All posts tagged: reading challenge

Book review: 『ボッコちゃん』by Shinichi Hoshi

Introduction Title: 『ボッコちゃん』Author: Shinichi Hoshi (星新一)Published by 新潮文庫 Shinichi Hoshi is well known for his short short stories and is considered to be the pioneer of Japanese SF. 『ボッコちゃん』is a collection of 50 short short stories chosen by the author himself. Review This is the first time that I read stories by Shinichi Hoshi, and I was very surprised by the author’s unique style and impressive creativity. These stories are unlike anything I have read before. It sometimes felt like reading stories for children, sometimes like listening to a friend telling a joke. The stories all belong to the speculative fiction, mostly science fiction but also fantasy or mystery. What surprised me the most is how the author managed to create an interesting outcome for each story. Even though they are very short (3 to 6 pages), many surprised me at the end. Sometimes, I even doubted whether I understood the Japanese well, because I felt that something did not make sense, but everything became clear at the end. (for example: 闇の目) I find that …

Language diary #6: Book haul and reading challenge!

I was in Japan last week for a trip in Tokyo, and of course, I took the opportunity to visit several bookshops and buy Japanese books. (This post is long, scroll down to see the list!) Reading Challenge #2 Last year, I set myself a first reading challenge: read all the 13 books I had bought in Japan (in December 2017) before the end of 2018. This meant reading roughly one book per month. This challenge was a success, it got me into the habit of reading Japanese genre fiction regularly and helped me improve my reading pace. This year (2019), I start a similar challenge: read all the 23 books I bought in Japan before December, 31st. As we are already in March, this means reading 2 to 3 novels per month. I think that it is doable, given that I bought mainly detective and mystery novels, a genre that I am used to reading and is not too challenging for me. How I chose my books Usually, I buy my books in Korean …

A year of reading in Japanese

For my last Monday post of the year, I would like to look back on the books I have read this year in Japanese! My favourite books (story only) If I only take the story into account, without considering the language level, I would say that my favourite books this year are: 『豆の上で眠る』by Kanae MINATO. I read this book in January, and I think that it is my favourite. I was totally gripped by the story, it deeply resonated with me, and I was emotionally involved in it from start to finish. 『コンビニ人間』by Sayaka MURATA. I loved this book because I could learn a lot about Japanese society through it. But I also identified with the protagonist and I felt like the novel was touching some unpleasant moment of my own experience.   『赤い指』by Keigo HIGASHINO. To be honest with you, detective Kyoichiro KAGA is a hero to me. This novel is the 7th of the detective Kaga series. I loved this book for its story of course and because we learn a little more about …

2018 Reading challenge!

Back from Kyoto with a lot of fantastic memories and a lot of books in my suitcase! Kyoto in December was very calm, we were even almost alone in some temples! Very touristic places were full of people but not crowded with noisy groups. Less touristic places were very quiet and sometimes quasi-deserted. Temple gardens in winter are very beautiful, too. Anyway, what interests us here is that I went to Maruzen, Jukundo and another bookshop in Kyoto whose name I forgot and made a stock of reading material for 2018. I can buy Japanese books in some big bookshops in Seoul but they usually focus on the same successful authors like Higashino or Murakami and don’t offer the same range of choice than Japanese bookshops concerning bestsellers and newly published works. This trip to Kyoto was an opportunity to see what is currently popular in Japan and buy titles that I can’t find in Korea. It may sound strange to buy so many books in advance, but it is also very exciting. I feel …