Friday, January 31, 2020

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes - Kitabi Karwan Repost




View this post on Instagram

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. Actions have consequences. Perhaps no other adage can sum up the history of well….everything. Sometimes, the tiniest of steps result in the largest of leaps, and the deepest of jumps are in retrospect nothing but a swim in the shallow end. This remarkably simple principle is often the most forgotten or rather ignored one, and well, this action in itself has consequences too. Isn’t that what life essentially is, or rather becomes? A vicious cycle of actions and consequences. Some maybe good, some maybe bad, but beyond these moral calls, they’re ultimately just that. Barnes utilises a rather curious method of writing. He adapts the tale of an unreliable, melancholic and slightly bitter narrator in blinding detail about two specific phases of his life. It is quite a jump that perhaps the greatest duration of his life is covered in a few pages while specific parts, which form the story are supremely sharp. That’s not unique in itself, given that many plot lines use that device. What stands out is the rather contrasting effect of juxtaposing the protagonist’s unreliability with precise detail. It may have been a beautiful commentary on the strange workings of the human mind for all I know, but then again, it is a human mind utilising dexterous tools to compose this. This book is a sobering mirror for everyone I know. It appeals to the young - don’t be brash, you’ll regret the consequences, not the act. It calls out the middle aged - before you know it, it’ll pass in a blur. It wrecks the old - each step of your life compounds to make you who you are, and it is too late to blame anyone. You’ll regret the act, and the consequences will make sure you do. I admit I was slighted by the fact that this book won a Booker prize. But it fits in perfectly with the inherently British bias the prize carries. Don’t get me wrong, the book is fantastically written, and will make you question things you never thought you would, and will make you think for longer than you supposed you could. #Book #Books #fiction #reading #bookstgram #bookstagrammer #manbooker #bookerprize #paperback #vintagebooks #thesenseofanending #julianbarnes
A post shared by Kitabi Karwan (@kitabikarwan) on

Actions have consequences. Perhaps no other adage can sum up the history of well….everything. Sometimes, the tiniest of steps result in the largest of leaps, and the deepest of jumps are in retrospect nothing but a swim in the shallow end. This remarkably simple principle is often the most forgotten or rather ignored one, and well, this action in itself has consequences too. Isn’t that what life essentially is, or rather becomes? A vicious cycle of actions and consequences. Some maybe good, some maybe bad, but beyond these moral calls, they’re ultimately just that.

Barnes utilises a rather curious method of writing. He adapts the tale of an unreliable, melancholic and slightly bitter narrator in blinding detail about two specific phases of his life. It is quite a jump that perhaps the greatest duration of his life is covered in a few pages while specific parts, which form the story are supremely sharp. That’s not unique in itself, given that many plot lines use that device. What stands out is the rather contrasting effect of juxtaposing the protagonist’s unreliability with precise detail. It may have been a beautiful commentary on the strange workings of the human mind for all I know, but then again, it is a human mind utilising dexterous tools to compose this.

This book is a sobering mirror for everyone I know. It appeals to the young - don’t be brash, you’ll regret the consequences, not the act. It calls out the middle aged - before you know it, it’ll pass in a blur. It wrecks the old - each step of your life compounds to make you who you are, and it is too late to blame anyone. You’ll regret the act, and the consequences will make sure you do.

I admit I was (and to an extent, still am) slighted by the fact that this book won a Booker prize. But then again, it fits in perfectly with the inherently British bias the prize carries. Don’t get me wrong, the book is fantastically written, and will make you question things you never thought you would, and will make you think for longer than you supposed you could. But, all in all, it might not be the best piece of fiction I have read. Biases abound I guess?



Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Atomic Habits by James Clear - Kitabi Karwan Repost





