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Showing posts from January 22, 2012

Plum Wine Review

Plum Wine by Angela Davis-Gardner is a historical novel set in Vietnam Era Japan. Like the author once was, the main character, Barbara, is an English teacher at a Japanese university. An interesting aspect of the main character's situation is that she speaks very little Japanese. I could not imagine living in another country and not speaking their language, especially in the predigital age. I was lucky enough to share my reading experience with Carrie at Books and Movies after she read a post where I listed some books I wanted to try and read and she shared she had Plum Wine to read as well.

As the story begins, a wine chest is being delivered to Barbara that belonged to her friend Michi. Michi has recently passed away and left this wine and chest behind. Though Barbara loves the gift she isn't entirely sure why she received it. One of the main themes in the book is the revelation of different layers of meaning.  After the chest had been delivered, Barbara looks around the ro…

Kitsune

One of the amazing things that a book can do is give you a glimpse of something that you desperately need to know more about. It might just be one little line or paragraph but your interest has been piqued. Plum Wine did this for me with its thread about the different fox mythologies in Japanese culture. The book is set in Vietnam Era when an American woman, Barbara, goes to teach English and Literature at a Japanese university.

I was fascinated about the superstition and mythology of foxes in Japanese culture as presented through the book. As always with fiction, I wonder where the facts end and fiction begins. But it was nice looking it all up when I was done with the book.  I found these fox stories were mostly called Kitsune myths. There are many different kind of Kitsune myths but as Lafcadio Hearn wrote in Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan "All foxes have supernatural power. There are good and bad foxes. The Inari-fox is good, and the bad foxes are afraid of the Inari-fox."…

Lenore's Dystopian February - Coming Soon

When it comes to books there are a lot of little milestones that happen every year, or a few times a year, that make me very happy. There is always the two book fairs at my local elementary school (especially the Buy One, Get One Free one in March) and LTUE - a symposium formally at BYU focusing on speculative fiction and featuring panels from some of Utah's best authors. But there is another semi annual event that is near and dear to my heart. And the best thing about it? You can be part of it too! It is happening right here on the interwebs and is hosted by Lenore from Presenting Lenore.
Do you know what it is? OF COURSE! 
 IT IS DYSTOPIAN FEBRUARY.
Lenore and I first met through twitter shortly before she had her first dystopian month. I remember it quite clearly, someone started about dystopia and SUDDENLY the topic blew up for 40 minutes on my Twitter stream and I had made at least a dozen new friends. When Lenore had her first dystopian February I was beyond excited, this …