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View Poll Results: Whose debut will we witness in August?
The Winter Queen by Boris Akunin 2 33.33%
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman 3 50.00%
Some Tame Gazelle by Barbara Pym 2 33.33%
I Am a Cat by Soseki Natsume 5 83.33%
Fer-de-Lance by Rex Stout 3 50.00%
Every Day is Mother's Day by Hilary Mantel 2 33.33%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 6. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-10-2019, 01:19 PM   #16
astrangerhere
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I have always found Soseki to be relatable, but I have a passing knowledge of the Japanese language and have read many books on the history of Japan and its culture. Hopefully, I can contribute to the conversation in a useful way.
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:00 PM   #17
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I am looking forward to this novel. One of my favorite reads last year was a modern Japanese novel, The Traveling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa. Therefore I am curious to read another cat book from a different era.

Perhaps a quick overview of the Meiji era of Japanese history (time period when the book was written) might be helpful in understanding the satire.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meiji_(era)
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:54 AM   #18
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I have always found Soseki to be relatable, but I have a passing knowledge of the Japanese language and have read many books on the history of Japan and its culture. Hopefully, I can contribute to the conversation in a useful way.
I worked for a Japanese company for 10 years. But sadly, the limit of my Japanese is about a half dozen words or phrases.

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I am looking forward to this novel. One of my favorite reads last year was a modern Japanese novel, The Traveling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa. Therefore I am curious to read another cat book from a different era.

Perhaps a quick overview of the Meiji era of Japanese history (time period when the book was written) might be helpful in understanding the satire.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meiji_(era)
Thanks for that. It should help.
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Old 07-15-2019, 03:50 PM   #19
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I’m in. The preview on Amazon looked promising.

Of course we’ll have to read a dog book next month. Equal time, etc.
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:46 AM   #20
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I’m in. The preview on Amazon looked promising.

Of course we’ll have to read a dog book next month. Equal time, etc.
Oh, excellent!

If you want a dog book the next time, you'll just have to come up with one that fits (it can be a stretch) with the theme for September, Labour of Love: Working Class. But in terms of equal time, I'll note that you're our fourth cat avatar and we've got only one dog.
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Old 07-16-2019, 07:35 AM   #21
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Cats would never agree to equal time with dogs. They have never got over being gods in ancient Egypt.

Maybe a biography of a guide dog would fit the next theme, always supposing there was such a book! They are certainly amazing dogs.
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:59 AM   #22
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Oh, excellent!

If you want a dog book the next time, you'll just have to come up with one that fits (it can be a stretch) with the theme for September, Labour of Love: Working Class. But in terms of equal time, I'll note that you're our fourth cat avatar and we've got only one dog.
There is an awful lot about his working dog Floss in James Rebanks excellent A Shepherd's Life.
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Old 07-16-2019, 10:39 AM   #23
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Balto the sled dog is the subject of several books, including The Cruelest Miles.
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Old 07-16-2019, 02:46 PM   #24
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Clearly, there are possibilities! The Rebanks book sounds particularly interesting, especially to one who bemoans the death of the seminal British television series One Man and His Dog.

I admit, I had a more prosaic set of books in mind when I suggested this theme, but if there's one thing we've all seen in the last year and a half, it's that themes have a life of their own!
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Old 07-19-2019, 08:03 AM   #25
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Or Chet, hard-working private eye dog extraordinaire in Spencer Quinn’s series. Another animal narrator for Issy!

That does feel like a bit of a stretch, though. Were there any dogs in “Grapes of Wrath”?
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Old 07-19-2019, 08:26 AM   #26
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Or Chet, hard-working private eye dog extraordinaire in Spencer Quinn’s series. Another animal narrator for Issy!

That does feel like a bit of a stretch, though. Were there any dogs in “Grapes of Wrath”?
Heh. Dog on It was nominated last November, as an unreliable narrator. (It could be nominated again.)
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Old 07-28-2019, 07:58 AM   #27
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So how are people going with I Am a Cat? I started a couple of days ago as it's very long - my iPad says 764 pages, but of course that will vary from one device to another.

I'm into Chapter 3, and I must say that although it reads easily enough, I am finding it rather hard going. No doubt this is at least partly because of my lack of understanding of Japanese culture and attitudes.

Without trying to start a discussion before time, I'm curious to know if others are enjoying it or finding it hard work?
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Old 07-28-2019, 05:22 PM   #28
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Hard work. I have read two chapters so I’m on Page 70 of 471 according to my Kindle.

I don’t know if your book has an Introduction or if you perhaps skipped it to avoid spoilers. It says the early parts of the book are uneven and jerky. The second chapter is nearly the longest of all. It says in the third chapter that he finally “hit his stride” in “tone, length, and character” so maybe it will get easier as we continue reading past Chapter 3.
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Old 07-28-2019, 05:30 PM   #29
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Hard work. I have read two chapters so I’m on Page 70 of 471 according to my Kindle.

I don’t know if your book has an Introduction or if you perhaps skipped it to avoid spoilers. It says the early parts of the book are uneven and jerky. The second chapter is nearly the longest of all. It says in the third chapter that he finally “hit his stride” in “tone, length, and character” so maybe it will get easier as we continue reading past Chapter 3.
Oh, thank you! I did skip the introduction to avoid spoilers and this is good news.

I'm at roughly the same point as you; I started earlier than usual because it's long. It moves quickly and it's witty, but I was starting to wonder if he was going anywhere with it.
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Old 07-28-2019, 06:38 PM   #30
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And thank you from me too, Bookworm-Girl. I had left the Introduction for later, as they so often do have spoilers.

Okay, I shall plough (or plow) on and see how things develop.
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