Just finished Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami a couple days ago.
It was good. It's a book for VERY analytical readers. I feel a lot of it went over my head but I got the gist of it. Very dreamy and stream of consciousness at times. I have Norwegian Wood on order now. I'll get to that by the end of the summer.
Right now I'm reading South of No North: Stories of a Buried Life by Charles Bukowski.
Enough can't be said about Bukowski's prose. The guy can flat out write dialogue. He's like the anti-Hubert Selby (Requiem For A Dream, Last Exit To Brooklyn) in the sense that his dialogue sounds genuine without sounding TOO genuine. Where Selby's dialogue is littered with half sentences and fragmented words to illustrate the illiteracy of his characters, Bukowski's charcaters have no need to be dumbed down because while they're desperate and abrasive, they're not dumb, they's just humans. I think Bukowski is at his best when writing short fiction such as the stories in this collection.
I finished reading Pere Goriot couple of days ago. It's a very typical Balzac story with him criticizing the decaying post-Napoleonic French society's importance on money and class (a lot of the aristocracy was coming back and claiming their wealth with Napoleon gone). Very bleak read at times with the whole father-daughters story. If you've read King Lear, you'll know why. Really recommend you read this or anything by Balzac (if you want a short story, read "Gobseck") to gain some perspective on French society at the time.