I've put together a schedule incorporating all the top vote-getters, from Dance Dance Dance with 9 votes to The Sound of the Mountain with 5 votes. This still left a couple of possible slots, but you'll notice that there were 5 books tied at 4 votes each. Which to choose? We'll be reading The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki so instead of Some Prefer Nettles also by Tanizaki, I decided to add The Temple of the Golden Pavilion and The Silent Cry because both of these books are by authors that we have not yet read together. This leaves the two books by Banana Yoshimoto, so I added her in as an extra summer read in which you can read either title from the poll, and we can discuss either or both of them.
Speaking of extra reads, I didn't realize it when I put together the poll from the nominations, but Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami is actually a sequel to A Wild Sheep Chase. I haven't read either yet so I'd like to read A Wild Sheep Chase before Dance Dance Dance, and am happy to discuss it with anyone else who would like to do the same. You'll also notice that I've put The Silent Cry as a two-month read-along even though it's not such a long book. I've only read the first couple of pages but the writing seems dense and one that I think I could personally use some mutual cheerleading to read it so I hope you don't mind. And on the flip side, I've put Battle Royale as a simple book group selection. I realize that Battle Royale is a chunky book, and as such you might expect it to be a read-along divided into sections to be discussed along the way. However, I have a feeling that it'll read fairly quickly, a discussion part-way would invariably include major spoilers, and the way the schedule stands we'll have almost two and a half months to read it. I hope these considerations make sense.
So without any further ado, here is the 2010 schedule for both the Japanese Literature Book Group and Read-along.
Discussion begins on the last Monday of January, March, May*, July, September and November.
January 25th - The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
(March 10th - A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami)
March 29th - Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami
May 10th - Silence by Shusaku Endo
*Please note that the date for May has been moved up from the last Monday to the second Monday. I'm hoping to attend Book Expo America and if I do I won't be able to host the discussion at the end of the month. Sorry for any inconvenience.
July 26th - Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
August 30th - Goodbye Tsugumi and/or Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto
September 27th - The Sound of the Mountain by Yasunari Kawabata
November 29th - The Temple of the Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima
Discussion begins on the 15th of each month that a read-along is scheduled.
February 15th - I Am a Cat by Sōseki Natsume (Volume Three)
March 15th - The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (Book One)
April 15th - The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (Book Two)
May 15th - The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (Book Three)
No read-along scheduled in June.
July 15th - The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki (Book One)
August 15th - The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki (Book Two)
September 15th - The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki (Book Three)
October 15th - The Silent Cry - Kenzaburō Ōe (part 1)
November 15th - The Silent Cry - Kenzaburō Ōe (part 2)
No read-along scheduled in December.
(For specific page information, visit the Read-along page by clicking on the button, or the tab in the linkbar above.)
Are you wondering where The Pillowbook of Sei Shōnagon is? I originally thought of adding it as a regular read-along and reading it over 3 months, but I think The Pillowbook, with its lists and diary-like entries, is the kind of book to savour slowly, so I propose an extra, leisurely read-along starting in February. Much like Kristen M.'s Poe Fridays, my idea is that each week we'll read 10 sections, and every Friday I'll put up a post about the week's reading. You wouldn't have to post each week yourself, you could simply stop by and let us know your thoughts. There are 297 sections, with a few supplementary ones, so 10 a week (with a couple weeks off in the spring for BEA, sorry) will take us pretty much to the end of September. Some entries are very short, others are a couple of pages long but I think 10 a week would be very manageable. How does that sound?
So, are you happy with these schedules? Do let me know if you have any questions or concerns. And as always, you are completely free to pick and choose whichever titles interest you. There is no obligation to join in each time, although of course we'd love to have you. I'm really looking forward to reading and discussing these books with you. Here's to a year of great Japanese literature!
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