Book Review: “The Retreat” by Mark Edwards

I read a lot. But I rarely read novels more than once – unless, like Climber’s High (or Seventeen as it was translated into English) for example, it’s related to my research. Novels are, by definition, meant to be novel, new. Part of the reasoning for not reading a book more than once is that…

Book Review: “Follow You Home” by Mark Edwards

If I were asked to provide a list of my favourite books, there would be quite a few in that list by Mark Edwards. Follow You Home would certainly make the list. Thanks to a Facebook video event that Mark hosted yesterday (24 March 2021) and that I was going to be given the opportunity…

Giri/Haji – Not Your Average Japan-related Drama

While Giri/Haji (‘Duty/Shame’) was first released on BBC, it is also available via Netflix. Although I had heard some good things about it, I resisted watching it. I’m not sure why exactly – probably as I feared that it could be yet another series that would play up on exoticising Japan in some way (and…

Reflecting on the Closure of the Azumazeki-Beya

Over the weekend it was announced that the Azumazeki-beya (東関部屋, Azumazeki Stable) is closing, merging with the Hakkaku-beya (八角, Hakkaku Stable). In amongst the stories about this closure, I also discovered that its former Oyakata (stable master), who had previously fought under the name of Ushiomaru (潮丸, real name Motoyasu Sano), had died at the…

Book Review: “Lies We Bury” by Elle Marr

After reading The Missing Sister, I was looking forward to reading Lies We Bury. It didn’t disappoint. They often say that the second novel can be the hardest one to write (and similarly about musical acts and their second album) as if the first one was excellent, people have raised expectations about the next one….

End the Movie-isation of World Book Day

Today is World Book Day. For last year’s World Book Day, I wrote about how we should focus on supporting independent authors rather than constantly turning to the well known authors. My post this year makes a similar appeal and builds on the problems with World Book Day that tend to stem from primary schools…

“FOUR” and its Swedish Links

In my third novel, FOUR, there are some Swedish links – this post says a bit more about this. If you look through the chapter listing you will see that one of the chapter titles is ‘Jag Älskar’. This, strictly speaking means ‘I love’ and is the title of a track on Bag of Trix…

Working Titles

Although when I start writing I have an overall idea for a book, I don’t always know exactly how the book will come together. This is true of both my academic books and novels. While with academic books there will be a more formal book proposal that will include a planned contents list and structure,…