I like to read well-written, sweeping, escapist novels before going to sleep. I'm also in a graduate program for which I have to spend most of my waking hours reading about pre-modern European history. I just finished David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
, which was a lot of fun. I'm also about 150 pages into Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum
, which (although I loved In the Name of the Rose
years ago) so far makes me feel like I'm doing homework. No more homework, please. I have plenty already.
I've really loved the Japanese novels I've read (which include lots of Murakami and, back in high school, Banana Yoshimoto, but not much else), and if you have any suggestions not mentioned in this
post, I'd love to hear them.
As for non-Japanese books: I loved Bolaño's 2666
(but not The Savage Detectives
, weirdly), and have really enjoyed every David Mitchell novel so far, especially Cloud Atlas
. I'm cool with fantasy or sci-fi elements if the book is very well-written, but I am not into overly sentimental or cute magical realism à la Isabel Allende. I'm already aware of the existence of Infinite Jest
. French-language recommendations would also be fine, if you have any.