Top Ten Books on my 2019 Winter TBR

Top Ten Books
on my 2019 Winter TBR

TTT for December 17, 2019
#TopTenTuesday

🌼🌼🌼

TBRs are a great source of both treasures and anxiety for book bloggers. I constantly purge and organize, and lament as it keeps growing anyway. I bet many of you reading this post feel the same way. So, what are my top ten books on my Winter TBR?

Please click on the covers to access more information on each

2020 releases

   Dreamland Perfect Little Children Second Sister

1.
I got Dreamland directly from the publisher,
because I’m a big fan of Nancy Bilyeau
and her historical novels
as you can see in my review of The Blue

2.
I got Perfect Little Children.
I do enjoy mysteries by Sophie Hannah,
with her new official Hercule Poirot stories

3.
and Second Sister
through Edelweiss Plus,
as I enjoy books in translation – here from the Chinese

***

Received through Netgalley in 2019

If You Cross the River

4.
not yet read!

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Gifts from other bloggers!

The One And Only Ivan Some Prefer Nettles

5.
was won at Feed Your Fiction Addiction

6. 
was generously sent by Lucy at The Fictional 100.
By the way, do you know about her amazing reference book
on the most influential characters in world literature?
A must read!
I plan to read Some Prefer Nettles
during the Japanese Literature Challenge 13,
with the 4 following books

***

Japanese titles

 The Ten loves of Mr Nishino Inhabitation

7. and 8. 
were received in 2019 through Edelweiss Plus

 The sound of waves NP

9. and 10.
have been on my physical TBR for a while

Have you read any of these?
Show me your list!

Japanese Literature Challenge 13

Japanese Literature 13JAPANESE LITERATURE CHALLENGE 13

#JapaneseLitChallenge13    #JapaneseLiterature

So glad DolceBelleza (@bellezzamjs) is organizing this challenge again!
Click here or on the logo to read more about it.

Checked my history, and realized this is my 5th participation. I did the Japanese Literature Challenge from 2012-2015, but for some reasons, I stopped after that, even though I regularly read Japanese Lit.

I have currently 13 Japanese novels I mean to read, so this Challenge, running from January-March 2020, is perfect.

Here is my TBR for this event (my recap is at the very end of this post)

📚 Ebooks received in 2019 through Edelweiss Plus:

1. The Ten Loves of Nishino (2003), by Hiromi Kawakami (transl. by Allison Markin Powell) = reviewed on 2/27/20
2. Inhabitation (1984), by Teru Miyamoto (transl. by Roger K. Thomas)
***

📚 Books on my physical shelf:

3. The Sound of Waves (1954), by Yukio Mishima (trans. by Meredith Weatherby)
4. N.P. (1990), by Banana Yoshimoto (trans. by Ann Sherif)
5. Some Prefer Nettles (1928),  by Junichirō Tanizaki (trans. by Edward G. Seidensticker)

***

📚 For my Classics Club list (besides # 3 and 5 above):

6. Kusamakura (1906), by Natsume Sōseki (trans. by Meredith Weatherby)
7. The Book of Tea (1906), by Kakuzō Okakura= (listened to) reviewed on 1/12/20
8. Sanshirō (1908), by Natsume Sōseki (trans. by Jay Rubin) = reviewed on 1/17/20
9. And Then (1909), by Natsume Sōseki (trans. by Norma Moore Field = reviewed on 1/25/20
10. The Gate (1910), by Natsume Sōseki (trans. by Francis Mathy) = reviewed on 2/6/20
11. To the Spring Equinox and Beyond (1910), by Natsume Sōseki (trans. by Kingo Ochiai and Sanford M. Goldstein)
12. The Miner (1908), by Natsume Sōseki (trans. by Jay Rubin)
13. Devils in Daylight (1918), by Junichirō Tanizaki (trans. by J. Keith Vincent)
14. A Cat, a Man, and Two Women (1936), by Junichirō Tanizaki (trans. by Paul McCarthy)

***

📚 Book on my e-shelf:

15. Norwegian Wood, by Haruki Murakami (trans. by Jay Rubin) = read with the online Murakami Book Club (through Discord)= reviewed on 2/19/20

📚 Books checked out at my library:

16. Selected Poems (1902), by Masaoka Shiki (trans. by Burton Watson) reviewed on 2/9/20
17.  The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa, ed. by Robert Hass = reviewed on 2/23/20

You notice several books by the same authors, it’s just that these have been on my TBR for a long time. Thankfully, most are rather short, so I should be able to read at least 4 per month, besides other books. And I’ll try to listen to some!

NB: there are some other huge Japanese authors not on this list: my favorite, Haruki Murakami, Ishiguro, and many more, because I have already read many by them, or mostly because I don’t need to read them urgently if I don’t have an egalley of them waiting; if they are not collecting dust on my shelf; or they are not on my Classics List to read in 5 years. But your recommendations are welcome for later in the year or this challenge another year!

1/12/20 update: I just discovered that Sanshiro is actually the first volume of a trilogy, so I’ll read And Then and The Gate after it.

2/2/20 update: In Soseki’s books, I found reference to the great master of Haiku Masaoka Shiki, who was actually born the same year as Soeseki and spent some time with him. So of course I had to read that!

