Note: I'm taking part in Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon this Saturday, October 18th, but I will not be posting any updates here.
When I'm not reading or cheering, I'll be hanging out on Twitter and Instagram. Come say hi!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

two years later and a contest

Two years ago today I started this blog and what a fun couple of years it's been. Who would've thought blogging would become such an addiction and blogland turn out to be such a nice place to hang out and meet lots of great people! In some nice serendipitous timing, I received two more Make My Day nods this week from Iliana and Wendy. Plus the one I got from Janet earlier this month. Thanks you guys!! And to everyone who stops by regularly or even occasionally. I never thought anyone would even visit my blog when I started so you all truly make my day!

On to the contest..
To celebrate my 2nd blogiversary, I'm going to give one lucky person a US$20 Amazon.com gift certificate (or equivalent at the Amazon site of your choice- UK, Canada, Japan, etc). But I'm going to make you work for it.

Everyone who can correctly identify the title and author of the book in the picture below will be entered to win. Click on the picture to enlarge it.

Please leave your answers in the comments section and I'll start a list on this post of everyone who has answered correctly, and therefore eligible for the draw. Since comments are moderated, I will only allow the 'wrong' answers to post until the drawing. So if your comment shows up before then, feel free to try again. You can guess as many times as you like. Each person who answers correctly will get one entry in the draw.

Then next Friday, Feb. 8th, I'll announce the winner.

I do think there are enough clues in the text to guess even if you haven't read it but then it is a favourite of mine. Good luck! :)

Entered into the drawing:
Wendy
3M
Teresa
Nymeth
adrienne
Robin
Cathrine
Andi
Puss Reboots
cass
lissa
indigo
Happy Reader
Heather
Iliana
Literary Feline
Les
BooksPlease
A Reader from India
Camille
Nyssaneala
Renee
Maw Books
Bookfool

The contest is now closed. Thanks everyone for playing!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Japanese Literature Challenge completed!

What a great way to start off the year, by successfully completing Bellezza's Japanese Literature Challenge. I even read the 3 books I originally set out to, without substituting any, and read an extra book too. Yay me!

Books completed:
1. Snow Country - Yasunari Kawabata
2. The Dancing Girl of Izu and other stories - Yasunari Kawabata
3. The Elephant Vanishes - Haruki Murakami
4. Tales of Moonlight and Rain - Akinari Ueda

Best book(s) I read for the challenge?
I enjoyed all the books I read but I think I'll go with Tales of Moonlight and Rain simply because I found the tales fascinating. I really enjoyed Murakami's stories too so that would be a close second. Interesting how it worked out that except for Snow Country, the other 3 books were collections of stories.

Book(s) I could have done without?
None of them. They were certainly all worth reading.

Any new authors? Will I read them again?
Akinari Ueda. I'd be interested to read more of his work although it seems that not a lot of it is translated into English, at least not in book form.
Yasunari Kawabata. I'm intrigued so I'll definitely be reading more by him in the future.

Best thing about the challenge? What did I learn?
It got me motivated again to read Japanese Literature and I realised that there are so many more books out there that I want to try. I'm always interested in reading about Japan but it's so easy to get distracted by other books too. I'm obviously not going to read only JLit from now on but I'm quite eager to read more of them.
Thank you so much Bellezza for hosting this challenge!

'Tales of Moonlight and Rain'

