Must-Read Books on Modern Japanese Fiction

Modern Japanese fiction books are becoming widely popular worldwide as Japanese authors are now being recognised for their unique way of writing. Below is a list of books that we highly recommend you read to get you started in the world of modern Japanese fiction.

Earthlings

Earthlings is written by Sayaka Murata, known for her successful novel called Convenience Store Woman. Earthlings start with Natsuki and Yuu’s childhood story, where they believe they are either an alien or a witch. Natsuki and Yuu are close cousins who spent a lot of time together during their childhood years. As the story moves forward to their adult life, Natsuki wishes to keep her promise to Yuu by reuniting in the Nagano mountains. Deeper into the story, what seems like a magical tale at first turns out to be a twisted story about mental illness and much more.

Banana Yoshimoto

The story is based on different scenarios about love, misfortunes and the importance of the kitchen in people’s lives. The main character is called Mikage, who is an orphan raised by her grandmother. When Mikage’s grandmother passed away, her friend Yoichi and his mother decided to take Mikage in as one of their family. As Mikage starts her life with a new family, she faces new challenges and more losses along the way.

The Lonesome Bodybuilder

Based on eleven short stories written by Yukiko Motoya and Asa Yoneda. Each story is a blend of real-life scenarios mixed with bizarre imagination and fantasies. It’s an excellent read for anyone looking for something eccentric that’s filled with reality and fantasies. One of the stories revolves around a housewife whom one day decided to practise bodybuilding. Despite the significant changes to her appearance, the people around her never noticed the changes.

A Tale for The Time Being

It starts with the story of Nao, a sixteen-year-old school teenager who is going through hardships in her life, including bullying and loneliness. Nao could only see one way out by ending her life. Before she leaves, she decided to document the life of her great grandmother, who lived as a Buddhist nun. 

The other side of the story is about Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island. One day, Ruth discovers a hello kitty lunchbox ashore. As she opens this mysterious box, she finds Naos diary, where both Ruth and Nao’s story collides.

The Best Movies Based on Books in 2021

Did you know that some of the best movies and series out there were first based on a book? If you’re one of the many people who prefer to read a book before it comes out as a movie or series, keep reading as we have a list of films based books this year that will undoubtedly grab your attention.

Firefly Lane

Firefly Lane is based on two young best friends who met in their early teenage years in the 70s. As they grew up together, they both witnessed the ups and downs of each other’s lives up to their young adulthood. It’s one of those books that are worth reading before you watch the actual show.

The Luminaries

The luminaries are based on the author’s Booker Prize-winning novel. It’s about the love of two people named Himesh and Eve, whom both met on a ship that sailed from England to New Zealand. The story was set back in the 1860s during New Zealand’s golden rush. Their story unfolds where they both had to leave each other due to life’s unpredictable circumstances.

Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone is the first novel from a trilogy called Grisha. Written by Leigh Bardugo, it’s an exciting read set in the 19th century in Russia. It’s packed full of romance, magic and adventure. The novel revolves around Alina Starkov, who grew up in an orphanage. As she navigates through her young adult life, she discovers that she holds a magical power that can change the world.

Chaos Walking

Chaos Walking is a unique story about a world where there are no women left alive. All women were swiped off the earth due to a deadly virus. On the other hand, all men who are left alive can hear each other’s thoughts. One day, Tom came across a girl called Viola. He was surprised and intrigued to find a woman alive since he’s only ever known a world without one. From here on, he knew that Viola’s life would be in danger. He promised to protect Viola at all costs. As the story goes on, he discovers new powers and secrets he’s never seen before. 

Best Books To Read In 2021

books

If you might be one of those individuals who enjoy reading, you must know that many benefits come with reading books. By any chance, if you might be one of those countless people who do not make a habit of reading books often, then you might be among those missing out on a lot of things.

Even with the challenging moments that everyone was going through in the previous year, many people embraced reading books to learn new things and eventually ended up enjoying their free time reading books. If you’re looking for books to read this year, look no further! Below is a list of interesting books that you can read this year.

Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour

In this book, the writer combines a sense of humour and social criticism. The book entails the story of a young man known for being very ambitious who took over into the sales business. Him being the only black man in that company, he called himself Black Buck. This young man is seen to be very talkative who could go even an extra mile to make sure that he manages to seal any deal.

The Prophet by Robert Jones, Jr

Robert jones narrates a story that entails love and legacy consisting of Isaiah and Samuel, who were enslaved in the same plantation. The bond between these two lovers is challenged by the hateful words spoken by their master, spreading suspicion and great division among their community.

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

The story revolves around a teenager Maverick Carter who want to practice fatherhood. He decides to change his life from being a drug dealer to a good father, but it was tougher than he thought. Even though he faces many challenges along the way, Carter was able to overcome them.

