Before The Coffee Gets Cold: Book Review

Book: Before The Coffee Gets Cold
Author: Toshikazu Kawaguchi
Genre: Fiction, Magical Realism
Age Limit: 16+
Trigger Warnings: Dementia, Death, Grief

Goodreads Summary:

In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café that has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time.

In Before the Coffee Gets Cold, we meet four visitors, each of whom is hoping to make use of the café’s time-traveling offer, to confront the man who left them, and receive a letter from their husband whose memory has been taken by early onset Alzheimer’s, to see their sister one last time, and to meet the daughter they never got the chance to know.

But the journey into the past does not come without risks: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the café, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold . . .

My Review:

There are four stories, all set in the cafe, where the characters are the same and known. In each story, some or other character wants to time travel back to the past/ future to convey something to the person they want to meet. These stories are very heartwarming and meaningful. You get so connected to the characters. The author has described the cafe in such a way that it makes it so comforting to read these stories. It teaches an important lesson about time and relationships. Even though they can time travel, after coming back, the present does not change, which was pretty interesting to read as even though the characters were able to experience this magical moment, they still had to come back to reality because it does not change. I got so attached to these stories that I will come back and read them again. They were so impactful with such a beautiful message at the end.

What I Liked:

  • The connection between time and relationships
  • Got attached to the characters
  • the rules for time-traveling
  • favorite story: Mother and Child

Other Books In This Series:

What You Should Read Next:

  • Kafka On The Shore by Haruki Murakami
  • Read the sequels of this book!

My Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was a comfort read for me! Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments!
Happy Reading!
Rabhya.

Guide To Book Photography!

Hello everyone! Hope all are doing well. So, some of you may already know that I love photography, especially of nature and books. I do not have a bookstagram account, but I take photos for blog post purposes and for Pinterest! You can check out my Pinterest! I was thinking to do a basic guide/tips on starting with book photography. So, let’s get into it!

Equipment

Camera

When starting with book photography, you DO NOT need a costly camera and equipment to start with. Your android phones/ iPhones are sufficient for taking photos. I personally have a camera but I find myself using my phone camera most of the time. I do have a tripod but I do not use it unless I am using my camera. I won’t recommend any phone brand since all phones have good camera quality these days.

Lighting

I personally do not use any external lighting. Natural light is the best way to capture good-quality photos. Lighting in your home is also sufficient for capturing a well-lit photo.

Composition

Composition is the key to every bookish photo. To make a photo attractive and aesthetic, use objects relating to the story or the book cover. If you see the first photo above, the series is a murder mystery, so I used gloves, a magnifying glass, and an old piece for giving character to the photo. Similarly, in the second photo, there are flowers on the cover. So, I covered the background with some white flowers. You can pick some objects lying around your home and use them in your photos.

Editing Process

Get as creative as you can at this step! All the options are in your hands at this step and you can definitely elevate a simple photo through some editing. I normally use Lightroom and Picsart for editing photos on my phone. If you see the Before photo, I just stacked those books on an orangish paper. But during the editing process, I used many stickers from Picsart and made it aesthetic! Also, you don’t require a premium subscription for any editing app, the free features are sufficient.

So these were some tips/ basics for starting with book photography. You can actually use these tips for taking photos of other things too! Let me know in the comments if you have any other tips and tricks that you use for book photography!
Happy Reading!
Rabhya.

Kafka On The Shore: Book Review

Book: Kafka On The Shore
Author: Haruki Murakami
Genre: Magical Realism
Age Limit: 17+

Summary:

Kafka Thmura runs away from home at fifteen, under the shadow of his father’s dark prophecy.
The aging Nakata, the tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his pleasantly simplified life suddenly turned upside down.
As their parallel odyssey unravels, cats converse with people; fish tumble from the sky; a ghost-like pimp deploys a Hegel-spouting girl of the night; a forest harbors soldiers apparently un-aged since World War II. There is a savage killing, but the identity of both victim and killer is a riddle- one of many which combine to create an elegant and dreamlike masterpiece.

My Review:

It took me a month to finish this book. I wanted to take my own time to consume every page written by Murakami. The story revolves around two characters who are not connected in any way. As we go further into the story a connection starts forming between them since this is a character-driven story. I really loved the character build-up. Simplistic characters going through life problems and all of that is infused with magic. Murakami creates a world for readers so that they can completely lose themselves in it. The story is not meant to end with a banger, it ends for the reader to figure out on their own. I could not believe that Murakami could write such a story. It’s so beautifully written and his writing style is immaculate. Kafka On The Shore was a comfort read for me, I wanted to get lost in the story and escape from reality. Throughout the book, there are magical elements that surprise you and then there are those humane elements that melt your heart.

What I Liked:

  • Infusing magic with reality
  • meaningful and deep world-building
  • comforting and escaping story
  • simplistic characters with diverse elements around them
  • the immaculate writing style of Murakami

My Favourite Paragraphs From The Book:

What You Should Read Next:

  • Before The Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
  • Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

Star Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This has become my all-time favorite book now! I highly recommend reading this meaningful and alluring story! If you have read this book, let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Happy Reading!
Rabhya.

Let’s Talk About Murakami!

Hello Bookish People! I am back with another post where I talk about my recent obsession. Haruki Murakami’s Writing! As I talked about switching genres in my previous post, well I have started reading Japanese-translated books, more on it later.

Haruki Murakami

Murakami, born January 12, 1949 is a Japanese writer. His novels, essays, and short stories have been bestsellers in Japan and internationally, with his work translated into 50 languages and has sold millions of copies outside Japan. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Gunzou Prize for New Writers, the World Fantasy Award, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the Franz Kafka Prize, and the Jerusalem Prize. Growing up in Kobe before moving to Tokyo to attend Waseda University, he published his first novel Hear the Wind Sing (1979) after working as the owner of a small jazz bar for seven years.
(source: Wikipedia)

I started reading Kafka On The Shore in August when I was sick. I instantly fell in love with his writing style. He normally writes magical realism stories and I absolutely love that style. Even though the story has magical elements, he infuses reality so well in those stories. His character developments are so unique with so much depth. Murakami’s stories are a way of escapism, it puts you in a trance. He writes books so beautifully, the stories have some history of Japan blended in.

Books I Have Read So Far by Murakami:

~ Kafka On The Shore: 5/5 stars
~ Sputnik Sweetheart: 4/5 stars
~ Birthday Girl: 4/5 stars

I am currently reading After Dark by him.

He has become my favorite author and I can’t wait to read more books by him! Have you read any Murakami books? Let me know in the comments!
Happy Reading!
Rabhya.

Birthday Book Haul!

Hello, Bookworms! My birthday was a month ago, which is the 7th of September. I think I have never mentioned this on my blog ever. From next year, I hope to celebrate my birthday with you all through the blogosphere!
You can check out this on Pinterest as well!

So, I brought some books because I always do that every year. And then my friends and family gifted me some books! Let’s get to it!

These books were given to me by my friends and family! I have already read Kafka On The Shore, which was sooo good, I will never forget that story…

I brought these books for myself from a website which I will be talking about in my next post. I have already read Layla, Before The Coffee Gets Cold, Sputnik Sweetheart, and The Maid. I have given these books 4 to 5 stars. They were all fantastic reads!

My birthday was fun! I had some friends come over and we hung out. Until next birthday 🙂
Happy Reading!
Rabhya.