My monthly reads - January 2018 : Murakami, Pullman and Nesser!

5:51 PM

Usually people start their 2018 goals on the first days of January, but I like when things come naturally and this seems to be right time for my own goals! I hope to make writing on the blog a habit and that it will slowly feel familiar again 😊

By now you probably already realized that writing again on my cozy little blog is not the only reason why I´m writing this post and that the other reason has something to do with books! Let me start saying that I only read for my own pleasure and even if I work at a book shop, I still keep that a passion without forcing myself to read what I don´t like only to give some advice or information to costumers (there´s already Goodreads for some speedy infos like that haha). I do try to push myself out of my comfort zone though! 

To understand me a little better, here´s a little recap about teenage Alba: I used to read really slowly and enjoy books, mostly classics and historical novels, with ups and downs, or better periods with a lot of reading and others concentrated on my guitar and the discovery of new music. I was totally skeptical about modern Literature and didn´t even take it in consideration because I was sure (?) that I wouldn´t learn anything from it. Which brings me to my other little "obsession", reading to learn or get closer to a time period I didn´t personally live in. I was/am in love with history, but at the same time took really bad grades at the school subject because I apparently liked not to be coherent with my choices! haha 

Moving forward to now, I thought I´d put some rules to my reading and decided I´d read a minimum of 3 books (mostly around 400/500 pages each) per month, or 4-5, if some are thinner. I usually already do that, but sometimes I get lost in the daily routine/things to do and read more slowly than what I´d like to. 
So to avoid that, I decided to start this, because "so many books, so little time", right? Then, to keep track of them and make it an even more enjoyable experience, I´ll write a post in a bit more detail without spoiler at the end of each month (UH, that´s a great promise right there) showing you what I read and how I liked it. The number of books might look too less for some, too much for others, but I suggest we all give ourselves a little challenge and make it more fun, even starting with one book a month for super-busy bees would be amazing. 

This months selection looks so different and strange now that I give a better look at it! 


I´ve had this title in my head for a long time, and obviously being Murakami I saw it everywhere, but it somehow never felt like the right time for it... until this month! It is the second book I´ve read from Murakami and I must admit, I have mixed feelings for it. 

The book is concentrated on the life of a Japanese college student named Toru Watanabe who lives in Tokyo in the ´60s. I find this to be one of those books that can be interpreted in so many different ways, and I think that´s a success for the author, despite the fact that there´s also a huge 50/50 of people who really loved it or found it extremely annoying. I like to say I find myself in the middle! 

What I got from it was that life in a big city, perhaps especially in Japan, being surrounded by a lot of people but at the same time not feeling a connection to them, can sometimes mean solitude and depression for our fragile human minds. And being all different, we also react differently to it: some take out all their strength and are able to get through difficult times, others unfortunately can´t. So three big themes of the book were definitely sex, young student life and suicide. This book gave me a melancholic sensation of solitude that I couldn´t brush off for a little while after reading it, but at the same time I felt some kind of tenderness for all the characters! Most of the times I felt like I did for "A little Life" of Yanagihara, I just wanted to hug them all and say it´s all going to be alright. Although I didn´t enjoy all of the things described and found some even "too much" for my little brain, it was a nice read and a little window to life in Japan. I personally felt really interested even just in reading about the different street names and areas, foods and normal daily life from a different culture (although I know that it´s mainly fiction). 


This one was a beautiful gift that I couldn´t wait to read since I got back from London in November, and of course I loved it so much! Probably a lot of people will know already about the trilogy "His Dark Materials" and I feel so late in the game, but better later than ever I guess. I´ll probably end up buying the other two books in London (now it´s a tradition haha) and I´m already thinking about purchasing "The book of Dust" as well :S

Two words about the magical world of these books: probably set in a Victorian time, it´s a world where humans have their own Daemons. Described as part of their souls (so they´re strongly connected to their humans), the Daemons can also change appearance into different animal forms, have a human intelligence and are able to speak. In the book you´ll also find interesting creatures like strong armored bears and witches, with particularly lovable characters from each group, and all of them will have to come together and fight an important war! If you´re into Fantasy and you still didn´t read it, I highly suggest you to put it in your Amazon basket as soon as possible :D


This book was quite a surprise! It started really calmly following the life of a Swedish man called Arne, who is a little bit slower than others because of an accident as a boy. He doesn't remember well all the words or doesn't understand some concepts, but he is not stupid at all. When his father is on his death bed, he asks Arne to go and find the mother, who left them even before Arne's first birthday and went to Berlin with another man right after. 

In the chaotic and new city of Berlin, he'll have 11 days (hence the name in german "Elf Tage in Berlin") of time to find his own mother, before he has to return back to Sweden. Being a bit clumsy and not knowing much german, you can imagine all the tiny "adventures" he has and funny mistakes he makes: overall it was pretty light and fun to read, especially knowing the city myself. BUT, there's a big "but", after a few days everything will change and the case of the mother seems to get more interesting (or just complicated?) and other characters will enter in the scene.

The author is a famous Swedish crime-novel writer, so I might be mistaken but it seemed to me like a try of getting into regular novels that somehow went wrong!? haha Still, really interesting and sweet. Unfortunately I couldn't find any english version of it yet though, it's been momentarily only translated in German from the Swedish.

Here ends already my little list! 
I hope you enjoy this kind of posts as much as I enjoy wiring them, and that I'll see you soon on the next one. I promise, I'll get better :D

With Love,


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