Different types of careers as a writer

Many people assume that a career as a writer only involves around writing a novel. However, this isn’t the case; in reality, there are many other writing careers that available out there. You don’t have to be a famous author to become a writer. You can be a writer and earn a living in other writing careers that don’t involve writing a book. Below is a list of writing careers that you can pursue.

Ghost Writer

Ghostwriters can be hired by anyone or by a company to write about anything for both personal or commercial use. You can be a ghost writer for a blog post, magazine, books, songs and many other similar texts. As a ghostwriter, your name won’t be published as an author as the credits will be handed over to the company or the individual who hired you as their ghost writer. 

Content Writer 

The rise of digital marketing and social media has opened up a new career for writers as a content writer. You can now apply as a content writer for a company or become a freelance content writer online. The primary role of a content writer is to write contents for a website or a social media post. 

Bloggers

Online bloggers are pretty similar to content writers. However, the main difference is that bloggers can write about their interest or for personal use. To start blogging, you will need to have a website, knowledge and audience who are interested in what you’re writing about. Successful bloggers can earn money through affiliate marketing and from their website traffic. 

Novelists

A novelist is a book writer for all kinds of books, including fiction and non-fiction. Many writers dream of becoming a well-known author; however, only a few writers have established a name through this career. It’s almost a hit or miss when a novelist publishes their book. Thanks to the internet, anyone nowadays can easily publish their book without having to wait or pay for someone else.

Benefits of Ebooks

E-Books are now everywhere in the market. If you love reading books, e-books may be an ideal gadget for you. We already know that one of the main benefits of e-books is that you won’t have to keep carrying your book around wherever you go. But what other benefits are there? Below is a list of benefits of why you should switch to E-books

Lightweight

Most e-books that are available in the market are slim and lightweight. Instead of carrying a heavy and bulky book, you can easily download the book in an e-book format, and you’ll be able to read the book from your device without having to carry a heavy load. 

Storage

Another benefit of owning an e-book is that you can store thousands of books in just one device. You can also access any books at any time from your e-book device. You also won’t have to carry multiple books with you physically.

Compatibility

You don’t necessarily need to purchase an e-book device, as e-book formats can be viewed and transferred to other devices such as your mobile phone or tablets.

Affordable 

E-Books are affordable, and you can purchase the device for less than £50. E-book formats are also cheaper compared to buying a physical book. 

Audio

E-Books also come with audio. You can switch on the audio mode and put your headphone on while you’re on the go. It’s also an ideal feature for people who find it difficult to read or don’t like reading from a text. 

Features

An e-book can also come with other extra features including night light, highlighter and dictionary. The night light is useful for people who like reading at night time. The highlighter is ideal for highlighting words or quotes. Another bonus is an automated dictionary where you can highlight the word, and it will provide you with a full definition. 

Advantages of publishing your book

book writer

Now that you have a book ready, the next step is to choose how you are going to publish it. You could choose to get someone to publish the book for you or publish the book yourself. With the help of the internet and technology, anyone in the world can instantly publish their own books. There are many tools online that will provide you with the step by step of publishing a book. If you decide to self-publish, there are many benefits that you can gain from compared to hiring someone else.

Financial benefits

Hiring someone to publish your book can take a chunk out of your money. However, when you opt for self-publishing, you’ll be getting all the financial rewards in the end.

Guaranteed to be published

Many book publishing companies have the power to deny your book if it doesn’t meet their standards or if they think it won’t be profitable in the market. Self-publishing, on the other hand, means that no one can stop you from publishing your books at any time. You have the freedom to publish it for everyone to see without anyone’s approval.

Creative control

Publishing your own book requires some creative procedures including designing your book cover and printing. You can be creative as you want on how you want your book cover to look. If you don’t have any experience in design, find someone you know who may be able to help you.

Price control

You will have full control of the pricing before publishing the book. It’s important to price the book right to ensure that it’s affordable for your readers and at the same time you are still getting the right amount of profit. It’s important to have balance in pricing, if its set too high, people won’t buy them and if it’s too low, you won’t be able to cover your costs and gain profit.

How To Become a Successful Writer

writer

Becoming a successful writer today can be quite difficult considering the huge number of competition in the field. If you want to achieve success, you’ll need to be able to make yourself stand out from the rest. Successful writers are the ones that can write interesting and creative stories. You have to be good with storytelling and using your imagination as much as possible. Another ingredient to success is also being able to write well. Below are some extra tips on how to become a successful writer.

Have a vision

Before you start writing, it’s essential to have a vision in your mind. It’s about visioning what kind of writer you want to be in the future and holding that image whenever you work towards that goal. The vision will motivate you to push further to achieve your goal.