(Ugetsu monogatari) by Akinari Ueda
Translated from the Japanese by Anthony H. Chambers
Fiction/Folklore, first published in 1776
Columbia University Press, hardback, 214 p.
Review in The Guardian
First published in 1776, the nine gothic tales in this collection are Japan's finest and most celebrated examples of the literature of the occult. They subtly merge the world of reason with the realm of the uncanny and exemplify the period's fascination with the strange and the grotesque.
The title Ugetsu monogatari (literally "rain-moon tales") alludes to the belief that mysterious beings appear on cloudy, rainy nights and in mornings with a lingering moon. In "Shiramine," the vengeful ghost of the former emperor Sutoku reassumes the role of king; in "The Chrysanthemum Vow," a faithful revenant fulfills a promise; "The Kibitsu Cauldron" tells a tale of spirit possession; and in "The Carp of My Dreams," a man straddles the boundaries between human and animal and between the waking world and the world of dreams. The remaining stories feature demons, fiends, goblins, strange dreams, and other manifestations beyond all logic and common sense.
The eerie beauty of this masterpiece owes to Akinari's masterful combination of words and phrases from Japanese classics with creatures from Chinese and Japanese fiction and lore. Along with The Tale of Genji and The Tales of the Heike, Tales of Moonlight and Rain has become a timeless work of great significance. This new translation, by a noted translator and scholar, skillfully maintains the allure and complexity of Akinari's original prose.
Ghosts, angry spirits, demons in human form…this was a fascinating look at old Japanese beliefs regarding the supernatural. It’s a slim book and the 9 tales themselves are not long but it wasn’t a book to rush through. Chambers’ introduction and notes were quite extensive and certainly added to my enjoyment and understanding of the work even though they slowed my reading down considerably. He set the scenes and provided enough background information for each story to make them meaningful in a scholarly yet readable format, also making me rather envious of the depth of his knowledge. I’m a compulsive footnote and endnote reader, but I imagine you can read and enjoy the stories without them. (Bellezza did, you can see her review here). I also enjoyed the inclusion here of the woodcut illustrations from the original 1776 edition.
The tales also contained several references to The Tale of Genji, so that was a nice way to start off my year of reading Genji. Every time I read this kind of Japanese classic I feel like I’ve learned just a tiny bit more about Japan and its culture. I’m glad this book caught my eye while browsing at the bookstore one day and I’m sure I’ll be revisiting these tales again.

My Rating: 4/5
(#3 for 2007, Japanese Literature Challenge #4, What's in a Name Challenge - 'Weather')

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Eva's Reading Meme

I've been tagged by Andi to do Eva's Reading Meme, so here goes...

Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?
Anything by Stephen King. Everyone seems to love him but I read a couple back in high school or thereabouts and haven't had any desire to read him since. I have also been avoiding The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon. The size and the fact that it's about comic books has put me off reading it for literally years, despite good reviews.

If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?
Simply because I would like to know how they're doing now, a casual dinner party with Alba (Henry and Clare's daughter from The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger), Lyra Belacqua from His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, and Hermione Granger. I'd like to just sit back and see them interact. They'd have so much to share with each other I think.

(Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): you are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realise it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?
Hmm, I've never even tried but just from what I've heard I guess I'd go with Ulysses by James Joyce or Moby Dick by Herman Melville.

Come on, we’ve all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it?
I have a feeling I took the Coles' Notes route in high school a couple of times instead of reading a couple of Shakespeare's plays and there may have been a novel but I can't remember now which one(s).

As an addition to the last question, has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realise when you read a review about it/go to ‘reread’ it that you haven’t? Which book?
I have a small selection of books from my childhood, the Anne of Green Gables series, Narnia and a few others. Among them was a copy of A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. It's old, and obviously read (I assumed by me) but when I "re-read" it last year absolutely none of the story was familiar. Either I never did read it or it never left an impression on me the first time around??

You’re interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some VIP (who’s not a big reader). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why? (if you feel like you’d have to know the person, go ahead of personalise the VIP)
This is a hard question. I like some of the suggestions others have come up with but I just can't think of a good one myself. I'll just say that it's helpful to know what a person's interests (movies, whatnot) are in order to recommend something to them to read.

A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?
I do have a thing for French and would love to be able to read it fluently, but I'd have to go with Japanese. It's such a hard language to learn (for me at least) and I 'd really love to be able to read the originals. I'm sure so much is lost in translation sometimes.

A mischievious fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I watch the BBC series at least once a year and I've read the book 3 times so far. I'm sure I could happily read it every year.

I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What’s one bookish thing you ‘discovered’ from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)?
Vampire novels! Until last year I'd stayed well clear of any kind of vampire story. But thanks to all the rave reviews by bloggers, I gave in, tried and am now hooked on Colleen Gleason's vampire series, and I loved Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (still need to read New Moon and Eclipse). One of the great things about blogging is hearing about books or authors I may not have otherwise.

That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she’s granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leatherbound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favourite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free.
The favourites shelves would be first edition signed hardcovers. Otherwise trade paperbacks would be the preferred choice. Lots of floor to ceiling book shelves with the requisite rolling ladder. A fireplace and comfy leather chairs and sofa. Some fun lamps to create a warm, cozy mood at night. A couple of big windows looking out on a view of rolling hills or the ocean. A large wooden desk where I could spread out several books and study if I so desired. A laptop with wireless connection and an endless supply of fresh tea (hot or iced depending on the season).

