Monday, July 28, 2008


We just stayed home this weekend but last weekend we stopped by one of our favourite Japanese gardens and took some pictures of the water lilies there.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday Salon: Summer Blues

I had the, apparently silly, idea that I'd get a lot read over the summer, being as it's too hot to go out to take pictures anywhere on the weekends. The last couple of weeks weren't very good for me though, reading-wise. I'd somehow forgotten just how thoroughly the heat and humidity saps my will to live! Thankfully staying home this weekend, being fairly lazy and avoiding the heat helped get me somewhat back on track with my reading. I've been reading the non-fiction book Shutting Out the Sun slowly for most of this month it seems but today I sat down and finished off the last 40 pages of it. It was an interesting read although I have to say that the gloomy prognosis about the future of Japanese society certainly didn't make me feel any less blue! Only to be compounded by all the scandals and lies and generally negative news lately. Sigh.

I tend to be a one-at-a-time reader but the main exception to this is while reading non-fiction. So to take a break from it, I read 99 Ways to Tell a Story (my review here), a graphic novel inspired by Queneau's Exercises de style. It was a very interesting look at storytelling and all the variations it can entail. I'm also about half-way through How to be a Canadian by Will and Ian Ferguson and it's just what I needed to drag my mood back up a bit. It has me chuckling regularly, and is the perfect way to keep my mind off the fact that tomorrow's it's back into the sauna!

I've been good and have refrained from buying any books so far this month, so I only received one book in the mail last week, Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelley Hall. It's apparently being billed as a gothic YA story which sounds quite appealing right now but I have a couple other review books I should probably read first. Here's hoping that the weather won't drag me back down this week as it looks like it'll be fairly busy. But for now it's back to Will and Ian and what being a Canadian is all about! ;)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

PhotoHunt: Hanging

hanging lanterns
Hanging lanterns at Mizumoto koen during the Iris Festival last month.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Thank goodness it's Friday!

1. I believe whatever doesn't kill you makes you bitter stronger.
2. If you're good at something, you should make the most of it.
3. Why so blue?
4. Something is out there, it's taunting me.
5. If my life were a sitcom, it would be titled Momma's Boys.
6. Sitting on my back porch sofa I see the TV, a couple of sagging bookshelves, and the boys flopped out on the floor.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to having dinner with H and his brother who is in Tokyo on business today (we had sushi and it was very good!), tomorrow my plans include staying home to avoid the heat, reading, and watching DVDs with H and Sunday, I want to do more of the same!

'99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style'

by Matt Madden

Graphic Novel, 2005
Chamberlain Bros. (Penguin USA), pb, 203 p.
Matt Madden’s Exercises in Style is a series of engrossing one-page comics that tell the same story in a variety of ways. Inspired by Raymond Queneau’s 1947 work of the same title, a mainstay of creative writing courses, Madden’s project demonstrates the expansive range of possibilities available to all storytellers.
This was a really fun look at storytelling. Starting with this as the template, he came up with so many creative variations of the same story. Sure I didn’t love all of them and some of them were a bit silly but I think that’s the point. It certainly showed that there are numerous perspectives and ways to approach a seemingly simple story. I haven't read Queneau's book that this was inspired by, although I've heard of it, and I am curious how he could write one story 99 different ways since in some ways I think drawing multiple versions would be easier than writing them. Regardless, just like the book itself proclaims on the cover, I think this would be quite inspirational to those who write or work on film or any other kind of storytelling.

From L-R: Horizontal, Manga, Cento (David Mazzucchelli, Ben Katchor, Chester Brown, Marc-Antoine Mathieu, Daniel Clowes, Art Spiegelman, Julie Doucet, Gary Panter)
Click on photos to enlarge.
*Illustrations © Matt Madden
Interview with Matt Madden in The Comics Journal

My Rating: 3.5/5
(#30 for 2008, Graphic Novels Challenge)
Reminder: If you have read and reviewed this title, let me know and I'll link to it here.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Fancy some Italian?

