Twice I tried to start the second chapter of Spy X Family, and twice I dropped it in favour of 糞尿譚, a book where I have to look up every third word and where the end of the sentence is half an hour of reading away. So I’m thinking I might drop the manga, at least for now.
In other reading news, I’ve been looking at the some horror award winners (夜市 was among them), and found several that people in reviews complain they weren’t scary enough, so I might be safe trying them out? Not sure yet. One I’m considering is 化身, about a man (I think) who falls in a lake and starts… evolving? Not sure exactly what’s going on, but the writing seems pleasantly straightforward, and the story pleasantly introspective, without much of the gore and shocking twists associated with horror. Probably.
Another one I’ve been looking at is あやし by 宮部みゆき. She’s written a lot of books, many of them mysteries, a genre I generally prefer. The most famous of hers seems to be 火車 (translated as “All she was worth”). あやし is a collection of ghost(?) stories set in Edo, and it’s been translated into English as “Apparitions”. Theoretically it sounds good, although I’m not very comfortable with historical fiction, especially in Japanese where I’m bound to have tons of unknown vocabulary. However, both the Japanese and English sample read a little too dry for me. I’m sure it gets better, but I lost patience.
She has also written another horror/ghost story series called 三島屋変調百物語事始. This is again historical fiction, and the ghost stories are connected to a central storyline about a girl overcoming trauma or something? I don’t know, I sometimes think I spend more time researching books than actually reading.
I’m thinking I might just try a few Aozora short stories instead. Edogawa Ranpo’s 人間椅子 or Akutagawa’s 河童? But I’m sure the language will be quite a challenge, and I’m already reading one very challenging book…