January 2015 Wrap-Up

January is finally over, which means that January in Japan is (just about) done and dusted.  My thanks to everyone involved, whether that entailed reading, reviewing or contributing a J-Lit Giants piece 🙂

Still, a new year means a clean slate – let’s wind the clock back to zero and begin the stats again…

Total Books Read: 11
Year-to-Date: 11

New: 9
Rereads: 2

From the Shelves: 3
Review Copies: 6
From the Library: 2
On the Kindle: 0

Novels: 7
Novellas: 1
Short Stories: 2
Non-Fiction: 1

Non-English Language: 10 (6 Japanese, 2 Korean, 2 Spanish)
In Original Language: 0


Books reviewed in January were:

1) Rivers by Teru Miyamoto
2) Almost Transparent Blue by Ryu Murakami
3) The Kojiki by Ō no Yasumaro
4) Manazuru by Hoiromi Kawakami
5) The Hunting Gun by Yasushi Inoue
6) Masks by Fumiko Enchi
7) Grass on the Wayside by Natsume Soseki
8) The Tale of the Heike, translated by Royall Tyler
9) The Whale that Fell in Love with a Submarine by Akiyuki Nosaka
10) N.P. by Banana Yoshimoto
11) The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

Tony’s Turkey for January is: Nothing
A great start to the year – long may it continue 🙂

Tony’s Recommendation for January is:
The Tale of the Heike (translated by Royall Tyler)

While there were several wonderful books covered in January, including another classic from Natsume Soseki, a long-neglected try at Enchi’s work and Michael Emmerich’s excellent retranslation of Inoue’s novella, one work stood head and shoulders above the others.  The Tale of the Heike is often called the Japanese Iliad, and it’s easy to see why – do try it 🙂

Looking ahead to February, it’s another brief period of calm before more blogging business is upon me.  While this month will focus mainly on the burgeoning ARC pile, one eye will definitely be on what might be ahead.   With the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize longlist to be announced some time in March, I’ll be gearing myself up for another month of intense reading and discussion 🙂


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