It was Curiosity Killed the Bookworm’s Translation Challenge that I found the most ‘challenging’ of this year’s reading challenges. But it also delivered some of the best and most thought-provoking books I read this year.
Do you have your dream kitchen? Surprisingly, my un-renovated seventies kitchen is perfect in every way – tonnes of cupboard space with clever recessed shelves, strategically placed lighting so that you’re never chopping in shadow and the most fabulous original orangey-red tiles. I wouldn’t change a thing (even though my mum says the tiles give her a headache). When it comes to domestic fantasies, mine are actually about laundries – don’t get me started, the plans are grand. And if you have a ‘European laundry’ (i.e. a washer in a cupboard), I weep for you*.
Kitchens. It brings me to Banana Yoshimoto’s Kitchen. First published in Japan in 1988, Kitchen won a handful of prizes and quickly became a best-seller in Japan. Which is why it might seem somewhat sacrilegious to Yoshimoto fans when I say I just didn’t get it. Continue reading →