Sunday, December 31, 2006

My Book Review of 2006

Hello, everyone~!!

It really is getting closer to the end of the year, and I finally made it to this holiday! Yaaay! At the same time, the fact that 2006 will come to an end very soon surprises me... I guess the way I feel time passing has been changing little by little as I get older. It's too fast!!

Well, today I would like to talk about books I read this year. I've enjoyed reading in Japanese for several years, and making a list of the Japanese books which I read this year would take a long time. So I'm going to make my reading list of books written in English. ^^ (You can go to details of each book just by clicking on links. These links will lead you to the website "". You can read details about the books in Japanese♪)

01. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
Talking about this really reminds me of the day I bought this. I was in Maryland when I bought this book! I even remember that I went the book store with Yuki! Well, the only thing I knew about this book at that time was that this novel would be made into a movie. (I saw the movie, but I liked the novel better.) I wondered if I could finish this at first, but I found it interesting to read this book as the story went on. I sometimes had a hard time reading it because I came across the words I didn't know. However, I finally finished reading it and it was an enjoyable reading!

02. Dispatches from the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival by Anderson Cooper
This book is also one of the books I bought in Maryland. I was surprised at the fact that he published a book! When I'm in Japan, I occasionally tune in to CNN because it's helpful for my listening skill of English. So I happened to know him when I watched his show at home. He gradually became my favorite anchor of CNN for some reason... (I guess it's because his English is easy to understand.) Anyway, I enjoyed reading this because I sort of understood what it's like to be a journalist, and his background. I also thought about the importance of communication infrastructure because I learned that making people's voices heard was crucial by reading this book.

03. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Reading books written in English sounds a bit difficult at first, but this book made me want to change that thought. I came to realize that the story which is interesting can be interesting regardless of languages after I read this novel. I enjoyed this book so much that I almost forgot getting off the train! (Hahaha...)

04. A Walk To Remember by Nicholas Sparks
I already had this book before I bought "The Notebook", and I once read it when I was a high school student. At that time, all I thought about was the length of the book and I didn't remember much about the story. So I decided to read it again. The story made me remember the old saying "You can't tell a book by its cover. "

05. Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
After I read this, I never see McDonald's (or other fast food restaurants) without thinking of what this book talked about. The author gave me a lot of insightful details about the fast food industry. Some of them horrified me, but at the same time I thought that it is my own decision whether or not I would eat fast food. So I'm going to try to live with it wisely. Also, this book made me want to rethink about what I eat on a daily basis.

06. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
I was interested in reading this book after I read several reviews on MEI students' blogs. Moreover, a friend of mine once told me that the movie version of "Tuesday with Morrie"(This book was written by Mitch Albom as well.) was moving and beautiful, and in her opinion the script in the movie was striking. So I began reading this book with great expectation. At first, it took a while to get used to his style of writing. After that, I started to enjoy reading it! Also, the fact that every little thing in everyone's life has a meaning will remain in my heart.

07. The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman
At first, I was drawn to the title of this book when I saw the Japanese edition at my university's bookstore. However, I have never been interested in reading books that were translated into Japanese because, in my opinion, translation would somehow change a story. So I didn't feel like trying to read it at that time. Some time later, I saw Nina talked about this book and the author's lecture meeting at UM on her blog. I suddenly felt close to the book, and that was when I decided to read it. I started reading this in early December, and I set up a goal to finish it by the end of December. And... I finished reading it on Dec 26th!! I doubted if I could read through the book at the beginning, but I actually enjoyed it. The author gave me a new way to look at the world with readable English.

Well, do you find some books that you're interested? Each of them has a different, and fascinating aspect. I will write about books again when I find something interesting!

I hope all of you enjoy the rest of the winter holiday and happy new year!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

There's so much I want to talk about....

Hello, everyone~!
I've been slacking with my's been a while since I last added the post! Well, what have all of you been up to recently?

I've been busy preparing for the presentation of my class, and the research for the discussion in my class. I finished all of these assignments, so I now can be lazy just for a little while! I was just working on making summary of the discussion before I started writing this post. In the class of "English Seminar", I had to listen to the lecture which I was interested at home (I downloaded the file of the lecture on the internet.), take notes about the lecture, and throw a discussion about the topic for a group of 4 people. That means I had to lead my group's discussion about the topic, so I had to choose the topic I could probably enjoy talking about and researching. I chose "Eat Your Peas!: Launching the School Lunch Revolution" as my topic. It was about the US's school lunch system, and the foods which students from elementary school to junior high school eat at school cafeterias are not so nutritious, and already cooked. People in the lecture have tried to make the situation better by teaching children how important it is to care about what they eat, and to eat right. I really enjoyed researching and discussing this topic because I've been interested in the popularization of highly-processed foods in the US since I finished reading "Fast Food Nation". Also, reading the book and discussing this topic with my friends enabled me to rethink about the remark in the lecture "What you eat is what you are". However, the book and the lecture made me realize the fact that the only way to eat nutritious and safe foods is to live off the land, which is almost impossible for people in today's world to do! But still, we can try not to eat the foods which are not so nutritious. So I'm going to keep trying to eat healthy and safe foods.

Ohh…there's so much I want to talk about today that I don't know where to start! For example, the movies I've watched recently, the book I've finished reading, and the trip to Laura's dormitory! Well, let me talk about the things I did on Thursday.

On Thursday, of course I went to school but the classes finished at about 12:30 pm, so I decided to hang out with a friend of mine. After the class, I got the train to go to Shinjuku. Going to a place like Shinjuku always makes me nervous because it makes me lose the sense of directions. (I always ask Hiro for help on directions in Shinjuku in advance. He is so familiar with Shinjuku because Shinjuku is one of the world's fashion capitals, and he really loves fashion! Do you remember?) Thanks to Hiro's assistance which he gave me last week, I managed to get there and waited for my friend to come. My friend's name is Noriko. She and I have been friends since we were in high school, so we still keep in touch via e-mail and social networking site which is called “mixi”. (It's like the Japanese version of “MySpace”.) She had been in Canada for about 6 months as an exchange student of her university.(She is not a student of AGU.) I've missed her since she left Japan, so hanging out with her in Japan again was so exciting! After we got together and told her that I missed her, we headed to “Kabuki-cho”, one of the most famous cities in Shinjuku. (Or maybe I can say it's famous throughout Japan.) Then we searched for a restaurant where we could get a bit, and we ended up going to McDonald's. After satisfying our hunger, we watched movie “Kisarazu Cat's eye”. It was the Japanese movie, and a sequel to the first movie. Before the movies, “Kisarazu Cat's eye” was on TV as a drama series. So it has a long history, and the more you see the more you would be able to enjoy. Noriko loves this series so much that she even has a DVD of the first movie, and she recorded the dramas on video tapes. Because of her, I've become a fan of this series. In fact, I already watched the second movie of “Kisarazy Cat's eye” before she asked me if I wanted to go with her, but I said “iiyo~” (Okay, Let's go and see the movie!) to her because I thought the movie was so interesting that it was worth watching twice. As I imagined, I enjoyed watching it even though I already knew what the story was like. Noriko also enjoyed watching it, and we both bought the items related to the movie.

Alright...I hope that this post helps you see what I've been up to recently.
I promise I'll add posts more often when I'm on the winter vacation! Oh, before it happens, I'm really looking forward to talking to all of you guys on our next chat!

See you soon~!