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Book Reviews

The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino Book Review

What an absolutely boring ride!
I got attracted by the idea of a police investigation book set in Japan and the “Over 2 Million Sold!” sticker made me think that it couldn’t be that bad.
This is one of the worst buys I’ve made this year as the suspense was not in the who’d done it but in the cat-and-mouse game played between the accomplice and the police.
None of the characters were likable or by any means interesting.

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Book Reviews

Memoirs Of A Geisha – Arthur Golden (1998)

I remember the first time I watched Memoirs of a Gheisha close to 14 years ago. And the second time. And the third time. And the fascination I’ve developed for anything Japanese. Kimonos, tea ceremony, hair styles, even those silly flip flops.

So you’re probably wondering – if I liked it this much, how come I didn’t read the book? Isn’t the book supposed to be way better than the movie adaptation? That’s why. I liked the movies so much that I thought by reading the book, somehow, the experience I’ve had would be diminished, tarnished. But then I thought – what if it glows even better now that I have the full story?

So I’ve read the Memoirs.

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Book Reviews

When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro Book Review

Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, sometimes it’s so dreadfully boring that you contemplate starting a fire with the book and warming yourself up a little.

Indeed, I sometimes got the impression she was unable properly to breathe anything other than the air surrounding the most distinguished persons.

“When we were Orphans”  follows Christopher Banks, an English boy born in early-twentieth-century Shanghai, who is orphaned at age nine when his mother and father both vanish under suspicious circumstances. Sent to live in England, he grows up to become a renowned detective and, more than twenty years later, returns to Shanghai, where the Sino-Japanese War is raging, to solve the mystery of the disappearances.

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Book Reviews

Suicide Forest (World’s Scariest Places #1) by Jeremy Bates

figure.jpgSUICIDE forest is real. the Japanese call it Aokigahara Jukai, which means “Sea of Trees.” Each year local authorities remove from it more than one hundred bodies, most found hanging from tree branches and in various states of decay. Abandoned tents, moldy sleeping bags, dirty daypacks, and miles of ribbon litter the forest floor. It is said the area is haunted by the ghosts of the suicides, and local often report hearing unexplained screams during the night. Signs warn visitors not to leave the hiking trails. These are routinely ignored by thrill seekers hoping to catch a glimpse of the macabre. Most find their way out again. Some never do.

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Remnants: Shoes for a man, a woman and a child left in the Aokigahara Jukai forest on the flank of Mount Fuji in Yamanashi Prefecture.
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Book Reviews

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage – Haruki Murakami

“Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage” sold more than one million copies in its first month of publication in Japan in April 2013. I can totally see why! While going through my growing Murakami book collection, I decided to read this interestingly titled story next.

One heart is not connected to another through harmony alone. They are, instead, linked deeply through their wounds.

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Categories
Poetry

Autumn Moonlight Haiku and the works of Matsuo Basho

Autumn moonlight–
a worm digs silently
into the chestnut.

Who was Matsuo Basho?

It is believed that he was born in 1644 at or near Ueno in Iga Province, about thirty miles southeast of Kyoto and two hundred miles west of Edo. He was called Kinsaku and several other names as a child; he had an elder brother and four sisters. His father, Matsuo Yozaemon, was probably a low-ranking samurai who farmed in peacetime. Little is known about his mother except that her parents were not natives of Ueno. The social status of the family, while respectable, was not of the kind that promised a bright future for young Basho if he were to follow an ordinary course of life. 

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Book Reviews

The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi

51gCzgn1HrL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Musashi gives timeless advice on defeating an adversary, throwing an opponent off-guard, creating confusion, and other techniques for overpowering an assailant that will resonate with both martial artists and everyone else interested in skillfully dealing with conflict. For Musashi, the way of the martial arts was a mastery of the mind rather than simply technical prowess—and it is this path to mastery that is the core teaching in The Book of Five Rings.

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Romance Books

The restaurant of LOVE regained * Ito Ogawa

The world is so much bigger than you know, and if you set your mind to it you can go anywhere. It’s just a flight away, whether you want to go eat hippo meat in Tanzania, or anything!

restaurant-of-love-regained

The Japanese novels, by their nature, in the eyes of a Westerner are a bit strange. All the cultural background that is behind each line is completely different from that which accompanies the books that we usually read.

The Restaurant of Love Regained shows this feeling more alive than ever before.
Written in a style so light and flowing, similar to a mountain stream coming down from the mountain top, settling in a slow and placid flow, then fast and rapid towards the end. A perfect style for describing many scenes full of emotions.

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Book Reviews

Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami Book Review

tumblr_m5asxf85CL1qgl2vwBefore I bought this book, I’ve heard so many things about it.

Publishing this book in Japan made Murakami somewhat a ‘literary superstar’ in his country. Out of all his works, i think this is the first and ‘only’ normal novel he has written. Normal in a good kind of way. If you’ve read at least one or two of his works (novel or a short story), surrealism is a distinct theme in all of them.

So I was sooo excited to see a different side of his writing.

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Book Reviews

Loop (Book 3, The Ring Trilogy)

See how the trilogy ends with this gripping sci fi!
loop