Sunday, June 20, 2010

great author you remember the first time you went to a library?

hello there...

I have been traveling, reading and writing and living the best that I can since my last post!
I have had quite a few adventures that have taught myself about ME.
Sometimes friends and family have given me guidance.  Sometimes books and movies have inspired me.

Most recently, the following interviews have given me hope...

">A Conversation with Ray Bradubury by Lawrence Bridges
Love what you do, do what you love.

">A Conversation with Amy Tan by Lawrence Bridges

Confusion is a great place to start a story.

FYI, other great videos can be seen at the website for The Big Read (National Endowment for the Arts) is here:

Monday, July 27, 2009

some random stuff

I finally wrote a "review" about Pope Joan and posted it on The Book Book.

It is one thing to post something on your own blog...even comments make me nervous sometimes...and totally nerve racking when you are posting something on a blog that has a lot of talented folk on it.

I wonder what would happen if I ever got my book(s) published.... :-O


I am currently reading several books at once...yet again...there's actually more!
The book in the top middle is a Japanese book. It is not on my list of almost 100 Japanese authors to read but it was a natural choice for me since I am working at a library...

The book is titled (my rough translation of it anyways is) "The New Ways of Coming Up With Ideas - that the library taught me". It is written in a diary format...fiction yet non-fiction.

A girl starts working at a library. Her job is much less stressful than mine so I envy her really badly.

She decides she wants to learn more about how to respond to references and questions.
I don't know how it is in the country you live in but a lot of people come to libraries in Japan to get answers. From how to make a love potion to origins of words etc... (These are the references in the story and are not from my real experience....I am not aloud to talk about actual references outside of work.)

I haven't read the entire book yet, but the whole idea is not that far away from mind mapping.

Finding the right reference tools seems to require a lot of patience. You need to be a good listener, and find out what the questioner REALLY wants to know, when they need the information and what exactly the information is for.

I wonder if there is a book similar to this in English...I would love to read about librarians around the world...

Being a good listener seems to be my current lesson in life.

I am back to writing more of my book (I never really quit)... a road story in a very interesting place...
I know I was supposed to write it in 30 days. It was more like write the outline in 30 days...
Maybe I should change my blog address...

And finally,
an update for my list of almost 100 Japanese authors to read...

71. さくら ももこ(Sakura Momoko)
72. 柴門ふみ(Saimon Fumi)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

How could I forget to add Dazai Osamu?!

Dazai Osamu is not alive to celebrate what would have been his 100th birthday last Friday (July 19th).

He is one of the few authors that I have read in Japanese.

I am also currently reading a collection of short stories.

(Oh, I am also reading the book "Pope Joan" by Donna Woolfolk Cross. It is sooo hard to put down! For more info on the book please check out the author's website here. The book is going to be a movie too!)

I just wanted to update my list of 100 Japanese authors because a friend of mine noticed that I didn't have Dazai's name on my list! I was totally shocked because, well, I'm reading him right now and his birthday was on Friday... I suppose my brain is a bit on overload.

I have a training course (for librarians) to go to tomorrow so I better get some sleep! I will post more on Dazai Osamu when I have finished the book and am not so tired...

As for Pope Joan I will try to post something on the Book Book as soon as I'm finished with that too!

nighty night, don't let the bed bugs bite...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

filling in my Japanese gaps with 100 authors

check out the you see the Japanese characters?

