Japanese Literature Challenge 16

JAPANESE LITERATURE CHALLENGE 16

Japanase Literature Challenge 16

#JapaneseLitChallenge16   #JapaneseLiterature

Thanks to DolceBelleza (@bellezzamjs) who has been organizing this challenge for many years! This is my 8th participation.
Click on the BEAUTIFUL logo to read more about it, to join us, and to read reviews as they will be posted.

The Challenge runs January-February 2023.
I was planning to read 6 books, but January is starting crazy busy this year, so not sure how well I’ll do with this. But anyway, as usual, I’m planning on reading more Japanese lit all year around.

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Here is my TBR (in chronological order) for this event – my recap, with links to my reviews when they become live.

This year, I have MOSTLY chosen classics, so they also count for my Classics Club’s 4th list.

  1. Shuna’s Journey (1983), by Hayao Miyazaki
  2. I am a Cat (1905), by Natsume Soseki
  3. Hell Screen (1918), by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa review here below
  4. Okamoto Kidō: Master of the Uncanny (1939), by Okamoto Kidō – currently reading
  5. The Honjin Murders (1946), by Seishi Yokomizo
  6. The Hunting Gun (1949), by Yasushi Inoue
  7. The Sound of the Mountain (1953), by Yasunari Kawabata

I just read Hell Screen, so I’m actually posting my review here:

Hell ScreenHell Screen, by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa
Short-stories/Horror
First published in 1918
This edition:
Translation by Jay Rubin
58 pages
2/1/2011 by Penguin Group

I had already read In a Grove and Rashoumon by Akutagawa, but the two stories presented here are very different in style.
I think it was a great editor choice to actually put together in the same book these two short stories: Hell Screen and The Spider’s Thread.
They both deal with terrifying characters and hell, within the genre of old tales, legends, fantasy, and horror.

In Hell Screen, among stories related to the great Lord Horikawa, the author focuses on one in which we meet the very gifted artist Yoshihide. The problem is, to paint truthfully he needs live models, so for instance he doesn’t hesitate torturing servants to be able to paint people in pain. Then one day, Horikawa commissions him to paint a folding screen portraying scenes from the eight Buddhist hells. And the painter asks for a live scene of hell to be able to finish his painting in truth…

This was a rather terrifying story, with an expected outcome – it was easy to guess who was going to be burning in a carriage falling from the sky.
I actually didn’t know about the eight Buddhist hells. Some descriptions of sinners pertaining to all stations of life sounded very close to The Divine Comedy, or to paintings by Bosch!

In The Spider’s Thread, we start in Paradise, but from there we see a robber in hell: Kandata. He doesn’t seem to have Yoshihide’s repulsive characteristics, but we discover Kandata’s true nature when he’s given a chance to get out of hell.

It was interesting to discover a very different style in Akutagawa’s short stories.

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WHICH BOOKS DO YOU FEEL LIKE READING?
WHICH ONES HAVE YOU ALREADY READ AND ENJOYED?

Top Ten Books with Geographical Terms in the Title

Top Ten Books
with Geographical Terms in the Title

TTT for September 12, 2022
#TopTenTuesday
 

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Funny, I thought I would quickly find 10 titles for this theme, just going through my list of books read by descending chronological order, but in fact, I had to go back to August 2021 to be able to find ten of them!

I’m happy with the diversity of geographical terms I harvested:
alley, archipelago, hollow, mountains, pond, river (2), street, village, woods

Top Ten Geographical terms

And here are the links to those I have reviewed:

Midaq Alley
The Archipelago of Another Life (review and read-along, with Q&A)
No Woods So Dark As These

At the Mountains of Madness
River of Stars
A River Runs Through It
The Village of Eight Graves

Have YOU read
or are YOU planning to read any of these?
Please leave the link to your own post,
so I can visit.

