As the year draws to a close it was time for me to organise my books for Tony’s January in Japan Challenge 2015. This initiative is a great way to kick of a new year of reading, with something really distinctive and dare I say it palate cleansing about J-Lit.
The nominated read-along titles in 2015 are:
but I’ve opted for a different title from each of these authors which I’ll aim to publish my reviews of around the same time.
Tsukiko is in her late 30s and living alone when one night she happens to meet one of her former high school teachers, ‘Sensei’, in a bar. He is at least thirty years her senior, retired and, she presumes, a widower. After this initial encounter, the pair continue to meet occasionally to share food and drink sake, and as the seasons pass – from spring cherry blossom to autumnal mushrooms – Tsukiko and Sensei come to develop a hesitant intimacy which tilts awkwardly and poignantly into love.
Perfectly constructed, funny, and moving, Strange Weather in Tokyo is a tale of modern Japan and old-fashioned romance.
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Book Depository | Bookworld(Aus) | Kobobooks | Amazon
Go is a game of strategy in which two players attempt to surround each other’s black or white stones. Simple in its fundamentals, infinitely complex in its execution, it is an essential expression of the Japanese sensibility. And in his fictional chronicle of a match played between a revered and invincible Master and a younger, more progressive challenger, Yasunari Kawabata captured the moment in which the immutable traditions of imperial Japan met the onslaught of the twentieth century. The competition between the Master of Go and his opponent, Otak ‘, is waged over several months and layered in ceremony. But beneath the game’s decorum lie tensions that consume not only the players themselves but their families and friends – tensions that turn this particular contest into a duel that can only end in one man’s death.
Luminous in its detail, both suspenseful and serene, The Master of Go is an elegy for an entire society, written with the poetic economy and psychological acumen that brought Kawabata the Nobel Prize for Literature.
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Book Depository | Bookworld(Aus) | Amazon | B&N
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What books have you recently acquired?
We’ve launched the Aussie Author Challenge 2015!
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