Japanese Literature Challenge IV

I'm so excited to join the Japanese Literature Challenge IV hosted by Dolce Bellezza. I'm definitely in the mood for Japanese novels right now. I've missed reading Haruki Murakami, so its a good excuse to finally pick up another of his novels. I'm now reading Kafka on the Shore and enjoying it very much. The Challenge runs from June 1, 2010 to January 30, 2011. For more information, check out this site .

Here's my list for the challenge. I do hope I get to read all of this before the new year.

1. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
2. The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
3. The Diving Pool by Yoko Ogawa
4. Real World by Natsuo Kirino
5. Out by Natsuo Kirino
6. Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino
7. The Waiting Years by Fumiko Enchi
8. Goodbye Tsugumi by Banana Yoshimoto

Are you joining the challenge? Which books above have you read? Which ones do you recommend?


  1. Interesting challenge and you have come up with a wonderful reading list for it! I loved 'The Housekeeper and the Professor' by Yoko Ogawa very much. It is one of the books that I hope to read again. Would love to hear your thoughts on it. I haven't read her book 'The Diving Pool' but have read another book by her called 'Hotel Iris' - it was very different from 'The Housekeeper and the Professor' but Ogawa's prose was as beautiful and serene as ever. I read 'Grotesque' by Natsuo Kirino a few years back and I liked it for the way it got into me - though I would say that it made me a bit sad at times. Would love to hear your thoughts on it. I have 'Goodbye Tsugumi' on my 'TBR' list :) Hoping to read it soon. I haven't heard of Fumiko Enchi. Will look forward to hearing your thoughts on Enchi's book. I haven't read a Haruki Murakami book yet :) Hoping to read one of his books soon. Which one of Murakami's books is your favourite?

  2. @Vishy - My favourite Murakami is The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. It's brilliant!

  3. I have Kafka on the Shore and Out on my (not yet posted) list too, Astrid.

    I thought that The Housekeeper and the Professor was a beautifully touching and poignant book and I hope to read Hotel Iris during the challenge and possibly some Mishima and Tanizaki.

  4. You remined me that I must do a post for this challenge, I brought too Japanese books today and I have them to add to Norwegion Wood which I already own. The others are In the Miso Soup and Never let me go. I think thats a good start and I'll see how I get on with those.

  5. What a wonderful list! I love, love, love Kafka on The Shore (have read it twice, in fact), and I also enjoyed The Housekeeper and The Professor so much. Our book club is discussing it this Wednesday, in fact. I just finished Out, and that was outstanding as well. I'd like to join you in reading more by Ogawa and certainly more by our beloved Haruki! I'll probably join you in reading Real World, too. We'll have lots of fun discussions, I think.

  6. Isn't it a shame we cant devote more time to reading japanese literature. I'm just forming my list so have been looking for idea's. I think Out may be on my list, but definitely some more Murikami.. I too really enjoyed Kafka and Wind Up Bird. Looking forward to seeing more of your reviews.

  7. I've joined the challenge and so far I've read Hotel Iris by Yoko Ogawa. I have some Murakami on my list, so I'm looking forward to reading your review of Kafka on the Shore. By the by, The Housekeeper and The Professor is one of my favorite books - Ogawa did such an amazing job with that one! Hope you enjoy it.

  8. I'm not participating in the challenge but I'm enjoying your lists. Fascinating! :-)


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