All posts filed under: currently reading

Currently Reading: 『流星の絆』by 東野圭吾

To me, the best way to start reading again after a long period of trials and errors is to start a novel by Keigo HIGASHINO. The magic worked this time too, with the novel 『流星の絆』(りゅうせい の きずな). It is a very long novel (617 pages), but I am confident that if you like Higashino’s style, you will like everything, from the shortest short stories to the longest novels. I felt committed to the story right from the beginning. I don’t know why I sometimes stay indifferent to what happens to the characters and sometimes feel immediately involved in their story. The author’s style maybe… Anyway, the beginning of the novel is completely engrossing, with a murder and a criminal investigation. This is exactly what I needed to start reading in Japanese again. After having made several attempts to start a novel, starting several books and giving up after a few pages, I was happy to feel engrossed in a story and read the first 100 pages without even realising it. Given the length of the novel, …

Currently Reading: 『往復書簡』by 湊かなえ

I was very excited to start a new book by Kanae MINATO! I have read only one book from this author before, but it is clearly one of my favourite books. I was looking forward to reading another story by Kanae MINATO and was full of expectations when I finally opened 『往復書簡』. The fact that it is an epistolary (書簡・しょかん) work added to my excitement (I love epistolary novels, but I don’t read them often.) My expectations were both entirely fulfilled and confounded. Fulfilled because I felt engrossed in the story right from the beginning and confounded because… it is not a novel! It is a collection of short stories! I realised it only when I reached the end of the “first chapter” (which was, in reality, the first story). Have you ever started a collection of short stories thinking it was a novel? I can’t remember having such an experience before. I felt so disappointed, haha. I like short stories too, but not as much as a novel. No, in fact, if I can …

Currently Reading: 「それでも、日本人は戦争を選んだ」by 加藤陽子

I have finally given up reading 「朝鮮開国と日清戦争」by Soki WATANABE because the more I read, the more difficult the book becomes. I was unlucky in my choice when I picked a History book, I should have bought a popular book written for a large public. Watanabe’s book was maybe too specialised for me. As I don’t renounce reading History books in Japanese, I picked another one: 「それでも、日本人は戦争を選んだ」by 加藤陽子 (かとう・ようこ). Yoko KATO is a professor at Tokyo University. Her field is the period spanning from the Russo-Japanese War to the Pacific War, but her speciality is centred on Japan’s diplomatic relations and military actions of the 30’s. Her book is divided into 5 chapters: Prologue: Let’s reflect upon Japan Modern History Chapter 1: First Sino-Japanese War Chapter 2: Russo-Japanese War Chapter 3: World War I Chapter 4: The Mukden Incident and the Second Sino-Japanese War Chapter 5: Pacific war The point of this book is to reflect upon Japan Modern History through the wars of this period. Why this book is easy to read? This book seems much …

Currently reading: 「私のクラスの生徒が、一晩で24人死にました。」by 日向奈くらら

Even if I still haven’t finished the novel 「光」, I started a new book of my reading challenge: 「私のクラスの生徒が、一晩で24人死にました。」by 日向奈くらら (ひむかな くらら). It has an English title, which is “24 students in my class died overnight”. To be frank, when I returned from my haul in Kyoto and listed up all the 13 books I had bought for the year, I regretted a little having bought this one. I can’t say exactly why, but I felt that this book was maybe not for me. I have started it, and I am pleasantly surprised. To say things plainly, I am totally engrossed in the story. It is a mix of horror, detective and mystery novel told from the point of view of the professor of the class in question or sometimes, the detective in charge of the case. What interests me is that school bullying (いじめ) is at the centre of the plot, and this is a topic I am always keen on reading about. There is enough suspense to say this book is a page-turner. I …

Currently reading: 「虚ろな十字架」by 東野圭吾

I am a little frustrated with some of the books I am reading at the moment, and I sometimes avoid reading at all because the books I have are either too difficult or not that interesting to me. This is why I thought that I could always have a novel by Keigo HIGASHINO as back up for the times when I just want to relax and read something easy. As I don’t mind reading several books at the same time, why not always have one that I know I will appreciate and read without problems? I picked 「虚ろな十字架」randomly, I was just careful to avoid a novel that would be part of a series. Now that I have already read some chapters, I can tell that the main topic of this book is the capital punishment. I am very happy with this book because death penalty in Japan is a topic that interests me. Since I read 「赤い指」 I do not see Highashino’s books as pure detective stories anymore but as the reflection of societal issues. …

Currently reading: 「君たちはどう生きるか」by 吉野源三郎

If you live in Japan or stay in touch with recent Japanese publications, you certainly have come across the title 「君たちはどう生きるか」by 吉野源三郎(よしの・げんざぶろう). Though not living in Japan, I happened to see several times the cover of the manga version of this book but never really paid attention to it. The other day, however, I saw the same title again in a bookshop but with a different cover. Curiosity got the better of me and, before I could tell myself that buying a new book when I already have so many to read at home is not reasonable, I found myself queuing at the register with the book in hand. About 「君たちはどう生きるか」 The book is a novel written in 1937 by Genzaburo YOSHINO. The novel was originally written for children or young readers, but it is now seen as a book that adults can enjoy too. Last year, a manga adaptation by 羽賀翔一(はが・しょういち)put an eighty-year-old story back on the bookshops’ bestsellers shelves. At the same time, a new edition of the novel was published, and this …

Currently Reading: 「光」by 三浦しをん

Even though I am reading several books at the same time, I am not losing sight of my reading challenge list. Given that「赤い指」 (the previous novel I read) was easy to read, I picked up a book that I am almost sure will be challenging: 「光」by 三浦しをん (みうらしをん). I bought this book during my December haul in Kyoto and I chose it because I had read another book by this author: 「舟を編む」. If you follow this blog for some time, you know that it took me months to read 「舟を編む」(I have just checked my older posts, I posted this book in my “currently reading” section in August 2017 and my review in January 2018! 😳 … I published some reading notes too because I stumbled across so many challenging parts). Nevertheless, 「舟を編む」is one of my favourite books ever, not only in Japanese. And so I bought 「光」with a mix of excitation and apprehension because it might as well be as challenging as 「舟を編む」. Both books have something in common though, they both have been adapted …

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 …