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History Nominations > Oct 1 - Nov 1: Nominating

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message 1: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments ***ASIA (BEFORE 1945)***


Okay everyone, it's that time of the month - time to nominate! Anyone who would like to nominate ONE book may do so in this thread.

The theme this month is ASIA (BEFORE 1945) (any Asian country, fiction or non-fiction). There's a lot of flexibility here (clearly)! The 1945 date can be flexible (but if you go later than that, please try to pick a book that at least starts around that time so we're still dealing with "history").

Please try to check amazon or some other site to make sure the book is easily available - the last thing we want is to nominate some great book that no one can get! If you nominate more than ONE book, only the first book listed will make it into the voting thread (so save additional books for the next months!). Also, if the book doesn't fit the theme, I won't add it to this month's voting list, but I will carry it over to the next theme that it does fit under if you would like.

Feel free to nominate one book of your choice in this thread until August 15th, 9pm Eastern.

At around that time, I'll make a voting poll and list all the nominated books in it, and people can vote in the poll until the poll closes (set to last through August 19th). Discussion will start on October 1st.

Happy Nominating!

message 2: by Cathie (new)

Cathie | 38 comments Well, Memories of a Geshia was excellent and starts long before the war, although I believe it ends after the war.

Another good historical read is Shogun. Should be available at most libraries. Or Noble House if you want the Hong Kong area.

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Memoirs of a Geisha

i so want to read this.i mean its in my shelf for ages!!!

message 4: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie I would like to Nominate The Pure Land by Alan Spence. I am nominating it because I really loved it and thought others in this group, which I really enjoy, would appreciate it! Why I liked the book is explained in my review which I wrote after reading the book. I have copied it in below. I doubt I will take part in the discussions, because I have already read the book, but still I thought you guys might like to know about it. The following is my review:

I thought I'd add the following. The book is about Thomas Blake Glover, born (1838-1911)and raised in Aberdeen, Scotland. When he was only 21 he was employed by Jardine Matheson in the tea trade and moved to Nagasaki. If one wants a detailed information of his accomplishments in Japan one can read Wikepedia, this book or, as I did, both. If one reads Wikepedia this man and his life does not come alive. The book does exactly this and more. Some say the opera Madame Butterfly is based on his Japanese wife, but this is disputed.

I really came to care for the main characters, Guraba (Glover's Japanese nickname), the Japanese women in his life, several of his Japanese friends and even his enemies. Guraba, I prefer to call Glover Guruba because in spirit he became more Japanese than Scottish. Most foreigners were in Japan for money or colonial pursuits. Don't get me wrong, Guraba also wanted to make money. He made a fortune, lost it and made another fortune! Through hard work and imaginative ideas. I liked his get-up-and-go attitude. In the department of sentiments he truly loved his Japanese women. Yes, there were several, but he never treated any of them dishonorably. Through little stories told by the book's charactersJapan's customs and beliefs are beautifully described. I would love to have a "daruma", a carved little doll that is rounded on the bottom. No matter how many times you knock it over, it rolls and rights itself again. A perfect depiction of Guraba himself. These stories and haiku poetry are beautiful interwoven into the book.

If one has ever visited Japan, one will recognize so much. You will think, "Yes, I remember that!"

The author also tackles the importance of honour in Japanese culture. I am wondering if this honor is the cause of both Japan's extreme refinement and brutality. Think of Japanese gardens, gift wrapping, textiles and, art. Think also of the horrific Japanese brutality in war.

Glover played a key role in the modern industrialisation of Japan. He opened the first coal mine, naval dry-docks and railroad line. He helped found the Japan Brewery Company. He took an active part in the overthrow of the Tokugawa shogunate, to be followed by the Meiji government. It is amazing all the stuff this guy did!

I just finished this book. I am totally numb. The ending is quite different from the rest of the book. Or maybe it really isn't. The book is engrossing, beautiful and wise. Maybe I will be able to write coherently when the whole has sunk in. I simply don't know where to start; how to explain why this is such a wonderful book.

message 5: by April Ann (new)

April Ann (bloomer) | 83 comments The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama

When Chinese university student Stephen Chan's tuberculosis pushes him to the thin border of death, his father sends him from their home in Hong Kong to the family's beach house in Tarumi. The year is 1937, and the Japanese Imperial Army is on a steamrolling conquest through China. In idyllic Tarumi, however, Stephen swims, paints and grows healthier, meanwhile befriending Matsu, the caretaker of the house. Strong, silent Matsu is the epitome of the samurai, displaying his aristocratic heritage in the tender way that he cares for his exquisite garden.

message 7: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments Nominating is closed. Time to vote!

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