We decided to go out for dinner on Saturday and found a nice Italian restaurant within walking distance of our apartment.
I think we'll have to go back sometime!


Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday memes (on Saturday)

1. If I could be a fly on the wall I would love to see what the boys get up to when we're not here.
2. Jealousy is so destructive.
3. When I see a shooting star my wish would be that there would be less violence.
4. I'd rather be reading than vacuuming any day!
5. Certain songs when I hear them make me wanna dance.
6. If time were in a bottle it would be cracked and leaking.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to having dinner out, tomorrow my plans include relaxing, reading and trying to stay cool and Sunday Monday, I want to enjoy the day off!

A couple of books caught my eye this week. First is Haruki Murakami's soon to be published (in English) memoir, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. And while looking up Murakami's memoir, I stumbled across a Murakami Diary for 2009 which looks quite fun. Then I also discovered that Natsuo Kirino has had another book published in English, Real World, which sounds like it'll be as dark as her other books. I've only read Out so far but I think I'll have to read another one soon.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Japanese Literature Challenge 2

When Bellezza announced that she was going to host a second Japanese Literature Challenge, there was little doubt that I would join in again. Of course I already have my long-term Reading Japan Project, but it's always more fun to share a common reading goal with others. Plus the first round of the challenge helped kick start my own project so they'll complement each other. The minimum requirement for the challenge is to read 3 books between July 30, 2008 and January 30, 2009. Click here to join or for more information on the challenge. Click on the button to go to the dedicated challenge blog.

As for what I plan to read, I've looked at my books and just can't narrow down to a list of three. I'd love to read more by Kawabata, or Tanizaki. I'd like to finally read something by Mishima and I'm also eager to get to Natsuo Kirino's more recent book, Grotesque. Then of course there is Haruki Murakami, or The Tale of Genji which I still want to try to tackle, or Rashomon which is on my list for the 1% Well-Read Challenge. So instead of setting myself a list now I'm just going to continue to read the books that appeal to me as I go along.

To help get myself a bit more organised though, I've created a list of all the books in my TBR stacks that are by Japanese authors or set in Japan. You can see the list here or from the link in the sidebar. Books I've already read are listed here.
I look forward to hearing about the books that the other participants read. And thanks for hosting again, Bellezza.

Monday, July 14, 2008

June wedding

After we visited the iris garden in the grounds of Meiji Jingu a few weekends ago, we stopped by the shrine itself, and happened to catch a glimpse of a traditional wedding procession.
June wedding

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday Salon: lazy day

My what a lazy day this has been! I slept sort of late, then later in the afternoon I was reading but I got sleepy so I had a nap! We had thought we might go out today but it's been hot and humid this weekend so we ended up just staying home with the air-conditioner on, and drinking lots of cold drinks.

As for what I'm reading, it's a non-fiction book, Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created Its Own Lost Generation by Michael Zielenziger. It's an interesting read and a lot of what he says makes sense but I have to admit it's making me feel rather blue about the state of modern Japanese society. Neither my husband nor I want to settle permanently in Japan and I suppose this just reinforces that. Since it's going a little slowly, I think I may pick up some fiction to read alongside it.

Otherwise this week, I just posted my review of Matrimony by Joshua Henkin and two books arrived in the post, Clouds Over Mountains by Matt Joseph and The i Tetralogy by Mathias B. Freese, author of Down to a Sunless Sea that I read and reviewed last month. They're both review copies and I'm enjoying the fact that I've started to get the odd copy sent to me for review, but I'm beginning to understand those of you with a stack of them that complain about how they mess up your reading plans, especially in regards to the reading challenges. Ah well, it's fun so I won't complain.

