Good afternoon, bibliophiles and otakus. Today, I wanted to share with you all of the books that I have acquired since about March of this year up until the past week or so. I am very blessed with wonderful friends and family who know that in times of stress I thoroughly enjoying buying books to help alleviate my discomfort. However, since finances have been a bit a tight, I have not indulged in my bookish shopping shenanigans like I normally do. Yet, I still ended up with quite a pile of novels thanks to these awesome people surprising me with book mail and random gifts whenever they could, most of which came from Sir Betrothed! There are also a few that I found for a dollar or two at my local used bookstore!
I have about eighteen books to share today and everything will be categorised by genre! Please, take a look and see if there is anything here that catches your interest. If you’ve read any of these, please let me know in the comments what you thought of them, spoiler-free if possible as I’ve not read any of them quite yet!
Speed Tribes: Days and Nights with Japan’s Next Generation by Karl Taro Greenfield is an #OwnVoices Japanese non-fiction novel that takes a look into the violent subcultures of Japan to debunk dramatic Western perceptions of a controlled and orderly society.
Snow Country Tales: Life in the Other Japan by Bokushi Suzuki is an #OwnVoices Japanese non-fiction novel inspired by Yasunari Kawabata’s novel, Snow Country, takes a look at the colder areas of Japan’s snowy regions to discuss nature and everyday living in order to shed life on the quieter and rather unknown parts of Japanese culture and society.
Silver Like Dust: One Family’s Story of America’s Japanese Internment by Kimi Cunningham Grant is an #OwnVoices Japanese non-fiction narrative about the author’s grandmother. She had always been a very silent woman and the key to connecting Kimi to her Japanese heritage. Desperate to fit in in her rural Pennsylvania home, Kimi spurned her Japanese roots. Yet, she had always been fascinated and haunted by the part of her grandmother’s life that she [grandmother] rarely spoke of: her experience as a prisoner of the Japanese Internment camps.
The Translation of Love by Lynne Kutsukake is an #OwnVoices Japanese historical fiction novel set against the backdrop of occupied Tōkyo. A young girls searched for her missing older sister who has disappeared into a world of bars and dance halls. Meanwhile, her story becomes intertwined with other who are trying to make some semblance of sense of their post-war world: a thirteen-year-old Japanese-Canadian repatriate, a teacher who translates love letters from American GIs, and a Japanese-American soldier who is serving with the Occupation forces.
Cult X by Fuminori Nakamura is an #OwnVoices Japanese psychological crime thriller that is considered to be the author’s magnum opus, diving into the dark parts of psychology of religion, obsession, and social disaffection. When Toru Narazaki’s girlfriend, Ryōko Tachibana disappears, he attempts to track her down. Her past is veiled in mystery after mystery. However, one concrete clue to her whereabouts is revealed, leading Narazaki into the heart of Tōkyo and into a cult of revisionists Buddhists. Plunging into the secretive world of the cult, Narazaki is ready to undergo whatever methods necessary to learn the truth about Ryōko so he can bring her home.
Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata is an #OwnVoices Japanese fiction story follows two sisters, Katie and Lynn Takeshima. They move from their small Japanese community in Iowa to the Deep South of Georgia, where things are vastly different for the two girls. Lynn explains to her younger sister why people are suddenly stopping to stare at the Takeshimas. It is Lynn who inevitably must teach Katie that in order to survive she has to look beyond tomorrow towards the future. But then Lynn becomes desperately ill and the family’s world starts to completely fall to pieces, leaving Katie to put them all back together and to remind them that there is always something to look forward to in the future.
The Thousand Year Beach by Tobi Hirotaka is an #OwnVoices Japanese science-fiction novel that is the first instalment in the Angel of the Ruins series. It takes places during a post-human virtual world that is sealed off from the ruins of earth when suddenly peace is upturned by an arachnid invasion. In an imitation harbour town located in southern Europe known as the Realm of Summer in a virtual resort, human guests had stopped coming to the Realm a thousand years ago, leaving the artificial intelligences alone in an endless summer. However, the sudden arrival of the Spider begins reducing the town to nothing, leaving just a few AIs to prepare for a final and hopeless battle.
