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…

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…

Hotel Iris

Title: Hotel Iris (original title: ホテル・アイリス ) Writer: Yoko Ogawa (translated by Stephen Snyder) Publishing House: Vintage Publishing Date of Publication: April 7th 2011 (first published 1996) Rating: 5 stars ‘’He first came to the Iris one day just before the beginning of the summer season. The rain had been falling since dawn. It grew heavier at…

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…

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…

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 Memory Police

Title: The Memory Police (original title:密やかな結晶) Writer:  Yōko Ogawa (translated by Stephen Snyder) Publishing House: Pantheon Date of Publication: August 13th 2019  (first published 1994) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Long ago, before you were born, there were many more things here; my mother used to tell me when I was still a child. ‘’Transparent things, fragrant things…fluttery ones, bright ones…wonderful things…

The Piano Recital

Title: The Piano Recital (original title ピアノはっぴょうかい) Writer: Akiko Miyakoshi (illustrations by Akiko Miyakoshi) Publishing House: Kids Can Press Date of Publication: September 3rd 2019 Rating: 5 stars Our little Momo is dressed in her most beautiful dress, ready for her first piano recital. However, she is extremely nervous, peering through the backstage curtain, watching and waiting for her turn…

#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…

The Forest of Wool and Steel

Title: The Forest of Wool and Steel   (Original Title:羊と鋼の森) Writer: Natsu Miyashita Publishing House: Penguin Random House UK Date of Publication: April 25th 2019  (first published September 2015) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Inhale the scent of a forest close by. I can smell the earthy fragrance of autumn as night falls, the leaves gently rustling, I can feel the damp air…

Desire

Title: Desire: Vintage Minis Writer: Haruki Murakami (translated by Jay Rubin, Ted Goossen and Philip Gabriel Publishing House: Vintage Classics Date of Publication: June 8th 2017 Rating: 5 stars ”Which is to say that wrong choices can produce right results, and vice versa. I myself have adopted the position that, in fact, we never choose anything at all. Things happen….