For the winners of my BAFAB Giveaway, I didn't have a chance to get to the post office this past week, but I hope to get your books sent out to you this week. Sorry for the delay!
Have a great week, everyone!


by Joshua Henkin

Fiction, 2007
Pantheon (Random House), hardback, 281 p.
It is 1987, and Julian Wainwright, aspiring writer and Waspy son of New York City old money, meets beautiful, Jewish Mia Mendelsohn in the laundry room at Graymont College. So begins a love affair that, spurred on by family tragedy, will take Julian and Mia across the country and back, through several college towns, spanning twenty years.

Starting at the height of the Reagan era and ending in the new millennium, Matrimony is about love and friendship, about money and ambition, desire and tensions of faith. It asks what happens to a marriage when it is confronted by betrayal and the specter of mortality. What happens when people marry younger than they’d expected? Can love endure the passing of time?
This was an enjoyable read, and it’s not just because the author sent me a signed copy to review, even though he does seem like a nice guy. That disclosed, I thought the characters felt very real, and the whole story was like a slice a life. These are real issues and emotions that the characters go through which did make me wonder how much of the book is based on the author’s real life or the lives of people he knows. Either way, I came to care about the characters and what happened to them.
Scattered amongst the more serious events, there were also splashes of humour in the book that had me smiling as I read. Here’s an example, with Julian lamenting that fact that his book is taking him seemingly forever to write.
“It’s like that joke about Joyce Carol Oates. Someone calls her up and her secretary says, ‘I’m sorry, Miss Oates can’t come to the phone right now, she’s busy writing a book,’ and the person says, ‘That’s okay, I’ll hold.’ Only with me it’s the opposite, Rip Van Winkle wakes up twenty years later and I’m still writing my novel.”
It would have been nice perhaps to see a little more depth to some of the characters and their relationships but overall it was a well-written, quiet, character-driven story, that kept me reading. And I’d certainly be interested in reading something else by Joshua Henkin in future.

My Rating: 4/5
(#29 for 2008)

To be released in paperback on August 26, 2008.
You can read an excerpt from the book here or a different excerpt here.
For more information on the book, visit the author's website.
You can also read his guest posts at Books on the Brain and Planet Books.

Also reviewed at:
Books on the Brain
My Journey Through Reading
Age 30 - A Year of Books
B&b ex libris
My Own Little Reading Room
The Boston Bibliphile
The Hidden Side of a Leaf
Book Escape
Booking Mama
The Literate Housewife
Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'?
Reminder: If you have also read and reviewed this title, let me know and I'll link to it here.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

PhotoHunt: Support

Photo taken at Heian Jingu in Kyoto, April 2006.

Friday, July 11, 2008

BTT: Doomsday, and other fun Friday stuff

btt button
What would you do if, all of a sudden, your favorite source of books was unavailable? Whether it’s a local book shop, your town library, or an internet shop … what would you do if, suddenly, they were out of business? Devastatingly, and with no warning? Where would you go for books instead? What would you do? If it was a local business you would try to help out the owners? Would you just calmly start buying from some other store? Visit the library in the next town instead? Would it be devastating? Or just a blip in your reading habit?

If my favourite bookstore in Tokyo suddenly went bankrupt, I'd be disappointed that I no longer had a place to browse with a good selection of English books, but it wouldn't affect me too much otherwise as I do most of my shopping online. What can I say, it's usually cheaper.

If Amazon was no longer available, that, on the other hand, would impact my book buying considerably more. I have enough unread books here already to last me probably a few years so I would simply have to read those instead with only the occasional must-have purchases. I actually already buy quite a bit less than I did when we lived in England, primarily because of the cost. There were far too many tempting sales there, and so many bookstores to choose from!

Speaking of England, if The Book Depository disappeared, that would also be very sad indeed. It's my way of buying British books, and sometimes other books, often much cheaper than from Amazon Japan. I generally prefer buying the British editions of books by British authors. (Why? See my answer to #5 below.) Even though both the British and American editions are usually available on Amazon Japan, the American ones are usually a bit cheaper, which is where The Book Depository comes in. Like with Amazon, if it wasn't available, I'd probably buy a lot less, and would have to debate over paying more for the edition I wanted.