A lot of people have already done this so instead of tagging anyone, please feel free to grab it if you haven't yet done it, and do let me know so I can come read your answers.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The boys get a new toy!

Yesterday we got the boys a new toy. Bailey had first crack at it.

"Oh, this is fun!"

"What's he (Jiro) doing here? This is my toy."

"What a perfect place to spy from. Bet he can't see me in here!"

Saturday, January 26, 2008

PhotoHunt: Old-Fashioned

Old-fashioned rice cookers and kettle at Takayama Jinya (old government building from the Edo period).

Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday Fill-in #14


1. A beautiful sunset.. makes me happy.
2. I would like ... a bigger apartment but I'd settle for some new bookshelves and more time to read, please.
3. Purdy's Hedgehogs taste SO good!
4. Saturday.. is my favorite day of the week because ... it's the first day of the weekend.
5. Nothing According to H, kindness... is my best feature.
6. We could learn so much from ... each other if we took the time to listen.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to ... my bed, tomorrow my plans include ... having a couple of people over.. and Sunday, I want to... relax and read!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Reading Japan: TBR List

Reading Japan
This is a list of the books either by Japanese authors or about Japan that are currently residing in my TBR piles. Or that I have read but not yet reviewed.  You can see the books that I've reviewed since starting this blog by clicking on the Reading Japan tab in the linkbar above, or by visiting Reading Japan: Book List.

Please note: This list is currently not complete. I will remove this notice once it has been updated.

Clicking on the titles will take you to Amazon.

JAPANESE AUTHORS
Akutagawa, Ryunosuke - Rashomon
Endo, Shusaku - Silence
Isaka, Kotaro - Remote Control
Kawabata, Yasunari - Beauty and Sadness
Kawabata, Yasunari - The Sound of the Mountain
Kyoka, Izumi - Japanese Gothic Tales
Mishima, Yukio - Spring Snow
Mishima, Yukio - The Sound of Waves
Miyabe, Miyuki - The Devil's Whisper
Miyabe, Miyuki - The Sleeping Dragon
Miyamoto, Teru - Kinshu: Autumn Brocade
Murakami, Haruki - 1Q84
Murakami, Haruki - Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
Ogawa, Yoko - The Diving Pool
Okakura, Kakuzo - The Book of Tea
Shikibu, Murasaki - The Tale of Genji
Soseki, Natsume - I am a Cat
Soseki, Natsume - Kokoro
Sugawara Takasue no Musume (aka Lady Sarashina) - As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams
Takami, Koushun - Battle Royale
Taniguchi, Yuko - The Ocean in the Closet
Tanizaki, Junichiro - The Secret History of the Lord of Musashi and Arrowroot
Tanizaki, Junichiro - Quicksand
Tsuboi, Sakae - Twenty-four Eyes
Tsutsui, Yasataka - Hell
Yamamoto, Shugoro - The Flower Mat
Yoshimoto, Banana - Goodbye Tsugumi
Yoshimura, Akira - Shipwrecks
various - A Hundred Verses from Old Japan (hyaku-nin-isshiu)

AUTHORS WITH JAPANESE ANCESTRY
Goto, Hiromi (Canadian) - Chorus of Mushrooms
Ishiguro, Kazuo (British) - A Pale View of Hills
Otsuka, Julie (American) - When the Emperor Was Divine
Shimoda, Todd (American) - The Fourth Treasure
Uchida, Yoshiko (American) - Picture Bride

NON-JAPANESE AUTHORS (ABOUT/SET IN JAPAN)
Dalby, Liza - The Tale of Murasaki
Dower, John - Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II (NF)
Govier, Katherine - Three Views of Crystal Water
Hearn, Lian - Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori)
Hearn, Lian - Grass for His Pillow (Tales of the Otori)
Hearn, Lian - Brilliance of the Moon (Tales of the Otori)
Hearn, Lian - The Harsh Cry of the Heron (Tales of the Otori)
Iyer, Pico - The Lady and the Monk: Four Seasons in Kyoto
Jones, Susanna - The Earthquake Bird
Lowitz, Leza - Green Tea to Go: Stories From Tokyo
McInerney, Jay - Ransom
Milton, Giles - Samurai William
Mitchell, David - number9dream
Oliva, Peter - The City of Yes
Pagnamenta, Peter & Momoko Williams - Falling Blossom
Parker, I.J. - The Masuda Affair
Richie, Donald - Viewed Sideways: Writings on Culture and Style in Contemporary Japan
Schwartz, John Burnham - The Commoner
Talarigo, Jeff - The Pearl Diver
Thompson, Holly - Ash
Thompson, Holly - Orchards



