Man, I haven’t written up a haul post since September! I think this is a good thing, actually, because it means that I have been reading more library books and owned books, and as such saving up money. At least I hope that I’m saving money.
Since it’s the end of the year, I thought it would be fun to chat a bit about some of the books that I have acquired during the Autumn and Winter seasons thus far. My excitement is slightly uncontainable as every book on this list is an #OwnVoices books of sorts and nearly all of them were found at marvellously discounted prices via local second-hand bookstores.
I have listed all of the books and respective information about them down below. If the book is one that I’ve read and reviewed, a link to my review shall also be provided.
Gandhi: An Autobiography – The Story of My Experiments with Truth by Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi
This is an #OwnVoices Indian non-fiction memoir of Mahatma Gandhi’s life. I have always been quite fascinated by this extraordinary historical figure. I feel that not only can I learn about an important part of world history by reading this, but also Indian history, and even culture. I did read a small section of it before buying it, and I also feel that the book will be very inspiring.
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence: After the Long Goodbye by Masaki Yamada
This an #OwnVoices Japanese science-fiction novel follows the infamous character Batō from the anime franchise, Ghost in the Shell. Batō is a cyborg without a family. He has an electronic brain that never dreams, yet he recently had a dream about having a son! Discovered at a used bookstore for a couple of dollars, I had to grab this. Not only is it from one of my favourite serials of all-time, it’s also about a character that I utterly adore.
Moshi Moshi by Banana Yoshimoto
An #OwnVoices Japanese, magical realism novel about a young woman who has dreams about her late father, where she is either communicating with him via a phone or where he is searching for a phone. Convinced that her father is trying to send her a message from the afterlife, she goes on a journey to decipher it. Yoshimoto is one of my most-beloved authors of the Japanese genre and this book is one I’ve been wanting to purchase for a long time!
The Nakano Thrift Shop by Hiromi Kawakami
Another #OwnVoices Japanese novel, a contemporary this time, by an author who has grown into my top five favourite writes ever. After reading another one of her novels, I absolutely couldn’t resist picking up this one. It follows a small group of workers at a local thrift shop and the different ways that they exist, whether involving romance or grief or friendship.
No-No Boy by John Okada
Credited with being the very first Japanese-American novel (and the main reason I had to have it), this #OwnVoices read is about Japanese life during post-war America, and the examination of how Japanese-Americans were disowned by their own country, and the prolonged effects of such trauma, as well as the struggle that many Japanese-Americans had with modernising via a Western influence.
Ring by Kōji Suzuki
The #OwnVoices Japanese horror novel that has sprouted a whole film franchise, The Ring felt like a must-have for someone who is obsessed with the genre. I didn’t look up a synopsis for it because I don’t want to know anything about it prior to reading it. The whole reason I haven’t seen the films yet is because I wanted to read the original source material first.
Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami
One of my favourite #OwnVoices Japanese contemporaries ever, the book follows a woman in her mid-thirties who meets and connects with her former high school teacher. Together they formulate a unique bond that explores the many depths and fears of what it means to get older. Check out my review where I chat about the brilliance of the narrative without spoilers. I recommend this to every single reader possible.
The Strangeness of Beauty by Lydia Minatoya
Another #OwnVoices Japanese-American historical novel that follows a young woman named Etsuko who raises her sister’s daughter when her sister passes in childbirth. The story takes us from Seattle to Japan and is rich with Japanese culture and history. The prose style is awkward, but I think it works for the type of memoir-style narrative that it is.
The Way of Life by Lao Tzu
This is an #OwnVoices Chinese novel that shares eighty-one poems that serve as the foundation for Taoism. I have always been interested in Taoism, especially due to its influence on Chinese history, and how brilliantly real the poems and teachings can be. The edition I found is a much older one, which adds to its lovely charm.
What do you think of these books? Have you read any or do any of them sound interesting to you? Please, come chat with me in the comments below!