I'm not sure what I could do to stop the demise of any of these so I suppose I would simply have to find other sources. I would probably finally join BookMooch, and need to rely on trading and other ways of acquiring books, and focus on reading the books I already own, which wouldn't be such a bad thing really.

1. Oh, I can't wait until I have a place to call home, where we want to settle down.
2. A jar of olives is the first thing I see when I open my refrigerator.
3. I never leave home without my keys, my wallet and something to read.
4. If I were a condiment, I would be ketchup (NOT catsup) because I love tomatoes.
5. Changing the spellings and translating British English into American English in books is really high up on my list of pet peeves.
6. The last thing I thought of before I went to bed was Gosh it's late! I really should stop being such a night owl.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to watching a bit of TV, tomorrow my plans include trying to stay cool and Sunday, I want to maybe get out to take some pictures!
123 meme

1. Pick up the nearest book, and open it to page 123.
2. Find the fifth sentence, and post the next three sentences.

This week I'm reading a non-fiction book, Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created its Own Lost Generation by Michael Zielenziger. I'm going to cheat on the usual 123 rules because the first 5 sentences of p. 123 are more amusing to read out of context.
A Japanese pizza can be ordered with pineapple and squid. A 1950s GI bomber jacket or Italian motorbike reproduced in Japan seems more perfect than the original. A Japanese-baked baguette is often lighter and more flavorful than one found in Paris. Only Japanese could develop green-tea ice cream, shoehorn a golf driving range into the tiniest city block, or turn Christmas Eve into a romantic holiday when the nation's hotels are booked solid by trysting young couples, even though everyone goes back to work early on Christmas morning. Schoolchildren are shocked to learn that Makudonarudo, the hamburger chain known elsewhere as McDonald's, is not actually a Japanese invention.
I still think French bread is better in France but maybe I'm shopping in the wrong bread shops. Otherwise, all true! :P

I seem to have only added one book to my wishlist this week, The Boat by Nam Le after reading this review at In the Shadow of Mt. TBR. It's described as "a stunningly inventive, deeply moving fiction debut: stories that take us from the slums of Colombia to the streets of Tehran; from New York City to Iowa City; from a tiny fishing village in Australia to a foundering vessel in the South China Sea, in a masterly display of literary virtuosity and feeling." Sounds good, doesn't it?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Weekly Geeks #10: Magazines

This week’s theme for Weekly Geeks is to talk about the magazines we read. For that purpose Dewey prepared a little magazines meme.

I only subscribe to two magazines at the moment, but there are a couple more that I buy regularly.

1. Name of magazine. Time Magazine: Asia Edition
2. Do you subscribe or just buy it now and then? I subscribe because it costs less than half of the newsstand price, but it's weekly and man am I behind right now.
3. What’s your favorite regular feature in the magazine? I don't really have a favourite. I like the variety of articles. Besides the latest world news, they'll have articles on health, entertainment, the environment, etc, and I just skip the ones I'm not interested in.
4. What do you think your interest in this magazine says about you? I'm not a news junkie (almost never read newspapers and don't even watch TV news very often except for BBC World) but do like to know a bit about what's going on in the world.
5. How long have you been reading this magazine? I'd picked it up here and there for a few years but subscribed after returning to Japan, so regularly for about two and a half years.
6. Is there any unique or quirky aspect to the magazine that keeps you reading? I love that it's thin and flexible. I can fold it in half vertically and it's easy to pop into a bag. Sometimes my work bag is just too heavy (full of textbooks) to add the book I'm currently reading, or when we go out to take pictures, I don't always have room in my camera bag, but I can always fit in a Time magazine or two.

