All posts filed under: currently reading

Currently Reading: 「在日」by 姜尚中(カン・サンジュン)

I am deviating a little from my “reading challenge list for 2018” with 「在日」by Kang Sang-jung. As I am currently living in Korea, I took an interest in the relationship between Korea and Japan. So when I saw this book in a bookshop of Seoul the other day, I just had to buy it. This title caught my eye because of another book that I still haven’t read but which covers, I think, the same subject: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. I have been telling myself that I should read Pachinko since I read Akylina saying so many good things about it on the literary sisters’ blog. I still haven’t got around to it yet, because I have a huge list of books I want to read in English… But when I saw 「在日」, I thought it could be a way to dig into the subject while waiting for the good time to read Pachinko. What immediately drew my attention is the name of the author: 姜尚中 (Kang Sang-jung). This means that the author is using …

Currently Reading: 「赤い指」by 東野圭吾

I am a big fan of Keigo HIGASHINO. I first read his books in French (some of the Galileo series) and found it very new and original. I would never have dreamed, at the time, that I would be able to read his novels in Japanese one day. Since I started Japanese and reached a sufficient level to read novels, I have read 9 novels by Higashino, including the 6 first books of the Kaga series. Also, the very first novel I read (without given up) in Japanese was 「卒業」, the first novel of the series. I reached the point when I was exclusively reading Higashino, and this year, I have decided to read other authors to get used to different writing styles and taste some more difficult writings. But, I could not resist the temptation to add two titles by Higashino to my 2018 Reading challenge, and it is now time for me to read 「赤い指」, the seventh novel of the Kaga series. Opening a novel by Higashino is immensely enjoyable. First, I know …

Currently reading: 「放送禁止」by 長江俊和

I am now reading one of the shortest books on my reading list: 「放送禁止」by 長江俊和. After 「イノセント・デイズ」 which was a long novel with deep implications, I didn’t want to dive just yet into another long novel. I chose 「放送禁止」 to serve as a recreation. Why I chose this book Among the best-sellers that I saw in Kyoto’s bookshops last December, was another book by 長江俊和 (ながえ・としかず) which title kindled my interest: 「出版禁止」. I was attracted both by the title and the cover, which seemed to be full of mysteries. I finally bought 「放送禁止」instead because it was written previously and I thought it would be better to start with the first title of the “禁止” series, though I didn’t know, and still don’t know if the stories are linked. About the drama, the film and the book I wasn’t aware at the time that “放送禁止” is actually the name of a drama. I thought that the drama might be an adaptation of the book but in fact, it is the other way around. There is also a film. What …

Currently reading: 「朝鮮開国と日清戦争」by 渡辺惣樹

Some days ago, I saw this book piled up in a bookshop in Seoul: 「朝鮮開国と日清戦争 アメリカはなぜ日本を支持し、朝鮮を見限ったか」by 渡辺惣樹 (わたなべ・そうき) They have a decent selection of non-fiction books in Japanese, but not so much space that they would pile up a lot of titles. So naturally, my attention was drawn to this title. I am both interested in the Sino-Japanese war and Korea history, so it seemed that this book was for me. I must have spent 20 minutes, standing before it, wondering if I should buy it or not, for I was sure that I could not read it. Even if I hesitated a lot before buying it, it was still an impulse. I hadn’t gone there to buy a History book, and before seeing this book, I was not even thinking of reading one soon. If I were to start reading a History book in Japanese, this is what I should have done: I should have made some research on the internet before, find which books or authors were praised for being easy to read and …

