Sooo this week the Top Ten Tuesday prompt is Top Ten All Time Favorite Books in [a genre of your choice]. I needed to think about the genre for a while. I had a few options where I’d actually read enough to make a top ten. And we probably can’t even consider ‘Japanese literature’ a proper genre. Doesn’t matter!
Ten All Time Favorite Books in Japanese literature
- The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
Was anyone surprised that Murakami is first on this list? This book has become one of my all time favourite books. I’ve said it before: there’s this thing with Murakami’s books. I’m never in a hurry to finish them (taking my sweet time with 1Q84 which cost me nearly a year), and when I have finished them I can’t immediately pick up another of his books. Which sounds like I don’t enjoy them but in fact I love them. Anyway, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle has everything you expect from a Murakami novel mixed into one perfect mix: magical realism, missing cats, music, strange girlfriends…
- Kokoro by Natsume Soseki
Must-read, even if you end up not liking it (but it’s an easy read, so do try!).
- Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto
I really enjoy Yoshimoto’s work anyway and I loved Kitchen.
- Restaurant of Love Regained by Ito Ogawa
Yes, I had issues with this book. But I still think of it very fondly. It just… worked.
- Harmony by Project Itoh
Good dystopian literature? CHECK!
- Rashomon and Other Stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa
Akutagawa is a magician with words. Simple, straightforward, and oh so enjoyable.
- The Briefcase by Hiromi Kawakami
I wrote a review for this one here.
- The Housekeeper + The Professor by Yoko Ogawa
Beautiful and oh so sad…
- The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino
Many people didn’t like this one, which I get if you like Natsuo Kirino’s other works. So do I. Still I enjoyed this book a lot. If you like mythical stories and old religion, this is really good (and sad)!
- Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
Throwing in another Murakami for good measure. Can’t go wrong with Kafka on the Shore!
Looking at this list, then looking at my bookshelf, I realise there are so many more Japanese authors I have to give a try!