The small print: Links in this post to Amazon contain my Associates ID. Purchases made via these links earn me a very small commission. For more information visit my About Page.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Reading Japan: Book List

Reading Japan
As part of my personal Reading Japan Project, I'm keeping track of the books I read that have a connection with Japan, either being written by a Japanese author, or with characters, set in, or relating to Japan in some way.

The following is a list of the Japanese literature and Japan-related books I have reviewed on In Spring it is the Dawn.


Clicking on a title will take you to my review.
Link to this list is available via the Reading Japan tab in the linkbar above.
NF = Non-Fiction, all other titles are fiction.

(If you're looking for more JLit reading inspirations, books that I have acquired but have not read, or have not yet reviewed, can be found in my Reading Japan: TBR List).

JAPANESE LITERATURE
(Alphabetical by Author. Unless otherwise noted, these books were originally published in Japanese and read in translation.)

Abe, Kobo - The Woman in the Dunes
Akutagawa, Ryunosuke - Rashomon and other stories
CLAMP - xxxHolic, vol. 1 (manga)
Hino, Matsuri - Vampire Knight, v. 1-3 (manga)
Ibuse, Masuji - Black Rain (based on true accounts)
Ichikawa, Takuji - Be With You
Ishiguro, Kazuo - An Artist of the Floating World (British, written in English)
Iwasaki, Mineko - Geisha of Gion (NF)
Kadohata, Cynthia - Kira-Kira (American of Japanese descent, written in English)
Kanehara, Hitomi - Snakes & Earrings
Katayama, Kyoichi - Socrates in Love
Kawabata, Yasunari - The Dancing Girl of Izu and other stories
Kawabata, Yasunari - Snow Country
Kawabata, Yasunari - Thousand Cranes
Kawakami, Sumie - Goodbye Madame Butterfly: Sex, Marriage and the Modern Japanese Woman (NF)
Kirino, Natsuo - Out
Kirino, Natsuo - Grotesque
Komomo (& Naoyuki Ogino) - A Geisha's Journey: My Life as a Kyoto Apprentice (NF)
Miyabe, Miyuki - All She Was Worth
Mori, Kaoru - Emma, vol. 1 (manga)
Mori, Kaoru - Emma, vol. 2 - 7 (manga)
Mori, Kaoru - Emma, vol. 8 (manga)
Mori, Kaoru - Emma, vol. 9 & 10 (manga)
Mori, Kyoko - Polite Lies: On Being a Woman Caught Between Cultures (Japanese American, written in English)
Murakami, Haruki - After Dark
Murakami, Haruki - after the quake
Murakami, Haruki - The Elephant Vanishes
Murakami, Haruki - Kafka on the Shore
Murakami, Ryu - Audition
Murakami, Ryu - In the Miso Soup
Ōe, Kenzaburo - The Silent Cry
Ogawa, Ito - The Restaurant of Love Regained
Ogawa, Yoko - The Housekeeper and the Professor
Ogawa, Yoko - Hotel Iris
Shonagon, Sei - The Pillow Book
Suzuki, D.T. - Zen Buddhism: Selected Writings (NF)
Tanizaki, Junichiro - The Makioka Sisters
Tawada, Yoko - The Bridegroom was a Dog
Tsutsui, Yasutaka - Paprika
Ueda, Akinari - Tales of Moonlight and Rain
Urasawa, Naoki - Monster, vol. 1 (manga)
Watanabe, Jun'ichi - Beyond the Blossoming Fields
Yamada, Taichi - Strangers
Yamamoto, Tsunetomo - Hagakure: The Code of the Samurai (manga)
Yoshimoto, Banana - Kitchen

JAPAN-RELATED BOOKS
(Alphabetical by Title)

