Friday, January 23, 2009

Japanese Literature Challenge 2 completed

I don't think I'll be reading any other Japanese literature before the end of the month so I might as well wrap up this challenge now. The goal was to read 3 books by Japanese authors between July 30, 2008 and January 30, 2009. I ended up reading 4 books, most of which came from my list of possibilities.

Books completed:
(Click on the titles to read my reviews, click on the book covers below to read more at Amazon).
A Geisha's Journey: My Life as a Kyoto Apprentice - Komomo (with photography by Naoyuki Ogino)
Grotesque - Natsuo Kirino
After Dark - Haruki Murakami
Rashomon and other stories - Ryunosuke Akutagawa

My favourite of these is Rashomon and other stories. Akutagawa and his stories are so famous and I'm glad to have finally read a few of them. Also, the beautiful glossy photos in A Geisha's Journey have made it a book to keep and admire from time to time.
I didn't like After Dark as much as I have some of Murakami's other books but it was still interesting to read. Grotesque though was quite disappointing. So a mixed result this time around but I do plan to read more by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Haruki Murakami and Natsuo Kirino.

Thank you for being such a wonderful host again, Bellezza, and I'm looking forward to the Japanese Literature Challenge 3!
In the meantime, I'll still be reading Japanese authors as part of my perpetual Reading Japan Project, which I'll post about again next week, recapping what I read in 2008.


  1. Congrats on finishing a challenge already :) Totally proud of you!

  2. Congratulations on finishing the challenge! I started Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World today...fingers crossed that I finish before the end of the note so I can count it still.

  3. I've heard such wonderful things about Rashamon and Other Stories. I must get to that one, maybe in JLC 3? I also want to get to Tales of Genji, but for now I just might content myself with the abridged version. I'm so glad that you finished the challenge, let alone participated in it, Tanabata. You have invaluable insights, and your photographs/Japanese experience makes it especially meaningful to me.

  4. Yay, you finished your challenge! I would like to check out Grotesque and After Dark but I'm not in a rush :)

  5. I finished with 3 books. I also hope Bellezza will hold a 3d Challenge this year.

    I continue to participate in THE READING JAPAN PROJECT.

    Have a wonderful week-end Nat :)

  6. Congratulations on finishing the challenge! I really enjoyed reading the reviews of the books you read for it.

  7. Congratulations on finishing the challenge, Nat!

  8. Congrats on finishing the challenge--you've given me some great ideas of what to read for the next one.

  9. Congratulations on finishing the challenge! I look forward to Challenge III and seeing your thoughts on some more Japanese literature. Your Reading Japan list has also been very inspirational to me :o)

  10. saveophelia - Course this one actually started last year, but thanks! :)

    Nymeth - Hope you're enjoying Hard-boiled Wonderland. I found it such a fun, bizarre read.

    Bellezza - Of course I would participate! It fits in with my general wish to read more Japanese literature so how could I not? :)
    I think you'd totally enjoy Akutagawa's stories. They're more modern than Tales of Moonlight and Rain but there's some similarity. I still want to read The Tale of Genji too. One of these days/months/years...

    Iliana - I'd like to try Real World by Kirino to see how it compares, not sure when though.

    Sylvie - Glad to have you reading Japanese Lit along with me. :)

    Robin - Thanks. I've enjoyed your reviews as well. It's great to hear everyone's thoughts and to get some ideas for future reads.

    Wendy - Thanks! :)

    Trish - That's one of the great things about the challenge, how it gives us ideas of what else to read.

    Terri B. - Thanks! I have so many other Japanese books waiting to be read, I hope to read even more of them this year.

  11. Congrats on completing the challenge! Looks like a great list of books!

    Diary of an Eccentric

  12. Anna - Thanks! I enjoy reading Japanese literature anyway so it's always a fun challenge.


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