I've just been to Yummy Yarn blog and seen the girl's 2006 book list - 109!!! Wow! I thought I managed to read quite a lot last year - 33, but now it seems like it was just a prelude.
I found some really good books last year - most of what I read by Haruki Murakami were very good contemporary fiction novels (I still have two of his books to read this year, waiting on my "to-read" bookshelf ^^). I love the way he builds up the world around the character, maybe because all the descriptions of the food, places, travels show me the modern Japan as it is, and it's even better than looking at the photographs. *^v^*
I loved to pieces "Out" by Natsuo Kirino and "Tsugumi" by Y. Banana - I know there are only Japanese names by now, but it seems that this literary poetics suits me very much. I loved also a book by Polish author Wit Szostak, the fantasy novel based on the Polish mountain folklore, very unusal combination and it really worked in this case (and my biggest disappointment - another Polish fantasy author Anna Brzezinska and her latest short stories collection... I love her novels but this book is just boring and feels like an early work, rejected by the editor before she set up her own editor's house and found this collection in a drawer and decided to give it to her readers, if this was the case - big mistake.
I also got dissappointed with the latest detectives stories of my favourite Polish author Joanna Chmielewska. I have ALL her books - about 40 - and I must say she ran out of good ideas and repeates herself in her latests novels, great pity but fortunately I can go back to her old books over and over again and laugh everytime I read them (although I already know "who the killer is", but that's okay *^v^*).
I would also like to recommend the book by Lisa See "Snow Flower and the secret fan" - fiction based on the original life of a Chinese woman, from early childhood to the old age, including the shocking tradition of breaking up the little girls' feet bones in order to achieve the smallest feet possible which was regarded as an ultimate beauty, and the role of a woman and a man in Chinese society of the XIX century (they practically lead two separate lives in separate parts of the household that intermingled on some occasions). A real food for thought for the Western man.
As for the simple pleasures in my life tonight we've been to our friends', Agata and Daniel. They have two daughters, 6 year old Dorothy and 1 year old Sophie, and I really enjoyed the time spent with Dorothy - she's such a well-behaved, smart girl! Whenever I come to their house she occupies me completely but it doesn't bother me at all, because I like talking to her and playing with her toys (today we constructed a tower out of Geomag magnetic blocks). She told me about her painting and dancing classes, about the activities in her kindergarten, showed me her room and her toys (she is becoming a little lady already, with small make-up palette ^^), and she even gave me a present - a blue cut-out paper star! And I gave her a small clay hedgehog charm and a pair of red wristwarmers and a clay rocking horse charm to Sophie. She almost makes me think about having my own children one day. Well...