Atomic Habits by James Clear. Investing in personal growth is easily one of the most intuitive things one ought to be doing. Yet, it somehow never makes it to our to-do list, let alone languish at its bottom. I read a quote a few years back which deeply impacted me - “If I asked you to name everything you love, how long will it be before you name yourself?” Among our many, many follies as human beings, perhaps the greatest one is the society backed and pedalled system of defining ourselves through an external locus, which often is simply a materialistic object. Stacy is a lawyer earning 3 million dollars a year. Eric is a salesman making 15,000 euros a year. But what this antiquated system fails to recognise, and inevitably causes irreparable inter-generational damage to the human psyche, is the fact that true happiness and satisfaction is always centred around an inner locus. In that context, this book is not your ordinary self help book. Meticulously researched with empirical evidence to back both, his scientific theories and logical assumptions, the author tries to achieve one simple goal through this book - to help us be better versions of ourselves. Not better in the eyes of anyone else, but better, by our own personal and moral standards. To put it succinctly, the book will make you realise how you define yourself, and help you get there, step by step. Habits are indeed transformational, and I must confess that in the frenzied hangover of this book, I have started a few new ones, and improved upon some old ones, using the lessons I took away from this book. Honestly, it is too early to comment on their effectiveness, but what I can state with conviction is that starting a new habit, however difficult or boring it might appear to you right now, will be eased massively after reading this. #audiobook #audiobooks #audible #penguinaudio #audibleindia #reading #bookstgram #books #book #kitab #karvan #kitabikarvan #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #penguinbooks #penguinrandomhouseaudio #mumbaibookstagram #jamesclear #atomichabits #selfhelp #habits #habit #tinychanges
A post shared by Kitabi Karwan (@kitabikarwan) on

Investing in personal growth is easily one of the most intuitive things one ought to be doing. Yet, it somehow never makes it to our to-do list, let alone languish at its bottom. I read a quote a few years back which deeply impacted me - “If I asked you to name everything you love, how long will it be before you name yourself?”

Among our many, many follies as human beings, perhaps the greatest one is the society backed and pedalled system of defining ourselves through an external locus, which often is simply a materialistic object. Stacy is a lawyer earning 3 million dollars a year. Eric is a salesman making 15,000 euros a year. But what this antiquated system fails to recognise, and inevitably causes irreparable inter-generational damage to the human psyche, is the fact that true happiness and satisfaction is always centred around an inner locus.


In that context, this book is not your ordinary self help book. Meticulously researched with empirical evidence to back both, his scientific theories and logical assumptions, the author tries to achieve one simple goal through this book - to help us be better versions of ourselves. Not better in the eyes of anyone else, but better, by our own personal and moral standards. To put it succinctly, the book will make you realise how you define yourself, and help you get there, step by step.


Habits are indeed transformational, and I must confess that in the frenzied hangover of this book, I have started a few new ones, and improved upon some old ones, using the lessons I took away from this book. Honestly, it is too early to comment on their effectiveness, but what I can state with conviction is that starting a new habit, however difficult or boring it might appear to you right now, will be eased massively after reading this.


How The World Thinks: A Global History of Philosophy by Julian Baggini - Kitabi Karwan Repost




View this post on Instagram

How The World Thinks: A Global History of Philosophy by Julian Baggini Listening to an Audiobook on a serious topic is a tough endeavour simply because we are generally not trained to train our auditory senses to function as stand alone inputs of absolute information processing. I say this to emphasise how this book stands out. Dispensing information about abstract issues is in itself difficult, and a challenging narrative makes the situation worse. But somehow @microphilosopher manages to surmount these hurdles and reaches out to the reader(listener) in a beautiful manner. This aside, I feel this book is a much required one as it dispels the notion of western philosophy being the de facto, all encompassing idea of philosophy. It explores the largely ignored concepts from East Asia and South Asia, including the fundamental difference in the very conception of the idea of philosophy. A lot of inter-generational and political conflict in a highly globalised world can be sourced to deep rooted philosophical differences. Something as basic as the emphasis of the west on individualism as opposed to the Asian emphasis on collectives and community is largely reflective in day-to-day events. Perhaps a better understanding of where each party to an event is coming from may result in mutual appreciation of standpoints. I would have preferred for the book to have also covered African and South American outlooks as well for the book to live up to the word “World” in its title, as it largely focuses on the Northern Hemisphere. Yet, I would say the book should form an integral part of anyone’s intellect building to-read list. Perhaps it’s time we actually make sense of the inane trend of the #fromwhereistand hashtag PS: @microphilosopher ‘s credentials are readily available online, and it heartens me to know that he has more than enough authority to talk on the topic. #howtheworldthinks #julianbaggini #philosophy #audiobook #audiobooks #audible #wholestoryaudiobooks #audibleindia #reading #bookstgram #books #book #kitab #karvan #kitabikarvan #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #philosophicalbooks #booksonphilosophy #orientalphilosophy #westernphilosophy
A post shared by Kitabi Karwan (@kitabikarwan) on

Listening to an Audiobook on a serious topic is a tough endeavour simply because we are generally not trained to train our auditory senses to function as stand alone inputs of absolute information processing. I say this to emphasise how this book stands out. Dispensing information about abstract issues is in itself difficult, and a challenging narrative makes the situation worse. But somehow Baggini manages to surmount these hurdles and reaches out to the reader(listener) in a beautiful manner.

