Book Expo America and the Book Blogger Convention later in the week. Neither of us had been to New York before so a big book fair seemed a great excuse to finally do so. Of course I'm a little jealous of everyone who is going this year too but last year was a kind of one-shot affair, as it's just not realistic to travel all that way again, as long as we're in Japan anyway. Hopefully I'll get a chance again once we're living in North America, but until then, that's where Armchair BEA comes in, a kind of virtual version of the main event.
I haven't actually been reading a lot, or blogging much at all, since the huge earthquake and tsunami in March (we're fine, it was scary but we weren't directly affected), and actually even before that as well, but I'm hoping Armchair BEA will help me get back on track. So for Day One of Armchair BEA, a little about me, and my little corner of the blogosphere, with a couple questions borrowed from the Armchair BEA site.
Tell us about yourself in 140 characters or less. (From my Twitter profile)
A Canadian in Japan. English teacher, night owl, amateur photographer and proud book geek.
I've lived in Japan for about 10 years now, with a 4 year stint in England in between (4 years in Japan, 4 years in England, and now 6 years in Japan). And no, I still can't speak much Japanese. I may teach English but I'm a terrible student! My husband and I live in the suburbs of Tokyo with our two very silly cats, and in our free time, we can often be found out somewhere with our cameras in search of nature amongst all the neon. Earlier this month we headed into the mountainous area to the west of Tokyo to see the shiba zakura (literally translated as 'lawn cherry blossoms').
I started blogging about 5 years ago and over that time this blog has changed considerably, but for a while now the focus here has been on Japanese literature, with a bit of Japanese food and culture along the way. To that end I host a monthly mini-challenge called Hello Japan! Each month there is a different task which relates to some aspect of life in Japan, and May is Mystery Month. Anyone is welcome to join in any time. It's simply meant to be a fun way to experience a little bit of Japan, regardless of where you live. I also host a very casual Japanese Literature Book Group every couple of months, to read and discuss some Japanese lit together. Sometimes classics, sometimes contemporary novels. Next month we're reading The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe and we'd love to have you join us.
What book are you looking forward to reading the most in 2011?
Haruki Murakami's 1Q84! It will finally be out in English this October and I can't wait! By the way, I'm also hosting the Haruki Murakami Reading Challenge.
I don't only read or blog about Japanese authors though. I guess my first love is literary fiction, and lit in translation, but I also add contemporary, YA, crime, manga, non-fiction, fantasy and so on into the mix now and then too. As my very overcrowded bookshelves can attest too. For a somewhat small Japanese apartment, I've got a LOT of books!
As for how I'm going to Armchair BEA this week, I'm probably not going to do all of the daily writing prompts, instead I'd like to share some of my experiences at last year's BEA that I never got around to posting for one reason or another. (I blame the jetlag!) I'll also be giving away a couple of books from last year, and I'm looking forward to re-connecting with some long-time favourites and meeting some new bloggers this week. It looks like a fun week ahead!
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