Kills, Thrills, Love and Loss: New Titles from Japan Make Great Summer Reads

Source: Gaijin Pot

Wherever you find yourself this summertime — at home, at the beach or scrambling to find anywhere with air conditioning — there’s no better way to relax, indoors or out, than in the company of great summer books.

Here we give you all our recommendations of the best new books in, on, from, or about Japan to fill your free time and your imagination during the hottest of days. So, wherever you are, pull out that book, digital or paper and let it whisk you away.

Suspense and Mystery

If you need a little excitement to fill your summer then a mystery or suspense novel might do the trick and these three may well be the best ones released so far this year.

Fuminori Nakamura delves into the mysterious disappearance of a young girl who slipped into the cracks of an ominous local group in Cult X (May 2018, Soho Crime, 512 pp., ¥2,794). Noir and mystery ooze out of Nakamura’s writing, while the book is revealing in its examination of a cult that can’t hide similarities to the Aum Shinrikyo cult that led the sarin gas attacks on the Tokyo subway and others — a story still making headlines this summer. You’ll be kept on edge to the very end and even after it’s finished you’ll be happy to know that many of Nakamura’s other novels have been recently released in English, including the Akutagawa prize-winning The Boy in the Earth.

Another wild ride with connections to true events is Hideo Yokoyama’s newly released Seventeen (February 2018, Riverrun, 416 pp., ¥1,417), centered around the real life experiences of the author as a journalist during the 1985 JAL Flight 123 crash into the mountains in Gunma. …continue reading