What have you just finished?
Lesley Livingston, Wondrous Strange. Rather well done, a cut above yer average YA for sure, and presses one of my archetype buttons. (Oberon, cough.) Would have run out and got the sequel if I didn't have other things that must be finished before I'm free to indulge in on-line library scavenger hunts.
What are you reading now?
Matthieu Ricard, Happiness. Clearly I have always wanted a French intellectual turned Tibetan lama to explain Buddhist concepts to me, because the tone and arguments are pretty much spot on. Of course, he says it's not a book about Buddhism, even if it incorporates Buddhist practices; maybe that helps?
Mizutani, Nihongo Notes9: Situational Japanese 4
There's a black hole on the right side of my bed, where I have a bookshelf whose lower reaches are blocked by a bunch of boxes (of manga, as it happens). But periodically I reach in to see if something I've lost is stashed there, and the last time I did that I found my old copies of Nihongo Notes, a series of columns written in the 80s for the Japan Times, that explains points of usage no one else talks about. Pulled one out to see how it read now. More useful than it did twenty years ago, is how, largely because it tells me stuff I pretty much know now. Still useful, for things like how to make your shite (do), kite (come) and kaete (change) *not* sound like shitte (know), kitte (cut), and kaette (go home.) In essence: foreigners tend to emphasize the first syllable of these words; this makes them sound as though the consonant is being held, turning eg shite to shitte. 'Try to raise the second syllable in pitch. The second syllable, raised in pitch, is naturally pronounced clearly and strongly, and the first syllable becomes relatively weak: thus shite is clearly distinguished from shitte.'
Reading these books used to bring on anxiety states, because I felt I had to remember all the points, and I couldn't. Still have that reflex with my ikkyuu books. Yappari, nothing works better than listening and reading, and I should do more of it.
What will you read next?
More Livingston, maybe. Or start on the coffee table wall.