All posts filed under: book review

Book review: 『下町やぶさか診療所』by Yo IKENAGA

About the book Title: 『下町やぶさか診療所』Author: Yo IKENAGA (池永陽)Published by 集英社文庫 I bought this book in Japan, partly because I loved the cover, partly because I wanted to read something else than mystery novels. Setting Rintaro MANO, alias “大先生”, is working as a doctor in Asakusa, Tokyo. His prices are cheap, and it is no secret that people come to him to talk about their problems in life rather than to get a medical consultation. We meet Rintaro’s patients and friends, and share their lives and fate through 7 short chapters of around 50 pages each. Review First of all, I loved this book. If you like slice-of-life novels, I would definitely recommend 『下町やぶさか診療所』. However, even though the doctor’s office is a central place in the novel, I don’t think you can call this novel a medical fiction. Rintaro does little more than applying his stethoscope to his patients’s chest. It is true that most of the stories show how people deal with diseases, but it is more about their daily life and moral choices than …

Book Review: 『ガーディアン』by Gaku YAKUMARU

About the book Title: 『ガーディアン』Author: Gaku YAKUMARU 薬丸岳Published by 講談社 Gaku YAKUMARU is a popular author of mystery novels and thrillers. Recently, one of his novel has been a huge best-seller in Korea (where I live). The novel is 『誓約』 , and I have read and liked it. When I was in Japan for a short trip earlier this year, I saw that Gaku YAKUMARU had released a new mystery novel, 『ガーディアン』whose topic and setting was very appealing to me. Setting The story takes place at a middle school, and while the topic of the novel is school bullying, there surprisingly seems to be very little bullying problems in this establishment. We follow several students and professors, in particular professor AKIBA, as the school year progresses and secrets get revealed. Review 『ガーディアン』 is a great school mystery novel. I loved reading it, it was easy to feel involved in the story of each characters, and it was easy to read in Japanese. I am interested in the topic of school bullying in Japan, and I think …

Book Review: 『わたし、定時で帰ります』by Kaeruko AKENO

Presentation Title: 『わたし、定時で帰ります』(No working after hours!)Author: Kaeruko AKENO 朱野帰子Published by 新潮文庫 This novel has been adapted into a TV drama featuring Yuriko YOSHITAKA. It started airing in April this year (2019). Setting As the title suggests, this novel is a story about work and workplace. The protagonist is Yui HIGASHIYAMA, she is 32 years old and works for a web company. She is known for always leaving her work at six while most of her co-workers work after hours. Things get upset when a new boss comes in Yui’s team. Review I absolutely loved this novel, it is without a doubt one of my favourite reads of the year!  If you like novels about working life or want to get insights into a Japanese working place and working style, this novel seems perfect. I have never worked in Japan or in a Japanese company, so it is hard to tell if what the novel depicts is close to reality. But I enjoyed reading it, I think that I did learn a lot of things thanks to …

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 …

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 …

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 …