Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Japanese Reading Challenge III-a great opportunity to learn for me

Dolce Bellezza's Japanese Literature Challenge is a great challenge-the 2009 Japanese Reading Challenge

here are the rules of the challenge:

This year, all you have to do is read one work of Japanese origin. It can be literature of course, but don’t feel confined to that. You may choose to read poetry, biographies, short stories or even manga. If you are willing to read one such piece, you’ve met the challenge. If you read more, all the better.
I have set the time frame between July 30, 2009 and January 30, 2010."
Some challenges have the potential to consume to much of our often limited reading time.

This challenge is a great opportunity for people like me who have very little or in my case no previous experience with the Japanese novel.
I will read in August “After Dark” by Haruki Murakami. If I like this, I will read “The Wind Up Bird Chronicles”. I know I will get lots of good reading suggestions from posts from challenge participants.
My knowledge of Japanese History comes largely from The History Channel. Speaking of which there is currently on the History Channel a very good two hour show on Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese Diplomat who risked his own life in WWII to provide visas for Jews to escape the Nazis.
I decided I would add to the Japanese Reading challenge “Emperor of Japan: Meiji and his World-1852-1912. This is a serious work of great learning by Donald Keene, a leading translator and authority on pre 20th century Japanese Literature.
I will read one Japanese novel a month until the challenge ends. I will post on what I read as it relates to the reading life.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


Anonymous said...

I hope you like After Dark as much as I did. It's a great introduction to Murakami's work as it's brief, but still holds his excellent writing style. I'm so glad you're participating in the Challenge, Mel, and I'm off to add your name to the Review Site. (

Book Bird Dog said...

A book a month! Good for you! I hope to finish four! By the way, After Dark is one of my favorite books. I recommend it highly.

mee said...

A book a month is pretty ambitious! I'm excited to see what you'll choose. This is one of my favorite challenges as I love Japanese literature. The Wind-up Bird Chronicle is one of my favorite books, along with Norwegian Wood (also Murakami's). I haven't read After Dark though.

Paperback Reader said...

I too loved After Dark and agree that it will make a good introduction to Murakami's work.
I am planning to read Norwegian Wood for the challenge.

Unknown said...

I'm sorry, but I just have to say that the American covers for Murakami books aren't a patch on the British ones ;)

Mel u said...

Tony, I will have to go on The UK Amazon web page to take a look

verbivore said...

I did the Japanese Lit Challenge two years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, I won't be joining in this year but will enjoy reading your thoughts on the Japanese books you read. Murakami is on my list as well...