1. Name of magazine. newbooks
2. Do you subscribe or just buy it now and then? It's a British magazine that's not available here so I subscribe.
3. What’s your favorite regular feature in the magazine? Again I'm not sure I have a favourite feature. I like the author interviews, the articles, the reviews, the ads... I usually pretty much read the whole thing.
4. What do you think your interest in this magazine says about you? That I'm a book geek!
5. How long have you been reading this magazine? Maybe about 4 years. I first subscribed while we were living in England and even though it's rather expensive now that we're in Japan, I've renewed my subscription a couple of times.
6. Is there any unique or quirky aspect to the magazine that keeps you reading? I like that it's British. That's the main reason I've kept it!

1. Name of magazine. Bookmarks
2. Do you subscribe or just buy it now and then? I don't subscribe (yet) but try to make a point of buying it when it comes out every two months. This is slightly annoying though because I've only been able to find it stocked in one bookstore in Tokyo and it's in an area that I don't go to very often lately so I'm thinking I may finally subscribe.
3. What’s your favorite regular feature in the magazine? I suppose the reviews but I enjoy the author articles and lists too.
4. What do you think your interest in this magazine says about you? That I'm addicted to books!
5. How long have you been reading this magazine? A few years. I used to buy this one regularly in England too, I could always find it at Borders there.
6. Is there any unique or quirky aspect to the magazine that keeps you reading? The fact that it's a magazine dedicated to books is enough to keep me reading!

1. Name of magazine. Kateigaho International Edition
2. Do you subscribe or just buy it now and then? I don't subscribe but I buy every new issue. It's pretty easy to find and is only published quarterly.
3. What’s your favorite regular feature in the magazine? The articles about traditional Japanese arts and crafts, and the gorgeous photos that accompany them.
4. What do you think your interest in this magazine says about you? That I love the traditional side of Japan, and beautiful glossy pictures! :P
5. How long have you been reading this magazine? Ever since I discovered it when we came back to Japan in Autumn 2005.
6. Is there any unique or quirky aspect to the magazine that keeps you reading? It's truly the beautiful photography that keeps me buying these, and keeping them. I like just flipping through them sometimes.

Other than these I might buy the odd magazine that catches my eye. English magazines are fairly expensive here though so I don't buy many. I did try a couple of literary magazines, McSweeney's and Zoetrope: All-Story but I didn't renew when the subscriptions came up, partly because I wasn't getting around to reading them fast enough, but also because the shipping was ridiculously slow. Both of them always seemed to take a really long time to arrive but one time, one issue of McSweeney's finally arrived two months after it was posted in the US! If I do subscribe to Bookmarks I sure hope it's better. This Weekly Geeks theme, and reading about the magazines others get, has made me want more too but I'm going to try to resist!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Book Awards II Challenge

I really enjoyed reading Award winners for the first Book Awards Challenge so when 3M announced that she'd be hosting a second round, I knew I'd be joining again. This time, the goal is to read 10 award-winning books from August 1, 2008 to June 1, 2009. Also, this time we need to have at least five different awards represented in our 10 titles. Last time I read 12 books from 11 different awards so hopefully I'll again have a wide variety.

Here are some of the books that I think I'd like to read for the challenge. Some are from my list for the first challenge, that I didn't get to, and many of them cross-over with other challenges.

Still Life - Louise Penny (Anthony Award – Best First Novel 2007)
Mercy Among the Children - David Adams Richards (Giller Prize 2000)
No Great Mischief - Alistair MacLeod (IMPAC Dublin 2001)
Larry's Party - Carol Shields (Orange Prize 1998)
Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures - Vincent Lam (Giller Prize 2006)
Maus – Art Spiegelman (Pulitzer Prize Special Letters Award 1992)
Mr. Muo’s Traveling Couch – Dai Sijie (Prix Femina 2003)
Perfume – Patrick Süskind (World Fantasy Award 1987)
The Invention of Hugo Cabret – Brian Selznick (Caldecott Medal 2008)
Blindness - José Saramago (Nobel Prize 1998)
Suite française – Irène Némirovsky (Prix Renaudot 2004)
My Name is Red - Orhan Pamuk (IMPAC Dublin 2003, Nobel 2006)
The Visit of the Royal Physician – Per Olov Enquist (Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2003)

*For more info, click on the button or go to the Book Awards Challenge blog.

