January 2014 Wrap-Up

January is finally over, which means that January in Japan is (just about) done and dusted.  It’s been a fun month spreading the word about J-Lit, but it’s also been an extremely tiring one…  Thanks to everyone who has taken part 🙂

As for the numbers – well, it’s a new year, so we start at 0 again…

Total Books Read: 7

Year-to-Date: 7

New: 6

Rereads: 1

From the Shelves: 2
Review Copies: 5

From the Library: 0
On the Kindle: 1 (review copy)

Novels: 7

Short Stories: 0
Non-Fiction: 0
Non-English Language: 7 (3 Japanese, Spanish, German, Korean, Polish)
In Original Language: 1 (German)
Aussie Author Challenge: 0 (0/3)
Japanese Literature Challenge 7: 3 (23/1)

Books reviewed in January were:

1) Shipwrecks by Akira Yoshimura
2) The Frontier Within by Kobo Abe
3) Modern Japanese Stories by Ivan Morris (ed.)
4) Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids by Kenzaburo Oe
5) The Diving Pool by Yoko Ogawa
6) Light and Dark by Natsume Soseki
7) A True Novel by Minae Mizumura
8) hardboiled \ hard luck by Banana Yoshimoto
9) Deep River by Shusaku Endo
10) Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Tony’s Turkey for January is:
Kobo Abe’s The Frontier Within

I expected a lot more from this one, but (unfortunately) it failed to deliver.

Tony’s Recommendation for January is:

Minae Mizumura’s A True Novel
Norwegian Wood is always an enjoyable read, and Natsume Soseki’s last novel was also impressive.  For a while, I was tempted to give the nod to the impressive Morris short-story collection, but in the end, Mizumura’s Japanese take on Wuthering Heights was just too good to ignore 🙂


Looking ahead to February, there’ll be a lot of great translated fiction again (the review copies have mounted up again during my J-Lit binge).  I really need to do a good job there too – you see, with the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize longlist announced on the 8th of March, I’m going to be pretty busy again very soon 😉


12 thoughts on “January 2014 Wrap-Up

  1. I enjoyed taking part in January in Japan sorry it was so few had hope to do more but I would used all my spare books and they never seem to come up much second hand ,I m looking forward to IFFP but now seem first week in march it is announced which is a pain I had booked the last week of in feb as expected it then .


  2. Stu – More than most 😉

    I'm very keen to get into the IFFP reading now, and I wish it was sooner too! I just hope my library is as well-stocked as it has been for the past two years…


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