Reading more wasn’t even one of my New Year’s resolutions but I’ve already read a ton of books this year. One of them was called 1Q84. It's by Haruki Murakami who is not only a great author but a four-time winner of the "Best Name" award.
It’s 1157 pages long, but if you take out all the parts that are just very specific descriptions of healthy foods it’s a quick 200-pager. The characters in this book may be fictional, but the foods they eat are very real. These meals are simple, homemade, nutritions, and need to be carefully explained, I’m confident no one ate even a snack without the author telling me about it. Rice, pickled ginger, three slices of radish, a cup of tea, an apple, papaya.
But the non-food parts are an awesome story - scary and beautiful and there’s a ton of really weird sex. Really weird sex followed up by a light lunch of cucumber, shrimp, sesame oil, parsley, edamame, and little bit of green onion and lemon juice.
This book had so many great sentences. One of them goes something like “He looked at his eyes like he was seeing if a piece of furniture could fit in a room.” I’m not a professional writer, but I’ve convinced my employer that I am, and I think that’s a great sentence. Another one is "He drank some tomato juice from the fridge, boiled water, ground coffee beans and made coffee, toasted a slice of bread. He set the timer and cooked a soft-boiled egg." Oh wait, that’s another food description. What about "He made rice pilaf using ham and mushrooms and brown rice, and miso soup with tofu and wakame. He boiled cauliflower and flavored it with curry sauce he had prepared. He made a green bean and onion salad."
It's really hard to find sentences that aren't food descriptions.
Anyway, if you want to read a book and you have a sturdy suitcase or wheelbarrow to carry that book around in, you should read 1Q84. Even if it’s not your New Year’s Resolution, but especially if it is.
This is a picture to illustrate that I have two moons hanging in my apartment, which if you've read the book you would know is an insane coincidence. Can you see them? I think my sister has the best smile in the world and this isn't even a real smile.
I don't know Dennis Gilstad but he's also incredibly interested in food in 1Q84. You can see his diagrams of all the food in 1Q84 here, or if you know him he can probably show you in person.