Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.
For some reason I ended up picking up two more Japanese books – I had already put the Tanizaki on hold after reading and loving The Makioka Sisters (more about that next week). And then all those lovely comics, although the Wytches looks more scary than I expected!!
Supermarket – Satoshi Azuchi (translated by Paul Warham)
A modern classic of literature in Japan, Supermarket is a novel of the human drama surrounding the management of a supermarket chain at a time when the phenomenon of the supermarket, imported postwar from the US, was just taking hold in Japan.
When Kojima, an elite banker resigns his job to help a cousin manage Ishiei, a supermarket in one of Japan’s provincial cities, a host of problems ensue. Store employees are stealing products, the books are in disaray, and the workers seem stuck in old ways of thinking. As Kojima begins to give all his time over to the relentless task of reforming the store’s management, a chance encounter with a woman from his childhood causes him to ask the age-old question: is the all encompassing pursuit of business success really worth it?
Sincere and naive in tone, Supermarket takes us back to a simpler, kinder time, and skillfully presents the depictions of its characters alongside a wealth of information concerning Japanese post WWII recovery and industrialization.
The Guest Cat – Takahashi Hiraide (translated by Eric Selland)
A bestseller in France and winner of Japan’s Kiyama Shohei Literary Award, The Guest Cat, by the acclaimed poet Takashi Hiraide, is a subtly moving and exceptionally beautiful novel about the transient nature of life and idiosyncratic but deeply felt ways of living. A couple in their thirties live in a small rented cottage in a quiet part of Tokyo; they work at home, freelance copy-editing; they no longer have very much to say to one another. But one day a cat invites itself into their small kitchen. It leaves, but the next day comes again, and then again and again. Soon they are buying treats for the cat and enjoying talks about the animal and all its little ways. Life suddenly seems to have more promise for the husband and wife — the days have more light and color. The novel brims with new small joys and many moments of staggering poetic beauty, but then something happens….
In these seven stories, the author of The Makioka Sisters explores the territory where love becomes self-annihilation, where the contemplation of beauty gives way to fetishism, and where tradition becomes an instrument of refined cruelty.
Everything you thought you knew about witches is wrong. They are much darker, and they are much more horrifying. Wytches takes the mythology of witches to a far creepier, bone-chilling place than readers have dared venture before. When the Rooks family moves to the remote town of Litchfield, NH to escape a haunting trauma, they’re hopeful about starting over. But something evil is waiting for them in the woods just beyond town. Watching from the trees. Ancient…and hungry.
What if the greatest military mind of our generation was born to a people who are already supremely conditioned to wage war, who know nothing but violence from birth and must continually adapt to new predators in order to survive? This action-packed book contains the full story of a city that declares war on a brilliant young woman pushed to the edge.
The kids’ loot:
Have you read any of these? What did you think of them?