Criminal Minds (not the tv show!)

Crime novels the

next thing to look out for but

only if books are cheap!


Has anyone read Keigo Higashino’s stuff?  I’m interested in getting started on his crime novels which are apparently the best-selling crime novels in Japan (not that they have to be best-selling but you might as well go for the best!).   I saw one reviewed lately but was taken aback by the price of it, even for a paperback!  I’ll try to get my hands on a copy somewhere as this novelist looks good to me and it will be a change from the usual stuff I read from Japan.   Incidentally, I came across a new work by Murakami H lately.  The hardback copy only which was also ridiculously pricey.  I haven’t spent that much on individual books since I bought  his 1Q84 (in its split set up of 1-2 and then 3 separately) and while that was worth it, it was hard to part with that much cash in one go at the time!   Anyway, this new one really doesn’t look that good to me.

I got two of Murakami’s first published short stories (re-published in the one book) out of the library a couple of months ago but I just couldn’t get into them.   I guess I have Murakami fatigue.   I rarely bring books back to the library unread so that was something.

Anyway back to all things crime, I managed to see A third murder on the plane on the way to Japan earlier this year.  It’s a good film starring Koji Yakusho.   I was stoked to see it was a film option as sometimes the film options aren’t great and I did want to see that one.   Also, this actor happens to promote this airline so that’s possibly another reason but not necessarily as he’s almost always in good films, which I’m sure show up on some airline film programme somewhere around the world.

A film I still haven’t seen which I have in my recommended film list is After the Storm, already out a year or more.  Another more recent one, to return to the crime theme, is called Shoplifters.  This looks really good, looking again at a complex family set up.  I think it is the late Kiki Kirin’s last film.

I’ll be looking out for those two family-themed films directed by Hirozaku Kore-eda who is just brilliant, as I may have said before 😉

I caught a pretty good drama lately – a horror called Crow’s Blood.  It’s about a transfer student with a major secret which brings nothing but woe to the school.  It’s quite good for something set in a high school (which I usually avoid) but Japan does horror pretty well as we know (though South Korea is catching up or has maybe surpassed Japan in the horror field). I’ve added that and another drama I checked out lately to my list in the drama and documentaries page.

Well, if anyone can recommend any other good dramas or novels, crime or otherwise, drop me a line.





Ode to Hokkaido

Hokkaido – Ainu,

Genghis (khan) curry, skiing,

under-rated bliss


Furano Flowers 

Otaru shopping alleys

Hakodate squid


Sapporo beer fest

with good pal who I hope has

escaped the earthquake


Lake Biei, Hokkaido




Reading and tv

Not much tsundoku

for me, well ok a bit

but blame the tv!


You all know what tsundoku means – having piles of books that lie around unread.  Well I don’t have a pile as such but I do have a few I want to pick up again or make a real start at, like those novels I bought back in February, but I just keep getting distracted by other books (though I have given up on one series of novels as I just couldn’t maintain an interest in it anymore so that’s one less distraction).    I think that’s ok though as you have to be in a certain state of mind to start a certain novel.  The Tale of Genji for example (I have the abridged version which is serious enough, nevermind the full version) requires a lot of time.  Other books are good for keeping for travel as they might be light in weight or subject matter. Though if they’re really serious looking ones, they might put the person next to you, on a plane or train, off talking to you, which can sometimes be a good thing!  I’m half joking.    They are good if you’re travelling on your own (or even with other people if you want to take a break from conversation) but not in all situations.

I’m reading non-fiction at the moment which is good and watching various things online has also been keeping me busy – dramas from various parts of the world and historical documentaries.  Oh and I do earn (or scrape) a living in my spare time!!   N/F have added some more Japanese stuff to the bill lately so I’ll have to check those out.   They look funny.   It’s a pity you can’t review anymore on N/F but I guess they thought that not enough people were reviewing or people were maybe putting up spoilers.  Who knows what the reason was.  I don’t think they explained it in the emails they sent around warning of their intention to remove reviews.  I wrote a lot of reviews (but avoided reading them before I watched something because of spoilers or ranting reviews). The star system was inadequate though so at least they took that off as well.    This thumbs up thumbs down system is ok but not when you have something to say!

Well, speaking of which I must pick up my latest series – a french drama set in Paris. It’ s good stuff.   jya, matta ne!!