REVIEW: Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

In brief: In Tokyo, there is a very special coffee shop that allows customers to travel back in time. But there are multiple rules… The good: Great idea for a story. The not-so-good: Some very sad moments! Why I chose it: I love Japanese fiction – thank you to Pan Macmillan for the ARC. Year:... Continue Reading →

REVIEW: The Ten Loves of Mr Nishino by Hiromi Kawakami

In brief: Mr Nishino has a great capacity for love and women love him. But his greatest asset could be his downfall… The good: The different characters and their memories of Mr Nishino. The not-so-good: Very sad in places. Why I chose it: Japanese fiction is wonderful. Thanks Allen & Unwin for the copy. Year:... Continue Reading →

The Nakano Thrift Shop by Hiromi Kawakami

In brief: The lives of Hitomi and others working are the Nakano thrift shop are never dull. While working there, Hitomi learns a lot about relationships, second-hand goods and being a friend. The good: I love Japanese books and this book is interesting, strange and addictive in equal amounts. The not-so-good: Some things are hinted... Continue Reading →

Parade by Shuichi Yoshida

In brief: The story of four flatmates living in Tokyo and the boy who appears on their couch one night. The good: Excellent translation by Philip Gabriel gives the narrative a haunting, unsettling edge. The not-so-good: Not high on action. Why I chose it: I loved Villain. Thanks to Random House UK for the eARC.... Continue Reading →

Revenge by Yoko Ogawa

A quick rundown… Eleven stories all linked together featuring love, loss, anger and revenge. Strengths: It's amazing how tangled up the stories are with each other, from motifs to characters to events. Weaknesses: A bit eerie at times! Why I read it: Sent to me by Random House – thank you! Pages: 162 Published: 2013... Continue Reading →

The Restaurant of Love Regained by Ito Ogawa

A quick rundown… After being deserted by her boyfriend, Rinko returns to her hometown and opens a small restaurant to change the fortunes of those who visit it. Strengths: It's ultimately a happy story that makes you smile. Weaknesses: Fairly short! Why I read it: Enjoy Japanese fiction in translation Pages: 193 Published: 2008 Publisher:... 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 →

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