This aside, I feel this book is a much required one as it dispels the notion of western philosophy being the de facto, all encompassing idea of philosophy. It explores the largely ignored concepts from East Asia and South Asia, including the fundamental difference in the very conception of the idea of philosophy. A lot of inter-generational and political conflict in a highly globalised world can be sourced to deep rooted philosophical differences. Something as basic as the emphasis of the west on individualism as opposed to the Asian emphasis on collectives and community is largely reflective in day-to-day events. Perhaps a better understanding of where each party to an event is coming from may result in mutual appreciation of standpoints.

I would have preferred for the book to have also covered African and South American outlooks as well for the book to live up to the word “World” in its title, as it largely focuses on the Northern Hemisphere. Yet, I would say the book should form an integral part of anyone’s intellect building to-read list. Perhaps it’s time we actually make sense of the inane trend of the #fromwhereistand hashtag

PS: Baggini‘s credentials are readily available online, and it heartens me to know that he has more than enough authority to talk on the topic.


Thursday, January 23, 2020

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro - Kitabi Karwan Repost

View this post on Instagram

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. I’ve always found it rather odd that the “success” of human beings has historically always been associated with positive extremes. The example of Musk sleeping on the floor of his company has become the global standard of the required extremities for entrepreneurial success. But it’s only on rare occasions that we collectively stop, look around, look back and evaluate what we have come to, what we have gained, and what we have lost. Everything comes rushing in, and that’s what reflects on what that success entails, and what it has cost us. Diving in, I was curious about how the tale of a butler from the 1950s vacationing for a week could win the Booker prize. As I turned the last page penned by the Nobel laureate, I could see why. Published before the massive excess of the late 90s and early 2000s heralded by the internet, Ishiguro raised questions of vital importance in a manner that was beautiful, funny and accurately captured the aristocratic last of Britain. Metaphorically, the protagonist, a butler named Stevens, represents a Marxian proletariat in a capitalist world. The strong sense of duty and “dignity”, the sacrifice of personal ambition for a perceived excellence in a profession which detaches one from the deeper pleasures of life, and an unflinching sense of loyalty characterise the duties of this “successful” butler. I couldn’t help but wonder that maybe that’s what we as human beings have become. Polished butlers serving our masters, the demanding expectations of society, and constantly chasing the highs of professional ambition at great personal cost (in this book, Stevens’ father and Miss Kenton) Disguised in the simple narrative of sketchy recall of memories and conversations with strangers over the period of a week, this book is a powerful and evocative read which might make you think twice before skipping out on that family dinner to meet that work deadline to become an ideal employee. #Book #Books #Kitab #KitabiKarwan #fiction #reading #bookstgram #bookstagrammer #theremainsoftheday #kazuoishiguro #manbooker #bookerprize #nobelprizeinliterature #faberandfaber #paperback #butler #britain #worldwar2

A post shared by Kitabi Karwan (@kitabikarwan) on



I’ve always found it rather odd that the “success” of human beings has historically always been associated with positive extremes. The example of Musk sleeping on the floor of his company has become the global standard of the required extremities for entrepreneurial success. But it’s only on rare occasions that we collectively stop, look around, look back and evaluate what we have come to, what we have gained, and what we have lost. Everything comes rushing in, and that’s what reflects on what that success entails, and what it has cost us.

Diving in, I was curious about how the tale of a butler from the 1950s vacationing for a week could win the Booker prize. As I turned the last page penned by the Nobel laureate, I could see why. Published before the massive excess of the late 90s and early 2000s heralded by the internet, Ishiguro raised questions of vital importance in a manner that was beautiful, funny and accurately captured the aristocratic last of Britain.

