R is for…

RR is for retelling, roaming, and rebellion:

Radford, Irene
Renault, Mary
Rohan, Koda
Ross, Catrien
Roth, Veronica
Rowling, J. K

Got some popular names in this letter, and a bunch more authors I haven’t read.

Like Irene Radford‘s The Glass Dragon. This is apparently The Glass Dragon Alex was talking about when she recommended it to me. I still haven’t read either, but then again, I just brought this to Japan with me from where it was sitting in storage back home, so maybe it’ll be read soon.

I started reading The King Must Die by Mary Renault years ago. I’m not sure what possessed me to buy it when I did–not that it’s a bad book, it’s just not the sort of thing I would have normally been interested in at the time. Maybe that accounts for why it remains unfinished to this day. I’ll have to pick it back up again though, since I’ve heard good things about it.

Koda Rohan was the pen name of Kōda Shigeyuki, a Japanese author who wrote in the early twentieth century. His grandfather was among the last of the samurai still serving the shogun before the class was officially outlawed in the Meiji era. The book Pagoda, Skull & Samurai is a collection of three of Rohan’s short stories, The Five-Storied Pagoda, Encounter With a Skull, and The Bearded Samurai. If you like stories with a touch of the strange, a touch of the historical or a touch of the cultural, Pagoda, Skull & Samurai, or really any of Koda Rohan’s stories are a good fit for you.

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that we have a lot of Japanese literature in our house. Alex majored in it, and I’ve had my own interests in Japanese stories for a long time. Japanese Ghost Stories, compiled by Catrien Ross was a book I bought for Alex a while ago from one of the Japanese book stores that unfortunately went out of business. I haven’t read it yet, but it looks good.

I bought Veronica Roth‘s Divergent last year without really knowing what it was about, or really, even what genre it was. I didn’t even have any idea as to how popular it was at the time, or that there was a movie being made. I’m in a bit of a bubble over here in Japan, is what I’m saying. Anyway, I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but my friends tell me it’s good, so I suppose that’s something.

I have, however read most of J. K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter series after much nagging by friends in high school. I didn’t get through the whole series. My interest died around the fifth or sixth book, I’m not sure which, but there wasn’t anything within it that made me dislike it. I won’t sing its praises, but I won’t part with it bitterly either.



I’m starting to pick up more authors again. Got any others I can add here? Do you find yourself amazed or disappointed by the popular books of the times? Let me know in the comments.


12 thoughts on “R is for…

  1. Read all of the Harry Potter books with my kids and tried Divergent on my own. It’s good. Some books are worth reading, but take time to get through – such as the Book Thief. I can’t remember one recently that I closed after a few chapters, but there have been more than a few over the years.

    • I’ll try it, but I think I’ve outgrown the YA genre, just as I’ve outgrown romance and mystery. I can appreciate good writing in them, but they don’t hold much appeal for me, anymore.

  2. I love all three of Roth’s book. I read the three books in a week. You’ll enjoy. I haven’t finished the Rowling’s Potter series either. I intend to finish them. I love the movies.

  3. If I can find it, I’m in for the Japanese Ghost Stories…whatever it may bring. I keep coming back and after reading each day all I find is that I’m literaturely (?) sheltered. Ok, I’ve read Rowling, but really, no other “R’s” on the book shelf. My reading path is winding and narrow, but the discoveries I find worth the journey.

  4. I’ve only read Rowling from this list, but I figure I’ll get around to Divergent at some point to find out why people like it. (Thanks for the tip on Koda Rohan – will have to check him out.) I love the Harry Potter series, but I had to get over the fifth book, too. In that book, Harry became a little more unlikeable and I found him kind of whiny. Then I realized that this fit his character at that time in his life (being a teenager is a bit of a roller coaster). I liked it much better on the second read, and the sixth book is fantastic. Maybe you should try it again someday. 🙂

  5. I probably will try it again. I can’t let books go unread on my shelf. Though I don’t know what happened to the rest of the series. o.O Maybe it was given away.

    Koda Rohan is a joy to read. I hope you like him.

  6. I have two Rs: Rowling’s Harry Potter series and Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand. I liked the Harry Potter books, though there were some things I wish had been done differently (funny, I just wrote about that today). I enjoyed Cyrano, too. I’ve avoided the Roth books like I did the Hunger Games series, because I’ve never been a big fan of dystopian stories, though I’ve heard they’re good.

    • Ooo! A classic! Thank you very much! I don’t care much for dystopias either, so I’m not sure how much I’ll enjoy it, but I have to at least try it.

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