Halfway to my goal!
So here’s my half year in review*.
*I suck at writing reviews so this is more like my rambling for each book.
My 2nd Japanese book ever. I read it during my long winter vacation, while travelling through 3 different countries. It really was good when I had to wait 2 hours in line at Immigration.
The story itself was nice enough. The main protagonist was charming. But I don’t think I could read it again, if only because the amount of times the author has to shove a breast metaphor in and try to pull it off as it just being the main character’s quick. Yeah right.
Cute book. Very different from the movie-version. I didn’t read it with the Book Club but I referenced their threads/vocab list after the fact.
My friend gave me this book a year ago after I reached level 60 in WK. I tried reading it but got burnt out by page 2. Which goes to show you boys and girls, kanji-knowledge ain’t nothing without grammar. The 2nd time around it was a lot easier. Well at least the sentences themselves were easier. The logic was a bit fuzzy. Just like any of those kinds of classic children’s books. It’s not exactly the sentence that’s the problem, it’s the logic. (I don’t think I would ever want to attempt Alice in Wonderland.)
Ugh. This book. So good. First Japanese book to grab me and never let me go. I still don’t like the ending as much but as a whole it was my first experience where it felt just like reading an English book. I don’t mean it was easy, but that I was emotionally gripped.
I love this book, the first book of the Moribito series. The more I read the sequels the more I realize how much I didn’t actually understand when I read the first one. But whatever. It still had a good time in reading it.
First Japanese literature book I’ve read in Japanese. I previously read Banana’s Lake but in English. I liked this book, I really liked the characters. I definitely saw the shift in language between the aforementioned fantasy/children’s/YA books and Japanese literature. The sentences seemed plainer and yet their meanings felt harder to understand. Literature is something I struggle with even in English so reading it in Japanese is definitely a struggle. But I think this was a good one to start with.
When I read the first one I was knew I this was the series for me. Kitchen was just a small break before I jumped into the 2nd Moribito book. I really, really liked this one. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s just because I like Balsa as a character and seeing her go back to her homeland was interesting. Or the politics were interesting. Or maybe I was just happy that there was less overall “fantasy” involved meaning it was a lot easier to understand. Who knows. But I do like this book a lot.
This was such a weird book but I read it really quickly. I never knew where it was going especially toward the end. I thought it was just going to be a humorous memoir about working in a convenience store…but it’s totally not that at all. I’m glad it was picked for the Intermediate Book Club. I think others will enjoy it a lot.
Another Japanese literature book. I picked it up because it was a Literary Prize winner and it had a female author.
It was easier book to read than Kitchen, I think. I think this may be because it has a younger POV. There’s not much of a plot but I think it’s the characters that really made me want to keep reading it. It deals with themes of bullying but it’s not clear-cut about bullys=bad victims of bullys= good, which I thought was really interesting.
Sensing a pattern? This one was okay. I liked that it gave some background to one of the characters. However the current-day plot in it felt a little convoluted and boring. (Or maybe I just didn’t understand it very much.)
THIS BOOK. God it was so long and yet so good. My enjoyment of this book probably tops I Want to Eat Your Pancreas.
I think I sense of pattern, though, of equivocating easy to read=enjoyable. This YA was quite easy to read, the grammar was easy, the meanings weren’t vague. Lots of dialogue and short sentences. But I think I also enjoyed it’s theme about bullying as well. It took a more standard stance of bullying=bad but I liked the different ways it showed the victim dealing with it.
The fairy-tale story line really takes a back seat to it’s theme of bullying, IMO.
Another Literature-Prize-winning Female-Authored book. The first half of this book I really enjoyed but I’m not sure what turned me off toward the end of it. Maybe it was because I was reading it side-by-side with かがみの孤城 and it seemed a lot hard to understand, in comparison, but I stopped caring about the character as much in the latter half. I still think it’s a good book, despite my frustrations with it. The alternating POVs/time periods was particularly interesting.
Another literature book. I really do enjoy alternating between fantasy/YA and Japanese literature. While I’m reading one I get a craving to read the other. This book was also a mix. The amount of dictionary terms was tiring, the time skips and jumps were disorientating, but there’s one POV character that comes toward the end, that I really enjoyed and honestly the best part of the book for me. The main character, himself, was a bit boring.
This was the first Moribito book that didn’t have Balsa as the main POV. It, instead, focused on Chagum. Which was a nice but also the reason why I didn’t enjoy it as much. As always, though, the world building was fascinating. I love learning about each of the countries’ different cultures (even if it makes the beginning a bit frustrating as I try to remember all the terms/relationships.)
It’s a classic so I expected it to be difficult. It wasn’t so difficult since I read it using this very helpful page.
As for the story itself, eh. It started off good, but then I realized that the characters weren’t going to change in any way and the ending was pretty boring.
(Unrelated. I’ve been using excel too much and have gotten into the habit of Ctrl+Enter to make a new line. Which, in fact, means Submit in Discourse. Which also explains why I have “edited” this post waaay too many times.)