Metaphorically, the protagonist, a butler named Stevens, represents a Marxian proletariat in a capitalist world. The strong sense of duty and “dignity”, the sacrifice of personal ambition for a perceived excellence in a profession which detaches one from the deeper pleasures of life, and an unflinching sense of loyalty characterise the duties of this “successful” butler. I couldn’t help but wonder that maybe that’s what we as human beings have become. Polished butlers serving our masters, the demanding expectations of society, and constantly chasing the highs of professional ambition at great personal cost (in this book, Stevens’ father and Miss Kenton)

Disguised in the simple narrative of sketchy recall of memories and conversations with strangers over the period of a week, this book is a powerful and evocative read which might make you think twice before skipping out on that family dinner to meet that work deadline to become an ideal employee.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Zero to One by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters - Kitabi Karwan Repost





Zero to One by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters. The spirit of innovation is what drives the human spirit. The humdrum repetitive action of doing the exact same thing again and again might sound perfect from an automated robotic efficiency utopia’s perspective, but the fact is that being mindless drones is a thought that repulses humans at some point or the other. This is perhaps best manifested in the modern-day startup culture, with people increasingly buying into the entrepreneurial game. This is where the book steps up. Penned by a person who made a startup before it was cool to start one, it brilliantly captures the practical nuances of running an entrepreneurial ship. Peter founded Paypal with a few people, and now runs an angel investment fund, so can be reasonably be said to know a few things about running startups. Apart from giving you mantras to define your startup by, the book addresses real life situations of how and why you should structure your enterprise in a particular manner. What the book lacked for me, was something I see constantly when I read about startups - philosophy. More and more businesses are entering the field with a bare minimum idea of their end goal (if they have one at all), the ramifications of their product on the real world, and where their piece fits in the puzzle. Something that comes to mind is is the major privacy implication of Facebook or the gold mine of raw data generated by Zomato or Uber. Something that I’ll carry away from the book is this - “What important truth do very few people agree with you on?” Answer that, and you’re bound to succeed. #audiobook #audiobooks #audible #audibleindia #reading #bookstgram #books #book #kitab #karvan #kitabikarvan #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #zerotoone #peterthiel #blakemasters #startup #entrepreneur #enterprenurshipbible #paypal #founderfund #palantirtechnologies #zerotoonebook #penguinaudio #penguinbooks #penguinrandomhouseaudio
A post shared by Kitabi Karwan (@kitabikarwan) on

The spirit of innovation is what drives the human spirit. The humdrum repetitive action of doing the exact same thing again and again might sound perfect from an automated robotic efficiency utopia’s perspective, but the fact is that being mindless drones is a thought that repulses humans at some point or the other. This is perhaps best manifested in the modern-day startup culture, with people increasingly buying into the entrepreneurial game.

This is where the book steps up. Penned by a person who made a startup before it was cool to start one, it brilliantly captures the practical nuances of running an entrepreneurial ship. Peter founded Paypal with a few people, and now runs an angel investment fund, so can be reasonably be said to know a few things about running startups.

Apart from giving you mantras to define your startup by, the book addresses real life situations of how and why you should structure your enterprise in a particular manner. What the book lacked for me, was something I see constantly when I read about startups - philosophy. More and more businesses are entering the field with a bare minimum idea of their end goal (if they have one at all), the ramifications of their product on the real world, and where their piece fits in the puzzle. Something that comes to mind is is the major privacy implication of Facebook or the gold mine of raw data generated by Zomato or Uber.

Something that I’ll carry away from the book is this - “What important truth do very few people agree with you on?” Answer that, and you’re bound to succeed.


Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The Red Tenda of Bologna by John Berger - Kitabi Karwan Repost




View this post on Instagram

The Red Tenda of Bologna by John Berger. Beautiful writing has no form. Over the eons, acknowledged literature has ranged from elegantly crafted haikus to verbose tales of valour running into thousands of pages. This very craft of communicating with an unique method is what has captured the interests of human beings ever since the beginning of civilisation. The Red Tenda of Bologna is an example of how succinct writing can be deeply impactful. It barely spans 50 odd pages, with some being as long as one simple sentence. In a beautiful ode to an uncle, and clearly a beloved city, Berger chooses to highlight the Red Tendas ubiquitous in the city, and serving unwittingly as a mirror to the human condition. Tightly wound, protecting the inside from the outside, yet beautifying, the Tendas are beautiful parallels to Berger’s uncle slightly unique persona. Ironically, this is one book which left me wanting for more, yet oddly satisfied. That I guess, is what Berger’s magic is. #Book #Books #Kitab #KitabiKarwan #nonfiction #reading #bookstgram #bookstagrammer #memoir #ode #bologna #travelouge #italy #italian #johnberger #tenda #redtenda #theredtendaofbologna #penguinshorts #penguinmodernclassics #penguinindia #penguinbooks
A post shared by Kitabi Karwan (@kitabikarwan) on