(Last names come first in Japanese)

1.北方 謙三 Kitakata Kenzo

2.宮本輝 Miyamoto Teru

3.田辺聖子 Tanabe Seiko

4.松本清張 Matsumoto Seicho

5.山本一力 Yamamoto Ichiriki

6.宮沢賢治 Miyazawa Kenji

7.小川洋子 Ogawa Yoko

8.よしもとばなな Yoshimoto Banana

9.三島由紀夫 Mishima Yukio

10.赤川次郎 Akagawa Jiro

11.灰谷健次郎 Haitani Kenjiro

12.太宰治 Dazai Osamu

13.夏目漱石 Natsume Soseki

14.芥川龍之介Akutagawa Ryunosuke

15.遠藤周作 Endo Shusaku

16.上野千鶴子Ueno Chizuko

17.毛利嘉孝 Mouri Yoshitaka

18.谷川俊太郎 Tanikawa Shuntaro

19.中原中也 Nakahara Chuya

20.塩野七生Shiono Nanami

21. 村上春樹 Murakami Haruki

22.川端康成 Kawabata Yasunari

23.井上靖 Inoue Yasushi

24.村上龍 Murakami Ryu

25.森鴎外Mori Ogai

26.近松門左衛門Chikamatsu Monzaemon

27.大江健三郎 Oe Kenzaburo

28.中上健次 Nakagami Kenji

29.安部公房 Abe Koubo

30.有吉佐和子Ariyoshi Sawako

31.森茉莉 Mori Mari

32.中里恒子 Nagazato Tsuneko

32.宇野千代 Uno Chiyo

33.与謝野晶子 Yosano Akiko

34.樋口一葉 Higuchi Ichiyo

35.志賀直哉 Shiga Naoya

36.佐伯泰英Saeki Yasuhide

37.江戸川乱歩 Edogawa Ranpo

38.大沢在昌 Osawa Arimasa

39.落合信彦 Ochiai Nobuhiko

40.恩田陸 Onda Riku

41.桐野夏生 Kirino Natsuo

42.島崎藤村Shimazaki Toson

43.島田一男 Shimada Kazuo

44. 住井すゑ Sumii Sue

45.辻仁成 Tsuji Hitonari

46.筒井康隆 Tsutsui Yasutaka

47.鳥羽亮 Toba Ryo

48.永井荷風 Nagai Kafu

49.中島らも Nakajima Ramo

50.藤沢周平 Fujisawa Shuhei

51.五木寛之 Itsuki Hiroyuki

52.星新一 Hoshi Shinichi

53.宮部みゆきMiyabe Miyuki

54.向田邦子 Mukaida Kuniko

55.群ようこ Mure Yoko

56.山田詠美 Yamada Amy

57.山本兼一Yamamoto Kenichi

58.山本周五郎 Yamamoto Shugoro

59.夢枕獏 Yumemakura Bakku

60.柳美里 Yu Miri (Korean?)

61.夢野久作 Yumeno Kyusaku

62.吉川英治 Yoshikawa Eiji

63.渡辺淳一 Watanabe Junichi

64.渡辺温 Watanabe On

65.谷崎潤一郎 Tanizaki Junichiro

66. 梨木香歩 Nashiki Kaho

67.清水久典 Shimizu Hisanori

68.湯本香樹実 Yumoto Kazumi

69.白洲正子Shirasu Masako

70.児島のぼるKojima Noboru

I would easily go over 100 when it comes to Japanese books since there is so much I haven't read yet....

Even with my favorite authors like Natsume Soseki, Endo Shusaku and Dazai Osamu there are many I haven't yet read... or worse... I read them when I was still studying Japanese and couldn't really understand the beauty behind all the kanji!

I asked around at the office and got a few suggestions from "real Japanese people".
I also have a few books that friends have given to me over the years and ...forgive me....I  still haven't read.

So, there are lots of classics as well as authors you may know, as well as authors that are really famous in Japan but haven't been translated yet AND authors that are finally getting translated into English.

If you have any suggestions, please let me know!

Monday, June 1, 2009

new books and my 100 list

(books will be crossed off as I read them...)
On top of the books that I bought last week, there are a few new ones to add today...
The books I ordered arrived.
The one by Helen O'Neil is about Florence Broadhurst. You can find out more about her at one of my favorite blogs "a hazy moon".


I finally finished making the list to "fill in my gaps"!

A few changes have been made.

