Welcome to the ninth chapter of our lockdown library—a series of great recommendations from our book exchange group to keep you entertained.

Book Swap at the Hive
Our TokyoCheapo book swap, hopefully to return one day soon | Photo by Lily Crossley-Baxter

Times are strange, there’s no denying it, but one thing that never changes is the charm of a good book. While our original book swap is on hold, our lovely swappers have offered their reading reccommendations for the masses. Check out our first few chapters for some great ideas and read on for even more:

Introducing: Eucharia

What’s your name?

Eucharia Donnery

Where are you from?

Fujisawa, Japan/ Cork, Ireland



Tell us about yourself (and your reading habits).

Japan has been my adopted home for nearly 22 years. I work in a small technological university down in Shonan, a mere 700 meters from the beach. It is a beautiful part of Japan, and has a very relaxed and chilled out vibe. My favorite genres are psychological suspense, dry comedy and observational drama. My favorite way to read a book is lounging on a sofa with the sea as background white noise on a device.

What are you reading right now?

Audiobook: Watching You by Lisa Jewell

Without further ado: the books

books on wood background
Photo by iStock.com/SB

1. A Far Valley: Four Years in a Japanese Village by Brian Moeran

Describes the author’s experiences of living in a rural village in Kyushu during the 70s and rewritten from his personal journals in the 90s. Really insightful.

Order it here.

2. Max Danger: The Adventures of an Expat in Tokyo by Robert Collins

This is a series based on a fictional, rather hapless Max when his company relocates him to Tokyo. Perhaps based on true-life occurrences, it is sometimes cringe-makingly funny!

Order it here.

3. Japan’s Cultural Code Words: Key Terms That Explain the Attitudes and Behavior of the Japanese by Boye Lafayette De Mente

After finding out the meaning of one phrase in this book, it seemed to surround me everywhere for weeks after, seemingly incredible that I had never noticed the phrase before.

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. 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 choice. An alternative option is Tokyo-based Infinity Books—they post within Japan and abroad (restrictions applied) and have a good range of books to check out!

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