2:46 : Aftershocks : Stories from the Japan Earthquake by Various

A quick rundown… Short vignettes from those affected by 2011's Japan earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant meltdown. Strengths: The raw emotion. Weaknesses: I would have liked to hear more, but I understand this was a difficult time. Why I read it: I love Japan and its people. Pages: 86 (ebook) Published: 2009 Publisher: Quakebook Setting: Japan... Continue Reading →

1Q84 Book 3 by Haruki Murakami

A quick rundown… Continues where Book 2 concluded, with Aomame and Tengo looking for each other in 1Q84. Strengths: The beautiful writing and the need to for the pair to reunite. Weaknesses: Too short! Open for a further sequel. Why I read it: Absolutely loved Books 1 & 2. Pages: 377 (ebook), also available in Australia combined with Books... Continue Reading →

The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino

A quick rundown… A woman murders her ex-husband and her neighbour helps to cover it up. How will the police work out what happened? Strengths: Quirkily Japanese, an interesting way of telling a murder mystery. Weaknesses: Focuses on the action, rather than the nuances of the characters and their motivation. Why I read it: Very... Continue Reading →

1Q84 (Books 1 & 2) by Haruki Murakami

A quick rundown… The story of two seemly unconnected people in Tokyo in 1984 and the mysterious things that are taking place. Strengths: Absolutely fantastic writing that captures the heart and imagination; the story will remain with you long after you've finished. Weaknesses: The ARC copy I had occasionally repeated extraneous details. Why I read... Continue Reading →

A Geek in Japan by Hector Garcia

In a nutshell… Japan – its history, people, traditions, culture and how to find your way around. Strengths: A lot more detailed than on first glance. Weaknesses: Some typos and the excessive use of the word 'moreover' Why I read it: I love Japan Pages: 211 Published: 2011 Publisher: Tuttle Publishing Setting: Rating: 9 out... Continue Reading →

Villain by Shuichi Yoshida

In a nutshell… The discovery of who murdered a young woman in Japan. Strengths: Characters, how the characters interact Weaknesses: Some may find it difficult to keep up with the names Why I read it: Bought with gift voucher Pages: 304 Published: 2010  Publisher: Harvill Secker Setting: Japan Rating: 9 out of 10 If you liked... Continue Reading →

Blossoms and Shadows by Lian Hearn

Ugh. I don’t really know how to say this eloquently but here it is: this book sucked. Dreadfully. It had so much promise – Japan, historical fiction, a strong female character, a beautiful cover…and yet I had to force myself to read it. It was boring, I couldn’t keep track of the characters and it... Continue Reading →

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