Monday, July 07, 2008

high-tech sushi

We went out for sushi this weekend, and here are some pictures.
Sorry they're a bit dark.
First, you order what you want on the touchscreen.
Then it arrives at your table via a revolving conveyor belt.
It was a lot of fun, and tasted pretty good too.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Sunday Salon: June in review and BAFAB Giveaway winners

It was back to a slower month in June for me, with only 4 books finished. Ah well, we'll see how July turns out. I'm the eternal optimist, each month hoping to read more than the last!

Books completed:
(click on the title to read my review)
25. Down to a Sunless Sea - Mathias B. Freese
26. The Tenderness of Wolves - Stef Penney
27. The Scortas' Sun - Laurent Gaudé
28. Farewell to Manzanar - Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston & James D. Houston

Favourite of the month: It's a tie between The Tenderness of Wolves and The Scortas' Sun. The settings couldn't be more different, from cold, wintry, northern Canada to hot, sun-scorched, southern Italy but they were so vividly portrayed, I enjoyed some great armchair traveling. The other two books I read actually aren't far behind so it was a good month for quality if not quantity.

Books in: 5 (3 of which were review copies)
Books out: 0

Reading Challenges- Progress Report:
See my post for Weekly Geeks #9.

As for my reading this week, I've only really had time to read in bed at night but I'm nearing the end of Matrimony, which I'm enjoying. Next up, another non-fiction title I think, and then I should probably read Lolita, since I didn't get to it last month. The weather is starting to reach the stage now where all I want to do is hide indoors (I'm not made for heat!) so hopefully I'll get some extra reading in over the summer.

But on to the BAFAB Giveaway and the winners. Thanks to everyone who entered. I tried to enlist my furry assistant to help out with the drawing of names once again but it didn't quite work out this time.

There was a little bit of sniffing at first...

...then Jiro did get one out before proceeding to flop down on the floor with a "I've done my bit" look... H ended up drawing the other names.

I know I said I'd draw two names but we couldn't stop at just two so we have four winners, and they are:

Lori's Reading Corner
Lilith Silvermane

If you could please email me (tanabata2000 at gmail dot com) with your mailing addresses. I'll try to be in touch as well to confirm your choices, and I hope to get your books out to you shortly. For those of you that didn't win this time around, remember that the next BAFAB Week is in October. :)

'Farewell to Manzanar'

by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston

Non-Fiction/Autobiography, 1973
Dell (Random House), mm pb, 207 p.
Manzanar website
Jeanne Wakatsuki was seven years old in 1942 when her family was uprooted from their home and sent to live at Manzanar internment camp – with ten thousand other Japanese Americans. Along with searchlight towers and armed guards, Manzanar ludicrously featured cheerleaders, Boy Scouts, sock hops, baton twirling lessons, and a dance band called The Jive Bombers, who would play any popular song except the nation’s No. 1 hit: “Don’t Fence Me In.”
Farewell to Manzanar is the true story of one spirited Japanese American family’s attempt to survive the indignities of forced detention…and of a native-born American child who discovered what it was like to grow up behind barbed wire in the United States.
I’d had this book suggested to me a few times, most recently after reading Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata. I’m always interested in reading immigrant stories and ones relating to Japan or the Japanese, so I’m glad I finally got around to it. It was also interesting to get some insight into what the internment camps were really like, or at least Manzanar, and to see how the experience affected the Japanese Americans after the war, and how the different generations coped with life both in and out of the camp. Plus seeing the camp through a child’s eyes was at times amusing. I can see why this book is often taught in schools. A worthwhile read.

