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Logo Monday: What are you reading?Yesterday I was so busy getting my buddy review of Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman online with Elsje that I missed out on the Sunday Salon. Same thing happened last week, so today I decided to join in Sheila’s weekly meme on Book Journey: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? to bring you up-to-date.

Cover Silence, by Shusaku EndoI finshed reading Shusaku Endo’s book Silence for the Japanese Literature Book Group and Japanese Literature Challenge #4 on June 10th. I hope I’ll manage to review the book before the discussion starts on June 28th! Because it is set in Japan just after the country has been closed to foreigners (except Dutch), it was quite appropriate to read after The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (which I hope to review soon too) and it also brought to mind The Bridge of San Luis Rey and one of my all-time favourite movies The Mission.

Cover Geketende Democratie (Japan), Hans van der LugtAfter Silence I picked up some Dutch nonfiction about Japan: Geketende democratie, Japan achter de schermen by Hans van der Lugt. It hasn’t been translated into English (yet) but literally the title means ‘Democracy in Chains: Behind the Scenes in Japan’. Hans van der Lugt has been a correspondent in Japan for one our national newspapers (NRC Handelsblad) from 1995-2006. It’s an interesting book but I feel like reading a novel as well so I’ll be starting The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch in the next few days. We’re going on a short trip to one of the Wadden Islands in the North Sea so a book with such a title seems appropriate. It is also part of my personal challenge and the What’s in a Name challenge — I’ll be happy to finally cross it off my wishlist!

I’m still keeping up with the Sei Shonagon’s The Pillow Book read-along. I’ve read all my entries for this week (#110 in the Morris edition) but I just don’t have anymore time to tell you all about it. That’ll have to wait to another Sunday Salon — or It’s Monday! What Are You reading? :)

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Easter eggI began this Easter Sunday reading in bed. Cuddling up to Mr Gnoe with cats & coffee; can’t get any cosier than that :) Yeah well, the dwarf hamster prefers to stay in her cage ;)

I’m still enjoying Murakami’s Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman. Only a hundred pages to go until the end of the book. So far my favourite stories are The Ice Man and The Seventh Man. The latter I read at least a week ago, but yesterday I feared the ocean I saw in Nowhere Boy because of it… :\

You might remember I was already reading ‘Blind Willow’ during my previous Sunday Salon 3 weeks ago. I don’t seem to get much reading done these days; I’m also slowly progressing in Sei Shōnagon’s The Pillow Book (see below). Still, there’s no need to worry, because there’s a new 24 hour read-a-thon coming up next week! I had great fun in October, even though I got so over-excited I really couldn’t get much reading done… LOL Why don’t you join us this time?

Things I’ll do differently:

  • I’ll start a few hours early because 2pm is not a good time to begin the read-a-thon.
  • Butoh dancer Taketuru KudoCompensation for my early start will be taken Saturday night: I’m going to see butoh dancer Takateru Kudo perform Go-Zarashi.
  • I will not put my laptop directly beside my reading chair…
  • I will check in every two hours on the dot so I can do some cheering, join in mini challenges and get the community feeling, but won’t get too distracted. Maximum pc time allowed: 15-20 minutes.
  • Mini-challenge entries will be short (at first; I might make ‘em more fancy after the read-a-thon has ended).
  • Maybe I’ll even let Mr Gnoe guard my new iPhone because it’s such a distracting device ;) LOL
  • I’m not buying any books especially for the read-a-thon; there’s enough on my shelves to choose from.
  • I have no need for excessive snacks & sweets… Really I don’t. Cross my heart and hope to die.

24 Hour Read-a-thon logoAlthough I’m free to pick anything of my liking of the shelves, I actually have a small pile of books set aside already. Last time I really benefited by the advice of some ‘old-timers’ to have a selection of different genres at hand. So my book stack contains novels and short stories, fiction next to non-fiction in both English and Dutch, plus comics and a graphic novel. I even have some audio books available for when my eyes get too tired :)

DA BOOX:

  • Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, Haruki Murakami; or, if finished:
  • a choice of the following short stories: De arm (One Arm) by Yasunari Kawabata, The January Man by David Mitchell, Helen and Julia by Sarah Waters
  • Het hoofdkussenboek van Sei Shōnagon (The Pillow Book), Sei Shōnagon; just the journal entries to keep up with my read-along
  • Her Fearful Symmetry, Audrey Niffenegger
  • Dromen van China (The China Lover), Ian Buruma
  • Geketende democratie: Japan achter de schermen (‘Democracy in Chains: Behind the Scenes of Japan‘), correspondent Hans van der Lugt: a belated birthday present — that’s what happens when you flee the country at the actual day: gifts pouring in for a while afterwards ;)
  • Mutts: Dog-eared, Patrick McDonnell
  • Waltz with Bashir: A Lebanon War Story, Ari Folman & David Polonsky

So, how do like my ‘short’ list? :) And do you have any good advice for the read-a-thon?

Bookish posts

This week’s bookish posts on Graasland:

The Pillow Book

Arrived at entry: 41/41
Entries read since last time: 10

It’s been a while since I last read in Sei Shōnagon’s Pillow Book and not much comes to mind when I try to think of something to say about it. I guess it’s not making much of an impression :( Maybe the pace is too slow for me (not really getting a feel for the narrator), or or it might have to do with my recent discovery of preferring plot-driven books. I will admit I’m looking at 7 post-its sticking out of my volume: quotes that I should copy into my own journal but that I haven’t gotten round to. Once I’ve done so, maybe I’ll have more to say.

Unfortunately I had to cancel my visit to the Sketches from the Pillow Book theater play in Amsterdam. But blogging-buddy-to-be Marion went and wrote a short post about it. Feels a bit like I’ve been there anyway ;)

Now, back to my leisurely Easter Sunday. I’m going to read some more, have a nice dinner of cannelloni and mandarin tiramisu dessert (recipe will follow later), and will finish watching the first season of Damages. What are you doing today?

The Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of booklovers on the web, where they blog about bookish things of the past week, visit each others weblogs, oh — and read ;)

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