Yesterday Bellezza announced the start of the Japanese Literature Challenge 3 and there was absolutely no doubt that I'd be joining in again this year. [Click on the link above or the button for more info]. Even though I've already set myself a perpetual challenge to read more Japanese books, I love the camaraderie of reading along with the other participants and hearing what everyone is reading, so this is one of my favourite challenges and one that I look forward to each year. This year Bellezza has made it super easy on us, requiring us to read only one book! But I have so many that I still want to read that I plan on reading as many as I can get to.
I could probably just direct you to my Reading Japan TBR List, as I do want to read all of them, but these are some of the ones that for one reason or another have worked their way to the top of the pile.
Beyond the Blossoming Fields - Jun'ichi Watanabe
Paprika - Yasutaka Tsutsui
The Sound of Waves - Yukio Mishima (1001*)
Thousand Cranes - Yasunari Kawabata (1001)
Beauty and Sadness - Yasunari Kawabata
Polite Lies: On Being a Woman Caught Between Cultures - Kyoko Mori (NF)
A Pale View of Hills - Kazuo Ishiguro (1001)
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman - Haruki Murakami
The Diving Pool - Yoko Ogawa
The Ocean in the Closet - Yuko Taniguchi
Shipwrecks - Akira Yoshimura
Goodbye Tsugumi - Banana Yoshimoto
Be With You - Takuji Ichikawa
Plus the one I started last night.
Goodbye Madame Butterfly: Sex, Marriage and the Modern Japanese Woman by Sumie Kawakami (NF)
And the two I just ordered yesterday. (Oops! But I decided I just had to have them!)
The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter - Retold by Yasunari Kawabata (1001)
Real World - Natsuo Kirino
*These titles are on the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die List (2008 edition).
One of the reasons I'm particularly interested in reading about Japan is, as you know, because I'm currently living in this strange, fascinating land, and have even married one of the locals! I've been wanting to focus a little more on Japanese books here on my blog for a while, so in conjunction with the Japanese Literature challenge, and as part of my own Reading Japan Project, I'm dedicating most of my left sidebar to Japanese literature for the rest of the year, at least. Ideally I'd like to keep a Japanese flavour to my blog for the foreseeable future, although of course I will be reading and talking about plenty of non-Japanese books too. Like for my Reading Japan Project, the majority of the titles will be by Japanese authors, but I also enjoy reading books about Japan by non-Japanese authors, some of which I think are worth mentioning as well. A list of all the books I've read so far can be found by clicking on the Reading Japan tab above. I'll be adding more books to the sidebar as I go along, but for now I have 3 Reading Japan sections (just scroll down past Reviews Pending):
Fantastic Fiction - Japanese literature that I've read, and enjoyed.
Notable Non-Fiction - Books about Japanese culture, society, etc. that I've read and found enlightening.
The TBR Pile - The Japanese-related books on my shelves waiting to be read. Most of the ones listed above that I hope to read for the challenge can be found here.
I'd also like to have a regular Featured Book, which I've added to the upper right sidebar, just below the quote. These will be those Japanese books that I've especially enjoyed and want to either remind you of or bring to your attention. I haven't received any solicitation to promote these particular books, these are just books I think deserve notice and is simply a feature I thought would be a nice addition to my blog. However, if any publishers have Japanese titles they'd like me to showcase, get in touch and we'll see if it's something that I think would be of interest.
So I hope you'll be able to find some good Japanese literature titles here over the next few months, and beyond. I still want to tweak a few things but let me know what you think of the new features and if there's anything else you'd like to see. And I hope you'll consider joining in the challenge. Thanks so much for hosting again Bellezza. I'm looking forward to reading some great Japanese literature together!