Thumbs up for Sailor Moon Box Set (Vol. 1-6) (and vol. 7) by Naoko Takeuchi. Manga.
My blasted friend got me hooked on the new anime series, which at the time only had six or seven episodes available, so I was quickly left wanting more. Rather than watching the 1990’s anime, which my friend warned me was quite padded, I started reading the manga.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Found in Translation: How Language Shapes Our Lives and Transforms the World by Nataly Kelly and Jost Zetzsche. Linguistics.
Despite the title, Found in Translation covers both translation (of the written word) and interpretation (of speech). I suspect that I would have loved this book more were I not fairly familiar with both topics already (especially having just read White House Interpreter, a much more immersive look at interpretation, my specific area of interest).… >> Read more
Thumbs up for One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Marquez. Literature.
Like many great books, this is a love-it-or-hate-it book. Personally, I loved it. It’s one of my coworker’s favorite books, but he tends to warn people that it’s difficult. I was in the mood for a difficult book, so this seemed perfect. I was oddly disappointed to find that it wasn’t as difficult as I’d imagined.… >> Read more
Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, translated by David Wyllie. Literature.
This did absolutely nothing for me to the extent that I haven’t even anything to say about it.
“Did you understand a word of all that?” the chief clerk asked his parents, “surely he’s not trying to make fools of us”. “Oh, God!” called his mother, who was already in tears, “he could be seriously ill and we’re making him suffer.
… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. Literature.
How do I put this delicately? I think the reason why this book is so beloved is because it’s the first introduction to Buddhism for many high schoolers, and (rightfully) their minds are blown. And it is a pitch-perfect, elegantly-written introduction to Buddhism and the wisdoms beyond it. I’d happily give it to anyone as such.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, translated by Richard Howard. Children’s.
Believe it or not, but I never read this when I was kid. Now that I’ve finally got around to reading it (in English, as opposed to struggling through in French as I had previously attempted), I can see why it never drew me. It’s charming, yes, but I can’t say that I have ever loved parables.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Roadside Picnic by Arkady Strugatsky and Boris Strugatsky. Science fiction.
A short gem of Soviet science fiction that should be far more widely available than it is. The aliens came to Earth – and went without talking to anyone, leaving behind a bunch of semi-magical trash; the human “stalkers” sneak into the forbidden zones, risking life and limb, to fetch out said trash (and make a pretty penny from it).… >> Read more
Thumbs up for The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon by Sei Shonagon, translated by Ivan Morris. Essays.
I’ve wanted to read this ever since reading about it in Ruth Ozeki’s My Year Of Meats. (And don’t ask me why I read that, given that it is i) modern, ii) American and iii) about wanting a baby: all things that I avoid in my books.… >> Read more