Friday, July 5, 2013

Japanese Literature Challenge 7

This challenge, hosted by Dolce Bellezza, started in June 2013. I joined in last year, and was hoping it would be offered again this year.


The challenge sign-up link is here.
  1. The challenge runs from June 1, 2013 until January 30, 2014.
  2. There is only one requirement: In the allotted time, read one, or more, books of Japanese literature and share them with the challenge group.
  3. Types of books eligible include children's books, short stories, mystery, biography, sci-fi/fantasy, manga and poetry.
  4. There is a suggested reading list here.
Last year I read only one book for the challenge:  The Tattoo Murder Case (1999) by Takagi Akimitsu. I have read no other books by Japanese authors up to now... if my memory serves me right. So even adding one more Japanese book will be an accomplishment.

I have three mysteries in mind, all belonging to my husband: 
All She Was Worth (1992) by Miyuki Miyabe
The Tokyo Zodiac Murders (1981) by Soji Shimada
The Devotion of Suspect X (2005) by Keigo Higashino
Last year, Bellezza recommended these books to me...
Inspector Iminishi Investigates (1989) by Seicho Matsumoto
Villain (2007) by Shuichi Yoshida
Out (1997) by Natsuo Kirino
Villain has a killer cover and I would love to get a copy of that.  I actually have Out because my husband passed it on to me.

I welcome comments on these choices and suggestions for other Japanese literature to read. I might not get to many of them this year, but I can always plan ahead.


22 comments:

  1. It is quite a change of pace and writing style to read Japanese crime fiction. I like it.
    You've got two on the list, which are in your household and are good books: All She Was Worth and The Devotion of Suspect X.

    Keigo Hagashino, author of Suspect X, also wrote Salvation of a Saint, with the same detectives. Both of his books are excellent.

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    1. Kathy, I am pretty sure that Suspect X will be my choice. I have been looking forward to reading it and have heard lots of praise for it. Thanks for your input.

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  2. Tracy - I admire you for taking on this challenge. I really need to read more Japanese crime fiction than I have. I'll be very interested in seeing your reviews.

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    1. Thanks, Margot. I am looking forward to reading another Japanese author... or several.

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  3. TracyK.: The only Japanese mystery I have read is Inspector Imanishi Investigates. It was an interesting mystery. It was not like North American mysteries. The author is even more interesting.

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    1. Bill, I will definitely be reading Inspector Imanishi Investigates one of these days. And looking forward to it.

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  4. Ryu Murakami has a couple that might be interesting - In The Miso Soup, Piercing - I have them both.....unread, of course!

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    1. Col, thanks for the suggestion. I will put that author on my list to look for. And give the suggestion to my husband also.

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  5. Tracy, good luck with your Japanese literature challenge. I hope to read your review(s) soon.

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    1. Thanks, Prashant. I hope I get to reading one soon.

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  6. I think you would like the mystery novels of Shizuko Natsuki. At one time you could find nearly all of them for very cheap prices in the used book market. THE THIRD LADY is especially good. I reviewed it on my blog back in 2011. Click here.

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    1. John, I checked out your review and the book does sound good. A great review by the way. I will add the author to my book sale list and then if I don't find any there, go the way of AbeBooks.

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  7. I, too, plan to read The Devotion of Suspect X. I liked the beginning of All She Was Worth, but then it sort of faded out for me. It didn't end up being one of my favorites. I've just finished The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima which I was crazy about, and a completely different read was Piercing by Ryu Murakami which I read in June. It is violent, but tender at the same time, if that makes sense. So glad you're joining in again! I'm off to add your name to the list of participants at www.japaneselitchallenge.blogspot.com

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    1. Bellezza, thanks for the suggestions and comments. I hope to read more than one book this time.

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  8. Wow! Quite a challenge. I'll look forward to the reviews!

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    1. Sarah, I am only committed to one but I am sure I will read more. It will be interesting to see if my husband and I agree. He liked The Tattoo Murder Case much more than I did.

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  9. I enjoyed VILLAIN and THE DEVOTION OF SUSPECT X Tracy. Can't wait to see your reviews on these. *sorry I thought I commented on this post but I see I missed a few*

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    1. Keishon, I am very glad to hear you liked Villain. I ordered a copy and it is on its way. Can't decide what to read first. (Probably Suspect X.)

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  10. I haven't read any Japanese crime fiction, but I have just read a Japanese novel - Yukio Mishima's Forbidden Colours - so I might do an entry on that. I am very ignorant about Japanese society and culture, I wish I knew more.

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    1. Moira, Me too, very ignorant of all things Japanese. My son and my husband do read a good bit in that area and know a lot more about the culture than I do, so I learn a bit from them.

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  11. Can't wait to read your reviews and other bloggers here, too.

    I would not recommend Out by Natsuo Kirino, a very disturbing box -- although some of it is good about the alienation of workers, and their regimentation, the obligation to take care of in-laws even if one can't cope, etc. But the intertwining of criminal sex acts and lust just gets to be too much and rather creepy. Japanese women's groups objected to that book.

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    1. Kathy, thanks for the information on Out by Kirino. I have a copy of that because my husband could not finish it... but now he cannot remember what he did not like. I will probably still give it a try, but it won't be a high priority.

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