Currently reading:「イノセント・デイズ」by 早見和真

Time again to choose a book from my reading challenge list! I hesitated a long time before picking 「イノセント・デイズ」by 早見和真(はやみ・かずまさ) I would like to say a word about why I bought this book when I was in Kyoto last December. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but I saw something like this: 【B1F文庫売場】2017年も残りわずか。年末恒例「新潮文庫紅白本合戦」今年も始まりました!男性に売れた本、女性に売れた本のランキングもございます。新刊もロングセラーも、ランクイン!2017年の本の読み納めに、そして2018年の本の読み初めに、1冊いかがでしょう。おめでたい色のオビが目印です! pic.twitter.com/QREhymlsd9 — 丸善名古屋本店 (@MARUZENNAGOYA) December 23, 2017 Of course, it was not the same bookshop, but I haven’t taken my own photos at the time so… Apparently, it is the third edition of a conquest organised by the publisher 新潮文庫 to promote mystery novels. The event is called 紅白本合戦 and as you can see here: やったー❗新潮文庫紅白本合戦…女性に売れた本📕第2位に忍びの国🎉 pic.twitter.com/HAVk4lahPM — じゅんじゅん(′・∀・`)/🍀 (@arf_arashic) December 11, 2017 winners are classified into two categories: 女性に売れた本 et 男性に売れた本. I can’t find official information about how the selection was made. So I have to guess that readers could vote for their favourite book while saying if they are female or male? (I have no idea). The final ranking is divided into: The top 10 books that “were …

Currently reading: 「世界は終わらない」 by 益田ミリ

I am still reading the novel 「彼女がその名を知らない鳥たち」but I allow myself some breaks with Miri MASUDA’s manga 「世界は終わらない」. I already knew Miri MASUDA through her yonkoma manga series 「すーちゃん」, a total of 4 books that follow the daily life of a 30-year-old woman, working in a café and reflecting on her future while dealing with everyday’s ups and downs. 「世界は終わらない」is very similar to the 「すーちゃん」series but its protagonist is a man of 32, single, working in the bookshop just near すう’s café. He, too, goes through life with a mixture of positiveness and doubts, anxious about the future but willing to do things well no matter what. There are some hints at the 「すーちゃん」series, but nothing that one needs to know to understand the story. I love this manga because it deals with life as it is, with the joys and disappointments it gives us. I always feel very close to Miri MASUDA’s characters, and I have no difficulty imagining myself in their situation. Another thing that I enjoy is the setting in a bookshop. I …

Currently reading: 「彼女がその名を知らない鳥たち」by 沼田まほかる

I am reading the third book of my 2018 reading challenge! My challenge was to read a book per month, and I am well ahead of schedule. The book I chose is 「彼女がその名を知らない鳥たち」by 沼田まほかる (ぬまたまほかる) There is a film adaption which trailer you can watch here: To be honest, I may not have bought this book if I had watched the trailer before. I was expecting some kind of psychological thriller where we don’t know if the protagonist is persecuted or suffering from paranoïa… but this story seems to be mainly a love story. This book is clearly above my level. The opening chapter was difficult, but opening chapters usually are, and I always need some time to get into a story. Therefore I persevered and reached the 1/4 of the book… and it is still challenging!🤯 There are passages that I understand well and others that leave me behind. To be more precise, I feel more or less comfortable with narrative passages, but some of the dialogues give me the impression I never learnt Japanese 😱 … …

Currently Reading: 「豆の上で眠る」 by 湊かなえ

I am reading the second book of my 2018 Reading challenge! I chose 「豆の上で眠る」by 湊かなえ(みなとかなえ). I bought this book because it was presented as a “shocking mystery of two sisters” (衝撃の姉妹ミステリー!), but I am slowly discovering that this novel is much more than a mystery. Even if there is a mystery focused on the two sisters Yuiko and Mayuko, the novel mainly turns around the relations between the member of the family. From the striking portrait of the mother to the way a child perceives itself in the family, the complexity of feelings that family members can have for one another confers its deepness to the story. The novel opens on Yuiko, the little sister, returning home during the Summer. She is now a student, and we feel that this trip back home will be filled with memories of the past. As a reader, we are dragged into a journey that leads us to Yuiko’s childhood and, as far as I can tell, will reveal unspoken bitterness. At the beginning, the title is explained as Yuiko recalls …