I deleted Japanese authors because I plan to make...yes...another list for Japanese books and books by Japanese authors.
This is not because I think they should be separated... it is because I can't fit them all into one list. I need another 100....

1. A Parisian Affair and Other Stories by Guy de Maupassant
2. The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith
3. Dune by Frank Herbert
4. White Noise by Don DeLillo
5. Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon
6. The Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco
7. Ursula, Under by Ingrid Hill
8. Pu-239 And Other Russian Fantasies by Ken Kalfus
9. Tristes Tropiques by Claude Levi-Strauss
10. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
11. A Changed Man by Francine Prose
12. General Theory of Magic by Marcel Mauss
13. A Woman's Life by Guy De Maupassant
14. Tales of Wonder by Mark Twain
15. Between Past and Future by Hannah Arendt, Jerome Kohn
16. Male and Female by Margaret Mead
17. Growing Up in New Guinea: A Comparative Study of Primitive Education by Margaret Mead
18. Pomegranate Soup by Marsha Mehran
19. Plum Wine by Angela Davis-Gardner
20. The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella
21. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
22. 13.5 Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers
23. Tilt: A Skewed History of the Tower of Pisa by Nicholas Shrady
24. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
25. Peeling the Onion by Gunter Grass
26. Tolstoy's Short Fiction: (Norton Critical Editions) by Leo Tolstoy
27. The Sum of Our Days by Isabel Allende
28. Taking Pictures by Anne Enright
29. Passin' by Karen E. Quinones Miller
30. Adam, One Afternoon And OTHER STORIES by Italo Calvino
31. The Collected Short Fiction of Marianne Hauser by Marianne Hauser
32. The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson
33. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
34. Necronomicon by H.P. Lovecraft
35. Middlemarch by George Eliot (June 2009)
36. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
37. Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood
38. The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
39. Leave It To Psmith by P.G. Wodehouse
40. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
41. First Into Nagasaki by George Weller
42. The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike
43. Wolf Totem by Jiang Rong
44. The Famished Road by Ben Okri
45. Starbook by Ben Okri
46. The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst
47. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
48. Paradise Lost by John Milton
49. From the Shadow of Dracula by Paul Murray
50. White Gold by Giles Milton
51. The Unicorn by Iris Murdoch
52. Summer Doorways by W.S. Merwin
53. The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
54. Writing With Intent by Margaret Atwood
55. The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
56. Possession by AS Byatt
57. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
58. No God But God by Reza Aslan
59. A Chance Meeting by Rachel Cohen
60. The Black Angel by John Connolly
61. Big Boned by Meg Cabot
62. Amenable Women by Mavis Cheek
63. Pope Joan by Donna Cross (July 2009)
64. The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang
65. Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham
66. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
67. Chez Moi by Agnes Desarthe
68. The Keep by Jennifer Egan
69. The Island of the Day Beefore by Umberto Eco
70. The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde
71. Imperial Reckoning by Carline Elkins
72. Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
73. Jigs and Reels by Joanne Harris
74. A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif
75. The World To Come by Dara Horn
76. Forever by Pete Hamill
77. The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse
78. Margaret Wise Brown Awakened By the Moon by Leonard S. Marcus
79. Wandering Star by J.M.G. Le Clezio
80. Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning
81. The Assistant by Bernard Malamud
82. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
83. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
84. Magic Seeds by V.S. Naipaul
85. The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
86. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
87. Divine Comedy by Dante
88. Complete Prose by Woody Allen
89. Glass Book of the Dream Eaters by G.W. Dahlquist
90. We Never Talk About My Brother by Peter S. Beagle
91. The Keep by Jennifer Egan
92. Native American in the Land of the Shogun by Frederik L. Schodt
93. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
94. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
95. The Call of the Weird by Louis Theroux
96. Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson
97.Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
98. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
99. The Widows of Eastwick by John Updike

100. Florence Broadhurst - her secret and extraordinary lives by Helen O'Neil

So...the Japanese authors that were on my list before now have a new place...

