Weekend Update: Murakami, Polar Bears, and Poirot

One of my goals for 2018 is to stick to a more regular posting schedule here on Book Fifty, and I’ve decided that means two posts each week. I’ve been posting general reading tips on Mondays and book reviews on Thursdays, if you haven’t noticed that pattern yet! But tonight I have a sort of random compilation of reviews and news to share, so I thought I’d post a little “weekend-update.”

Up first–Haruki Murakami and the art of running.

This week I finished listening to What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. This memoir loosely follows Murakami’s experiences as a long-distance runner and triathlete. But this book is different from other memoirs written by athletes–Murakami is a novelist, so the writing in this book is fluid and lovely. I’ve never read any of his other works, but after reading this one, I’m curious!

Murakami’s memoir is about running, yes, but it’s also about writing novels. It’s short and sweet, and it packs a few major philosophical punches. I love how Murakami compares the endurance needed to write a novel to long-distance running. And while I will never be a marathon runner, Dad and I did run in a 5K today, and we had a pretty great time. And then I undid all that work by eating not one but two waffles at Waffle House. Ugh.

I’ve been running consistently since March, and before that I went through one other bout of pretty consistent running when I “trained” for the Peachtree Road Race back in 2015. I say “trained” semi-sarcastically because my training pretty much consisted of me jogging agonizingly slow laps around Flat Rock Park in Columbus, GA. I am by no means a skilled or accomplished runner, but keeping track of my progress over the last year has really shown me a lot about how goals can motivate me.

That’s why I enjoyed Murakami’s book. I like that he was honest about why he runs, but also that he was able to connect his experience running to his creative work. I listened to this memoir on Audible, and I would recommend it to any aspiring runners or novelists out there!

Second stop on the weekend update–two mini movie reviews.

First, I saw The Greatest Showman two weeks ago, and I really enjoyed it! The plot and characters did seem a little thin to me, but the music and “spectacle” of the whole thing was awesome. I’ve been listening to the soundtrack, and it’s hard not to hum along with the tunes! It’s a film that’s worth seeing on the big screen, just to enjoy the show. Plus, I’ve been watching some behind-the-scenes videos about how the movie was produced, and those have made me enjoy the film even more.

Second, I saw Murder on the Orient Express tonight, and it was not quite as good as I was hoping it would be. It was definitely enjoyable, and even though the producers changed quite a bit about the story and characters, it was true to the spirit of Christie’s novel. It was a little slow, and the big twist/reveal at the end of the movie wasn’t quite as dramatic to see on screen. That being said, Kenneth Branagh did an excellent job as Poirot, and it really did have an all-star cast. But even with such heavyweight actors, I’m glad we waited to see this one at the dollar theater.

This Week in Pictures

What I’m Reading Now

  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I normally struggle a little with Dickens, but I’m a few chapters in and enjoying it so far.
  • The Woman Who Smashed Codes by Jason Fagone. This nonfiction book is one I’m listening to on Audible, and it’s pretty intriguing so far. It has to do with codebreaking during WWI and WWII, but there’s also a lot about Shakespeare right now, so I’m a happy camper.

What are you reading/watching/listening to this weekend? I’d love to know!

Keep Reading,

Sarah

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