RECAP ON MARCH 31

So here are the books I managed to read:

  1. The Ten Loves of Nishino (2003), by Hiromi Kawakami (transl. by Allison Markin Powell) = reviewed on 2/27/20
  2. The Book of Tea (1906), by Kakuzō Okakura= (listened to) reviewed on 1/12/20
  3. Sanshirō (1908), by Natsume Sōseki (trans. by Jay Rubin) = reviewed on 1/17/20
  4. And Then (1909), by Natsume Sōseki (trans. by Norma Moore Field = reviewed on 1/25/20
  5. The Gate (1910), by Natsume Sōseki (trans. by Francis Mathy) = reviewed on 2/6/20
  6. Norwegian Wood, by Haruki Murakami (trans. by Jay Rubin) = read with the online Murakami Book Club (through Discord)= reviewed on 2/19/20
  7. Selected Poems (1902), by Masaoka Shiki (trans. by Burton Watson) reviewed on 2/9/20
  8. The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa, ed. by Robert Hass = reviewed on 2/23/20

And I’m currently reading Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, with my online Murakami book club.

I’m happy with what I managed to read, though disappointed I didn’t get yet to Inhabitation, received in 2019!, nor to the 3 physical books waiting on my shelf.
So I I’ll definitely be reading more Japanese books this year!

CLICK ON THE BEAUTIFUL LOGO TO JOIN!
WHICH OTHER BOOKS WOULD YOU ENCOURAGE ME
TO READ FOR THIS CHALLENGE?

 

#85 review: The Lake

The Lake

by

Banana YOSHIMOTO

188 pages

Published by Melville House in may 2011

This book counts for

MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK

This is a strange love story between 2 characters dealing with some kind of grief, we are not sure what for the young man Nakajima. He looks odd, and only little by little, through a painting by a local artist and friend, will we get to know what’s going on, and most of all through trips to a strange house with strange inhabitants near a lake.

I liked the suspense in the book, and the hauntingly beautiful descriptions of the landscape around the lake.

There’s something both dark and attractive in here, and for sure Yoshimoto manages very well to keep you reading to figure out what’s going on. This was my first book by Yoshimoto, and I would like to try others.

And with this I have read the 3 books I meant to read for the Japanese Literature Challenge. I also plan to read the Tale of Genji, but that will wait for my 52 countries Challenge 2012.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT

A major literary sensation is back with a quietly stunning tour de force about a young woman who falls for a cult escapee.
While The Lake shows off many of the features that have made Banana Yoshimoto famous—a cast of vivid and quirky characters, simple yet nuanced prose, a tight plot with an upbeat pace—it’s also one of the most darkly mysterious books she’s ever written.
It tells the tale of a young woman who moves to Tokyo after the death of her mother, hoping to get over her grief and start a career as a graphic artist. She finds herself spending too much time staring out her window, though … until she realizes she’s gotten used to seeing a young man across the street staring out his window, too.
They eventually embark on a hesitant romance, until she learns that he has been the victim of some form of childhood trauma. Visiting two of his friends who live a monastic life beside a beautiful lake, she begins to piece together a series of clues that lead her to suspect his experience may have had something to do with a bizarre religious cult. . . .
With its echoes of the infamous, real-life Aum Shinrikyo cult (the group that released poison gas in the Tokyo subway system), The Lake unfolds as the most powerful novel Banana Yoshimoto has written. And as the two young lovers overcome their troubled past to discover hope in the beautiful solitude of the lake in the country- side, it’s also one of her most moving. [Goodreads]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Banana Yoshimoto (よしもと ばなな ) (born July 24, 1964[1], in Tokyo) is the pen name of Mahoko Yoshimoto (吉本 真秀子 Yoshimoto Mahoko), a Japanese contemporary writer. She writes her name in hiragana.

Yoshimoto, daughter of Takaaki Yoshimoto, was born in Tokyo on July 24, 1964. Along with having a famous father, poet Takaaki Yoshimoto, Banana’s sister, Haruno Yoiko, is a well-known cartoonist in Japan. Growing up in a liberal family, she learned the value of independence from a young age.

She graduated from Nihon University’s Art College, majoring in Literature. During that time, she took the pseudonym “Banana” after her love of banana flowers, a name she recognizes as both “cute” and “purposefully androgynous.”

Despite her success, Yoshimoto remains a down-to-earth and obscure figure. Whenever she appears in public she eschews make-up and dresses simply. She keeps her personal life guarded, and reveals little about her certified Rolfing practitioner, Hiroyoshi Tahata and son (born in 2003). Instead, she talks about her writing. Each day she takes half an hour to write at her computer, and she says, “I tend to feel guilty because I write these stories almost for fun.” She keeps an on-line journal for her English speaking fans.

REVIEWS BY OTHERS

“[The Lake] attests to the power of emotional intimacy to help even the most ‘ridiculously fragile people’ overcome trauma and grief.”
Hirsh Sawhney, The New York Times Book Review

The Lake demonstrates Yoshimoto’s deepening talent, and her craft for quietly revealing an enveloping and haunting world.
Cleveland Plain Dealer

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK YET?
WHICH BOOK BY YOSHIMOTO IS YOUR FAVORITE?
DO YOU FEEL LIKE READING THIS BOOK?
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS  IN A COMMENT PLEASE