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Ariyoshi, Sawako

The Doctor’s Wife – Sawako Ariyoshi

  My first book of the year is another book club read with the Japanese Lit GR group. Ariyoshi seems to be one of the favourites among the members and the group has read another of her book – The River Ki, which I missed, so this is my first Ariyoshi. First published in 1966, […]

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Tanizaki, Junichiro

The Makioka Sisters – Junichiro Tanizaki

My last book of 2017 is The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki (if you want to be pedantic, it’s Jun’ichirou – which implies him being the first born son, but I couldn’t find much information on this). At 530 pages it’s no mean feat for me, and actually took me 2 months to finish. But […]

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Jansson, Tove

The Invisible Child and The Fir Tree – Tove Jansson

I first discovered Moomin when I moved to the UK. For some reason Moomin never made its way to South East Asia, or even Australia, though it seems to be big in Japan. I immediately found the hipo-like creatures to be adorable, and went to buy some merchandise – mug, soft toy, postcards, shirt, notebook, […]

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Mishima, Yukio

The Sound of Waves – Yukio Mishima

The Sound of Waves is the first of Yukio Mishima’s book to be translated into English, and I can see why. For the fans expecting the darker, more brooding version of latter Mishima might be disappointed. This is Mishima when he was not yet cynical, the world was still a nice and simple place, and […]

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Strindberg, August

Miss Julie – August Strindberg

  I read Miss Julie (written in 1888) before the London performance at the lovely Jermyn Street Theatre in Piccadilly. This is my second time going to this tiny theatre, first being the The Dover Road, and it remained as charming as ever. Miss Julie is the first play I read by the Swedish playwright August […]

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Ibuse, Masuji

Black Rain – Masuji Ibuse

Black Rain tells the aftermath of the infamous atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Personally I never read book that describes what happens to the people on ground zero – not to this extend anyway. For some reason in my mind it was total annihilation, but of course it wasn’t as clean as that. People in the […]

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Conrad, Joseph

The Secret Agent – Joseph Conrad

I received another invitation for the Happy Reader (real life) book club, and after a short consideration, decided to join again as I really enjoyed the last time with Treasure Island. They again sent me a copy of the book – which I really appreciated, but wish they had organised everything a bit earlier. The […]

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Stevenson, Robert Louis

Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson

I have never watched an adaptation of Treasure Island – except for Disney’s Treasure Planet if that counts, though I don’t remember much about it – so the book was new to me. In many ways, it was exactly what I expected it to be: an adventure story for boys. Unlike J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, […]

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Inoue, Yasushi

The Hunting Gun – Yasushi Inoue

This is the first book I finished after a couple of months of reading slump. And it was just the right book. It’s short and compelling, and the Pushkin edition is just beautiful to hold and read. It’s not a perfect book, and for me the ending peters out a little. But there are a […]

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Plath, Sylvia

The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

I read the Bell Jar sometime in November and only got the chance to write about it now, so it’s started to get a little fuzzy. I went back to Sydney for 2.5 weeks in the first half of November, then fell into a bad reading slump. So really I have not read much since […]