The Ash Garden - Dennis Bock
Big in Japan: A Ghost Story - M. Thomas Gammarino
The Character of Rain - Amélie Nothomb
Clouds Over Mountains - Matt Joseph
Hitching Rides with Buddha - Will Ferguson (travel memoir)
How to Be an American Housewife - Margaret Dilloway
Kuhaku & Other Accounts from Japan - Bruce Rutledge (editor) (essays, stories)
Kwaidan: Ghost Stories and Strange Tales of Old Japan - Lafcadio Hearn
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
Plum Wine - Angela Davis-Gardner
Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne - Ben Hills (NF)
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes - Eleanor Coerr
Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created Its Own Lost Generation - Michael Zielenziger (NF)
Taroko Gorge - Jacob Ritari
A Year in Japan - Kate T. Williamson (NF)

Rei Shimura mystery series by Sujata Massey:
Zen Attitude
The Flower Master
The Floating Girl
The Bride's Kimono

Monday, January 21, 2008

Reading Japan

As you know, if you've been following my blog, I've been trying to read more Japanese Literature over the last couple of years since we moved back to Japan. As it's not a passing fancy, and I'd like to learn more about this place I call home (at least for now), I've decided instead of a yearly challenge, I'm going to approach it as a long-term personal project. I won't set myself a set number of books to read in a certain time but I'll keep it in mind and fit in the books whenever I can or am in the mood to. I figure a button on my blog can't hurt though as a reminder. I'll also continue to list my reads in case anyone is interested, especially after Bellezza's Japanese Literature Challenge has got us motivated. And since my interest is not only in Japanese authors but in all things Japanese, I'll include books about or set in Japan but written by non-Japanese writers on my list too.

In addition to my general plan to read about Japan, I've also decided that 2008 will be the year that I finally read The Tale of Genji, all 1200 or so pages of it!
Why this year? While it's under debate exactly when she lived and died and wrote Genji monogatari, 1008 often comes up as the year it may have been completed. In fact, while we were taking the shinkansen back to Tokyo after our New Year's holiday, the scrolling news reader at the end of the car mentioned that this was the 1000th anniversary, so speeding through the countryside at 300 km/h I decided that being the anniversary year, it was meant to be.
To get in the mood, I think I'll read Liza Dalby's The Tale of Murasaki first, historical fiction about the life of the author, which I've had and have been meaning to read for ages, and then read Genji over the course of the year, along with a study guide this time. When I tried to read this a couple of years ago I got quite lost with all the characters and eventually put it back on the shelf after having only read a couple hundred pages. If anyone is at all interested do let me know as I'd love to have someone to read along with. Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

castle guard

Keeping watch in Meijo koen on the grounds of Nagoya Castle.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

'The Elephant Vanishes'

by Haruki Murakami
Fiction/short stories, written between 1980-1990,
copyright 1993, trade pb, Vintage UK, 318 p.
translated from the Japanese by Alfred Birnbaum and Jay Rubin
Salon Interview with Murakami
When a man’s favourite elephant vanishes, the balance of his whole life is subtly upset; a couple’s midnight hunger pangs drive them to hold up a McDonald’s; a woman finds she is irresistible to a small green monster that burrows through her front garden; an insomniac wife wakes up to a twilight world of semi-consciousness in which anything seems possible – even death. In every one of the stories that make up The Elephant Vanishes, Murakami makes a determined assault on the normal. He has a deadpan genius for dislocating realities to uncover the surreal in the everyday, the extraordinary in the ordinary.
When I first started reading Murakami I just didn’t get it. It took me a few tries before I could enjoy his surrealistic style and the ambiguous endings. I still think I need to be in the right mood for his stuff but when I am, what fun. I really enjoyed this collection of stories. There was spaghetti, some cats, a couple of missing wives, a dancing dwarf, an elephant factory and Noboru Watanabe showed up a few times, just to mention a few. There are certainly some themes that he can’t seem to help but keep returning to and it was interesting to read the short story that spawned The Wind-up Bird Chronicle. Some of the stories were more realistic but even the more bizarre ones sucked me in from the beginning. His way of describing even the little details made the stories come alive whether of this realm of consciousness or not. This collection had been on my shelves for quite some time. I’m glad I finally got around to reading it and I look forward to reading more by Murakami in the future.

