My Favourite Books

I’ve blogged about my favourite anime so I thought that I would do the same with books.

Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849; HORROR/MYSTERY)

Poe inspired drawing of mine.

The Black Cat – I read this short story when I was 16. It was my first story by Poe.

The Cask of Amontillado – I felt chills!

The Masque of the Red Death – I see a lot of parallels between the prince and wealthy nobles from the story and some people from today AKA privileged people who attended parties during a pandemic.

The Tell-Tale Heart – I love horror stories told from the villain’s point of view the most. I want to know what they were thinking before, during, and after committing the murder.

Edogawa Rampo (1894 β€“ 1965; HORROR/ASIA)

The Human Chair – Its elements are simple but it’s an effective horror story. I could not put the book down!

The Red Chamber – The protagonist talks about he was able to commit perfect crimes. It was incredibly interesting to read.

You can read my review here.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 – 1930; MYSTERY)

The Adventure of the Speckled Band – I own all of the Sherlock Holmes novels but this is my favourite Holmes story. It is a locked room mystery. It was scary!

The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane (TBR) – This is one of the two stories narrated by Holmes. It’s sitting on my desk.

Robert Louis Stevenson – The Strange Case of Jekyll Hyde, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886)

As a child, I watched the Jekyll and Hyde inspired Bugs Bunny episodes. I fell in love with the musical songs during my second year of university. I bought the book and loved it.

Richard Dawkins – The Selfish Gene (1976; PSYC)

This is a book on evolution. Human nature and selfishness are things I’m super interested in. It was also referenced in the anime, Parayste. You can read my post on it here.

Osamu Dazai – No Longer Human (1948; ASIA)

This is the second best-selling novel in Japan. Dazai committed suicide not long after the book was published. You can read my review here.

Wu Cheng’en – Monkey (Earliest known edition was published in 1592; ASIA)

This is also known as The Journey to the West. Like most Chinese people, I grew up watching the live-action adaptations of the folk tale. It is regarded as one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. You can read my review of the first part here.

Marie Kondo – Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up (2016; SELF-HELP/ASIA)

This self-help book works. I started tidying up midway through the book! You can read my review here. Marie Kondo also has a show on Netflix.

Ryōgo Narita – Durarara!! (2004; LIGHT NOVEL/ASIA)

The anime is based on the light novel. My favourite anime character, Izaya, is from this series. I like the light novel for Izaya’s quotes.

Haruki Murakami (1949 – present; ASIA)

As you can tell from the books I’ve listed, I like older books. Murakami is my favourite contemporary author. I’m currently reading The Elephant Vanishes.

You can read my review of Men Without Women here.

The Happy Prince and Other Tales – Oscar Wilde (1888)

I blogged about parallels between The Happy Prince and a story told in the anime, Fruits Basket.

BOOKS I WANTED TO LIKE:

B. F. Skinner – Walden Two (1948; PSYC)

Victor Hugo – Notre-Dame de Paris (1831)

It’s a long book. Barely anything happened in the first 80 pages.

Edgar Allan Poe – The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841; HORROR)

This is described as the first modern detective story. The commentary in the beginning was very long. I didn’t like the end reveal.

TO BE READ (TBR):

Homer – The Odyssey (8th Century BCE; GREEK MYTH)

William Shakespeare – The Tragedy of Julius Caesar (First performed in 1599; PLAY)

Sophocles – Oedipus the King (429 BC; GREEK MYTH)

These books have been sitting in my room for a long, long time. This is why I buy my books.

Update: October 2019

All of these pictures were posted on my Instagram, but I thought I would post them in a blog format.

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Can’t wait to read this book~

Thanks crew~

Katsu with soba~

My first Kaiji thing. It’s pretty much impossible to find anything from this anime in Canada… Thank you to my friend for the belated birthday gift! Those who watched Kaiji Season 2 will know about the dice… The γ–わざわ wrapping paper OMG

Bought this Totoro mug cover

Mazesoba

Picked this up yesterday at the store

Shungiku Nakamura is one of my favourite mangaka ^^

Taiyaki~

Chirashi don~

Matcha ice cream

Should I keep doing this kind of monthly update? Let me know. x)

🌸🌸🌸 Rose

Book Review: Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami

Men Without Women is a collection of seven short stories written by the famous writer, Haruki Murakami. Murakami’s original works are in Japanese, and his books have been translated into 50 languages. I read the English translation.

Can we take a moment to appreciate the front and back covers? The back cover starts with the word, ε₯³ ‘woman’ and it transforms into a puzzle piece. The front cover depicts a man with a puzzle piece missing. He is a Men Without Women.

Haruki Murakami is my favourite contemporary writer. He often writes about the themes: isolation, loneliness and loss. These are stories of men who have lost important women in their lives, sometimes to other men, sometimes to death or due to complicated reasons. The impact of these women lost and gone forever cut deeply, and sometimes life will never be the same again.

I was pleasantly surprised at how different each story is. I really enjoyed reading six of the seven short stories, which is a really high number. My favourite story from this collection is “Kino.”

Murakami often writes about sex, so don’t be surprised about that if you read his works. I started reading his novels when I was in high school. Another common feature in his works is that the endings are often open to interpretation. You may be disappointed at the endings of some of these stories, or really confused. However, he gets you to think critically about the stories which draws upon your imagination and creativity. As a reader, you are an active agent.

This was a really quick read, which shows how invested I was in these stories. I love short stories because they are little gems. I recommend Murakami’s books because his writing is engaging and because he really brings his characters to life. I believe that he has a lot of knowledge on human emotions. Every time I read his books, I gain new perspectives.

I Won a Book Giveaway!

I feel really lucky sometimes because I won another giveaway, and it’s a great one! In my life I’ve won four giveaways but I used to find many four leaf clovers so maybe that has something to do with it. I actually don’t think there’s a correlation LOL.

The giveaway I won this time was hosted by our fellow blogger friend, Neha, who runs Biblio Nyan, a blog on books, anime, self-care tips, and more. I won their 500 follower giveaway and got a $30 gift card to buy any books of my choosing from Book Depository or Amazon. I got FIVE books from Book Depository!

1. Edogawa Rampo’s Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imagination

Jon recommended this book to me a while back so I’m happy that I finally own it! I read one of the short stories called The Human Chair, and it was honestly the most interesting story I’ve read in my life. I might blog about it one day, and write about Junji Ito’s version of it as well.

2. Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination 

I’ve been borrowing my friend’s Poe book for months so I’m happy that I finally own my own copy.

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3. Monkey by Wu Cheng’en

This book is also known as Journey to the West and is one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. This story was published in the 16th century and many anime, including Dragon Ball, were loosely based on this story. Some of the earliest Japanese animation were inspired by the Chinese animation of Journey to the West.

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4. Desire by Haruki Murakami 

Haruki Murakami is one of my favourite authors. I’ve read a number of his books. This is a collection of his short stories.

5. Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination

I’m giving this one to a friend.

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I’m honestly surprised by how many books I got. When I found out that I won, I thought that I would get two books so this really exceeded my expectations. The books were delivered in a timely manner and I’m really happy with everything. Thank you so much Neha for everything. ❀