1. Sputnik Sweetheart by Murakami Haruki
2. Five by Endo Shusaku

and the list making continues...


Oh, MY BOOK is still being written. My pace is a little slower than before but I still have lots of chapters to write out from my notes.

Everyday at work there is something new that inspires me. I take every "episode" and kind of twist it around to fit the dark but funny world my characters inhabit.
So many interesting people in the world....

Thursday, May 28, 2009

more books to read

Neil of my favorite authors.  I finally went and got one of his latest picture books
(illustrated by Charles Vess), "Blueberry Girl".  You can hear the book in it's entirety here:

          I love Mr. Gaiman's voice, his accent too. 

I enjoyed turning the pages along with the narration. It was kinda like being read a bedtime Neil Gaiman...(if he asked I would say yes, check this picture out...It's a joke by the way.)

I also bought "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith.
It has been all over the internet for quite a while, but I can't stand the cover...
I need to put a book jacket on this, pronto.  
My local bookseller has been very eager to sell this book (Pride and Prejudice, for some reason is one of my favorite reads), so I finally decided to pay up despite my anxiety.


Also grabbed "Physics of the Impossible" (a scientific exploration into the world of phasers, force fields, teleportation, and time travel) by Michio Kaku.  Whoa.

I like how the preface starts with a word from Albert Einstein: "If at first an idea does not sound absurd, then there is no hope for it."



...and I couldn't not buy the Commemorative Edition of Necronomicon - the best weird tales of H.P. Lovecraft.


I also bought all three books of the Divine Comedy by Dante today.
The wonderful bookshop owner was kind enough to tell me that I can read it online for free...

BUT I ALREADY TRIED THAT and it didn't work for me.  I NEED the paper and if I print it all out, I will waste paper and ink because the printer will get jammed...and the whole process will turn into some kind of zen training thing  (I would have to tell myself that "it will all pass...blah, blah, blah).

I also need to write memos and stuff in these books...they will be more like my notebooks.  I usually don't, (can't) do that with books, but on this occasion, an exception will be made.  It's (ehem) RESEARCH.


So, that's what I bought at the bookstore today...I wanted to by the new Haruki Murakami book "1Q84" but like many other Japanese books, this one comes in two separate books, each costing about 19 US dollars... I'll wait for the bunko edition (Japanese equivalent of the paperback edition).  I have tons to keep me busy (obviously) and two other Haruki books I have to read first anyways.


As far as my current reading endeavor goes:

"Middlemarch" is a good read so far (albeit a little dull sometimes) but I am not caught up with the majority of fabulous readers over at Fill in the Gaps.

So I should peel my eyes off this screen and stick them in the book...

The sticky note things you see on the side, mark the places I found particularly of them was in the book "Old and Young".  
Will (a young man who still doesn't have a real this point..and is probably falling in love with one of the main characters, Dorothea) is saying: 

"...I am not so ecclesiastical as Naumann, and I sometimes twit him with his excess of meaning.  But this time I mean to outdo him in breadth of intention."

Can you guess which word made me stop?  

Despite the fact that this story takes place in a time when there weren't even telephones, I couldn't help but imagine Will with a mobile phone, twittering.  Twittering and trying to say more in less words than Naumann.

Goooooooood grief. 

So much to read, so little time.  Now off to my other blogs...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

97 to 99 (filling in the gaps)

The picture is actually of numbers 97, 98 and  53 because The Leopard was right there in the same are with the other two books, nd I just love the cloth cover of my everyman's library edition!

97. Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham

98. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing

99. The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike (because I want to read the Widows Of  Eastwick!)

So, one more to go.  However, new books cross my path almost everyday and it so hard to stay focused on what I think I need to read the most.  I don't know how everyone else is managing to cross of those books on their lists so fast!