous about sharing my ugly mug :P. xx

  3. I've never heard of him before, but I'm tempted to get a sample sent to my kindle, any recommendations? Ugly mug? You! Be quiet! =P xxx

  4. @Sam I have heard Norwegian Wood is good!

  5. Norwegian Wood is a bit like this book though. If you want something with more phantasie elements than go for Hardboiled Wonderland and the end of the World or Wind up Bird Chronicle

  6. @LauraK - I will look out for these :D