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 →


Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

In brief: Tsukuru used to be part of a wonderful group of friends. But suddenly, they cut him off while he was at university. Years later, Tsukuru bears the scars and doesn't know why. Until his girlfriend asks him to find out… The good: It's Murakami and my edition is so beautiful! The not-so-good: It's... 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 →

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