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Topic: Long flight ahead. What to read?

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Subject: Long flight ahead. What to read?
Date Posted: 6/11/2008 8:01 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2008
Posts: 9,939
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In September, I am going to Japan. It is a 13 hour trip. Would like suggestions for for "quick reads" that are interesting!

Also, any suggestions on books about Japan or set in Japan to read before going?

Thanks, in advance.

Date Posted: 6/11/2008 8:43 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 10,759
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Clara, I recently purchased a book about living in Japan called Japanland.  I have not read it yet however, though from the synopsis on the cover it looks like something that would interest you.  Here is the PBS link:


Have fun in Japan!  Please bring me back some Sanrio stuff.  ;-)

Subject: Japan trip
Date Posted: 6/11/2008 8:59 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2008
Posts: 9,939
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Have added Japanland to my Wish List. Thanks for the suggestion.

Date Posted: 6/11/2008 9:40 AM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2006
Posts: 4,325
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The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama

Here's the PBS Link for it.

I enjoyed Women of the Silk too, although it is set in China.

Last Edited on: 6/12/08 11:16 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 6/11/2008 10:01 AM ET
Member Since: 5/21/2008
Posts: 107
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If you're interested in a Japan travel guide, I'd check out Rough Guides: Japan or Frommer's Japan guide. It's not exactly novel format, but I took a European guide on my flight to Europe, and it gave me tons of ideas for what to see and where to eat when I got there.

One book that a friend recommended, if you're into a light historical read is called Japan and Her People by Anna C. Hartshorne. She said it's short and interesting.

She also recommended these two books: The Global Etiquette Guide to Asia by Dean Foster and
Etiquette Guide to Japan: Know the Rules...that Make the Difference by Boye Lafayette De Mente. Apparently one of her travel companions made some big etiquette blunder that got them removed from a restaurant and yelled at by a few people.

Date Posted: 6/11/2008 11:52 AM ET
Member Since: 8/29/2005
Posts: 118
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If you like mysteries, the Rei Shimura series is set in Japan. I really loved the whole series. The author is Sujata Massey and the first book is the Salaryman's wife. These would be good on a plane because they are interesting and not too "heavy" for reading in airports, on the plane, etc.
Date Posted: 6/11/2008 12:05 PM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2007
Posts: 2,803
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I think that Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books are really quick reads. 

Subject: Fun reads
Date Posted: 6/11/2008 1:56 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 46
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They're not about Japan, but I would highly recommend "The Devil Wears Prada" and "The Nanny Diaries."  They're good, interesting reads light enough that you don't have to concentrate hard for a long plane trip, but deep enough that you stay interested.  They're also long enough to keep you entertained for a few hours, but not so heavy that they won't fit nicely into a carry-on!

Check my bookshelf if you're interested!  Have fun in Japan!

Date Posted: 6/11/2008 4:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2008
Posts: 3,387
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when i flew to the netherlands in january, i read _modoc, the greatest elephant in the world_.  i love elephants and animals of all sorts, and, like amanda said, it's quick reading and light enough to take on the plane in your carry-on.

enjoy japan and make sure to post pictures!

Date Posted: 6/11/2008 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 5/9/2006
Posts: 1,760
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I would suggest the Mrs. Pollifax books as extremely fast reads, nice series and every book takes you to a different country. It's nice to have a n older woman being seen as not only useful but highly intelligent and able to take care of herself and others.

Date Posted: 6/11/2008 8:32 PM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2007
Posts: 1,680
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If you want a good mystery/thriller,  I recommend anything by Harlan Coban.  I just finished "No Second Chance".  It was a quick read and I couldn't put it down.

Subject: Japan trip
Date Posted: 6/12/2008 9:19 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2008
Posts: 9,939
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I have just read all of your profiles. What an eclectic group!! Have only been a member for a few months and didn't do a profile not knowing if this site was one I would use. I love it! Profile will be going up soon.

Thanks for all of your suggestions:

Nicki, I am visiting my niece who has been in Japan for 5 years. I hope she will keep me out of trouble. It is amazing how easily we can offend another by not knowing customs. Thanks for the tip.

Susan, have just requested The Saleryman's Wife. Thanks for the suggestion.

Amanda, didn't see movie, but want to read the book--Devil Wears Prada. Maybe requesting it. I have a large number of TBR books on my home bookshelf. Thanks.

Jessyka, have you read Water for Elephants. Many of my friends have and loved it. Its on my TBR list.

Elaine, who is the author of the Mrs Pollifax series?

Phyllis, haven't start the Harlan Coban books yet. The authors I have keep writing new books that I just have to read!

Thanks again, one and all


Date Posted: 6/12/2008 9:44 AM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2007
Posts: 2,024
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I somehow always pick a Picoult book when the flight is longer than a few hours. Usually her books are thick enough to go through an 16 hour flight. :-)
Date Posted: 6/12/2008 5:54 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,777
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You could always try James Clavell. Most of his books are set in historical Japan.

Date Posted: 6/12/2008 6:20 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2007
Posts: 2,065
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Clara, a few years ago I read American Fuji by Sara Backer and I remember really enjoying it.  In particular, it has a lot of details about the culture and about American ex-pats living there.  I'm not sure what type of books you typically read, but the PBS entry has a number of reviews and copies are available in the system.

Date Posted: 6/12/2008 6:30 PM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2008
Posts: 3,387
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clara, i just finished _water for elephants_ on sunday.  i read all of it that day, with only two chapters being read on saturday.  so, yes, i loved it!  lol

Date Posted: 6/13/2008 6:27 PM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2006
Posts: 1,187
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When I flew to Vegas a couple years ago, I took the newest Stephanie Plum (as someone else mentioned), which I highly recommend. I also took the newest MaryJanice Davidson Undead book (which is an awesome, fun, no brainer series if you like vampires--even if you don't, my sister isn't in to vampires, but loves the series) and the newest Julie Kenner Demon Hunter book (I can help you find the order if you're interested). It was our honeymoon, and between the 2 flights and the week (which I did some reading, but not a lot) I finished all 3 books. :)

Date Posted: 6/19/2008 2:44 PM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2005
Posts: 463
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For fun, quick reads I enjoy books by Katie Fforde.  I've read "Stately Pursuits", "Second Thyme Around", and "Life Skills" and enjoyed them all.  Kind of romance/women's fiction type books.

Date Posted: 6/19/2008 2:46 PM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2005
Posts: 463
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Oh!  If you like books set in Britain and have British humour-"Hunting Unicorns" by Bella Pollan-a great book!  I laughed out loud many times and DH honestly thought I was losing it.

Date Posted: 6/19/2008 2:48 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
Posts: 4,813
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My husband loves the Sano series by Laura Joh Rowland.  It is set in 1600's Japan.

Date Posted: 6/30/2008 12:17 AM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Reading Meet the Japanese by Nancy Brown Diggs, a 114- page book that explains many attitudes and customs of the Japanese is helpful to a Westerner who wishes  to avoid making gaffes when he/she is in Japan.