Month: November 2020

Book review: 『本を読む人だけが手にするもの』 by Kazuhiro Fujihara

Introduction Title: 『本を読む人だけが手にするもの』Author: Kazuhiro FUJIHARA (藤原和博)Published by ちくま文庫296 pages Review I will say it plainly: I didn’t like this book. Reading it was a waste of time, the author kept bragging about himself, I haven’t learned anything, and I felt insulted by the author. “I am such a great person” type of book The point of the book is to show the importance of reading, I guess… But to be honest, it rather looks like the whole point of the book is to show how great the author is because he reads so many books and achieved so many things and has so many great ideas to improve education. I haven’t read a lot of self-improvement books in Japanese, but Japanese authors always seem to brag about how many books they read, how many blog posts they write, how many video they upload and so on. I find it annoying, but if the author is creating great content that helps me getting more productive, it’s fine. In this book, the author just boasts about his …

Book review: 『蹴りたい背中』 by Risa Wataya (綿矢りさ)

Introduction Title: 『蹴りたい背中』 (けりたいせなか)Author: Risa WATAYA (綿矢りさ)Published by 河出文庫183 pages This is Risa Wataya’s second and best known novel who won her the Akutagawa Prize at the age of 19. Review My previous experience with Risa Wataya’s books has not been exciting. I read 『勝手にふるえてろ』in translation but remember not being impressed by it. More recently, I read 『私をくいとめて』 in Japanese and, similarly, did not find it very interesting. Consequently, and even though it won the Akutagawa Prize, I was not expecting to love 『蹴りたい背中』. It was thus a pleasant surprise to discover that it has much more vivacity than the other two books I read, and I enjoyed it enough. What I loved the most in the book is how the two protagonists are true loners who don’t fit in their environment. What they do is weird for the society, but not in the cool way of being eccentric and breaking social conventions, more in a pathetic and helpless sort of way that makes them authentic. I feel like I have read tons of stories where the protagonists …

Book review: 『ガリレオの苦悩』 by Keigo Higashino

Introduction Title: 『ガリレオの苦悩』 (がりれおのくのう)Author: Keigo HIGASHINO (東野圭吾)Published by 文春文庫p376. This is the fourth book in the Galileo series. It is a collection of five short stories. Four of the short stories were first published in various magazines and one was written for the book edition, which was first published in 2008. As far as I know, this book has not been translated into English. Review As usual, I found the cases in this book very entertaining, but to be honest, this book might be the one I enjoyed reading the least so far. (I am reading the whole Galileo series in order). The first short story introduces detective Kaoru Utsumi who now works with Kusanagi. I read Salvation of a Saint some years ago in translation – which is the next book of the series and features Kaoru – but I did not remember the character of Kaoru well. As a result, I was very surprised by this addition and even more surprised (disappointed might be the correct word) to see her take Kusanagi’s place. …