Welcome to the second chapter of Lockdown Library—our new series of great recommendations from our book exchange group.
Times are strange, there’s no denying it, but one thing that never changes is the charm of a good book. Check out our first chapter (Trevor’s picks) for full series details—and extra reading inspiration!
Our second round of selections come from Chiara, a long-term Tokyo resident, vegan adventurer and top-class writer, so read on for some great suggestions!
What’s you name?
Where are you from?
Tell us about yourself (and your reading habits).
Hi! I have lived in Tokyo for exactly 10 years, and work as a writer/editor/marketer and singer. My favorite genres tend to be sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, short stories, and non-fiction about global issues. My favorite spot to read is my bedroom: the coffee is good, and the pillows are plentiful.
What are you reading right now?
Deep South by Paul Theroux.
Without further ado: Chiara’s top book recommendations
1. Dogs and Demons by Alex Kerr
This is not an uplifting book, but it explains a lot about the hidden side of Japan. Kerr tends to focus on environmental issues and how the government system reinforces ecological problems. Fascinating, but will also make you deeply angry with the system.
Order it here.
2. The Broken Bridge, an anthology of short stories collected by Susan Kamata
This book has 33 stories written by expats about Japan, and they are all deeply beautiful and moving portraits of Japanese society and how expats fit in.
Order it here
3. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
An amazing storytelling about a Dutch trader in Dejima, showing Japan before it really opened to the West.
Order it here
If you’re looking for more ideas, we have our own top picks for your consideration as well as a great guide on where to buy cheap books in Tokyo. While it’s not recommended that you go out right now, they’re good for future reference. Also, it’s worth checking if your local library has a delivery service like Saitama. If all else fails, your trusty Kindle is always an easy option!
Why we’ve chosen the book depository: They offer free worldwide delivery, ship from the UK (so still ok to get to Japan for the time being!) and use far less packaging than the likes of Amazon! Of course a Kindle offers the most package-free (and paper-free) option, but if you’re after the real thing, the Book Depository is a great option!