My Rating: 3.5/5
(#28 for 2008, Non-Fiction Five Challenge #1)
Near Block 28 some of the men who had been professional gardeners built a small park, with mossy nooks, ponds, waterfalls and curved wooden bridges. Sometimes in the evenings we could walk down the raked gravel paths. You could face away from the barracks, look past a tiny rapids toward the darkening mountains, and for a while not be a prisoner at all.
Photo from wikipedia.

Reminder: If you've read and reviewed this title, let me know and I'll link to it here.

Friday, July 04, 2008

PhotoHunt: Pointed

Photo taken at the Botanical Garden, September 2006
Another photo posted previously here.

Friday this, Friday that

1. Holidays in the summer are a time to hide under the air-conditioner and read, since it's usually too hot to move.
2. Veggies, like peppers and zucchini, are my favorite things to grill.
3. My thoughts are rather distracted and scattered lately. Too many things vying for attention.
4. Going out for dinner to celebrate our anniversary is what I'm most looking forward to this weekend! (Actually Monday but we both have the day off.)
5. My favorite book so far this summer is The Scortas' Sun by Laurent Gaudé.
6. Sleeping late and then having a leisurely breakfast is the best way to begin a day.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to eating the cold tomato pasta that I made, the first of the season, tomorrow my plans include maybe buying a new fan and Sunday, I want to read and relax!

123 meme

1. Pick up the nearest book, and open it to page 123.
2. Find the fifth sentence, and post the next three sentences.

This week I'm reading Matrimony by Joshua Henkin, which I've already given the p. 123 treatment. So instead, my recent summery read (from #5 above), The Scortas' Sun by Laurent Gaudé.
'Under my pillow,' replied Elia between two sobs.
Giuseppe went up to the boy's bedroom, felt under the pillow, pulled out the bag in which the thief had ensconced his treasure, and, mortified, his head lowered and his eyes vacant, went straight to the church. 'The feast of Sant'Elia must go on, at least,' he said to himself.
Friday Finds
The idea is to share, every Friday, about books that you’ve recently discovered (never heard of before) that sound really good!
This is a fun idea. I'm often adding books to my wishlist after reading other blogs. Let's not talk about the fact that my wishlist has over 1000 titles on it!!
The most recent additions to it were The Cairo Diary by Maxim Chattam and In the Woods by Tana French. Both are mysteries that I heard about at Bookgirl's Nightstand.
And I'd heard of Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond but after reading her guest post about her new book, No One You Know, on Florinda's blog, I added both of them to my wishlist.
So what books have you heard about lately that sound really good?

And don't forget, you have until Saturday to enter my BAFAB Giveaway.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The 2nd Canadian Book Challenge

Well, I didn't join in the first time around, but I've decided I can't resist participating this time. I have quite a few Canadian books on my shelves and could use an extra incentive to read some of them. It's hosted by The Book Mine Set, and the goal is to read 13 Canadian books (because there are 13 provinces and territories) between July 1st, 2008 and July 1st, 2009. There are several themes to choose from to organise our reading, but I'm going to go with "The Free Spirit" with a handful of award-winners thrown in. Click on the button for more info on the other themes and how to join.

Here are some of the Canadian books I may read for the challenge:
The End of the Alphabet - C.S. Richardson
Dingo - Charles de Lint
Still Life - Louise Penny (BA)
Helpless - Barbara Gowdy
Mercy Among the Children - David Adams Richards (BA)
No Great Mischief - Alistair MacLeod (BA)
Larry's Party - Carol Shields (BA)
The Delicate Storm - Giles Blunt
The Lions of Al-Rassan - Guy Gavriel Kay
How to Be a Canadian - Will Ferguson
The Birth House - Ami McKay
Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures - Vincent Lam (BA)
something by Camilla Gibb
something by Timothy Findley
or maybe a re-read of Anne of Green Gables to celebrate the 100th anniversary,
or any of the other Canadian books in my TBR or that I may pick up on my next trip 'home'.

*(BA) represents book award winners and these will also be on my list for the Book Awards II Challenge

Tuesday, July 01, 2008