September wrap up

To illustrate September, I drew my collection of succulents. It’s a new hobby of mine, so I hope that I will be able to add new members to the family and keep them healthy.

As for books, I have read 4 this month, included my Kogoro Akechi for September.

『大金塊|怪人二十面相』by Edogawa Rampo (江戸川乱歩)

For some reason, the two novels in this book belong to the Boy Detectives Club (少年探偵団) series, which is a little bit different than the regular Kogoro Akechi series.

First, the Boy Detectives Club is written for younger readers, and secondly, the real protagonist of the stories is Yoshio Kobayashi, who is 12 or 13 years old. Kogoro Akechi is also present, but he lets his young assistant lead the investigation.

The stories are very nice, but they really do feel like reading a book for children. I still enjoyed reading them, and I must admit that the simpler writing style and more limited use of vocabulary was welcomed, but I also was not very engrossed in the stories either.

大金塊 was very easy to read, and the easiest read of this month with the essay by Momoko Sakura. I found 怪人二十面相 to be a little more difficult than 大金塊, but it was still easier than the regular Kogoro Akechi. 怪人二十面相 is not available on Aozora yet, but 大金塊 is.

『べスト8ミステリーズ』compiled by the Mystery Writers of Japan (日本推理作家協会)

I enjoyed these short stories very much, even though short stories is not my favourite format for mysteries (I prefer novels).

I highly recommend this book or any other books of this series (there is one published every year, this one was for 2017). The stories are all very different in style, some are more on the detective side, some more focused on the characters and their stories. One was very sad, others are lighter in tone. I find that it gives a good panel of different styles of mysteries.

As a result, I think that this collection is great both for fans of the genre, and readers who want to get into the genre or only occasionally read mysteries.

This book is the most difficult I read this month, because it contains so many different writing styles, so you have to get used to each of them, which I find more difficult than just reading an author I am used to reading. The other 3 books on this list are at least the 4th book I read by their author. This being said, the short stories were not difficult to read per se (maybe two of them were a little bit more challenging than the rest).

『ももこの世界あっちこっちめぐり』by Momoko Sakura (さくらももこ)

I have loved everything I read by Momoko Sakura, and though I prefer the essays about her childhood, I also loved this one about her travels very much.

This book is a collection of essays about several travels that Momoko Sakura did with her husband when she was in her thirties. For some reason, travel writing is a genre I never really enjoyed, but that might be because I only read heavily descriptive works. Sakura’s essays are really a lot of fun to read, she does not only talk about what they saw, but also how they felt when they saw it, she shares funny or memorable experiences and relatable anecdotes as well.

The publisher Shueisha made a mini website for the book: they published pictures taken by Sakura’s husband during their travels.

I always find Momoko Sakura’s writings very easy to read and perfect for Japanese learners.

『完全犯罪に猫は何匹必要か?』by Tokuya Higashigawa (東川篤哉)

This is the third book in the Ikagawa series, and the fourth I read (I started by the last one, and then came back to the beginning to read the books in order).

This is not my favourite detective series, because I prefer more serious and realistic cases, rather than humouristic and light ones. Still, I appreciated this one very much, the author always comes up with interesting cases, there is a real investigation going on every time, and it is easy to get attached to the recurring characters.

If you are interested in this series, I highly recommend to read the books in order because the novels sometimes hint at what happened in previous ones, and the characters’ relationships and connections are built over the different stories as well.

I wanted to read all the books on my TBR before the end of the year, but now I think that it will not be possible. The reason is that I forgot to include the three remaining Kogoro Akechi (one per month) and 2 of the books on my list are 900 pages long. I will also have less time to read in October, but I’ll try my best 🙂