[Reviews] Two Japanese classics

[Reviews] Two Japanese classicsThe Waiting Years by Fumiko Enchi
Published by Kodansha on 1980 (first published 1957)
Genres: Japanese literature, Classic
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9780870114243
The verdict: four-stars
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The beautiful, immature girl whom she took home to her husband was a maid only in name. Tomo's real mission had been to find him a mistress. Nor did her secret humiliation end there. The web that his insatiable lust spun about him soon trapped another young woman, and another ... and the relationships between the women thus caught were to form, over the years, a subtle, shifting pattern in which they all played a part.

So recently I read these two Japanese classics one after another, which frankly was a great decision! Both Fumiko Enchi (1905-1986) and Kanoko Okamoto (1889-1939) – the former more famous than the latter – were feminists and modern women in their time. Reading these two authors back to back was an interesting experience.

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[Review] The Well of Loneliness, by Radclyffe Hall

[Review] The Well of Loneliness, by Radclyffe HallThe Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall
Published by Wordsworth Editions on January 7th 2014 (first published January 1928)
Genres: Classic, LGBT+
Pages: 414
ISBN: 9781840224559
The verdict: five-stars
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‘As a man loved a woman, that was how I loved…It was good, good, good…’
Stephen is an ideal child of aristocratic parents – a fencer, a horse rider and a keen scholar. Stephen grows to be a war hero, a bestselling writer and a loyal, protective lover. But Stephen is a woman, and her lovers are women. As her ambitions drive her, and society confines her, Stephen is forced into desperate actions.

I picked up this book nearly a year ago for the first time, but never read beyond the first few chapters (although I liked it back then). I picked it up again because it’s a perfect read for both the LGBTQIA 2016 Reading Challenge and the Women’s Classic Literature Event.

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Reading Challenges & Resolutions for 2016

Hello 2016! I can’t quite get used to the idea that a new year has begun. Usually I feel the new year brings a fresh new start, but this year (understandably) my mind is just not ready yet.

Anyway, I finally got around to looking at reading challenges for 2016. And inspired by my fellow bloggers I also decided to write down a few resolutions!


  • Get my TBR down to 250 books.
    Ah, that eternal blasted TBR! In 2015, I purged many of my books during KonMari. I have since bought more books than I care to admit (but I swear they all spark joy!). My TBR is now at 287. In order to get it down to 250 I have to read plenty of books from my shelves, and not buy too many new ones… We’ll see what happens.
  • Bring my blog back to life.
    My poor neglected blog. During the last few months I posted no more than a monthly wrap-up, it seems. I want to write more reviews and other book-related posts.
  • Be a social blogger once more.
    I really miss hanging out with fellow bloggers. I have a ton of marked blog posts in Feedly that I still want to comment on, and I want to be active in challenges again. For those who don’t follow me on Twitter yet, I’m @brilliantreads. And if you’ve stumbled upon my blog, do leave a comment and I’ll come check out your blog! <3

I also have a few minor unofficial reading challenges I’m setting for myself:
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Top Ten of 2015

Unlike last year, when I gave you top tens for all my favourite genres, this year I’ll just give you my overall top ten of favourite books for 2015! Making this top ten was actually not that easy. Although there were a lot of 4 and 5 star books last year (44 out of 63!), I somehow feel not that many books really stood out, if that makes sense? Despite that, I read a lot of excellent books and was able to make a top ten, so here is my list of books I’d wholeheartedly recommend!

Harry Potter The Dark Forest The Letter for the King Slade House Read Real Japanese Fiction

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2015 Reading Stats

Ah, 2015. Definitely a year of highs and lows and very few inbetweens. The year started calmly, then I went through a period of a few months were I was exhausted and unfocused, then things got better and the last three months were great fun! I was looking forward to some quiet time during my Christmas break, to recharge and start 2016 afresh. But nope, the end of the year turned into a small nightmare with serious water damage to my home (everything fixable, thankfully, but repairs will take weeks). What a start of 2016, sigh.

As for reading, I once again set out to read 52 books. I was already halfway there in April, but soon I slowed down. In the end I did adjust my reading challenge to 60, and ended up reading 63 books (I finished 2 books on the last day of the year, hah).

This is what Goodreads looked like for 2015:

Goodreads Challenge 2015

You can see all the books I read in 2015 here, or you can take a look at my Goodreads Year in Books.

And here are my reading stats for 2015:
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