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 – 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.

Question

I was reading the Durarara!! light novel volume 1 and on page 184, Izaya says the following to Mikado:

“But while you may be dreaming of a life outside the bounds of normality, life in Tokyo will become normal after you’ve been here for a year. … If you truly want to escape the ordinary, you’ll simply need to keep evolving – whether what you seek is above or below.”

Mikado thinks that this is painful to hear because of how well he understood what Izaya meant. If he was unhappy with his life now, would he just keep searching for a new life forever?

Reading this was painful for me too. This made me think about the time I wrote about desire and how suffering relates to desire. Back to Izaya – what does he mean by evolving? I thought I knew, but I’m not sure anymore. Any thoughts?

P.S. I’m reading The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. I read parts of it a few years ago for a Psychology class. I’m just reading it for fun now since I already have my BA in Psych. The book is about evolution, natural selection and altruism… so maybe that’s why I thinking about Izaya’s definition of evolving.

Tsundoku 積ん読

I was reading Kaiji Part 6, 賭博堕天録カイジ 24億脱出編 and these pages stood out to me.

Basically, Kurosaki owns a campervan that he hasn’t used. He tells Endo his dream of travelling all over Japan in his campervan. He has a pile of books he hasn’t read and plans to read them. Endo thinks that if Kurosaki hasn’t read a short 200-page book yet, then it won’t happen. Endo also thinks that this is all a fantasy; that Kurosaki will be bored of this kind of life in less than a month.

This made me think. I also have a pile of books I haven’t read yet. I keep buying books with the intention of reading them but I buy books faster than I can read them. There is a Japanese word for it and it’s “tsundoku.” Endo’s line, “Maybe you’re not even suited to reading books in the first place?” felt like it was calling me out on a personal level. I’ve probably read over 10,000 chapters of manga but when it comes to novels, maybe I’m too optimistic.

Sometimes I think about throwing my phone in a river and living in a cottage. I think about it again then realize that I would be bored in less than a day. I long for a simple life, but I think I secretly crave for something much more chaotic.

This is the kind of person I am.

Cute things make me happy

What’s up?

It was Boxing Day and I bought two long skirts from Uniqlo (and people made fun of them… They do not get my sense of fashion!!!). XD

I also bought Emoji stickers to decorate letters for my friends. I bought three cards the other day because I thought they were cute. I guess I am prepared. XD

Among other things, I bought these magnetic bookmarks (you can open and close them). As some of you guys know, I enjoy reading in my past time. This is my first time seeing magnetic bookmarks so I had to buy them. XD

I’m currently reading a book called Breaking Murphy’s Law.