2021: September wrap-up

SEPTEMBER 2021 WRAP-UP

September was another great reading month, with progress on my own challenges:

  • I have already reached my reading goal for the year, which was 120 books. Seems like I need to raise the bar every year!
  • I’m almost done with listening to all of Hercule Poirot
  • Which allowed me a little break in my audio program: I then listened to a French audio, a long sequel I was really looking forward.
  • And I even just started listening to The Thirteenth Tale.
    This is actually BIG for me, as it is the title that has been for the longest time on my Goodreads TBR. When I say longest, I really mean it. This is the first title I added to my TBR 10 years ago, when I joined Goodreads. My goal is to focus more and more on these titles that I have meant to read for so many years
  • I posted my review of Lessons From Walden, so I now only have one review late for books I requested a year ago (through Edelweiss). Alas, there are many books I have read this year and never wrote a review for them, but at least I’ll be caught up soon with the books I had requested.
  • And yesterday, I celebrated my 11th blogiversary. Didn’t do anything special, beside preparing this post!!

These goals actually are not really reflected in the number of pages I have read this year. The reason being I’m currently reading two massive books (one is 900 pages or so), and I’m not done. So numbers of pages will be high next month when I’m done with these two books.

📚 Here is what I read in September:

12 books:
6 in print 
with 1,590 pages, a daily average of 53 pages/day
6 in audio
= 48H05
, a daily average of 1H36
(which is almost 20 minutes more than last month. And the reason being a lot of work in the garden, especially picking a lot of green beans, cutting them, and blanching them. Perfect activity for audio time!

5 in mystery:

  1. After the Funeral (Hercule Poirot #33), by Agatha Christie
  2. Hickory Dickory Dock (Hercule Poirot #34), by Agatha Christie
  3. Dead Man’s Folly (Hercule Poirot #35), by Agatha Christie
  4. Cat Among the Pigeons (Hercule Poirot #36), by Agatha Christie – these first 4 were as audiobooks, for The Classics Club
  5. Rider on the Rain, by Sébastien Japrisot – for the Books in Translation Challenge and for The Classics Club. My review will be live on October 4

2 in science-fiction:

  1. The Islanders, by Christopher Priest
  2. Constance, by Matthew FitzSimmons – read to prepare for the Virtual Crime Book Club (Zoom discussion on October 11)

2 in YA/Children’s Book:

  1. Les deux châteaux (N.E.O. #2), by Michel Bussi – French audiobook
  2. Kaleidoscope, by Brian Selznick

1 in historical fiction:

  1. Les Évaporés, by Thomas B. Reverdy – in French with one of my students

1 in literary fiction:

  1. Rue des boutiques obscures, by Patrick Modiano – in French another of my students. This is a reread
  2. Les Mystères de Paris, volume 1, by Eugène Sue – French audiobook, for The Classics Club. 

MY FAVORITE BOOKS THIS PAST MONTH

Rider on the Rain  Les Évaporés

READING CHALLENGES & RECAP

Classics Club: 80/137 (from November 2020-until November 2025)
Japanese Literature Challenge: 12 books
#20BooksofSummer21: 37/20 books
Total of books read in 2021 = 125/120 (104%)

Number of books added to my TBR this past month = 39

OTHER BOOKS  REVIEWED THIS PAST MONTH

Lessons From Walden Killer Come Back to Me

Trap For Cinderella

And two short reviews:

  The Village of Eight Graves The Madness of Crowds

GIVEAWAYS

The open giveaways are on my homepage

Books available for swapping

REVIEW COPIES AVAILABLE

Posted on my homepage

And we offer a Book Box!
And monthly raffle with a Newsletter
(see sample with link to sign up)

MOST POPULAR BOOK REVIEW THIS PAST MONTH

Lessons From Walden

click on the cover to access my review

MOST POPULAR POST THIS PAST MONTH
– NON BOOK REVIEW –

Top Ten Books on my Fall 2021 To-read List

BOOK BLOG THAT BROUGHT ME MOST TRAFFIC THIS PAST MONTH

Caffeinated Reviewer
please go visit, there are a lot of good things there!

TOP COMMENTERS 

Marianne at Let’s Read
Lexlingua
Greg at Book Haven
please go and visit them,
they have great book blogs

BLOG MILESTONES 

2,389 posts
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Come back on October 5
to see the books I plan to read in October

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How was YOUR month of September?

Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction
has created a Month In Review meme
where you can link your monthly recap posts
Thanks Nicole!