Written in 1010 by Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji is believed by many to be the very first novel ever written. It follows the life of Hikaru Genji, the son of an emperor in ancient Kyoto. Though the original full manuscript has never been found, translations of the first four chapters are sold today.
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Now, a fifth chapter has been discovered. Depicting Genji’s relationship with a woman that would eventually become his wife, the fifth chapter was found among the heirlooms of the home of Motofuyu Okochi, a descendant of a formal feudal lord.
Much like the current chapters that have been discovered, chapter five will be declared important cultural property by the Japanese government. The chapter will also be available for researchers to study as well.
There are said to be fifty-four chapters of the original manuscript, with one-thousand-one-hundred pages worth of text. Only time will tell if the other chapters will be found.
Each week, Bookstr scans bestseller lists across the internet to learn what people are reading, buying, gifting, and talking about most — just so we can ensure consistent, high-quality recommendations. This week’s nonfiction picks center around the theme of current best-sellers, showcasing what nonfiction books are the biggest hits with audiences! Pick these up to see what everyone is talking about!
5. The Good Immigrant edited by Nikesh Shukla and Chimene Suleyman
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The Good Immigrantis an anthology of stories reflecting on the current state of immigrants and their relationship to America. The United States is consumed by hostile rhetoric over who is welcome across its borders and it seems that everyone’s rights are under attack. In this anthology, numerous writers offer stories about their cultural heritage and their complicated stories in the midst of this crisis. From analyzing cultural appropriation, to a detailing one author’s journey from Nigeria to America, and another author reconnecting with their Korean roots, these stories are emotional, tear jerking, but mandatory for anyone to read in this age.
4. The Lady from the Black Lagoon by Mallory O’meara
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The Lady From the Black Lagoonby Mallory O’Meara examines the forgotten history of one of Hollywood’s best talents, a woman who was discriminated against and lost to history despite creating one of the most iconic monsters of all time. This is the story of Milicent Patrick, who was one of Disney’s first female animators and created The Creature From the Black Lagoon, a monster that became a staple of Universal’s library of nasties next to Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolfman. O’Meara sheds light on the history of Milicent Patrick, uncovering her early beginnings to her career in Hollywood, giving the woman the legacy she’s deserved for years.
3. The Sakura obsession by Naoko Abe
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The Sakura Obsessionby Naoko Abe tells the true story of how an English eccentric saved Japan’s cherry blossoms from extinction. Collingwood Ingram visited Japan numerous times in the early 1900s, but by 1926 he was horrified to find the flowers were in sharp decline. Determined not to lose them, Ingram’s story chronicles how he used specimens he had taken to England and ferried them back to Japan, reintroducing them to the land and allowing them to flourish. A history of both cherry blossoms and a crazy English man with one hell of an obsession, this work is for any flower or history lover out there.
2. Surviving the Forestby Adiva Geffen
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Surviving the Forest tells the true tale of a Jewish holocaust survivor from WWII, known as Shurka, who lived a quiet, lovely existence in Poland. But then, World War II broke out and the Germans invaded Shurka’s hometown. She was taken to a Jewish ghetto, where the Nazis were taking Jews to concentration camps, never to be seen again. Managing to escape the camp with her family, Shurka ends up in the dark forest wilderness of Poland. This is her story of survival, avoiding not only German patrols but the world around her, from wild animals, to natural hazards, to starvation. This is a remarkable work that isn’t easy to read but showcases one woman’s tenacity for survival in the darkest of circumstances.
1. Furious Hours by Casey Cep
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Furious Hoursby Casey Cep uncovers the mystery surrounding beloved writer Harper Lee and the events that led to her beginning to write a true crime book in the vein of her childhood friend Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. A reverend named Willie Maxwell was acquitted for the murder of a family of five before being shot dead himself. Harper Lee in later years was trying to write another book and chose the reverend as the central character of a nonfiction book about the murders. The case is told in three sections, the first part about Maxwell, the second about his lawyer that helped him avoid justice, and the third about Harper Lee herself trying to write about his case. This book not only offers research into a murder mystery but paints an evocative portrait of Lee herself, chronicling her life, her success, and her slow decline as she struggled with fame. This is a wonderfully researched work, full of brilliant detail that doesn’t leave a stone unturned.
