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What are you reading at the moment?

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thomas

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Being curious by nature, I'd really like to know what everybody's reading at the moment (always interested in finding a good read!). :D

I have the terrible habit of indulging in many books at once. if things get out of hand, some of them remain unread. So, here is what I am currently into:

"The Electric Geisha - Exploring Japan's Popular Culture", written in the late 80s, still up-to-date and insightful.

Decided to reread Shusaku Endo's oeuvre: "The Volcano", "Samurai" and "Silence". Endo, a Catholic, focuses on Japan's Christian history and sets many of his stories in the seventeenth century when Japanese Christians were persecuted.

"Fortunate Son : The Autobiography of Lewis B. Puller, Jr": I admit that I acquired this book only because its author and I share the same family name, perhaps a distant relative?? ;)

That's all I can recall reading at the moment.
 

Twisted

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Reading? What is that? :D
Actually, I wish i had time to read more.
I'm still muddling through one book for three years already.
It's called "Japanese for busy people" but it doesn' t work for me. I'm just too busy...:(

Peter
 
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thomas

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Hehe, only three years? ;)

This blue cover haunts me since ages, along with dozens of CDs, tapes and other language books . I wish Nahoko kicked me more to study nihongo...
 

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Electric Geisha, I've read that one too, although it's been quite a while (isn't there a web site by the same name?). While we're at geishas: I finished 'Memoirs of a Geisha' by Arthur Golden a couple of weeks ago, found it interesting.
 

kinjo

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I think one of the best books to read and feel the pain and beauty of writing is "Kokoro" by Natsume soseki.
Just dont miss reading it. I have only read the English translation but was it good!!! just great!!
 

TomAsInfinity

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I really want to read Electric Geisha and Memoirs because I've not read any Geisha books yet. Seen some documentaries and seems really interesting

I'm currently ploughing through Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami, one of my faves. A really memorable book (it's about memory as well) and one of the only books I truly connected with (laughed, nearly cried too). Its melodrama got to me in a big way
 
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thomas

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Oh, the "Electric Geisha" is not specifically geisha-related. The term 'electric geisha' was used in the 80s as a metaphor for karaoke sing-along machines. The book itself was written by a group of Japanese contributors and deals with Japanese popular culture, touching issues such as lifestyle, gender problems, women's lib, foreigners, sexual relations and so forth.

I also recommend this one (on the geisha topic) =>

http://books.japanreference.com/review.cgi?ID=9

I am a great fan of Murakami too, even though I had to read some of his books twice to understand them. ;)
 
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moyashi

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Junichiro Tanizaki is Great so is Soseki. Oe is stuck on his own child which relates directly in his stories a lot.

Reading a booking on what to expect for a baby in their first year.
 
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I've read Tanizaki's "Diary of an Old Man", his most famous oeuvre I think. I have started, but never finished, some of Oe's books. He seems to be popular in Germany, nearly all of his works have been translated into German, he's constantly featured in the "Spiegel" or "Die Zeit", popular German magazines.
 

moyashi

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Yeah Oe is pretty difficult to finish.

I would also recommend stories from the Heian period. Yeah, Tale of Genji is the mainstream along with Murasaki Shikibu's senpai Sei Shonagon's "The Pillow Book" which deals with a lot of the daily life at the times.

But getting away from the mainstream favorites you have Yoshitsune, Tale of the Heike, 10 foot Square hut (err actually I forgot the exact size but it's called TsureTsure Gusa" and Gen-go-bei "The mountain of love" (hehe ... first predominately bisexual literature in the world I believe).


Ohhhh another favorite would have to be the Musashi series!

And for somehting to go along with the Electic Geisha I would recommend "Pink Samurai" ;) just in case if you want to get your feet wet. ;)
 

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moyashi

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I'm reading right now, CGI Programming in a week since I just finished the Lama - Learning Perl.

Now, I have to sit down and do the exercises.

:(
 

TomAsInfinity

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LOL. I am reading like 3 different books in one go and got about a third of the way through the Lama book before realising I was a nutter and should check out Java (more relevant). Now, I am reading a short book (collection of articles) called "Tokyo Confidential" which takes wacky stories from the Mainichi Newspaper. But of course, my Japanese language speaking learning book is my trusty sidearm
 

moyashi

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If you're on a mac with OSX Java is the way to go.
also, if you put java apps together they can be used with iMode, while perl is well perl :)
 

TomAsInfinity

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Well I am on a PC. Have never used a Mac (maybe 5 times in total in my life) but would not rule it out because they're sturdy machines. Java is ubiquitous so learning resources are abundant and plus you can write easy peasy scripts as well as take it to an extremely high level of complexity. I have no real reason for learning it right now asides from just being curious. Perl seems much easier but I like the coolness associated with Java
 

thomas

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Macs: I used them at university. They are sturdy and real beauties. Well, we also eat with our eyes.
:)

As for the coolness factor: just depends on your skills, whatever the language. Even with "workhorses" like Perl you can do pretty nifty things.
 

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Murakami Haruki, Hard boiled Wonderland and the end of the world.

Crazy freakin weird crazy stuff.

Before I read a book called 'Shibumi', by (speling?) Treviann
 

kinjo

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I have a question, where's the best palce to find some of these books?
 

thomas

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Murakami is one of my favorites too. Although I had to reread some of his books in order to comprehend...
;)

Jupernia, a good place to search for books is Amazon.com, I order all my English-language books through Amazon. There are lots of other online shops (Barnes & Noble etc). They also auction off second-hand books.
 

TomAsInfinity

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Murakami is a genius in my eyes. He's one of the only authors that I feel I can truly connect with. I am yet to read more of his stuff, but The Windup Bird Chronicle and Harboiled Wonderland are high on my list. Also curious about his book Underground which is a factual report on the Tokyo underground sarin gas incident (he has interviewed victims and commuters and included them in the book). His book "Norwegian Wood" is definitely a desert island book for me. It's one of the only books that really made me emote
 

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During my vacation i found a book (which probably belonged to my sister in law when she was studying English) stuffed away on a bookshelf in my gf's parents' house.

It was called "The Woman in White" written by Wilkie Collins.

Since i had quite some time to spare in the dark and rainy evening-hours in Bangkok i started reading it and found it quite good.

Has anybody (on the forum) ever read this book?
 

Maciamo

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I've read Tokyo Confidential a few months ago as well. It's was my first confrontation with Japanese subculture and came quite as a shock. It's basically a collection of waiwai stories from the Mainichi Online.

I'm also reading a few books at a time. I've quickly finished "Kitchen", by Banana Yoshimoto. I was disappointed. Nothing special with this book. Anybody could take their pen and write something similar.

Now I'm in "The roads to Sata", Alan Booth's journey on foot from the Northernmost tip of Japan to the Southernmost one. This guy has a gift for writing. His vocabulary id impressive. He manage to describe any banal things like if it were truly magical.

Not related to Japan, I've started "a history of the British Empire".
 

moyashi

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Alan's book sounds the most interesting. I like reading those who have that knack.
 

thomas

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I also failed to see Banana Yoshimoto's attraction, but I guess that's just a question of personal taste.

I'm fighting my way through Dower's "War Without Mercy" (unfortunately my time to read is very limited at the moment). A great oeuvre on race and power duing the Pacific War, monumental as all of Dower's studies. The other book I'm reading is Uwe Schmitt's "Tokyo Tango". Schmitt was Japan correspondent of the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung", one of the most renown German dailies. It's basically an award-winning compendium of his J-related articles.
 

Twisted

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I finished "The woman in white" last week and i've now just started to read "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy".

You know, reading is not that bad... It's actually quite inspiring. :)
 
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