Planet Read is a project started by Google to help increase literacy rates throughout the world. They’ve started by adding same-language subtitles to Bollywood movies, to give people in India who have low literacy skills regular reading practice. That’s pretty sweeeeeet. In many ways, Google is beginning to scare me with the vast amount of super-detailed data they’re now collecting, but in ways like this, they somewhat redeem themselves.

What I’m reading right now:

Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami–A few weeks ago, I saw After the Quake, an adaptation of one of Murakami’s other books, and shortly after I started this book. I’m almost done with it, and it’s reaaaaaaally good. There are two parallel stories happening. One about a 15-year old kid who runs away from home to run away from an Oedipus-like prophecy, and to prove to himself he can make it on his own. The other about an old man who can’t read or write, but can talk to cats and occasionally makes fish fall from the sky. Throughout the book, flipping back and forth between stories, you can never really tell whether what you’re reading is really happening, or whether the character is existing within someone else’s dream. Or if the characters jump back and forth between reality and their own, or other people’s dreams. There are so many vivid, dream-like descriptions, that often remind you of things that happened or existed in the other parallel story. Like in the very beginning of the book, after the 15-year old kid first runs away, the old man’s story is introduced. He’s talking to a tomcat about a lost cat he’s trying to help a family find, and the way he’s describing this random lost cat is so similar to how the author initially describes the 15-year old kid. It’s hard to explain, but it’s soooo good.