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TheSite.org Book Club - April Nominations: Japan Month!

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Alright folks, this is going to be my FAVOURITE BOOK CLUB EVER.

This is going to be Japan Month here at TS.org Book Club. That means you can nominate:
  • Any novels by a Japanese author
  • Non-fiction about, from, or based in Japan (biographies, true stories, etc. NO TRAVEL GUIDES)

Please no manga of any description, though. Save that for Graphic Novels month, which will be in May :).

Nomation format:
Book: Snuff by Terry Pratchett | Kindle Edition | ePub

Synopsis: It is a truth universally acknowledged that a policeman taking a holiday would barely have had time to open his suitcase before he finds his first corpse.

And Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch is on holiday in the pleasant and innocent countryside, but not for him a mere body in the wardrobe. There are many, many bodies and an ancient crime more terrible than murder.

He is out of his jurisdiction, out of his depth, out of bacon sandwiches, occasionally snookered and out of his mind, but never out of guile. Where there is a crime there must be a finding, there must be a chase and there must be a punishment.

They say that in the end all sins are forgiven.

But not quite all...
From Amazon

Reason for Nomination: Any reason you like can go here. The above is an example, and was our book for March 2012, so no nominating!

As I did above, if there are Kindle/e-reader editions, put separate links to those, please.


  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Book: In the Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami

    Synopsis: It's just before New Year, and Frank, an overweight American tourist, has hired Kenji to take him on a guided tour of Tokyo's nightlife. But, Frank's behaviour is so odd that Kenji begins to entertain a horrible suspicion: his client may in fact have murderous desires. Although Kenji is far from innocent himself, he unwillingly descends with Frank into an inferno of evil, from which only his sixteen-year-old girlfriend, Jun, can possibly save him.
    From Amazon

    Reason for Nomination: This is the first Japanese literature I read and I LOVE ITTTTTTT. I read it about 18 months ago and I would read it again 100 times over.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Book: Piercing by Ryu Murakami

    Synopsis: Every night, Kawashima Masayuki creeps from his bed and watches over his baby girl's crib while his wife sleeps. But this is no ordinary domestic scene. He has an ice pick in his hand, and a barely controllable desire to use it. Deciding to confront his demons, Kawashima sets into motion a chain of events seeming to lead inexorably to murder.
    From Amazon

    Reason for Nomination: This was the book that was recommended to me when I first read ITMS, but it wasn't available on Kindle so I've never gotten around to actually reading it. But I want to. WANT.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Book: Kafka On The Shore


    Synopsis: Kafka Tamura runs away from home at fifteen, under the shadow of his father's dark prophesy.
    The aging Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his pleasantly simplified life suddenly turned upside down.
    As their parallel odysseys unravel, cats converse with people; fish tumble from the sky; a ghost-like pimp deploys a Hegel-spouting girl of the night; a forest harbours soldiers apparently un-aged since World War II. There is a savage killing, but the identity of both victim and killer is a riddle - one of many which combine to create an elegant and dreamlike masterpiece.

    Reason for Nomination: This is the only book I've read by Japanese author, that's why and I liked it. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami.

    (Courtesy of Waterstones)
    "When he hears her favourite Beatles song, Toru Watanabe recalls his first love Naoko, the girlfriend of his best friend Kizuki. Immediately he is transported back almost twenty years to his student days in Tokyo, adrift in a world of uneasy friendships, casual sex, passion, loss and desire - to a time when an impetuous young woman called Midori marches into his life and he has to choose between the future and the past."

    Reason for nomination
    -It is my FAVOURITE book.
    -It didn't win last month despite being a-film-of-the-book-of-the-song!
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Deactivated Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear
    Book Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

    We follow Sayuri from her childhood in an impoverished fishing village, where in 1929, she is sold to a representative of a geisha house, who is drawn by the child's unusual blue-grey eyes. From there she is taken to Gion, the pleasure district of Kyoto. She is nine years old. In the years that follow, as she works to pay back the price of her purchase, Sayuri will be schooled in music and dance, learn to apply the geisha's elaborate makeup, wear elaborate kimono, and care for a coiffure so fragile that it requires a special pillow. She will also acquire a magnanimous tutor and a venomous rival. Surviving the intrigues of her trade and the upheavals of war, the resourceful Sayuri is a romantic heroine on the order of Jane Eyre and Scarlett O'Hara. And Memoirs of a Geisha is a triumphant work - suspenseful, and utterly persuasive.(less)

    Reason for nomination:When I read this book a few years-ago I didn't really take any notice of who the author was and I genuinely thought it was a true story. :blush: Really absorbing.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    A couple of late ones!

    Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro | ebook | kindle

    Synopsis: "As a child, Kathy - now thirty-one years old - lived at Hailsham, a private school in the scenic English countryside where the children were sheltered from the outside world, brought up to believe that they were special and that their well-being was crucial not only for themselves but for the society they would eventually enter. Kathy had long ago put this idyllic past behind her, but when two of her Hailsham friends come back into her life, she stops resisting the pull of memory.

    And so, as her friendship with Ruth is rekindled, and as the feelings that long ago fueled her adolescent crush on Tommy begin to deepen into love, Kathy recalls their years at Hailsham. She describes happy scenes of boys and girls growing up together, unperturbed - even comforted - by their isolation. But she describes other scenes as well: of discord and misunderstanding that hint at a dark secret behind Hailsham?s nurturing facade. With the dawning clarity of hindsight, the three friends are compelled to face the truth about their childhood?and about their lives now." (from GoodReads)

    Reason for nomination: I intended to nominate it loads of times (dystopia, adaptations, etc.) because I've wanted to read it for ages.

