Hotel Iris by Yoko Ogawa
My Rating: 4/5 stars
‘In a crumbling, seaside hotel on the coast of Japan, quiet, seventeen-year-old Mari works the front desk as her mother fusses over the off-season customers. When, one night, they are forced to eject a prostitute and a middle-aged man from his room, Mari finds herself drawn to the man’s voice, in what will become the first gesture of a long seduction.
Mari begins to visit the mysterious man at his island home, and he initiates her into a dark realm of both pain and pleasure. As Mari’s mother and the police begin to close in on the illicit affair, events move to a dramatic climax.’
Like many other book lovers, I have quite a large physical TBR pile just waiting to be read. I’m really trying to not buy more books until I have read more of the books I already own. Here are the ones I want to read the most and will hopefully get to soon.
This one people either tend to love or not really like, I want to read it to see which side I fall. Plus I really love the synopsis for it, people traveling to fantasy realms is always up my alley. It has been sat on my shelves for at least 6 months now and it isn’t that long so I really to get to it.
Books I read and finished in February
The first thing I finished reading was the Orange collection volume one manga by Ichigo Takano, there are only 2 parts of this manga collection so I will write-up my review once I have read volume 2 but I really loved the first volume. Then I read an eARC of In The Night Wood by Dale Bailey which I received via Netgalley, an enjoyable gothic mystery thriller. I then decided to jump back in to the world of Saga as I had previously only read up to volume 6 of the graphic novel so I read volume 7 and it felt good to be reading it again. I have volumes 8 & 9 ready to read so I will hopefully get to them soon.
Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye was Fairyloot’s January book which I read and thoroughly enjoyed in February. Then I finally finished A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, I took my time reading this but I really enjoyed it and plan on finishing the series this year. The last book I finished right at the end of the month was Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas, part of the Throne of Glass series. I’m still very much loving reading this series and can’t believe I only have 3 (rather large) books left to go, I will be sad to finish it but plan on picking up Sarah J. Maas’ other series A Court of Thorns and Roses afterwards.
I never stick to a rigid monthly TBR but I have already started reading A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer and Frankenstein by Junji Ito so I will finish those. I have a planned buddy read of After Dark by Haruki Murakami with the lovely Keira which I’m really excited about. The other book I would at least like to start in March is The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon which is one of my most anticipated reads of 2019, but as it is over 800 pages I don’t expect to finish it in March but you never know. What are you planning to read in March?
Favourite K-Pop releases in February
- Monsta X – Alligator
- Loona – Butterfly
- Dreamcatcher – Piri
- Ateez – Hala Hala
- SF9 – Enough
- Lay, NCT 127, Jason Derulo – Let’s Shut Up and Dance
Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch update: STILL NO NEWS
I read my first Murakami book in 2018 and oh boy, this book is now one of my favourites of all time! One of those books I feel everyone should read at least once. I’m not a huge re-reader (ok not a re-reader at all) but I will for sure be reading this book again in 2019, and probably once a year until I die to be honest. Please read it!
Most people who have read this book describe it as being an anime in book form, and that is pretty accurate. What a fun, emotional ride. Being a huge fan of Japanese culture and mythology I enjoyed this SO much. Great cast of diverse characters, good and evil and a giant monstrous centipede. The sequel comes out in 2019 and I can’t wait.
My first V. E. Schwab book and what a great introduction to an author. Self made super villains, switching timelines and great characters. This book challenges morality and the way we perceive what’s wrong or right. Who will you root for?
2018 was also a discovery of my new favourite author and I ended up reading the majority of his English translated work. Sound of waves in particular touched me and gave me all the feels, another one I will end up re-reading. I still have some of his books to read in 2019 but I’m savoring them like the precious gems that they are.
I feel like this was quite a popular book from 2018 and rightly so. It has a lot of trigger warnings for sexual abuse, violence and rape though. It also features a F/F romance and is written really well in my opinion. The sequel is out in 2019 and I will for sure be picking it up, this book leaves on a bit of a cliff hanger and I need to know how this plays out.
Another awesome Japanese author discovery for me, this book is made up of 11 short stories that all inter connect in some way and will leave you feeling CONFUSED, but in a good way. An excellent unique read and another that I would recommend everyone to read at least once.
I recently posted my review for this book but in summary, a VERY dark Alice in wonderland inspired story, set some years after the events of the original story. Trigger warnings for extreme violence and sexual abuse. Revisit all of the old Alice in Wonderland characters with a very evil twist.
Set in the future where all illnesses are cured, humans can live forever, no poverty or hunger issues. So how do they keep the population down? Random people get chosen to become Scythes and they get to pick and choose who dies, for good. Great read aside from the unneccessary romance.
A pleasant surprise, I went in to this thinking it would be more of a children’s book but I was WRONG and it was amazing. A school that children come to after they return from spending years in a different world. Loved the humor, characters and dark themes.
A great author debut from 2018. Multi perspective fantasy adventure trying to reclaim the magic that was taken from them very brutally. There is one character I didn’t really like and some insta love that didn’t make too much sense but over all a fun read. The sequel comes out in 2019.
This is my own personal list, reading Japanese authors earlier this year actually got me back into reading fiction on a regular basis so they really hold a special place in my heart. All of these books I gave 5 stars. If you haven’t read Japanese authors before, these are the ones I would really recommend giving a go. I still have a lot of books from each of these authors left to read so I will probably make more of these lists in the future. If you have any favourite Japanese authors or books that aren’t on this list, please feel free to leave me a recommendation in the comments and I will check it out.