Flowers of Mold

Title: Flowers of Mold (original title 옆집 여자) Writer: Ha Seong-Nan (tr. by Janet Hong) Publishing House: Open Letter Date of Publication: April 23rd 2019 (first published 1999) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Teacher, I want to fly, but the ground keeps pulling me down.’’ Korean Literature is rapidly flourishing thanks to a plethora of wonderful women…

Miracle On Cherry Hill

Title: Miracle On Cherry Hill (original title: 뒤뜰에 골칫거리가 산다) Writer: Sun – mi Hwang (translated by Chi-Young Kim) Publishing House: Abacus Date of Publication: July 4th 2019 (first published 2014) Rating: 5 stars ‘’It rained for two days straight. The trees howled in the back garden and angry rain lashed against the windows. Kand…

Fear and Trembling

Title: Fear and Trembling (original title: Stupeur et Tremblements) Writer: Amélie Nothomb (tr. by Adriana Hunter) Publishing House: St. Martin’s Griffin Date of Publication: November 1st 2004 (first published August 26th 1999) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Society conspires against her from early infancy. Her brain is steadily filled with plaster until it sets. ‘’If you’re not…

Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Title: Before the Coffee Gets Cold (original title: コーヒーが冷めないうちに) Writer: Toshikazu Kawaguchi (tr. by Geoffrey Trousselot) Publishing House: Picador Date of Publication: September 19th 2019 (first published December 6th 2015) Rating: 5 stars ‘’The cafe’s name was Funiculi Funicula. It had become famous, with long queues each day, an account of time-travelling. But it wasn’t…

Tokyo Ueno Station

Title:Tokyo Ueno Station (original title: JR上野駅公園口) Writer: Yū Miri (translated by Morgan Giles) Publishing House: Tilted Axis Press Date of Publication: March 4th 2019 (first published March 19th 2014) Rating: 5 stars ‘’I used to think life was like a book: you turn the first page, and there’s the next, and as you go on turning…

Revenge

Title: Revenge (original title: 寡黙な死骸 みだらな弔い) Writer: Yoko Ogawa (tr. by Stephen Snyder) Publishing House: Vintage Date of Publication:  January 2nd 2014 (first published 1998) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Why was everyone dying? They had all been so alive just yesterday.’’ Yoko Ogawa creates a dark wonder of sadness, loneliness and unsettling desires in Revenge, a collection…

Ghosts of the Tsunami: Death and Life in Japan’s Disaster Zone

Title: Ghosts of the Tsunami Writer: Richard Lloyd Parry Publishing House: Jonathan Cape Date of Publication: August 31st 2017 Rating: 5 stars ‘’By the time the party came to an end, it was already becoming cloudy, but there was no wind. Not a single leaf was moving on the trees. I couldn’t sense any life…

Convenience Store Woman

Title: Convenience Store Woman (original title:コンビニ人間) Writer: Sayaka Murata (translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori) Publishing House: Grove Press Date of Publication: June 12th 2018 (first published July 27th 2016) Rating: 5 stars ‘’It is the start of another day, the time when the world wakes up and the cogs of society begin to move. I…

The Mad Kyoto Shoe Swapper and Other Short Stories from Japan

Title: The Mad Kyoto Shoe Swapper and other Short Stories from Japan Writer: Rebecca Otowa Publishing House: Tuttle Publishing Date of Publication: March 24th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Well, don’t. You’re a foreigner. You have to understand it’s not our business. We don’t interfere. It’s the Japanese way.’’ Thirteen exquisite stories written by an American…

Corazon Aquino (Little People, Big Dreams)

Title: Corazon Aquino (Little People, Big Dreams) Writer: Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara, illustrated by Ginnie Hsu Publishing House: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books Date of Publication: August 4th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’One must be frank to be relevant.’’              Corazon Aquino Cory was born in the beautiful Philippines, the country of a Thousand Islands. She loved…

