Aimee Bender‘s newest novel, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, is about a young girl who discovers she can taste people’s emotions in the food they create. We can’t offer that kind of insight into Bender herself, but we can tell you her answers to our three quick questions!
Presenting Aimee Bender’s…
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
Jane Campion’s The Piano
Hounds of Love by Kate Bush (oh good, another excuse to pimp these amazing literary music videos)
And hey, while we’re making coy asides, allow us to remind you that this is Signed Books Month here at Diesel. Hurry in to snatch up some signed Aimee Bender, along with books by a truly astonishing variety of other authors. (Yeah, any food of ours would taste a little bit prideful right now.)
Here’s what we’re reading this week at Diesel!
Anna in Brentwood
The Hole We’re In
By Gabrielle Zevin
A fascinating and brutal look at the financial crisis through the story of one family. Zevin’s unflinching characterization and dark humor make this book hard to read—and at the same time, impossible to put down.
Elise in Oakland
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
By Haruki Murakami
My previous encounters with Murakami didn’t leave me a fan, so I was reluctant to read this. But it’s amazing—dreamy, but still rooted in reality. There are a lot of storylines but they’re not hard to follow because I’m interested in every single one of the characters.
Geo in Brentwood
By Michael Largo
An A-Z reference guide about the funnier, stranger side of religion. Entertaining, eerie, and a tad bit disturbing!
John Peck in Oakland
By Roberto Bolano
After reading the 900+ page epic 2666, this book of Bolano’s short fiction is like dessert.
Kim in Malibu
The Laws of Simplicity
By John Maeda
The annoyingly multitalented John Maeda (MIT professor! RISD president! Graphic design superstar!) examines the idea that less can actually be more—or at least, more meaningful—in relation to design, technology, business, and life in general. Seeing as how Maeda’s ideas often blossom into iconic, why-didn’t-we-think-of-this-sooner epiphanies, I expect to learn a lot from this slim volume.
Are we the very last people in the world to hear about this? Apparently, Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami, despite years of being reluctant to see his novels turned into films—the full story is recounted in the fascinating book Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words by Jay Rubin, one of Murakami’s English translators—is allowing a movie to be made of his most famous work, Norwegian Wood. In fact, it’s been in production since 2008, and stars Rinko Kikuchi, who you may remember for her Oscar-nominated and mostly-nude performance in Babel. How did we miss this? Possibly we were buried under a pile of books—many by Murakami, no doubt—at the time.
Anyway, the film is in the news again for two reasons: 1) it was recently announced that Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood is composing the film’s score, as he did for 2007’s There Will Be Blood (itself based on Upton Sinclair‘s novel Oil!), and 2) it’s scheduled for release this year. As is often the case when a beloved book is being adapted into a film, we’re not really sure whether to be excited or apprehensive, but we’re definitely intrigued. Norwegian Wood‘s story of lost love is a simple one, so the real challenge will be to see whether director Tran Anh Hung will be able to capture Murakami’s understated, infinitely evocative style. After all, this is an author who, as Anna in Brentwood puts it, “writes about doing laundry in a way that makes me want to do laundry.”
Speaking of Anna in Brentwood…she’s up next in our series of National Poetry Month videos, reciting Philip Larkin‘s “This Be the Verse”:
Check out the full National Poetry Month archive here!