The Tumor with a Human Face

Junichiro_Tanizaki_1913
Tanizaki Jun’ichiro (~1913)

Tanizaki Jun’ichiro

1918

This short story (only a few pages) by Japanese author Tanizaki Jun’ichiro, has a creepy atmosphere that makes you not able to put it down.

It’s about a Japanese woman who’s an actress in America and Japan. She hears rumors about a movie, The Tumor with a Human Face, that she’s in. The thing is that she doesn’t remember acting in that movie.

Hearing more and more about this movie, she realizes that it would be impossible to not remember being in the movie.

She goes to someone who works in the movie company that she is in and asks him about it. He then tells her about a curse on the film that makes someone go mad if they watch the film alone.

It’s a creepy story which I recommend to anyone who wants to read something short.

My Rating:

5

Making Mochi!

Today I went into Boston with one of my friends to a mochi (a Japanese food) making event and I had a lot of fun. It was at Miso Market which is a small market with all sorts of different kinds of foods.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere was a cool fish that they had up as a decoration and I couldn’t help taking a picture of it!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is what they put the rice in to hammer it and make it into sticky mochi. Below that is a photo of the guy doing it.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen getting the mochi, you could get mochi with vegetable soup or red bean soup. If you didn’t want soup, you could get mochi with kinako or mitarashi toppings (which you can see in the photo below).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter the event, we went to Porter Square to the restaurant Bibimbap. It’s an amazing Korean restaurant that has different foods from different countries, not just Korean food.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI had the bulgoki (Korean dish) which was awesome! And it was my first time having it too so I’m really glad that I liked it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy friend and her mom had two different kinds of pad thai (Vietnamese dish) which I heard was very good.

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Then I went to a little place to get bubble tea (a Taiwanese drink) which was sooo good! I got strawberry flavor this time.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI had a lot of fun today and I’m glad I was able to go and see how to make mochi. I hope to be able to go to more events like this in the future!

*I’ll also try and find better links to things in the future.

Next Book of the 2013 Challenge

So far I’ve only gotten through three books of the hundred that I want to read this year. My next book was originally going to be Kamikaze Girls by Novala Takemoto, but I’m not really feeling like reading it just yet.

Therefore my next book is going to be Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. I’m kind of excited for it and I think I’ll like it. It’s also pretty big so I hope I can get through it quick and won’t take me the whole semester.

I have a Modern British Fiction and an East Asian Literature class and I’m really excited to take them. I just got one of my books, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, in the mail today and I can’t wait for the rest!

Be With You

Be With You

Title in original language:

今、会いにゆきます (Ima, Ai Ni Yukimasu)

Takuji Ichikawa

2003 (Japan)

This book is sort of an autobiography of the author who took different experiences of his life and put it together in a fictional story. It’s an amazing book and I recommend it to anyone!

Originally published in Japan (the year listed above is the year of the English translation I read), the book was so popular that a television series, film, and manga were produced.

I again admit that I only picked it up because it was Japanese (I love having a collection of Japanese books) and I’m so glad that I did.

It’s about a woman, Mio, who passes away, leaving her husband, Takkun, and 6 year old son, Yuji, behind.

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Before she passes, she tells her husband that she’d come back in the rainy season to see how they are doing without her and one year later, this becomes true when she comes back from the grave.

This is such a touching story of a second chance at happiness and I wasn’t able to put it down.

It’s an easy read and like I said before I was able to get through it quickly. Takkun and Yuji were very quirky and cute which made me love them immediately and the same for Mio too.

The only tiny little thing that was a problem was with the dialogue. Sometimes there wasn’t anyone listed as the speaker so it was hard to tell who was saying what. It wasn’t bad though so don’t expect it to cause too much trouble.

Overall, it was an amazing book. I loved everything about it and I recommend it to anyone!

My rating:

5!

My 2013 Challenge

When I signed up to have a goodreads account, I noticed they had a challenge for 2013. It’s a challenge to set a goal for the amount of books you want to read this year and the challenge is to see if you can finish the amount that you set.

My challenge: To read 100 books this year.

It’s a daunting task and I’ve only finished two so far, OUT and HALO, which I’ve already written reviews about. My next book is called Be With You by Takuji Ichikawa and I can’t wait to read it.

I’m nervous that once school starts again, I won’t have any time to read anything besides what I have to read for class and I won’t be able to finish the challenge.

I’m up for the challenge though and I hope I can finish!

Any book suggestions? I’m up for reading anything!

HALO

HALO

Alexandra Adornetto

2010 (United States)

This book is the U.S. debut of the Australian author, Alexandra Adornetto with the book being published when she was at the age of 18.

The story focuses on three angels, Gabriel, Ivy, and Bethany. Sent down to Earth by Heaven, they were sent to get rid of the evil forces of Hell that plague the small town of Venus Cove.

OVERALL, I generally liked this book. It was ok. It was an easy read for me and I got through it quickly.

I feel that it could have been better though. It’s a 484 paged book that took 300 pages to actually get to the actual ‘fighting against the dark forces.’ The book is in the view of Bethany and there were so many clues given to her about the evil going on, but it seemed like it went in one ear and out the other.

Another thing is that Bethany falls in love with a human. It’s typical and their relationship is mostly “I can’t live without you” or “My very existence aches when I can’t be with you.” It’s kind of cheesy and that’s all that’s talked about whenever they’re together.

I feel like I should give the opinions of others so that whoever might read this doesn’t go by my opinion alone. Compared to others, I gave this book a good rating.

From reading the other reviews that were given of this book (on goodreads.com), generally summed up, call this book the “Catholic version of Twilight.” The characters are shallow and what I wrote about with it taking so long to get to the action. And I can see where they’re coming from.

If you’re a Twilight fan, this might be the book for you.

Even with all of this, though, I gave this book a rating of 3. It’s an ok book and I generally liked it. It wasn’t the -worst- book ever, but there is room for improvement like there is for a lot of books.

My rating:

3

OUT

OUT

Title in original language:

アウト (Auto)

Natsuo Kirino

1997 (Japan)

This crime novel is one of the best books I’ve read. I’m going to be honest and say that I picked it up just because it was by a Japanese author, but it turned out great!

It took me a long time to read it, but that was only because I had such a hectic schedule this semester, but I finally finished it.

The story is about a Japanese woman who, finally fed up with her husband, murders him by strangling him.

Asking some of her friends for help, they come together to dispose of the body. The plot goes on to describe the wears that this has on each of the women and their friendship, especially in trying to keep this secret.

The good aspects of this book is the detail with descriptions. It’s amazing how much detail was put into each character and what they go through.

This can also be a bad aspect because some people don’t like so much description, but it’s something that I love in books so it’s something I wouldn’t notice.

One thing to watch out for is the gory descriptions. She definitely goes into detail with that so fair warning to be careful of it when you’re reading and if that’s not you’re thing. It’s brief and only happens a couple times (it’s not the main focus of the book) so it’s easy to skip over or just skim it if it makes you queasy.

For me though, this book was definitely a page turner (especially at the end!) and kept me coming back to it. It’s something I definitely recommend to anyone!

My Rating (out of 5):

5