“The Last Paper Crane" tells the emotional, haunting story of a young man's struggle for survival following the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. I really enjoyed the poignant narrative and feel that I've learned a lot through this eye opening tale - 5 stars!
Despite being short in length, "A River in Darkness" is a really heavy and difficult read. This is an educational story of one man's journey to and from North Korea, following propaganda offering paradise when they arrived. If you're not up to speed with this aspect of history and (even more sadly) the current political climate, I'd recommend picking this up.
It's my stop on the blog tour for 'The Aosawa Murders'. This is a complex whodunnit story, trying to uncover the truth behind a poisoning that wiped out a whole family. This story has a unique format that I really enjoyed. I'm giving this one a big thumbs up with 4 stars.
"Spark" is a fun, slightly strange Japanese story of a comedian on a quest for success. While I didn't always understand the comedy, I still really enjoyed this one. It's 4 stars from me!
“Record of a Night Too Brief” is an extremely quirky collection of stories by Japanese author Hiromi Kawakami. For the most part I enjoyed the writing of these stories, but really they were just a little too strange for me to enjoy fully - 2 stars.
"Three Japanese Short Stories" is a tiny collection of short stories that won't take you long to read. For me they were just okay and nothing to shout home about - 2 stars for now.
"Strange Weather in Tokyo" is a wonderful piece of uncluttered Japanese literature. This is a quirky romance that I'd recommend and I'm looking forward to reading more of Hiromi Kawakami's work. 4 stars!
"The Guest Cat" is a short and sweet book that I'd recommend for cat-lovers but also for fans of Japanese literature. It wasn't one of my favourites, but it's a short, quick read that'll warm your heart. 3 stars from me.
"Before the Coffee Gets Cold" is a charming, clever story about how, no matter what we may try, there is nothing we can do to change the past and we can only learn and grow from our mistakes. I really enjoyed this heartwarming tale and it's 4 stars from me.
I really enjoyed "The Travelling Cat Chronicles", a poignant look at the relationship between one man, his cat and the people most important to him in his life. I loved it and would recommend you give it a go – 5 stars.