I’m really looking forward to catching up on my reading during the holidays. To snuggle up on the sofa under a blanket with a cup of tea and a good book may very well be the best simple pleasure in the world. I’m more often than not in the middle of at least three books because I need different books for different moods. Here are the books that I’m reading at the moment.
How To Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran
14-year-old Johanna Morgan decides to reinvent herself after embarrassing herself on local tv. She becomes Dolly Wilde, a music journalist and writer, who will save her family from poverty through her work. Halfway through, I remain undecided on this one for now. I thought I would be able to relate to Johanna because I reinvented myself when I was 13, but she’s just annoying and cringey. I have no empathy for her whatsoever. I’m hoping I’ll like How To Be a Woman more.
The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide
In Tokyo, a couple in their thirties work from home. One is a writer and the other is a proofreader. They don’t have much to say to each other anymore. One day, a cat starts paying them regular visits and their love for the cat, whose adorable name is Chibi, rekindles their love for each other. The poet Takashi Hiraide’s beautifully written words have been lovingly translated. A deeply moving novella that explores the transient nature of life.
They F*** You Up: How to Survive Family Life by Oliver James
Clinical psychologist Oliver James shows us that how we are cared for during the first six years of our lives determines who we become and how we behave. He asks provocative questions and encourages us to be the script writers of our own lives. I’m really taking my time reading this enlightening book, because it occasionally hits a raw nerve and I have to put it away for a while. It’s essentially research for the autofiction book that I’m writing.
Journey Under the Midnight Sun by Keigo Higashino
Over the course of 20 years, we follow Detective Sasagaki as he obsessively tries to solve the seemingly unsolveable riddle of the murder of a man who was found in an abandoned building in Osaka in 1973. We also follow other people connected to the case, such as the son of the murdered man. Higashino is a bestselling mystery and crime fiction writer, and the master of clever mystery puzzles. I absolutely love his previously translated books, particularly Malice and Salvation of a Saint, but I hate to say that I’m not sure about this one yet.
The Changeling by Kenzaburō Ōe
Kogito Chiko is a writer in his early sixties. His brother-in-law and childhood friend Goro sends him a box of tapes that he’s recorded with reflections on life and their friendship. One night as Kogito is listening to the tapes, he hears something odd. Goro says that he’s going to pass over to the other side and a loud thud can be heard. Next, Goro says that he’s not going to stop communicating with Kogito. There are more tapes to listen to. I’m savouring every word of this beautiful novel exploring the limits of human memory. The cover art is stunning with the leaves and text printed on the frosted see-through jacket.How about you? What are you currently reading?