Category Archives: Thoughts on Writing, Reading & Books

The romance and the mystery of writing

Japan is a funny place. In many ways life here carries on as if it were always and forever the 1990s, and the nineties were not an altogether good decade for Japan. So it is that I still, in this day and age, walk down to my local video store to rent DVDs when I […]

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On legacy

Last summer, in a post titled “Leftover words“, I considered what happens or may happen to the unpublished works that an author leaves behind them when they pass. The works might have been left unpublished because they were unfinished, or they might have been deemed not quite good enough by their creator, or they might […]

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Storytelling

Human beings are born storytellers. Quite literally – it’s in our DNA and may have been a driving force behind the construction of culture over the course of our evolution once language had come on the scene (and it is possible to think even before then, albeit in more limited ways). We use our stories […]

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Reflected glory

It can be so depressing to pick up a classic. When you open Fitzgerald, Proust, Morrison, Goethe, Austen, Tolstoy, Woolf, you are not only faced with a work of profound beauty you find yourself staring into a mirror of your own inadequacies, and the glare of it all is harsh to say the least. John […]

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Boring crap about nothing

Being middle-aged I now consider myself entitled to the odd (frequent) curmudgeonly rant and so fair warning that this post will contain some. Entertainingly curmudgeonly though, I hope. I recently read a review of a new novel about a Japanese-American couple living amongst the Japanese community in Los Angeles. The wife is a mixed Caucasian […]

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Does knowing about a writer help us appreciate their work?

The answer to the titular question may at first seem obvious. We may be tempted to simply say “Of course it does!” and quickly move on to the next thought, the next article, the next post, the next photo, the next next. I would ask us though to pause a moment and reflect because what […]

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Angst

I recently read a review of Krys Lee’s new novel How I Became a North Korean that tells the stories, in alternating chapters, of two North Koreans forsaking their birth nation and a Korean-American missionary, all three stuck in China and waiting for their chance to enter South Korea. Lee currently lives in Seoul and […]

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And yet another side of Bob Dylan

Since he was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature last week, the things being written about Bob Dylan have ranged from the ridiculous to the sublime. The Editorial Board of the New York Times, in a piece they titled How Dylan Became Dylan, wrote, “Dylan becoming Dylan wasn’t going to happen in small-town Minnesota. […]

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Second-rate writing

Simone de Beauvoir, author, essayist, social critic, and titan of feminism, wrote an influential essay in 1951 titled “Must We Burn Sade?” In it the infamous marquis is assessed through the lens of the reputation that he has garnered, and de Beauvoir finds both positive and negative aspects to his work and legacy. It is […]

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Solitude and self-sufficiency

As our long-term readers will know, we at Drugstore Books have mostly been painfully ignorant of that part of the internet dubbed “social media”, and indeed of nearly every other part as well. We were wired in different times and none of this came naturally to any of us, though we can perhaps be given […]

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