Thursday, March 20

Man in Tokyo's March Read-a-thon

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I love this guys frown. He is so sick of telling people that no, you can't go this way. "Go around the other way...I mean, how many times do I have to tell you idiots." If you look closely, all of that is clearly stated in his frown. It is if you ask me.

Comment Questions Answered:

This is my current favorite Santogold track. It's "You'll Find A Way", the Switch & Graeme Sinden Remix. It is super. And according to my research the album is hitting stores on April 22. Info via Amazon.

The other question is related to the picture of the stone sculpture I posted last week. It came from a famous temple in Asakusa.

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This kind of shows what the area looks like. I went there a few years ago. It is one of the places that you HAVE to go to as a tourist. I resisted for a long time, but I did finally go. I wonder why I hate touristy places with such vengeance. I really hope to get over this personality foible at some point.

Now that those are out of the way, we can get on with the show. So, I have been reading a lot lately. It is the best way for me to deal with stress of my current project. I used to play video games to take my mind off of the worries, but that produced too much guilt. With books I can at least convince myself I am doing something educational to pass my time.

dont love me
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I picked this promotional copy at second hand bookstore. A nice find for sure. I have a high expectation for Jonathan Lethem's books. Sadly, as good as "You Don't Love Me Yet" is, it did not hit me like his other books have. Still well worth the time I put into it and it did get better and better the more I read. I think I like what he has to say about friendship and relationships in general more than specifically love in the modern world. The comedy of the novel did work well. And his thoughts about copyright and ownership were very interesting as well.

It is clear that Mr. Lethem practices what he preaches because he is giving aways the rights to his story to a lucky film maker. Giving away as in for free. Read all about it HERE. Very cool stuff and ground-breaking too.

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Hari Kunzru is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. He is consistently readable and he was able to make a context (Early 20th Century in India, England, and Africa) interesting and compelling. The ending of "The Impressionist" may not have made me happy, but it was a very interesting work about identity. Specifically the struggle between who you are and who you desire to be. He also wrote a fantastic short story about our relationship with product placement...if taken once step further. Read is HERE.
[via Murketing]

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Let's take a break from all this highfalutin modern literature and get down into the gutter with my man Vachss. I have been on a mission to posses all of his books, and I am getting closer and closer. They are actually kind of hard to find in stores. Therefore, when I visit the US I made a monster order from Amazon and got these 3 older books. All 3 were great. All 3 were dark. All 3 were filled with his particular style of hard-boiled story telling. As always, I recommend anyone to read these books. One word of warning, "Blue Belle" had tons of sex in it. Trying to read on the train became quite a problem. Other than was golden all the way! Oh, and just in case you have not been properly introduced, this is Andrew Vachss.

vachss shot
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Yeah, that is a leather eye-patch. I dare you to ask him about it. I will wait in the other room. Good luck with that. [image via The ZERO]

what is the what
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What a book this was! Holy Crap! So depressing. It took a lot of effort to get through it. My benchmarks of what constitutes a hard life have been stretched significantly. That is not to say the book Dave Eggers "What is the What" is a complete torture to read. I just think you should be prepared to be in a bad mood for a week or so.

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Both of these were superb. "The Road" was a stark and moving a book as I have ever read. It really created a world with through the a sparseness words and images. The world is almost more memorable than the characters. Which is the opposite for "No Country For Old Men". The context matter little, the people and their quirks were way more important. I am in a hurry to read Cormac McCarthy's other books. I have a feeling they will all be good, but all different in their style and techniques.

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William Gibson's last couple books have been amazing. And "Spook Country" is no different. Color me impressed! If you have been sleeping on his last books, wake up and start reading already.

This edition of the Man in Tokyo Read-a-thon is completed. Now it's time to eat up!

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In Japan today we had ourselves a national holiday. Hooray! Sadly it was gross outside. There have been all kinds of signs about the coming of spring, but today was all cold, dark, and rainy. Not the sunny warm Spring I wanted. Booo! My girl was in no mood to re-live any winter fun, so she camped out at home until dinner. We went to our local place and had some tasty dinner. Above was their new Tuna & Avocado dish. Not bad, but I preferred soy sauce to the tarter sauce they provided. But, as you can see...

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...we didn't have many complaints about the food. We ransacked the place. Man, I love me Japanese food. The beer ain't too shabby either.

And lastly today, Earlier in the day I ran out to Shinjuku to pick up a little something I have been contemplating for way to long.

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These are the SHURE SE210 Sound Isolating Earphones. They are worth the pretty penny I dropped on them. They will be getting a work out in the next couple weeks!



Anonymous said...

Vachss rules! I reread the Burke series from Blue Belle to Sacrifice at least once a year. Also, his stand-alone novels are *awesome*.

But I think you'll always have a real hard time finding the English versions in Tokyo stores, because his books (at least the earlier ones) were published in Japanese. So the bookstores wouldn't be as likely to stock the English copies.

Still, you don't have to wait until you visit the US to get your fix -- Amazon Japan carries the English versions, which is where I've been buying them. The prices are pretty much the same.


Anna said...

I still can't believe that as a little kid you hated reading, and now look at you. Now you read more than me. I need to catch up! But not with Vachss, he's scary!

Gretchen said...

is that the same book as the movie "no country for old men" ? and as many times as i've seen the new earphones on v-chat i just have not been able to comment or ask you how they are working...i hope they are good and that "wait for it" worked for you, delaaaay gratification. oh, the dude at the outset of your blog just looks plain exasperated, probably the same look my kids see on my face everyday! be well bro.

John said...

good news on william gibson, i have been wondering for some time if spook country was worth it. i'll pick that one up for my next read. glad the h-phones worked out for ya as i wasn't around to give any advice but it seems that you were on the proper track anyway.

John said...

I liked Lethem's Gun, with Occasional Music and Amnesia Moon. I'm also a big Gibson fan.

But Cormac McCarthy? Could not stand his writing. I started No Country and hated the pompous writing style so much, I returned it after a few chapters. The sentence that finished me off was something like "He glassed the canyon with his binoculars."