My Rating: 4/5
(#2 for 2008, Japanese Literature Challenge #3, What's in a Name Challenge - 'Animal')

Friday, January 18, 2008

Author Index

A list of all books reviewed on In Spring it is the Dawn since January 2006, in alphabetical order by Author. Clicking on the title will take you to my review.

If you prefer, please visit the Title Index which lists all the reviews alphabetically by Title.

A

Abe, Kobo - The Woman in the Dunes
Achebe, Chinua - Things Fall Apart
Akutagawa, Ryunosuke - Rashomon and other stories
Atwood, Margaret - The Handmaid's Tale
Atwood, Margaret - Surfacing
Austen, Jane - The Watsons
Austen, Jane - Northanger Abbey
Auster, Paul - Moon Palace

B

Babbitt, Natalie - Tuck Everlasting
Bantock, Nick - Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence
Bantock, Nick - Sabine's Notebook: In Which the Extraordinary Correspondence of Griffin & Sabine Continues
Bantock, Nick - The Golden Mean: In Which the Extraordinary Correspondence of Griffin & Sabine Concludes
Bashir, Halima (& Damien Lewis) - Tears of the Desert: One Woman's True Story of Surviving the Horrors of Darfur
Benioff, David - The 25th Hour
Berg, Elizabeth - Range of Motion
Blau, Jessica Anya - Drinking Closer to Home
Blunt, Giles - Forty Words for Sorrow
Blunt, Giles - The Delicate Storm
Bock, Dennis - Ash Garden
Bradbury, Ray - Fahrenheit 451
Bray, Libba - A Great and Terrible Beauty
Brontë, Emily - Wuthering Heights
Brookner, Anita - Hotel du Lac
Brown, Dan - The Da Vinci Code
Bryson, Bill - The Mother Tongue
Buck, Pearl S. - The Good Earth

C

Capote, Truman - In Cold Blood
Capote, Truman - Other Voices, Other Rooms
Capote, Truman - Breakfast at Tiffany's
Chandler, Raymond - The Big Sleep
Chessex, Jacques - The Vampire of Ropraz
CLAMP - xxxHolic, vol. 1
Clark, Susanna - Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Coelho, Paulo - The Alchemist
Coerr, Eleanor - Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
Colette - Gigi and The Cat
Collins, Suzanne - The Hunger Games
Collins, Wilkie - Who Killed Zebedee?
Collins, Wilkie - The Frozen Deep
Cooper, Ron - Purple Jesus

D

Davis-Gardner, Angela - Plum Wine
de Lint, Charles - Dingo
Dermansky, Marcy - Bad Marie
Dibdin, Michael - Vendetta
DiCamillo, Kate - The Tale of Despereaux
Dickens, Charles - A Tale of Two Cities
Dilloway, Margaret - How to Be an American Housewife
Doerr, Anthony - About Grace

E

Eggers, Dave (editor) - McSweeney's 18
Eggers, Dave (editor) - McSweeney's 19
Eggers, Dave (editor) - McSweeney's Issue 20
Eggers, Dave (editor) - McSweeney's Issue 21
Eliot, T.S. - Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats
Enger, Leif - Peace Like a River
Epstein, Jennifer Cody - The Painter of Shanghai
Etzioni-Halevy, Eva - The Triumph of Deborah

F

Ferguson, Will - Hitching Rides with Buddha
Ferguson, Will & Ian - How to Be a Canadian
Fforde, Jasper - The Fourth Bear
Fitzgerald, F. Scott - The Great Gatsby
Ford, Jamie - Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Frank, Anne - The Diary of a Young Girl
Frank, Anne - Tales from the Secret Annex
Freese, Mathias B. - Down to a Sunless Sea
Fuqua, Jonathon Scott - In the Wake of the Boatman

G

Gaiman, Neil - Coraline
Gaiman, Neil - The Sandman: Endless Nights
Gaiman, Neil - The Graveyard Book
Gammarino, M. Thomas - Big in Japan: A Ghost Story
Gaudé, Laurent - The Scortas' Sun
Gleason, Colleen - The Rest Falls Away
Gleason, Colleen - Rises the Night
Gleason, Colleen - The Bleeding Dusk
Gleason, Colleen - When Twilight Burns
Gleason, Colleen - As Shadows Fade
Golden, Arthur - Memoirs of a Geisha
Green, Jane - Straight Talking
Green, John - Looking for Alaska

