Friday, June 18, 2010

What Would You Recommend? - Fiction set in Japan

This is a question I get asked all the time working in the bookstore: "What would you recommend for somebody who loved "_________"? (fill in the blank)" Usually I can come up with something, but that something can be a bit of a wild guess if it's not a book or genre I normally read. This is where you helpful people come in. If you have a suggestion, I'd love to hear it.

This week's request was inspired by watching The Last Samurai the other day and by the realization that I need to widen my reading horizons. Thanks to that movie I've been hunting down some non-fiction books on the period. Now, I'd like to find some good fiction set in historical Japan. I've read Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden and someone recommended James Clavell's novel Shogun, (that was a challenge to find! Sold out at five different stores) but I don't know of many other books aside from Leslie Downing's The Last Concubine for Japan, although there are quite a few that I've seen/read for historical China. Interestingly, the author of that last book has written some non-fiction books about Japan as well.

So, what would you recommend as good novels? Or, good non-fiction books on Japan's history?
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