    The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino | ebook | kindle

    Synopsis: "Yasuko lives a quiet life, working in a Tokyo bento shop, a good mother to her only child. But when her ex-husband appears at her door without warning one day, her comfortable world is shattered. When Detective Kusanagi of the Tokyo Police tries to piece together the events of that day, he finds himself confronted by the most puzzling, mysterious circumstances he has ever investigated. Nothing quite makes sense, and it will take a genius to understand the genius behind this particular crime...One of the biggest-selling Japanese thrillers ever, and the inspiration for a cult film, The Devotion of Suspect X is now being discovered across the world. Its blend of a page-turning story, evocative Tokyo setting and utterly surprising ending make it a must-read for anyone interested in international fiction." (From Waterstones)

    Reason for nomination: It's a very entertaining thriller, kept me guessing. A really good introduction to Japanese literature for me because you get to know Japanese society by stealth whilst engaging in the story!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Angry White Pyjamas by Robert Twigger| No Kindle | Maybe Kobo


    Adrift in Tokyo, "thirty-nothing" Robert Twigger came to a revelation about himself: He had never been fit or brave. Guided by his room-mates, he set out to cleanse his body and mind. Not knowing his fist from his elbow, the author is sucked into the world of Japanese martial arts and joins the Tokyo Riot Police on their year-long, brutally demanding course of budo training, where any ascetic motivation soon comes up against blood-stained "white pyjamas" and fractured collarbones. In this entertaining book, Twigger blends the ancient with the modern--the ultratraditionalism, ritual, and violence of the "dojo" (training academy) with the shopping malls, nightclubs, and scenes of everyday Tokyo life in the 1990s--to provide a brilliant, bizarre glimpse of contemporary Japan.

    Reason For Nominating
    I read this lots, it's really good, so you should read it too.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Empire of the sun by JG Ballard http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/0007221525/ref=mw_dp_mpd?pd=1 (sorry using mobile so I can't fix the link)


    The heartrending story of a British boy's four year ordeal in a Japanese prison camp during the Second World War.
    ‘An extraordinary achievement’ Angela Carter

    ‘A remarkable journey into the mind of a growing boy … horror and humanity are blended into a unique and unforgettable fiction’ Sunday Times

    ‘Remarkable … form, content and style fuse with complete success … one of the great war novels of the 20th century’ William Boyd

    ‘Gripping and remarkable … I have never read a novel which gave me a stronger sense of the blind helplessness of war … unforgettable’ Observer

    ‘A brilliant fusion of history, autobiography and imaginative speculation. An incredible literary achievement and almost intolerably moving’ Anthony Burgess

    Product Description
    From the master of dystopia, comes his heartrending story of a British boy’s four year ordeal in a Japanese prison camp during the Second World War.

    Based on J. G. Ballard’s own childhood, this is the extraordinary account of a boy’s life in Japanese-occupied wartime Shanghai – a mesmerising, hypnotically compelling novel of war, of starvation and survival, of internment camps and death marches. It blends searing honesty with an almost hallucinatory vision of a world thrown utterly out of joint.

    Rooted as it is in the author’s own disturbing experience of war in our time, it is one of a handful of novels by which the twentieth century will be not only remembered but judged.

    Reason for nomination:

    Ok, so not actually about Japan, but definitely has a Japanese link.

    I have a huge respect for JG Ballard's work, and this book is based on his experiences of growing up in shanghai during WWII. It's amazingly written and satisfies my WWII and dystopian addiction.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Going to close nominations tonight so last chance!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i'm out of this one, i've no idea about anything based in japan

    such ashame my friend ashley is not a member- she'd probably come up with loads... that's her fave culture
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Deactivated Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear
    Would you like Ashley to join? You could tell her about it?

    Otherwise, it will be cool for you to pick a few books on the list to read - some great choices this month :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru

    Right. I'm closing this but I'm just gonna add a placeholder for my nomination of...

    1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. (Kindle editions available in two parts - Book1&2 and Book3)

    Synopsis: The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

    A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver?s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 ??Q is for ?question mark.? A world that bears a question.? Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled.

    As Aomame?s and Tengo?s narratives converge over the course of this single year, we learn of the profound and tangled connections that bind them ever closer: a beautiful, dyslexic teenage girl with a unique vision; a mysterious religious cult that instigated a shoot-out with the metropolitan police; a reclusive, wealthy dowager who runs a shelter for abused women; a hideously ugly private investigator; a mild-mannered yet ruthlessly efficient bodyguard; and a peculiarly insistent television-fee collector.

    A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell?s?1Q84 is Haruki Murakami?s most ambitious undertaking yet: an instant best seller in his native Japan, and a tremendous feat of imagination from one of our most revered contemporary writers.

    Reason: Because I need to finish Book 3 and that will require re-reading Books 1&2 at this point >.<

    I'll try and stick a poll up tomorrow lunchtime. If you desperately want to nominate something else before then, make it good and I might let it in ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    **helen** wrote: »
    Would you like Ashley to join? You could tell her about it?

    Otherwise, it will be cool for you to pick a few books on the list to read - some great choices this month :)

    i havon't asked her yet but i'm planning too

    havon't spoken to her in a while
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru


    Helen/Jo/Other Assorted Moderators - can one of you close this thread por favor :)
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