March has come to an end and along with it so has Japanese Literature Challenge 12, organised by the lovely Meredith at Dolce Belezza and running from January to March.
With my current job and living situation it’s kind of hard for me to find as much time to read as I used to, so when coming up with my TBR I knew I had to set up realistic goals, otherwise I would just fail miserably and end up putting more unnecessary stress to myself.
I had included four books in my TBR:
- Masks by Enchi Fumiko
- A Midsummer’s Equation by Higashino Keigo
- And Then by Soseki Natsume
- Three Japanese Short Stories by Akutagawa Ryunosuke, Nagai Kafu and Uno Koji (Penguin Modern Classics #5)
I managed to finish and review three out of the four (I have linked my reviews of those titles above). As for And Then by Soseki Natsume, I started reading it but I didn’t have time to finish it before the month (and the challenge) ended, so I decided not to rush it. I will probably post my review of it sometime in April or May.
Poison Woman: Figuring Female Transgression in Modern Japanese Culture by Christine L. Marran, an academic book, was also in my list, as a little extra. Although I didn’t finish it, I did manage to read a couple of chapters and oh boy did it remind me how much I actually miss academia…
Lastly, I had set out to read three stories in Japanese from 20の短編小説 [20 no tanpen shosetsu], an anthology of 20 short stories by various contemporary Japanese authors. I ended up reading two stories, 「マダガスカル・バナナフランベを２０本」by Natsuo Kirino and 「いま二十歳の貴女たちへ」by Shiraishi Kazufumi. I was very disappointed in the Kirino story, even though I have thoroughly enjoyed her mystery/crime novels I’ve read. Shiraishi’s story was actually an essay on various thoughts about life during one’s 20s and what’s considered right and wrong – quite enjoyable to read and I also liked his writing style.
So, overall, even though I didn’t end up finishing all the books in my TBR, I did read some of everything so I deem this challenge a success! Next year’s challenge will probably take place in January and last for only one month, but I’m eagerly anticipating it anyway.
Did you take part in Japanese Literature Challenge 12? Which books did you read? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