All posts filed under: books review

Book review: 「私が彼を殺した」by 東野圭吾

This is the 5th novel of the detective Kaga series by Higashino Keigo. If you are not familiar with Higashino Keigo, he is certainly the most famous contemporary Japanese writer of mystery and detective novels. His books are systematically translated into Korean, but sadly, there are only a few translations available in English or French… Detective Kaga series is maybe the main series of Higashino Keigo. The first novel of the series was published in 1986 and the last one only some years ago. Reading the books of the series in order allows us to see how Highashino Keigo himself evolved and how the society changed, too. For example, the use of cellphones or other “new technologies” is slowly introduced and used in his novels. I would say that the first three novels of the series,「卒業」, 「眠りの森」 and 「悪意」, where more or less focused on Kaga himself and you could say that he was the protagonist or one of the protagonists of the novels. In this three novels, we get to learn a little about …

Discover Japan

I guess that “Discover Japan” is a well-known magazine among people interested in Japanese culture, but I discovered it only recently… In fact, I saw an interesting issue in a bookshop last year (September 2016) about Tokyo Olympics and bought the magazine thinking that I would read it later. At the time, I was not able to read in Japanese but I am glad I bought it because I can enjoy reading it now. Discover Japan has a beautiful website which presents each issue of the magazine and even gives access to some articles online. I think that it is possible to buy an old issue via Amazon or other sites and they even offer a wide range of e-versions, but I haven’t tried them. As for the issue I have about Tokyo Olympics (Discover Japan 2016年9月号 Vol.59), it is a very thorough and interesting overview of the different aspects of the games preparation and what it means for the hosting country. There is, for example, a parallel made with the Games of 1964 and …

Korean resources: “Japanese Sentences”

I am currently renewing a strategy I had at the beginning and which consists in listening to a lot of Japanese sentences (almost until I know them by heart), to learn vocabulary and grammar pattern at the same time. At that time, I used a Korean book which is called “Japanese Sentences” and belongs to the “Cakewalk series”. Even if the book has a title in English, it is published in Korea and entirely in Korean (and Japanese of course). Now that I am using this book again, I think it might interest other Japanese learners with an intermediate level, even if you don’t speak Korean. This is a little review of the book. If you want to order it via an Asian bookshop in your region, here is the reference: book title: 일본어 필수 표연 From the series: 무작정 따라하기 Author: 후지이 아사리 Editor: 이지톡 (eztok) ISBN: 9788960472730 How the book is structured It is a small but thick book of 550 pages which contains 990 sentences in Japanese. It is divided into 4 …

世界から猫が消えたなら by 川村元気

世界から猫が消えたなら・せかいからねこがきえたなら is a novel by 川村元気・かわむらげんき. A film based on the novel was released last year. I haven’t seen the film but I plan to. Even if I am posting this in the “currently reading” category of my blog, I am not really reading this book, I am listening to the audiobook. I bought it on the site Febe.jp and have listened to it almost every day since then (even if only for 10 minutes). It is part of my strategy to improve my listening skills. As I usually listen to the audiobook while doing other things like cooking or playing with my cats, I am not always 100% concentrated on what I hear. But I still can understand most of what is said, partly because the book is easy, partly because I listened to it several times. About the story To be honest, I am a little disappointed by the book, but that is maybe because I had too high expectations after I read the summary: a young man who is about to die …

Bungo Stray Dogs: a gate to Japanese literature

The manga Bungo Stray Dogs (文豪ストレイドッグス) is a manga written by Asagiri Kafka (朝霧カフカ) and illustrated by Harukawa Sango (春川35). One particularity of the manga is that the characters of the series are named after great literature authors. For example, the main character, a 18 year-old boy who can turn into a white tiger, is named after 中島敦・なかじまあつし a Japanese author of the first half on the 20th century, famous for his works 「山月記」(さんげつき)and 「光と風と夢」(ひかりとかぜとゆめ). What I find funny is not that names of real authors should be given to manga characters but that the face of those manga characters should be given to Japanese authors. This is what I found in a bookshop:   The books on the left side are not the manga itself but novels from Japanese authors with a new cover, designed after the manga. Those are books I would like to read in Japanese, in the far future… From top left to right, there are: 中島敦・なかじまあつし Nakajima Atsushi: 「山月記」さんげつき and 「李陵」りりょう 国木田独歩・くにきだどっぽ Kunikida Doppo: 「武蔵野」むさしの 谷崎潤一郎・たにざきじゅんいちろう Tanizaki Junichiro:「痴人の愛」ちじんのあい 江戸川乱歩・えどがわらんぽ Edogawa Ranpo: …