Train Man

train man

I’ve had “Train Man” on my shelf for a while now, and finally cracked open the plastic this weekend. Mainly out of desperation: I was in sore need of grown-up conversation after spending an entire day with a seven-year old (I like kids well enough, but how do moms do it?!?) and got some blessed reading time while the kiddo was still happily occupied by the paint markers I had laid out on the table.

So, anywayyyy… Purported to be based on a true story on the Japanese message board 2channel, “Train Man” by Nakano Hitori features a painfully shy otaku (Train Man) whose life takes on a different turn when a young woman sends┬áhim a thank you gift for saving her from a drunken pervert on the train.

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A bit of Asian flavor

With just a week to go in the year, I’m now working overtime on my A-Z Challenge, with four books to go and eight reviews to write. In an attempt to make it before the clock strikes twelve on the new year, I am trying to rad the remaining books and churn out their reviews as fast as I can, and I’ll deal with the backlog of my regular reading list in the first week of the new year.

Let me start with an Asian selection: Hardboiled & Hard Luck by Banana Yoshimoto and A Loyal Character Dancer by Qiu Xiaolong.

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Chindogu Mania, part 2

I really loved the chindogu book my cousin Chickoy lent me to cheer me up when I was confined in the hospital last year, so I set about to getting my own chindogu book. Luckily the first book in the chindogu series, 101 Unuseless Japanese Inventions, also by Kenji Kawakami, was readily available on BookMooch.

Kawakami is recognized as the founder of chindogu, everyday gadgets designed to solve life’s little problems. Well, almost.

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Grotesque

A couple of years ago, I read my first Natsuo Kirino book, Out, for the Flips Flipping Pages Japanese book discussion. Natsuo Kirino is one of Japan’s top female crime/detective fiction novelists, winning both┬áthe Grand Prix for Crime Fiction, Japan’s top mystery award and the Edgar Award for Out. I enjoyed reading Out back then, and so I set out to hunt down Kirino’s other books.

Earlier this year, my cousin gave me a copy of Grotesque, another novel by Natsuo Kirino. I figured it was going to be another chilling read, so I’ve been saving it for Halloween this year.

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Paper book covers

In an attempt not to stray into any Mockingjay spoilers online, I’m composing this post to distract me, and to keep me from opening a certain file that is, erm, burning a hole in my hard drive, so to speak… I can’t wait to get my copy of Mockingjay tomorrow, but in the meantime, here’s something I discovered over the weekend: paper book covers!

There was a sale at a one-price Japanese store and my sibs and I wanted to go because we were expecting to take home a huge haul. The sale turned out to be bitterly disappointing, but I hated going all the way out there for nothing! There were a bunch of sorry looking bargain bins which contained weird odds and ends — miniature bundt tins, plastic flowers, fleecy headbands, and other remnants — and I was halfheartedly rooting in one of the bins when I found some packs of paper book covers for only P25 (about $0.50) each, so I went from bin to bin and came up with four packs.

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