Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Japanese Literature Challenge 8


For the eighth year,  Dolce Bellezza is hosting the Japanese Literature Challenge. This is the third year I have joined in. The challenge began June 1, 2014 and continues  through January, 2015. There is only one requirement: read one, or more, books of Japanese literature and share them with the challenge group. There is a suggested reading list here.

Each year that I have participated, I have read one book by a Japanese author. It is no surprise that both were crime fiction, and I am sure I will continue in that vein. It would be nice to read more than one book for the challenge, but that is all I need to commit to, and I like it that way.

In 2012, I read The Tattoo Murder Case by Akimitsu Takagi, a vintage mystery first published in 1948. In 2013, I read The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino.  That book is an inverted mystery; the reader knows from the beginning who committed the murder. I owe my access to Japanese mysteries to my husband, who is a fan of the genre.

The book I definitely plan to read for this year's challenge is Villain by Shuichi Yoshida. I love this cover and purchased this book for myself.

Other possibilities:
All She Was Worth (1992) 
       by Miyuki Miyabe 
The Tokyo Zodiac Murders (1981) 
       by Soji Shimada
Salvation of a Saint (2008) 
       by Keigo Higashino
Inspector Iminishi Investigates (1989) 
       by Seicho Matsumoto
Out (1997) 
       by Natsuo Kirino



22 comments:

  1. Tracy, I'm afraid I haven't read Japanese fiction, or fiction by Japanese writers. In fact, I seldom think of fiction from the non-English speaking world. I wish you good luck for this challenge.

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    1. Prashant, I have enjoyed my forays into Japanese crime fiction. But I do find that most translated fiction has a different feel from English fiction and sometimes it is challenging for me.

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  2. Tracy - What a great idea for a challenge. I'll be interested in what you eventually choose and what you think of it. It's a good reminder to me too that I ought to read more Japanese crime fiction.

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    1. Margot, I hope to get to reading one of these books soon. I will let you know what I think.

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  3. You're doing well on these challenges this year. I have some Murakami 1q84 books to read and the odd other title. My cover of Villain isn't as fetching as yours.

    Only Japanese novel I have read I didn't enjoy - Almost Transparent Blue - which is a concern as I have other books by the author - In The Miso Soup and Piercing.

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    1. Col, Glen and I bought 1q84 but even divided into three books, it is overwhelming. Neither one of us has read it but I do want to try something by that author... sometime. I looked up those other books you mentioned and they definitely are too gritty and about subjects I don't want to read, so I will pass them up.

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  4. Thanks for this interesting list: I need to read something from Asia for the Global Reading Challenge, and I've read some good reviews of Villain. Hope you enjoy it.

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    1. Rebecca, I hope I like Villain also. But I had been coveting that cover of the book for a while before I found a copy, so it won't be a total loss anyway.

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  5. I'm so impressed by your challenges Tracy, you really are wide-ranging! I have a Murukami book unread on my shelves - my son says I should read it. I don't know when I'll get to it. Look forward to hearing about your choices.

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    1. Moira, I want to try Murukami also but am not sure I will like his books.

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  6. Interesting choice of books. I liked The Devotion of Suspect X, pushed me out of my usual reading type, but I liked it. I also liked Salvation of a Saint, which actually has some elements of deduction used by the Great Detective Holmes. Very good denouement. It almost had me trying out the murder method to see if I could do it -- no one would be harmed, by the way!

    Also, All She was Worth is good. Interesting, well done. Friends liked it, too.

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    1. Kathy, my highest priorities this time would be to read both Villain and All She Was Worth. If I can fit it in, I will also do Salvation of a Saint.

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  7. If you read Salvation of a Saint, just don't try out the murder method at home! It's tempting. I bet Sherlock Holmes would have done so, but then again he is fictional!

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    1. Now you have me really curious, Kathy. Looks like I am going to have to find time for this book.

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  8. Villain is awesome! I remember loving it, so I hoe you do, too. I've just seen Yoshida's latest entitled Parade which I want to read as well. From your list, I hope to get tomThe Devotion of Suspect X (have been meaning to for years now!) and The Tattoo Murder Case. I've been reading so much for Soanish Lit month in July that I've not read as many Japanese titles as I'd have liked.

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  9. p.s. I want to highly recommend Inspector Iminishi Investigates, another great mystery, and I loved Out. You have great books listed in this post!

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    1. Bellezza, it would be great if I found the time to read all the books on my list. Maybe next year I will try the Spanish Lit Month (if there is one?).

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  10. Big fan of Villain by Yoshida. I also bought Parade (non-related but by the same author). Is this challenge still open for participants? I guess I could go over and find out. I want to read more Japanese Literature.

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    1. Keishon, I am looking forward to Villain (and may try Parade). Yes the challenge is still open for participants. And only a one book commitment.

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    2. Oh lovely. I like one book commitments. The site also has a great reading list, too. Thanks Tracy.

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  11. Just checking back in because I tried tread Miyuki Miyabe and balked because Brave Story is over 800 pages. I don't think I can fit that long of a read in right now, and I'm not a big fan of fantasy (this author mixes lots of genres).

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    1. Wow, over 800 pages. It has been a long time since I have read any novel that long, Rebecca. I am mainly interested in that author's crime fiction, and even then, only because my husband read it and liked it.

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