Cartmel, Flip Back
-- more Vinyl Detective. Entertaining except for his girlfriend's wine snobbery. Wine snobs are bores.
Edith Shiffert, Kyoto Dwelling
-- collection of seasonal haiku by an American who lived in Kyoto from 1963 until her death three years ago, aged 101. She's also the person who did those appalling translations in the Anthology of Modern Japanese Poetry. Fortunately her own poems are more to my taste. She's especially good with February, which in Tokyo is the month of clear dry skies and plum blossoms. I expect Kyoto to be a bit mistier and wetter, given its bonchi setting, but not always:
Inside the plum grove
only one tree with blossoms.
blue, blue winter sky!
Bringing in the quilts
still warm with sunshine, shall I
take a noon-time nap?
As they are so few,
the plum blossoms excite us
this cold winter day.
A few snowflakes
caught in plum-tree crevices,
scent of white blossoms.
Through Murasaki's diary and its copious notes, about to start in on her poetic diary.
Ovidia Yu, The Frangipani Tree Mystery
-- so far, not as fun as Aunty Lee, but modern Singapore is more congenial than 1930s protectorate Singapore with the Japanese in the offing.
Err- the sequel to the Frangipani Tree, since I have it from the library.
Need to find something Japanese, but nothing excites me among the volumes available. Should I put a counter-hold on Kafuka in order to finish it, or let Whoever Has It Now have more than three weeks to read it in? Whoever may be Japanese and not need three weeks. OTOH there was a distinct relief in not having to deal with Murakami's hinkiness for a bit.