As June approaches, so my thoughts turn to Japanese literature. For that is when I typically begin the Japanese Literature Challenge which runs through January. I wondered how I would make it fresh this year, but my friend Parrish Lantern felt that it needs no added incentive; reading Japanese Literature is its own reward. For those of us who love it, that is surely so.
But, I’ve been reading Jacqui‘s, and MarinaSofia‘s, posts concerning their #TBR20 (stack of twenty books waiting to be read), and I realized I’d like to do the same with my own stack of Japanese literature. It has accumulated to double stacked shelves, since the first Japanese Literature Challenge begun in 2006, and now I plan to read these books for the ninth Japanese Literature Challenge this year:
I Haven’t Dreamed of Flying For Awhile by Taichi Yamada (purchased because I loved Strangers so much);
Evil and The Mask and Last Winter We Parted by Fuminori Nakamura (because I loved The Thief so much);
Asleep and The Lake by Banana Yoshimoto (because a dear friend bought me Asleep when she heard how much I enjoyed Kitchen, and I was sent a first edition of The Lake years ago);
South of the Border, West of The Sun, After the Quake,and Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami (because those are the only three books left that I haven’t read of all he’s written);
Spring Snow and Runaway Horses by Yukio Mashima (because they are books 1 and 2 of his Sea of Fertility series);
The Decay of the Angel and The Temple of Dawn by Yukio Mishima (because they are books 3 and 4 of the Sea of Fertility series);
Nocturnes and Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, as well as:
A Pale View of Hills and The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro (because the only book I’ve read by him is The Remains of The Day)
Naomi and Seven Japanese Tales by Junichiro Tanizaki (because I’ve not yet read anything by him, and the Tanizaki Prize is one of the most sought-after writing awards in Japan).
Soon the Japanese Literature Challenge 9 will begin. The review site is here, where those who wish to participate can leave links to their reviews. As a reminder, the challenge runs from June, 2015 until January, 2016, and all you “have” to do is read at least one work of Japanese Literature.
The review site has a page called Suggested Reading in case you’re looking for further titles. However, if anyone wishes to read any of the books I have listed above, I would love to have a shared read together. Just let me know.
I hope you are as eager to begin as I, and remember these famous words from Haruki Murakami: “Whatever it is you’re seeking won’t come in the form you’re expecting.”
We will hold ourselves wide open to possibility.