Month: May 2019

Book review: 『模倣の殺意』by Sin NAKAMACHI

Presentation Title: 『模倣の殺意』(The Plagiarized Fugue)Author: Sin NAKAMACHI 中町信Published by 創元推理文庫 Sin NAKAMACHI (1935-2009) was an author of crime fiction. 『模倣の殺意』was first published in 1973 under the title “新人賞殺人事件”. In 2004, 創元推理文庫 brought this mystery novel to the public again and gave it its present title. Setting An introductory chapter sets the facts: A man called Masao SAKAI dies on July, 7th at 7pm. He was an author of crime fiction. His death by poisoning looks like suicide but two persons are not convinced and will investigate. We follow these two characters, the chapters alternating between one and the other. Review: Excellent mystery! I didn’t know Sin NAKAMACHI before, and I bought this book because the obi said “これはすごい!”. I must learn not to let myself be too influenced by such promotional phrases, but in this case, it was true: this book was really good. First of all, the book is an excellent mystery novel with all the elements you would expect to find in good crime fiction. However, as the obi suggests, Sin NAKAMACHI goes …

JLPT Journal: Grammar done, starting drills!

I can’t believe that the test of July is in a little more than one month. My real goal is to pass in December, and I am taking the test of July as an exercise. Nonetheless, I cannot help but feeling excited (stressed) for July, and I am focusing on making vocabulary and grammar drills. So-matome Grammar: DONE! I have finally finished the So-matome textbook for grammar. I had planned to finish it in May, so I am very glad to say that everything went according to plan. I am aware that the So-matome textbook is not enough, this is why I will also study with a Korean textbook: This Korean textbook is very thorough. It has a lot of example sentences, and it has a strategical approach, showing you the grammar in the context of JLPT questions: I still don’t know if I will buy the Shin Kanzen for grammar or not… I remember that the Shin Kanzen was a little overwhelming for me when I took N2. More than once, I felt discouraged when …

Book review: 『6月31日の同窓会』by Yukiko MARI

Presentation Title: 『6月31日の同窓会』Author: Yukiko MARI (真梨幸子)Published by 実業之日本社 Yukiko MARI is a prolific author of mystery novels, but this one is the first I read. Setting The main topic of the book is that former students of the same school receive an invitation for the “6月31日の同窓会” and die soon after. Review: Liked it, but expected more… First of all, the setting was very appealing to me: when it comes to genre fiction, I like mysteries and murders, but most of all, I like mysterious murders. This book seemed to be exactly that: June, 31st?? People receive an invitation and die mysteriously soon after that?? On one hand, I was happy with this book, I read it relatively quickly, it has a good mystery, and I also liked how many things are connected with the past, and how complex the relationship between students of the same class can be. The part “secrets of the past/complex human relationship” was good and this is what I really enjoyed in the book. On the other hand, I was a little …

These days…

You know these days when you have a lot of time (the whole day or the whole afternoon, or several hours) to study your language but end up doing nothing? There are so many things that you want to do (or need to do) that you don’t know where to start. If you decide to do something first, you end up thinking that this other thing is more important and switch to it. Then you realise that you should definitely do something else and switch again. There are also the things you don’t want to do and avoid doing by spending your time in other more pleasant but not so useful activities. And of course, instead of actually doing things, you search the internet for tips on how to do them. In the end, you feel frustrated because you did spend the whole day “studying” your language, but you didn’t do anything really. I guess this happens to all of us. It happens to me all the time! But my life does not depend on my …

Book Review: 『おはなし・ねこあつめ』by Haruka SHIOTSUKI

Presentation Title: 『おはなし・ねこあつめ』Author: Haruka SHIOTSUKI (汐月遥)Published by 集英社みらい文庫 This book of 196 pages contains 8 short stories featuring the cats and universe of the mobile game Neko Atsume by Hit-Point. The book has full furigana and is written for children (小学中級から). Every other spread contains some coloured, super cute illustrations. The stories can be read independently from one another and it is not necessary to play the game to understand them. Setting The game Neko Atsume is a mobile game on iOS and Android where the player can put cat food and cat toys in his house and yard and wait for cats to come and play around. The idea is that you don’t own the cats and don’t have control over who comes or when, they are free to come and go as they please. You can take pictures of them and collect them in an album. The stories in 『おはなし・ねこあつめ』features some of the numerous cats who appear in the game, keeping their name and personality. They play in the yard, meet friends or …