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A Fistful of Fun

5 books you should read this month


Find a perfect place outside during the great weather, grab a book, and start reading.


Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

It’s not always tempting to read a novel before its film release, but when Tom Hardy plays the leading role it’s another matter. Hardy, like so many of my favorite actors, skirts the film industry’s edges seamlessly going between Hollywood blockbusters and low-key independent titles. His decision to do Child 44 should be reason enough to race toward this already National Bestseller before it hits theaters here in Japan. Set in Stalinist Russia, former MGB Agent Leo Demidov must investigate a series of child murders that ultimately lead to much darker systemic horrors. As the first part in a trilogy you’ll have much more to look forward to in the near future.


from the fatherland with loveFrom the Fatherland with Love by Ryū Murakami

If you’ve been a consistent member of Hyogo AJET’s Book Club you know that Ryū Murakami’s From the Fatherland with Love has been runner-up as the book to read time and time again. Finally though, this novel will have its time in the spotlight as it at last secured enough votes to be the topic of discussion for Hyogo AJET Book Club 10. Often known as “The Other Murakami”, Ryū Murakami’s novel is a fiction in which North Korea sees an opportunity during an economic collapse to invade Japan. As the Japanese government is powerless to stop the invasion, the country must rely on prior dissident Ishihara and his fellow disenchanted youth to resist the North Korean forces. If you’d like to join the discussion, join the Facebook group and come to the next meeting on Sunday, June 14.


go set a watchmanGo Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Although surrounded by controversy there’s no doubt a general excitement surrounds the release of Harper Lee’s second novel. After her Pulitzer Prize winning To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960, Lee largely remained quiet letting her single work echo powerfully for years. However, fans of the original story (and I can’t see how you couldn’t be) will be able to continue where To Kill a Mockingbird finished as Go Set a Watchman is a sequel. Scout Finch, now an adult, returns to Alabama to visit her father Atticus 20 years after the events of the original story and like with most coming home sagas, Scout must face her past and successfully navigate her feelings as well as her father’s.


message to adolfMessage to Adolf, Part I & II by Osamu Tezuka

Many know that Takarazuka City is known for their spectacular revue, but it is also home to the Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum. Manga-enthusiasts will be well associated with the name Osamu Tezuka, if not you’re probably familiar with his most famous work Astro Boy. However, the museum has recently debuted the manga series “Adolf niTsugu–BokuwaSenso no KataribeniNaritai” (Message to Adolf–I want to become a storyteller of wars) and it will be viewable until June 29. If you find yourself unable to make your way to the exhibit, pick up the published copies and enjoy the series on your own time. Different from most of his other works, the series touches on peace during wartime and is unique given Japan’s current struggle in regards to their own horrific role in the past.

Details: Ends June 29, ¥700, at Takarazuka City Tezuka Osamu Manga Museum


missoulaMissoula by Jon Krakauer

One of the best and most controversial investigative reporters today and another one of my favorites, Jon Krakauer is probably best known for Into the Wild and Under the Banner of Heaven. His next book Missoula tackles the issue of campus rape, an issue fortunately gaining more and more attention over the past few months. As always, Krakauer puts a human face on a national problem and the heartbreaking failures that persist in the current system.


Sean Mulvihill

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