Level up your writing skills

The best and successful writers have their writing skills on point. If you’re not up to a reasonable level, then you will need to find the time to practice and improve your craft. To improve your writing, it’s essential to read more and apply what you learn when you’re writing. Furthermore, you can also publish your craft online and ask other people to judge your work and ask for improvements.

Be driven

Be driven when it comes to pursuing your goal of becoming a writer. Many people give up too easily when they cannot see progress. But the trick here is to stay driven and be consistent with your work and good things will follow. The more driven you are, the more opportunities will arise in front of you.

Sacrifice

To become successful, you’ll need to work hard and make some sacrifices on certain things. It could be sacrificing your extra time to practise on your craft. You may also need to sacrifice perfectionism to get things done. Many creative writers tend to procrastinate and put their passion on hold due to being terrified of not being perfect. There’s no such thing as perfect, what matter is the progress and the consistency that you have. Your work can be edited later, and you don’t have to stay stuck on one thing.

How to make your book idea successful

Your story may be highly interesting but the question is will it be something that people will buy? Before publishing your book, it may be worth asking yourself some of the questions below and see if there are some parts where you can develop and improve your idea to make it to the top of the market.

Who is your audience?

It’s important to narrow down your audience to a specific category. Having a specific audience will help your business gain a marketing edge as you’ll be able to effectively sell your books the right people who are the most interested in your book. When targeting your audience, you will need to be specific as you can. For instance, instead of focussing on women, you can also identify which age group they would be.

How good is your writing skills?

It doesn’t matter how amazing your idea is if your writing skills are weak and lacking as people will not be interested in reading a book that’s difficult to understand or has many grammatical errors. Ideally, you would want to make sure your writing skills are polished and are up to a high standard. If you think your writing needs improvement, you may want to consider attending a writing class or hiring a private coach that can help you increase your skills.

Does your book have something new to offer?

Thousands and thousands of books are being published yearly, so it’s easy to have an idea that another author may have already written about. Some authors have also tried to alter an old idea, but they usually do not work unless the idea has been turned into something entirely new. Some of the best ideas out there are ultimately out of this world. If you can create a story that can make people think or exceed their imagination, then you have hit the jackpot.

The best books on Asia

japan

There are many great books out there that talks about the different parts of Asia. If you’re interested in reading books about adventures in Asia or story plots that describe various places in Asia, we recommend that you continue to read on as we’ll be listing some of our recommendations below.

Hokkaido Highway Blues by Will Ferguson

The book is mainly about the author’s experience in hitch-hiking while he was in Japan. Will hitchhiked for 1,800 miles through the north of Japan. He tells us about everything he has encountered during his journey in Japan.

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

The Shanghai Girls are based on China’s history when the Japanese bombed the country. The story focuses on two sisters who went through the difficulty of escaping their country and start a new life in America. It also tells us the experience of the life of an immigrant living in the USA back in the war times.

Backpacker Business by Nikki Scott

The book is about the author Nikki and how became a backpacker traveller to a business entrepreneur. Nikki was a complete beginner in backpacking when she decided to travel around Asia. The book will teach you to think differently about the kind of life you want to lead. At the end of her travels, she discovered on how businesses are run in Asia. By the end of her journey, Nikki launched her first travel magazine across Asia.

Mission Mongolia by David Treanor

The mission Mongolia is about two friends who have decided to travel from London to Mongolia using an old and cheap van. They are both redundant journalists who are looking for an adventure from their daily routine. Throughout their journey, they’ve come across cheerful locals who have helped them along the way. They were also able to experience the darkest sides of the country.

Tips to improve your reading hobby

book

Many people enjoy reading books as their hobby, but did you know there are many ways you can get more fulfilment from reading. Let’s take a look at the following tips you can try to improve your reading hobby.

Location

Finding the perfect place to read without any distractions is ideal as you don’t want to be interrupted by any noises around you. The perfect place to read would be an area where there it’s quiet and has a calming atmosphere. A few examples include your local library, small coffee shop or a quiet space in your own home.

Themes and topics

Instead of sticking with the same genres of books, it might be worth trying out a different topic that you find interesting. Choosing a topic that you’re most interested will keep you entertained throughout and less likely to bore you. This way you’re more likely to finish the book you’re reading till the end.

Take breaks

Many bookworms tend to read the whole book in one go, instead of doing a reading marathon, it’s best to take some breaks in between. Taking breaks will help you be more aware and alert of the information that you’re trying to read. Breaks such as stretching, napping, walking or even listening to music.

Reading position

Find a reading position that you’re most comfortable. It will be different for everyone. You can see which one works for you by trying out a variety of positions from sitting, lying down or any other position you’re most comfortable with.

Passion for reading

Having a passion for reading and learning is essential. Don’t read a book just to impress everyone around you, make sure you are reading for your benefit and because you want to. Never read a book just because everyone one around is reading something.