Despite Game of Thrones coming to an end on Sunday night, George R.R. Martin is continuing to plow a head with original content! According to an article by PC Games, George R.R. Martin revealed he’s being consulted to act as a writer on an upcoming game by FromSoftware. FromSoftware is a video game developer’s studio based out of Japan, creating such titles as Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Their games often deal with themes of dark fantasy, creating vibrant worlds that nonetheless feel isolated and full of horror. They also emphasize difficulty, being infamous for creating very hard bosses and enemies that will often have players tearing their hair out. This seems like a match made in heaven with George R.R. Martin.
Image via Dark Souls wiki
George R.R. Martin discussed this and more in a blog post where he revealed his upcoming projects. He has a producer credit on eight upcoming TV shows, short film adaptations, and involvement on feature length movies. In the post, he stated that he was consulting on a video game studio from Japan. Through some research, PC Gamer believes George R.R. Martin will be working with FromSoftware on their next video game project. Martin’s work on the title will include acting as head writer and helping to flesh out the world the player experiences during the game. The title will be an open world title, allowing the player to explore multiple kingdoms at their own pace, while fighting bosses and absorbing their power to grow stronger. Hidetaka Miyazaki, the game’s director, will be working closely with Martin to create the game’s world. The game will be announced at E3 this June, so we look forward to its official unveiling there!
With Martin’s eye for detail, skill with world building, and FromSoftware’s experience as a game studio behind him, we can’t wait to see what George’s imagination creates! Are you excited to see what sort of game George R.R. Martin can create? Let us known in the comments!
The relationship between grandparent and grandchild is a sacred thing. Those of us who have been lucky enough to know our patriarchs and matriarchs cherish the memories we have of them. And the food. Oh, the food: grub that often we weren’t even hungry for. The cookies they baked (and lowkey ate half of), the cars they drove us around in (so slow, and often in silence, that all we could do was ponder the concept of time) and the tissues they gave us (that always seemed to come out of nowhere). All these things pale in comparison to the most important lesson they ever taught us: hide valuable things in places so safe that even you will forget to check.
My grandpa used to hide money in picture frames; I once found a fifty-dollar bill behind one of my school pictures. I confessed to the unintentional theft and was rewarded with the very money I had found behind my own face. I can’t remember what I bought with it—probably a lot of cheeseburgers. If I had found it today, I would put it towards rent… But my memory of my grandmother was the first thing I thought of when I read an article about a Canadian couple winning the lottery thanks to a bookmark.
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Canadian Nicole Pedneault’s methods of financial security are in line with that of my G-Pa’s. She hid a lottery ticket in a book a year ago. Nicole Pedneault and Roger Larocque bought this ticket last year on Valentine’s Day to shy away from your typical “flowers or chocolate” gifting cliché. The couple found the ticket days before the deadline to turn it in.
Nicole Pedneault’s grandson was preparing a presentation on Japan for school, so she shuffled through souvenirs from a trip she once took to Japan—she wanted to help him with his project. It was in her shuffling that she found the ticket tucked between the pages of a book. She had unwittingly forgotten she hid the ticket there. I mean, who doesn’t use lotto tickets and other random pieces of paper for makeshift bookmarks?
This happy couple just found a $1M winning lottery ticket…2 DAYS before the expiration date! While looking in an old travel book about Japan – that she wanted to lend to her grandson – Nicole noticed her forgotten ticket. What a story! Congrats to our winners Roger and Nicole? pic.twitter.com/kXGnfnjENa
“If my grandson hadn’t asked to borrow those items for his show-and-tell presentation, I would never have found the ticket on time,” she said.
The original drawing for their ticket was 5 April 2018; lucky for them, winners have a year to claim the prize. Even luckier for them is the fact that this ticket won them one million Canadian dollars (which is roughly… well, not as much in USD). It would seem that the ‘sacred thing’ I referred to earlier has truly paid off for Nicole; however, she will probably not be hiding the winnings in a picture frame.
Roger, on the other hand, shares my appreciation for cheese:
We have no plans to celebrate tonight. We will go to a small restaurant, and we’ll spoil ourselves by ordering poutine, double sauce, and double cheese.
Well played. While you guys feast, the rest of us will be frantically flipping through the pages of books we never finished.