Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Yudan - Kyogoku Natsuhiko
The Decagon House Murders - Ayatsuji Yukito
Confessions of a Mask - Mishima Yukio
The Melancholy of Mickey Mouse - Matsuoka Keisuke
Eien no ko - Tendo Arata
Norwegian Wood - Haruki Murakami
Lesson of the Evil - Yusuke Kishi
The Incite Mill - Honobu Yonezawa
Hibana - Naoki Matayosi
Kuzu to Megane to Bungaku Shoujo (Nise) is a 4-koma created by Nico Tanigawa (the authors of WataMote), following daily lives of two guys and a girl who just entered their first year of high school.
An ordinary high-school student, Koga, falls in love with a(n apparent) cute bookworm, Iori Orikawa. The only problem is that he only reads gag manga and erotic comedies, and thus can't hope to impress her in a discussion about books. After his attempt to get into a library committee with Orikawa (to spend more time with her) backfires on him, he turns to his classmate, a loner bookworm, Moriya, for some book recommendations in order to have something to talk about with Orikawa.
Have you read any of these books beside Dostoyevsky, Mishima and Murakami?
I went to the junk shop because my washing machine broke and I was hoping to find a cheap replacement. The one they left aside and tested for me wasn't working. I went there for nothing. They also sell books but they're your usual shitty sentimental novels, so I was only superficially glancing at the covers. Then I found a basket with seemingly brand new books, and here's what I got for $9:
N.P, Banana Yoshimoto
Lizard, Banana Yoshimoto
A volume with the diaries of Sarashina, Murasaki Shikibu and Izumi Shikibu
Himatsubushi no Satsujin, Jirō Akagawa
South of the Border, West of the Sun, Haruki Murakami
After the Quake, Haruki Murakami
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, Haruki Murakami
Raffles Hotel, Ryū Murakami
69, Ryū Murakam
Hotel Iris. Yōko Ogawa
Pregnancy Diary, the Diving Pool, the Bees, Yōko Ogawa (boxed set)
Kanpeki na byōshitsu, Yōko Ogawa
A collection of short stories by Muramatsu Tomomi , Ryûji Morita, Hayashi Mariko, Makoto Shiina, and Fujino Chiya
The Voice, Seichō Matsumoto
Points and Lines, Seichō Matsumoto
Inspector Imanishi Investigates, Seichō Matsumoto
Last one is by a Chinese scifi writer but it looked promising with all the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Awards. I've never heard of the genre``silkpunk'' before.
The Paper Menagerie and other short stories, Ken Liu
Oh, and I forgot them at the bottom of the bag, there was also a book by Ryō Hara and another by Albert Londres (I know he's not Japanese)
Nice haul. I just finished Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto in Japanese. I'm not sure I would've paid it much attention in English, as it's not my usual type of novel and can be read in a sitting and then easily forgotten, but the experience of reading it in a language I hardly know was enlightening. When you're stumbling over every sentence, when each small bit of understanding must be wrested from the dictionary, you have a lot more time to inhabit the prose and figure out what the author intended by each word. The emotional impact was probably dented by such a 凸凹 manner of reading, but I feel like I achieved a deeper and more subtle understanding of it nonetheless.
I can't read japanese, sadly. I used to read mostly classics but I grew an interest in contemporary literature and I try to read living authors now. I've never heard of Banana Yoshimoto before but the back-cover texts were appealing.
Traduttore, traditore. It won't be the same enlightening experience as yours. I'll report back if there's a treasure in the list nonetheless.
I don't want to oversell it; if I could exchange that extra bit of understanding of the book with actual fluency I would in a heartbeat. After all, it took me a month to read a book that would take a native a handful of hours, time that I could have spent getting many more insights from many more books. It's a good thing to have to experience once or twice, though.
Do you have any recommendations for contemporary stuff, particularly experimental fiction? I haven't delved too deeply into it as it seems to me that most English publishers nowadays are unabashedly mercenary in their choice of what to publish, and that authors are similarly uninterested in pushing boundaries. My impression is that the situation is better in other languages, but I don't think much of that is being translated.