Beautiful writing has no form. Over the eons, acknowledged literature has ranged from elegantly crafted haikus to verbose tales of valour running into thousands of pages. This very craft of communicating with an unique method is what has captured the interests of human beings ever since the beginning of civilisation. The Red Tenda of Bologna is an example of how succinct writing can be deeply impactful. It barely spans 50 odd pages, with some being as long as one simple sentence.
In a beautiful ode to an uncle, and clearly a beloved city, Berger chooses to highlight the Red Tendas ubiquitous in the city, and serving unwittingly as a mirror to the human condition. Tightly wound, protecting the inside from the outside, yet beautifying, the Tendas are beautiful parallels to Berger’s uncle slightly unique persona.
Ironically, this is one book which left me wanting for more, yet oddly satisfied. That I guess, is what Berger’s magic is.


Saturday, January 11, 2020

I Have Never Been (Un) Happier by Shaheen Bhatt - Kitabi Karwan Repost





I Have Never Been (Un) Happier by @shaheenb Honesty is often simple. It is found in unflowery language, easy yet elegant sentence structures and mostly, impassioned emotional outpouring. Talking about depression, anxiety, and/or any other mental ailments is slowly gaining grudging acceptance in an increasingly democratised online society. Yet, the taboo associated with actual conversation about the same is changing at a turtle’s pace. In that light, this book is a refreshing breath of fresh air. It makes no assertions whatsoever of offering a solution, and is by far one of the most accurate accounts of depression I have ever read (or as far as I can associate with it. Depression is notoriously different for each person who experiences it). Baring your soul in a memoir of this kind takes a special kind of courage, and at the same time, a special kind of courage to read as well. There were times when I had to put the book down because it would induce memories of darker times, memories I would rather not revisit. To that extent, I am split about whether I would want to ask people to read this book or not. But that being said, this feeling is demonstrative of the powerful writing Shaheen has demonstrated in this book. What genuinely captivated me was the much required deromanticising of mental ailments. Therapists are increasingly worried about the rather casual way in which mental health is treated by society these days, more so about how any form of sadness is self-diagnosed by individuals as depression, and used as a crutch for difficult situations. This not only devalues their own life experiences, it belittles the experiences of people who actually suffer from it. On that front too, this book is a bold step in talking about what depression actually is, and feels like. Something that particularly stood out for me was the nuance of explaining the difference between being suicidal and simply wanting to be dead. Read more in comment! #Book #Books #Kitab #KitabiKarwan #nonfiction #reading #bookstgram #bookstagrammer #mentalhealth #depression #shaheenbhatt #anxiety #memoir #penguinrandomhouseindia #penguinindia #pain #Bollywood #mentalailment #Herecomesthesun
A post shared by Kitabi Karwan (@kitabikarwan) on
Honesty is often simple. It is found in unflowery language, easy yet elegant sentence structures and mostly, impassioned emotional outpouring. Talking about depression, anxiety, and/or any other mental ailments is slowly gaining grudging acceptance in an increasingly democratised online society. Yet, the taboo associated with actual conversation about the same is changing at a turtle’s pace. In that light, this book is a refreshing breath of fresh air. It makes no assertions whatsoever of offering a solution, and is by far one of the most accurate accounts of depression I have ever read (or as far as I can associate with it. Depression is notoriously different for each person who experiences it).

Baring your soul in a memoir of this kind takes a special kind of courage, and at the same time, a special kind of courage to read as well. There were times when I had to put the book down because it would induce memories of darker times, memories I would rather not revisit. To that extent, I am split about whether I would want to ask people to read this book or not. But that being said, this feeling is demonstrative of the powerful writing Shaheen has demonstrated in this book. 

