Six Degrees of Separation: from Fight Club to I Am A Cat

 

It’s the first Saturday in February which means that it’s time for the Six Degrees meme. I’m on time, too. This month we’re starting with Fight Club by Chuck Pahlaniuk. Continue reading

Sweet Bean Paste

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Read 02/12/2018-06/12/2018

Rating: 3 stars

My best friend lent me this book. She knew that I would enjoy it, and she was right.

Within the first couple of pages, Durian Sukegawa’s description of the novel’s setting made me yearn for Japan and the holiday adventures my husband and I like to take exploring the side streets and everyday bits of Japan away from the tourist attractions. The description of the dorayaki shop where Sweet Bean Paste is set made me think of the Japanese drama series Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories. Continue reading

Three Short Reads

 

I slowed down my reading during January, trying to get more depth of engagement with what I read, relishing it more. This includes books of less than 150 pages that I would typically zip through. Recently I read three short books from Penguin, all of them full of big ideas. It took longer than I expected, and I found strong links between the three, so I’m reviewing them together.

Continue reading

On the Narrow Road to the Deep North

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Read 21/01/2018-31/01/2018

Rating: 5 stars

My 300th post! How good that it should be a five star review of a book that celebrates the 300th anniversary of something.

After the bleakness of The Secret River, I felt in need of something calming, and what could be more calming than an account of a pilgrimage undertaken on the 300th anniversary of Basho’s 1689 journey to the Tōhoku and Yamagata regions of Japan? Continue reading

Wrong About Japan

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Read 20/09/2017-22/09/2017

Rating: 4 stars

My husband noticed this on the non-fiction shelves in the library. I like Peter Carey’s novels, and a memoir of how he and his teenage son became captivated by manga and anime and travelled to Tokyo to meet artists and directors in each industry sounded interesting. Continue reading

Pachinko

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Read 06/05/2017-11/05/2017

Rating: 4 stars

Pachinko was on the list for The Reader’s Room March Madness Challenge. I ordered it from the library, but lots of people wanted to read it, and when it eventually arrived it was too late for the challenge. I’d read enough about it to still want to read it, though. Continue reading

Tōnoharu

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Read 19/02/2017 (Parts One and Two originally read in 2010)

Rating: 5 stars

My husband bought me the first two volumes of Tōnoharu for my birthday a few years ago, and I read them ravenously. They are based on the author’s experiences teaching English in Japan, and are full of the melancholy of heading off on an adventure to a country and culture that is alien to your own. I decided to re-read the first two volumes in advance of starting the long awaited final instalment. Continue reading

Thousand Cranes

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Read 12/01/2017-14/01/2017

Rating: 5 stars

Read for The Reader’s Room Winter Challenge

It isn’t often that I read a book and don’t want to review it for fear of shattering its beauty. Thousand Cranes is such a book. I can talk about what I love about it. I can boil the plot down to mundanities. Or I can tell you to read it and find out for yourself what makes it such a compelling book.

From the very first lines I was hooked. Continue reading