"The Reason I Jump" is a quick, educational read intended to give the reader a little bit of an insight into the mind of a child with autism. I found quite a lot of the book to be overgeneralised, but I did find it to be poignant and really interesting in places. 3 stars!
Norwegian Wood” by Japanese author Haruki Murakami had been on my list for a while but unfortunately it didn't turn out to be my cup of tea. I enjoyed the writing style and some of the more poignant chapters but struggled quite a lot with the plot. This was a 2 star read for me.
"Sweet Bean Paste" is a wholesome story of unlikely friendship. I loved the simplicity of this Japanese tale, but I didn't finish this book with a any strong feelings for it. This was a 3 star read for me.
“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!