What genuinely captivated me was the much required deromanticising of mental ailments. Therapists are increasingly worried about the rather casual way in which mental health is treated by society these days, more so about how any form of sadness is self-diagnosed by individuals as depression, and used as a crutch for difficult situations. This not only devalues their own life experiences, it belittles the experiences of people who actually suffer from it. On that front too, this book is a bold step in talking about what depression actually is, and feels like. Something that particularly stood out for me was the nuance of explaining the difference between being suicidal and simply wanting to be dead. Most people find it difficult to believe or understand the complex thoughts provoked by mental ailments, most of which are self-contradictory. Tackling it on head on, Shaheen manages to distill it perfectly. 

Coming back to my earlier conundrum, I think the answer is that I would end up asking people to read this book, of course, with a trigger warning. Anyone either suffering from a mental ailment will strongly associate with the book, and to the lucky ones who don’t, I suppose this book will aid you in empathising with those who do.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami - Kitabi Karwan Repost




View this post on Instagram

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. The strange nature of art that continues to baffle both creators and connoisseurs is the fact that more often than not, some of the artist’s most widely spanned, criticised and even hated work, is often one that is deeply personal, and oddly satisfying. This is the first Murakami non-fiction book I have read, and I headed into with a certain bias from people who’s opinion I respect - that of dislike. I can see why that’s the case. From a person who has continuously drawn us into mysterious, often melancholic and strangely magical worlds, a book about an act as ordinary as running is…to be polite, drab. The book largely builds on how the author uses running as a means to improve his writing, his life, and in the process, achieve a certain semblance of self discovery. Apart from stray witty quips, the writing is dull, even for a memoir, let alone that of a celebrated author. However, that being said, when I slept over the book, I felt a loose connect with what Murakami has tried to do. Through his own strange way, he has made a handbook or manual of sorts for anyone who dabbles in the arts. He can be faulted for largely approaching the issue empirically, and reverse inducing the logic from his own personal experience, but then that’s the beauty of the liberty an author is afforded. At no point he claims that the suggestions he spouts, or the ideas he espouses, are scientific or universal. They are mere anecdotes and guiding posts. In that sense, various metaphors, the primary one being the cramping of leg muscles during marathons and yet managing to finish the same (quite possibly an allegory for the writer’s block and its consequences), stand out. Here, I must confess my personal cloudiness. I generally like Murakami’s work, and am an aspiring writer myself. So perhaps my mind is aggrandising what simply is what the title says it is - Murakami talking about running. So it is hard to say if it is my mind playing a trick, or Murakami working his his magic. #Book #Books #Kitab #KitabiKarwan #nonfiction #running #marathon #harukimurakami #murakami #whatitalkaboutwhenitalkaboutrunning #vintagebooks
A post shared by Kitabi Karwan (@kitabikarwan) on

The strange nature of art that continues to baffle both creators and connoisseurs is the fact that more often than not, some of the artist’s most widely spanned, criticised and even hated work, is often one that is deeply personal, and oddly satisfying. This is the first Murakami non-fiction book I have read, and I headed into with a certain bias from people who’s opinion I respect - that of dislike. I can see why that’s the case. From a person who has continuously drawn us into mysterious, often melancholic and strangely magical worlds, a book about an act as ordinary as running is…to be polite, drab. The book largely builds on how the author uses running as a means to improve his writing, his life, and in the process, achieve a certain semblance of self discovery. Apart from stray witty quips, the writing is dull, even for a memoir, let alone that of a celebrated author.

However, that being said, when I slept over the book, I felt a loose connect with what Murakami has tried to do. Through his own strange way, he has made a handbook or manual of sorts for artists, writers, poets, musicians and anyone else who dabbles in the arts. He can be faulted for largely approaching the issue empirically, and reverse inducing the logic from his own personal experience, but then that’s the beauty of the liberty an author is afforded. At no point he claims that the suggestions he spouts, or the ideas he espouses, are scientific or universal. They are mere anecdotes and guiding posts. In that sense, various metaphors, the primary one being the cramping of leg muscles during marathons and yet managing to finish the same (quite possibly an allegory for the writer’s block and its consequences), stand out.

Here, I must confess my personal cloudiness. I generally like Murakami’s work, and am an aspiring writer myself. So perhaps my mind is aggrandising what simply is what the title says it is - Murakami talking about running. But then again, it is Murakami, the man whose worlds have two moons, cats falling out of the sky, and mystic cults. So it is hard to say if it is my mind playing a trick, or Murakami working his magic.