27. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running — Haruki Murakami
28. The Hatch — Colin Brown
this week — 34.21
to date — 515.63
Alright so I’m in a bad mood. I’ll get to that later. Anyway, Murakami. I think that the first thing that I heard about this book was, “Not his best work.” Suffice it to say that Murakami fans seem to dislike What I Talk About When I Talk About Running; however, I am not a Murakami fan. That sounds bad so let me qualify. I’m reminded of being much younger and person X asks me if I like band Y and I have never heard band Y and therefore I have no opinion of band Y so I reply, “No, I do not like them.” Which is then interpreted as I hate band Y when in fact I simply do not like band Y because I have never heard [of] band Y. I neither dislike nor like band Y. I have no opinion. But the question was, do you like band Y. To which the only answer is, “Nope, I do not like them.” So I digress. I cannot tell you much about Murakami, or if this book is any good within the context of his catalogue, but I can honestly say it is my favourite book of his that I’ve read. I will even go so far as to say that I found this book, not inspirational, but motivating, and I can see myself going back to it from time to time. I didn’t like all of it, for instance I found the bit in the last third or so where he posits some doubt about global warming and tries to imply that the scientific consensus on the matter is not really a consensus, and really, really makes himself look like an ignorant ass, a bit trying given his massive influence and readership. But there it is. Maybe that’s why it’s not his best work. I should read some more and decide for myself. As far as books about running go, it was pretty good. Yesterday on the bus and Skytrain I read The Hatch and then last night I went to the 2016 Talonbooks spring launch and last year Colin Brown headlines the launch with readings from The Hatch and all that is to say that it took me a year to get around to reading Brown’s book. I think I need to revisit it and explore more of the Surrealist themes, but I probably won’t because there’s a lot of other stuff to read. But I liked it. Brown is one of those interesting characters in my life. We all know people that we mostly only know from social media and seeing them in the real world is sometimes weird. I especially like to make it weird because I have zero qualms about saying hello and trying to have a conversation with someone that I “only” know on social media. The results vary. Brown is in a different category, though, because he is an active member of the board of The Capilano Review society for which I was the managing editor for over two years, and yet interacting with him outside of a Capilano Review context always seems to inspire the “social media friend” reaction. “Hi Colin.” But in all honesty it could just be that he has no idea who I am. His book is good though. You should read it.
So I mentioned that I’m in a bad mood and the reason I’m in a bad mood is because I went for a run today for what was supposed to be me last or second-to-last run before the BMO Half Marathon on Sunday and at around kilometre six my knee started saying, “Nope” and by seven-and-a-half it was definitively NOPE and for the first time since I started running seriously I had to stop and walk. I ended up walking about two kilometres of my 12.5 km route and I’m not happy and I’m really concerned that Sunday is going to be ruined by this stupid knee. So I’m in a bad mood. Oh but I broke 500 km so far this year this week.