H

Hagen, Steve - Buddhism: Plain & Simple
Hale, Shannon - Austenland
Hall, Megan Kelley - Sisters of Misery
Hamilton, Masha - 31 Hours
Hari, Daoud (with Dennis Michael Burke & Megan M. McKenna) - The Translator: A Tribesman's Memoir of Darfur
Harris, Joanne - Sleep, Pale Sister
Hearn, Lafcadio - Kwaidan: Ghost Stories and Strange Tales of Old Japan
Henkin, Joshua - Matrimony
Herz, Christopher - The Last Block in Harlem
Heyer, Georgette - The Quiet Gentleman
Heyer, Georgette - Sylvester, or The Wicked Uncle
Hills, Ben - Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne
Hino, Matsuri - Vampire Knight, v. 1-3
Høeg, Peter - Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow
Hoffmann, E.T.A. - The King's Bride
Hornby, Nick - Housekeeping vs. The Dirt
Hornby, Nick - Shakespeare Wrote for Money
Host, Carrie - Between Me and the River: Living Beyond Cancer
Houston, Jeanne Wakatsuki (& James D. Houston) - Farewell to Manzanar

I

Ibuse, Masuji - Black Rain
Ichikawa, Takuji - Be With You
Ishiguro, Kazuo - An Artist of the Floating World
Itani, Frances - Deafening
Iwasaki, Mineko - Geisha of Gion

J

James, Emmett - Admit One: My Life in Film
James, Henry - The Turn of the Screw and The Aspern Papers
James, Henry - Daisy Miller
Joseph, Matt - Clouds Over Mountains

K

Kadohata, Cynthia - Kira-Kira
Kanehara, Hitomi - Snakes & Earrings
Katayama, Kyoichi - Socrates in Love
Kawabata, Yasunari - The Dancing Girl of Izu and other stories
Kawabata, Yasunari - Snow Country
Kawabata, Yasunari - Thousand Cranes
Kawakami, Sumie - Goodbye Madame Butterfly: Sex, Marriage and the Modern Japanese Woman
Kearsley, Susanna - The Winter Sea
Keller, Nora Okja - Comfort Woman
Kim, Suki - The Interpreter
Kimball, Michael - Dear Everybody
Kirino, Natsuo - Out
Kirino, Natsuo - Grotesque
Kolata, Gina - Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus That Caused It
Komomo (& Naoyuki Ogino) - A Geisha's Journey: My Life as a Kyoto Apprentice
Krauss, Nicole - The History of Love

L

Laski, Marghanita - Little Boy Lost
L'Engle, Madeleine - A Wrinkle in Time
Lippman, Laura - Every Secret Thing
Listfield, Emily - Best Intentions
Lowe, Sheila - Written in Blood

M

MacDonald, Ann-Marie - The Way the Crow Flies
Mackenzie, Vicki - Cave in the Snow
MacLeod, Alistair - No Great Mischief
Madden, Matt - 99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style
Mandel, Emily St. John - Last Night in Montreal
Mandel, Emily St. John - The Singer's Gun
Mankell, Henning - Faceless Killers
Mankell, Henning - The Dogs of a Riga
Marquez, Gabriel Garcia - Love in the Time of Cholera
Massey, Sujata - Zen Attitude
Massey, Sujata - The Flower Master
Massey, Sujata - The Floating Girl
Massey, Sujata - The Bride's Kimono
McCarthy, Cormac - The Road
Meyer, Stephenie - Twilight (re-read April 2009)
Meyer, Stephenie - New Moon
Meyer, Stephenie - Eclipse
Meyer, Stephenie - Breaking Dawn
Mitchell, Margaret - Gone With the Wind
Miyabe, Miyuki - All She Was Worth
Mori, Kaoru - Emma, vol. 1
Mori, Kaoru - Emma, vol. 2 - 7
Mori, Kaoru - Emma, vol. 8
Mori, Kaoru - Emma, vol. 9 & 10
Mori, Kyoko - Polite Lies: On Being a Woman Caught Between Cultures
Munro, Alice - The Love of a Good Woman
Murakami, Haruki - After Dark
Murakami, Haruki - after the quake
Murakami, Haruki - The Elephant Vanishes
Murakami, Haruki - Kafka on the Shore
Murakami, Ryu - Audition
Murakami, Ryu - In the Miso Soup