Ms. Ice Sandwich

Title: Ms. Ice Sandwich (original title: ミス・アイスサンドイッチ) Writer: Mieko Kawakami (translated by Louise Heal Kawai) Publishing House: Pushkin Press Date of Publication: May 7th 2020 (first published November 2013) Rating: 5 stars “If video games make you stupid, then what do mobile phones make you?” A young boy buys egg sandwiches every day. The reason? The mysterious young woman behind…

If I Had Your Face

Title:If I Had Your Face Writer: Frances Cha Publishing House: Penguin Books (UK) Date of Publication: April 23rd 2020 Rating: 5 stars ”In the original story, the little mermaid endures unspeakable pain to gain her human legs. The Sea Witch warns her that her new feet will feel as if she is walking on whetter blades, but she will…

The Tea Party In The Woods

Title: The Tea Party In the Woods (original title: もりのおくのおちゃかいへ) Writer: Akiko Miyakoshi Publishing House:Kids Can Press Date of Publication:August 1st 2015 Rating:5 stars ‘’The woods were very still. And so quiet. Kikko’s footsteps were the only sound.’’ In a marvelous winter wonderland, Kikko is watching her father leaving for her grandma’s house. But, wait! He…

Human Acts

Title: Human Acts (original title: 소년이 온다) Writer: Han Kang translated by Deborah Smith Publishing House: Hogarth Press Date of Publication: January 17th 2017  (first published May 19th 2014) Rating:5 stars ”It’s the middle of the day, but the dim interior is more like evening’s dusky half-light. The coffins that have already been through the memorial service have…

The Eighth Day

Title:The Eighth Day (original title: 八日目の蝉) Writer:Mitsuyo Kakuta Publishing House:Kodansha Date of Publication:May 1st 2010 (first published March 2007) Rating: 3 stars ”I left the house and turned to the alley. No shops insight. This was a strange corner of the city, a row of uninhabited houses. Shutters closed, a rusty bike lying next to a…

The Vegetarian

Title: The Vegetarian (original title: 채식주의자) Writer: Han Kang (translated by Deborah Smith) Publishing House: Hogarth Press Date of Publication: February 2nd 2016 (first published October 30th 2007) Rating: 5 stars ”Dark woods. No people. The sharp-pointed leaves in the trees, my torn feet. This place, almost remembered, but I’m lost now. Frightened. Cold. Across the frozen ravine,…

My Footprints

Title: My Footprints Writer: Bao Phi, illustrated by Basia Tran Publishing House: Capstone Date of Publication: September 1st 2019 Rating: 4 stars ‘’I want to be the biggest and scariest monster,’’ Thuy says, ‘’so that if kids at school make fun of me for having two mums, or tell me to go back where I came from, or call…

Paper Butterfly

Title: Paper Butterfly Writer: Diane Wei Liang Publishing House: Simon & Schuster Date of Publication: January 1st 2008 Rating: 5 stars ‘’This land offered nothing but harsh wind and dry yellow earth. Under the dome of the sky, snow-peaked mountains stood like unwanted burdens of the past. This was the province where the Great Wall ended, where the Silk Road…

The Kite Runner

Title: The Kite Runner Writer: Khaled Hosseini Publishing House: Riverhead Date of Publication: May 29th 2003 Rating: 5 stars Title: The Kite Runner: Graphic Novel Writer: Khaled Hosseini, illustrated by Fabio Celoni & Mirka Andolfo Publishing House: Riverhead Trade Date of Publication:  September 6th 2011 (first published 2007) Rating: 5 stars ‘’There is a way to be good again.’’ Kite is a symbol of freedom,…

#FairytaleFriday: Japan

                           The Lantern and the Fan Japan…A country whose myths are unparalleled to any other culture. Their legends about deities like Amaterasu, Susanoo and Tsukuyomi, the underworld, the creation of the universe, the sea and the mountains. The stories of the glory and…