I’ve recently read and adored Edinburgh by Alexander Chee and The Briefcase by Hiromi Kawakami. Two very different books, one light and whimsical, the other dark and achingly powerful. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them. I live for books that do that for me.
Edinburg is poetically written. It weaves fairly tales and mythology into a dark and twisted tale about sexual abuse and its aftermath. My heart hurt so much during and after reading this. It’s difficult to articulate why I would want anyone to read this, since it made me sob like a baby, but it’s just one of those books that make you better for having read it. It gives you a glimpse into an unspoken and often times taboo subject. Trust me this book is amazing.
I was bound to love this book. Japanese food is among my favorite things in the world, and the descriptions in this are mouthwatering. It also had a reminiscent tone of Yoko Ogawa’s The Housekeeper and the Professor, a book I read and adored last year. Review here if you’re interested. At its core, the books centers around loneliness and relationships. How we try to convince ourselves we’re fine with our loneliness, the awkward moments of getting to know someone, and most importantly, how to simply get up in the morning and live our lives. It sounds like it would be an angsty read, but it’s not. It has humor, a little wry and dark, but it’s there. I found myself relating to the main character,Tsukiko. She’s comfortable being alone, but misses people all the time. She good at her job, overworks herself sometimes, and she is prone to crying for no reason. She felt real. This entire book felt real. A nice and sweet treat.
If you’ve read these or other books by these authors, let me know what you think.
Happy reading 🙂