N

Nawaz, Saleema - Mother Superior
Norman, Howard - The Museum Guard
Nothomb, Amélie - The Book of Proper Names
Nothomb, Amélie - The Character of Rain

O

Oates, Joyce Carol - Black Water
Oates, Joyce Carol - I am no one you know
Oates, Joyce Carol - Them
Ōe, Kenzaburo - The Silent Cry
Ogawa, Ito - The Restaurant of Love Regained
Ogawa, Yoko - The Housekeeper and the Professor
Ogawa, Yoko - Hotel Iris
Orringer, Julie - How to Breathe Underwater
Ortego, Sheila - The Road from La Cueva
Orwell, George - Nineteen Eighty-Four

P

Patchett, Ann - State of Wonder
Pedrosa, Cyril - Three Shadows
Penney, Stef - The Tenderness of Wolves
Penny, Louise - Still Life
Petersen, David - Mouse Guard: Fall 1152
Petersen, David - Mouse Guard: Winter 1152
Picoult, Jodi - Plain Truth
Pierre, DBC - Vernon God Little
Pittard, Hannah - The Fates Will Find Their Way
Plath, Sylvia - The Bell Jar
Potter, William R. - Lighting the Dark Side
Price, Reynolds - Roxanna Slade
Proulx, Annie - Close Range
Proulx, Annie - The Shipping News
Pullman, Philip - Once Upon a Time in the North

Q

Queneau, Raymond - The Flight of Icarus

R

Rankin, Ian - Knots & Crosses
Rankin, Ian - Hide & Seek
Ritari, Jacob - Taroko Gorge
Roberts, Jeff - Little Stories
Rosoff, Meg - How I Live Now
Rowling, J.K. - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Rowling, J.K. - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Rowling, J.K. - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Rowling, J.K. - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Rowling, J.K. - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Rowling, J.K. - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Rowling, J.K. - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Rowling, J.K. - The Tales of Beedle the Bard
Rutledge, Bruce (editor) - Kuhaku & Other Accounts from Japan

S

Sagan, Françoise - Bonjour Tristesse
Satrapi, Marjane - Embroideries
Sedaris, David - Holidays on Ice
See, Lisa - Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
Setterfield, Diane - The Thirteenth Tale
Shelton, Sandi Kahn - Kissing Games of the World
Shonagon, Sei - The Pillow Book
Shriver, Lionel - We Need to Talk About Kevin
Smith, Alexander McCall - The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Smith, Alexander McCall - Tears of the Giraffe
Smith, Zadie - White Teeth
Solstad, Dag - Shyness & Dignity
Sparks, Nicholas - The Notebook
Spiegelman, Art - Maus I & II
Stevenson, Robert Louis - The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Other Tales of Terror
Stoker, Bram - Dracula
Süskind, Patrick - Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Suzuki, D.T. - Zen Buddhism: Selected Writings

T

Tamaki, Mariko & Jillian - Skim
Tawada, Yoko - The Bridegroom was a Dog
Tanizaki, Junichiro - The Makioka Sisters
Tolstoy, Leo - The Death of Ivan Ilyich
Tremblay, Michel - The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant
Trevor, William - The Story of Lucy Gault
Tsutsui, Yasutaka - Paprika

U

Ueda, Akinari - Tales of Moonlight and Rain
Urasawa, Naoki - Monster, vol. 1

V

Van Booy, Simon - The Secret Lives of People in Love
Vann, David - Caribou Island
Vann, David - Sukkwan Island
Vassanji, M.G. - The Book of Secrets

W

Warren, Frank (editor) - PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives
Wastvedt, Tricia - The River
Watanabe, Jun'ichi - Beyond the Blossoming Fields
Wheeler, Karen - Tout Sweet: Hanging Up My High Heels for a New Life in France
Williams, Niall - The Fall of Light
Williamson, Kate T. - A Year in Japan
Winspear, Jacqueline - Maisie Dobbs
Winspear, Jacqueline - Birds of a Feather

X


Y

Yamada, Taichi - Strangers
Yamamoto, Tsunetomo - Hagakure: The Code of the Samurai
Yoshimoto, Banana - Kitchen

Z

Zielenziger, Michael - Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created Its Own Lost Generation
Zipp, Steve - Yellowknife
Zusak, Markus - The Book Thief