Welcome to another week and another round of Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by our lovely The Broke and the Bookish! TTT is a bookish meme in which bloggers are given a topic each week and and make a top ten post on that topic.
This weeks topic is “Top Ten Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If You Taught X 101”. Originally I was going to college to be a teacher (*gasp!*) and literature classes were heavy on my syllabus each semester. I had Shakespeare (imagine that, right? *snickers*), Native American Literature, British Literature, American Literature, World Literature, Victorian Literature and a few others; but what was lacking was any type of asian literature.
If you’ve been on my blog for long, you probably know that I like Japanese novels. I was introduced to Japanese culture when my older cousin was shipped to the airforce base in Japan when I was in elementary and the family would send postcards. Since then I was hooked on not only the ancient temples, but also the towering (and cramped) cities.
So for this week’s TTT, I’m going with Top Ten Books That Would Be On My Syllabus If I Taught Japanese YA 101! Don’t forget to add your own faves in the comment section, or add a link to your own TTT!
1. Kieli (series) by Yukako Kabei
There’s nine books in the Kieli series and I adored every one of them. It’s a YA sci-fi series about a girl who can see ghosts, a solider who can’t die, and the ghost of a solider trapped in an old radio. There’s friendship, romance, and plenty of tears in the way only a Japanese book can bring about.
2. Book Girl (series) by Mizuki Nomura
Tohko is a Book Girl, or as Konoha, her younger classmate and only other bookclub member likes to call her, a book goblin. She eats books and savors their flavors and makes Konoha write sweet snacks for her. Every book in this series comes with a mystery to solve which eventually leads to Tohko and Konoha’s own big mysterious pasts. There’s just some things a book girl isn’t willing to share.
3. Train Man by Hitori Nakano
This book is a collection of forum posts originally on 2channel.net where our mysterious “Train Man” posted about his love woes. Train Man met his love Hermes (nicknamed after the teacups she gifted him) on a train during his commute. A drunk idiot was causing commotion and one thing led to another. Train Man, being a super shy geek, hit the forums to ask advice on dating and here we have his and Hermes’ story!
4. Calling You by Otsuichi
This book has three short stories that have to do with being connected. The first is about a girl that creates an imaginary cellphone in her mind that she uses to call people. The second is about a boy and his friend that finds he has the power to heal people. The third is about a survivor of a train crash who finds a singing flower in the hospital. Otsuichi is by far one of my favorite writers, but don’t expect all his books to be like this one. Most of his books are horror and gory enough to put Saw to shame.
5. My Girlfriend’s a Geek (2 volumes) by Pentabu
Oh my, this was an interesting one. This is taken from the author’s blog. He falls for a girl and later finds out she’s a closet fujoshi otaku. An otaku (geek)? He can deal with that, right? Except a fujoshi otaku ships M/M romance, and she has a habit of “shipping” her boyfriend with her favorite male characters. What’s he going to do now?
6. Milky Way Railroad by Kenji Miyazawa
This is a classic that can be read by children to adults. It’s full of imagery and symbolism but it shouldn’t be too hard to put two and two together to understand what’s going on. Basically two friends get on a train to the stars, but what the book is really about is facing death and dying. Very deep, very beautiful.
7. Brave Story by Miyuki Miyabe
It’s impossible to have this list without Brave Story. Wataru is a young boy with a mess of a family at home and all he wants is the power to change his fate. He’s given that chance in the world of Vision, if he can reach the tower of Destiny after collecting gemstones of charity, bravery, faith, grace and the power of darkness and light. He goes on a epic journey to change fate himself.
8. Slum Online by Hiroshi Sakurazaka
Alright, gamers! Etsuro is a gamer who balances college, a girlfriend, and his favorite pastime; a MMO called Verses Town. In the game he’s Tetsuo, a karate master and is adamant to beat “Ganker Jack” and be the best in the game. But, alas, he still has real life to deal with right? So how does a Japanese gamer balance games and real life?
9. Japanese Fairy Tales by Yei Theodora Ozaki
Anytime you think fairy tales you think of the Grim brothers, right? Well, anytime you think of Japanese fairy tales Yei Theodora Ozaki is the name that should pop into your head. Like the Grim brothers, he’s not the one who wrote the tales, but he did catalog them into anthologies for our enjoyment.
10. The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi
Finally, I’d throw in The Book of Five Rings, because everyone needs to read The Book of Five Rings at some point in their life. I’ll just leave you with the nine basic principles.
- 1. Do not think dishonestly
2. The Way is in training
3. Become acquainted with every art
4. Know the Ways of all professions
5. Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters
6. Develop intuitive judgment and understanding of everything
7. Perceive those things which cannot be seen
8. Pay attention even to trifles
9. Do nothing which is of no use