Hello again! Now that summer is in full swing, with unexpectedly good weather here in Edinburgh, I thought a change of theme to something more jolly would be fitting – hence the new theme! When there is a nice day – which for me tends to be a fresh, gentle breeze, partly cloudy sky and temperature around 14 degrees – I am drawn out to the bookshops (Waterstones and Blackwells are the two nearest to me; both are useful for different things). I always go to Blackwells first, since it is the closest to where I stay. For a few years now I’ve been obsessed by Japanese culture and the Japanese language, following my travels there a few years back. I have failed miserably at finding a teacher, despite having tried to do 50/50 language tuition over the internet with someone who has disappeared in a manner of speaking (I am too repulsive, even over the internet?!), so my Japanese is basic at best. The thing I feel quite good at though is, despite having no teacher, I’ve learnt all of the hiragana and katakana characters, and am also building up a good knowledge of the kanji characters, of which there are considerably more.
Being a major anime and manga fan, I am naturally drawn to Japanese names. They catch my eye. I realised this as I was in Blackwells, and the works of Haruki Murakami, a previously unknown writer to me, stared at me from their throne on the third shelf down from the sign ‘Fiction’. Amongst his most known works are The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, 1Q84, and Norwegian Woods. I haven’t bought these books yet, however I’m slowly building up my Summer Book List:
- The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami (£8.99)
- Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Haruki Murakami (£8.99)
- A new Japanese textbook which is much friendlier and easier to follow (£63.99)
- The Kodansha Japanese Kanji Dictionary (£55)
Unfortunately I haven’t got £137 to spare on books. Life is tragic, especially the part about literature. Literature is tragic, especially the part about life. Dum tee-dum…