owlectomy: A blonde woman in a pink dress holds up a broom, saying "Clean all the things!" (clean all the things)
This was a mega-best-seller in Japan, so I was curious about it on that basis, as well as because I always need help cleaning.

This book has a lot of cute anecdotes and a very friendly style, but you can boil it down to a couple of main principles:

-Throw out everything except things you LOVE, things that make you really happy, things that make your heart beat faster when you touch them. Throw out about 2/3 to 3/4 of what you own.

-Don't throw things out a little at a time, because that will make you feel like you're not making any progress. Set aside some time to clean ALL THE THINGS, because once you've experienced what it's like to have all the things clean you will be so moved that you won't backslide.

-Once you've thrown away most of your possessions, it's really easy to find good storage spaces for all your stuff and take good care of it and put it back when you're done.

Read more... )
owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
The library doesn't have a JSTOR subscription, so in looking for criticism of The Sound of the Mountain, I didn't turn up very much but an odd little review from a 1970 issue of TIME magazine, which declares:

Not since Icelander Halldór Laxness was plucked from above the tree line in 1955 has there been such total befuddlement as greeted the 1968 award to Novelist Yasunari Kawabata. )
owlectomy: A panda with its face in a book (yonda-panda)
On a 1 to 10 scale of dub vs. subtitled purists, I am a 9.7. I was going to say eleven but on second thought I can very happily watch the Disney dubs of the Miyazaki movies (though I would still prefer the subbed version). This is partly because I can say that it's Educational if I'm listening to Japanese and partly because I feel like dubs still often aren't that great when it comes to emoting (which is partly an awkwardness inherent in translation, in that sometimes you have so much to say that the only way you can say it is in one big emotionless breath).

I started watching Fruits Basket on Netflix, and got turned off when I realized it was a dub, and then decided to give it a chance only to realize that the voice actors really got on my nerves.

(And now that I look it up, Kyo's Japanese voice actor is Seki Tomokazu -- ♥ -- and Yuki's is Hisakawa Aya, who was Sailor Mercury! -- and I am extra resentful that Netflix didn't have the subbed version.)

But once I'd watched an episode I watched another episode and then another one and then I was crying because of the rice balls with plums on their backs. It's been that kind of week.

I really like that even though it's the kind of show where the main character ends up living with a bunch of attractive men, her female friendships are still very important to her. Uo is my favorite!

Sometimes the thing you need to hear shows up when you need to hear it -- which it did with Fruits Basket, and also with DIVE!!, the novel I'm reading for Read More Or Die. It's about a corporate-sponsored diving club that's doing so badly financially that it's in danger of closing after the death of the sponsoring company's CEO. His granddaughter happens to be a hotshot diving coach, though, and the diving club will stay open on the condition that one of its members gets into the Olympics in Sydney. Which are only a year and a half away. And the club only has one high school diver. It follows the conventions of sports stories, but there are still some surprises along the way, and it has a lot of good things to say about whether it's worth it to sacrifice for your dreams -- how much it's worth to sacrifice for your dreams -- how the work itself always has to be the real reward, rather than anyone else's accolades. Mori Eto is fast becoming one of my favorite Japanese writers; I found her adult short stories beautiful but full of advanced vocabulary. Since this is a YA book her vocabulary is simpler, but still vivid and graceful without the tics -- the endless eyebrow-knitting! -- of some light novels.

There is a movie, apparently! YES I WILL WATCH THAT PLEASE. But maybe not until I finish the novel, because the only thing that's keeping me up in the Read More Or Die rankings is the need to find out what happens next.


owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)

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