Have you joined the Tokyo Weekender Book Club yet?
Come join us as we dive into (mostly) contemporary books that are either written by Japanese authors, are set in Japan, or have some sort of connection with Japan.
We started out slowly with one book every three months (that’s a book for every one of Japan’s unique four seasons) but as of February 2020, we’ll be ramping up to one new book every month!
What We’re Reading Now (Dec 2019-Jan 2020)
This season we’re reading Ms Ice Sandwhich by Akutagawa Prize winner Meiko Kawami (translated by Louise Heal Kawaii). This novella is about a young boy and his crush on a sandwich seller we only know as Ms Ice Sandwich. Short but impactful, quirky and engaging, this sweet tale with its evocative prose is the perfect way story to end 2019 – or start 2020.
One final request: please use common sense if you’re sharing something that may be considered a spoiler. Tag it, include a warning, or try to work around it.
How it Works
The book club is completely free and online-based so you can join us from wherever you are in the world.
We’ll announce our next picks every season so you have time to decide whether you want to join us for the few books or not.
The Goodreads TW Book Club group will be our main gathering point. This is where we’ll ask discussion questions, exchange opinions, rant about characters and talk about whatever else is on our minds.
We hope you’ll share your thoughts with us via the TW Book Club group on Goodreads.com, on Twitter, and on our Instagram. (Don’t forget to use the hashtag #TWBookClub so we can find you.) We can’t wait to hear from you!
Something else to be excited about: we also plan on organizing exclusive in-person meetups and Q&As with authors and translators in the future.
Summer 2019 (June 1-August 31)
Our inaugural read was The Travelling Cat Chronicles, by Hiro Arikawa (translated by Philip Gabriel). The story centers around the cat protagonist, a street cat-turned-house cat called Nana and his human companion Satoru. Together, they go on road trips around Japan, seemingly on a mission but without a clear goal. It’s a heartwarming tale that any animal lover will enjoy.
Fall 2019 (Sep-Nov 2019)
Our second read was The Emissary, written by Yoko Tawada and translated by Margaret Mitsutani. Suffering the aftermath of a massive unspecified disaster, Japan sees its population divided, its young frail and dying, and its elders cursed with excessive longevity. Engrossing, unnerving and at times surprisingly whimsical, this short novel will stay with you long after you’ve finished.