Edinburgh by Alexander Chee is an #OwnVoices Korean-American fiction narrative about a twelve-year-old shy Korean-American boy and a newly named section leader of the first sopranos in his local boys’ choir. When Fee learns how the director treats his section leaders, he is so ashamed that he remains silent, never speaking of the abuse, not even when his best friend is next in line. When the director is arrested, Fee tries to forgive himself for his silence, but then his best friend commits suicide.
The Tapestries: A Novel by Kien Nguyen is an #OwnVoices Vietnamese fiction novel that is inspired by the author’s grandfather, who was a tapestry weaver in the last imperial court of Vietnam.
Science-Fiction & Fantasy
Medusa Uploaded by Emily Davenport is a science-fiction thriller that revolves around a generation star-ship that is hiding many secrets. When an Executive clan suspects Oichi Angelis, a worm, of insurgency, they discreetly shove her out of an airlock. One of the secrets contained on the ship finds Oichi. Officially dead, Oichi begins to rebalance power by one assassination at a time and in the process uncovers the shocking truth behind the star-ship and Executive clan members.
Thrawn: Alliances (Star Wars) by Timothy Zahn is the second novel in the science-fiction, space opera series, Star Wars: Thrawn. To avoid giving spoilers for the first book, I will not be sharing a synopsis for this book.
The Omega Project by Steve Alten is a science-fiction, action-adventure thriller novel. Robert Eisenbraun, a tech genius, joins a team of scientists on a mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa to mine a rare ore that would provide Earth’s long-term energy needs. But as they train for the journey, trouble ensues. Eisenbraun is placed into a cold sleep against his will. When he finally wakes, he discovers the ship deserted and upon the surface, Earth has changed horribly. Still determined to complete his mission, Eisenbraun must now face a technological colossus of his own making, one that could destroy Earth entirely.
The Mermaid by Christina Henry is a dark fantasy novel about a mermaid called Amelia who could never be content with living in the sea. She longed to see the wonders of the world and so she came to live on land. There was also a dude named P.T. Barnum who longed to make his fortune by selling the wondrous and miraculous, and there’s more wondrous or miraculous than a mermaid. Amelia agrees to play the part of mermaid for Barnum and walk among human men, believing that she is free to leave whenever she desires. But Barnum, hungry for money, determines to hold on to the richest treasure he’s had yet.
Spinning Silver: A Novel by Naomi Novik is a fantasy novel about Miryem, the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders. When her father is unable to collect the debts that has left his family on the brink of poverty, Miryem takes matters into her own hands. She sets out to claim what is owed and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold.
The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden is the second novel in the The Winternight Trilogy Russian folklore-inspired series. To avoid providing spoilers for the first book, I won’t be providing a synopsis for this book.
Reference & Non-Fiction
Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from east to West and Back by Janice P. Nimura is the non-fiction story about five young girls who were sent to the United States by the Japanese government in 1871 to learn Western ways. Then they were to return in order to assist in nurturing a new generation of enlightened men to lead the country. The book chronicles their journey into San Francisco, where they learned English and Western customs, formulated friendships, and experienced passionate relationships before returning home to Japan ten years later.
Final Fantasy Ultimania Archive Volume I by Square Enix is an artistic history reference book that chronicles the creation of one of the best Japanese role-playing game (JRPG) franchises of all-time. The first volume contains information such as artwork, lore, and history, for games I, II, III, IV, V, and VI.
The Legend of Zelda Encyclopaedia: The Deluxe Edition by Nintendo is a comprehensive collection of enemies and items, potions to poes, and an overall expansion of the lore that is touched upon in Hyrule Historia and Arts and Artefacts. This breath-taking limited-edition collection re-creates the original gold cartridge for the Nintendo Entertainment System with a black polypropylene sleeve, line with velvet frocking, and a gold foil cover with gloss lamination and gritty varnish. There is also gold gilding on the top and fore-edge with black gilding on the bottom.
Thank you for checking out all of the books that I have hauled so far during the Spring and Summer seasons. I would like to offer a humongous thank you to everyone who was kind enough to gift me with books this year. I appreciate your thoughtfulness with the sincerest gratitude. You are lovely people.