Archive for the ‘Reading’ Category

I have an overflowing plate of goodness on my hands right now. Too busy to blog, which I consider a good think although maybe all of you disagree.

So let’s see… derby. Yes, derby!

I missed an opportunity to bout last weekend and I’m still kicking myself in the ass for that one. “Whine, whine, I’m not ready, whine, whine, whine.” I know that it’s my responsibility to further my skills by participating in bouts but I really wish someone had told me I had no choice BUT to bout. Regardless of whether I was bouting or not it was still a good mash up and Tokyo Bombers Girls had one representative, YoYo Akiyo. It was YoYo’s first derby bout and despite the language and rule difficulties she still came away with MVP Jammer award. Woo-hoo!

Rob Shaw took some pretty awesome pics of the match. You can check them out here.

After much thought and consideration, I’ve decided to change my name from Bet T. Rage (which I wasn’t really fond of anyway) to… WAIT FOR IT…

Miso Wicked #EhT4

I wanted to somehow combine elements of both of my homes (Canada and Japan). I think I done good on this one. I would call it a success and lucky for me it’s unique enough to not be rejected by the international roster, I hope.

What else is happening in my life?

I started and finished the Hunger Games series and absolutely loved every page of the three book series. I think there were times when I actually thought I lived in Panum. I went through a bit of withdrawal when I finished but found solace in Factory Girls by Leslie Chang, which is what I am currently reading.

Between derby and full-time work I somehow manage to make time for two online courses. I’m taking the courses through Vancouver Island University and so far the experience has been positive. It’s the first time I’ve ever taken part in online learning so it’s had a slight learning curve but I seem to have figured out.

That’s about it for me. My birthday is coming up on October 5 so make sure you swing by and wish me a happy birthday.


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There is a large pool of incredibly talented writers in this lovely country and many of them have even published here.

Are just a few of the brilliant pieces that have been written in and about Japan.

Admittedly I am a little behind in my reading/purchasing. I have read 2:46: Aftershocks (otherwise known as #quakebook), I even sent my mom a copy and if you remember, I organized a pretty successful fundraiser in the name of #quakebook last year.

Baye’s book should be arriving at my door any day now and once I’ve ingested that, it’ll be onto another. I’m not sure which, I’m not following any particular order only where my reading heart leads me.

And as I read, I’m inspired to write more myself. I don’t think I’ll publish anytime soon but I’m working on it and it’s FUN!

If you want to feel truly inspired by foreign creatives here in Japan please check out Tsuki Magazine. It’s full of amazing photography, essays and poetry from some very talented people and it’s all about Japan.

You can follow all these lovely people on Twitter:




@tenminuteshate (Joanne Greenway)

@jlandkev (Kevin O’Shea)

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Prisoner of Tehran

You know when you have no money yourself you can think of a million different things you want to buy but when someone gives you money (or in my case a gift card) I can never decide what I want.

I got an Indigo gift card for Christmas and after going to the store twice and spending at least an hour in there both times I was finally able to decide on something. Prisoner of Tehran: A Memoir by Marina Nemat. It’s Marinas account of being a young girl in Iran during Ayatollah Khomeini’s Islamic Revolution.

I can’t wait to dig into it. I think I’ll save it for my long trip back to Tokyo.

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Being unemployed really does ones head in.

I have started reading Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now and so far I’ve learned, well nothing new, that I give in too much to my emotions and let them control me. I’m waiting to get to the part where he explains how not to be controlled by my emotions.

Anyone read this book?

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The List: Addendum

I’ve decided to add a few books to the BBC book list I’m going to conquer.

Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert Pirsig
I’ve owned this book for ages but haven’t read it.

No Logo – Naomi Klein
Again, owned it for years but never finished it.

Various Noam Chomsky books starting with Manufacturing Consent

Please offer your suggestions for must-reads πŸ™‚

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Reading Goal Update

It’s been almost a week since I decided to read the BBC book list (herein referred to as “the list”) and I’m off to a slow start. I haven’t quite finished Chuck Palahniuk’s Lullaby yet so I can’t start on “the list”. Luckily I am within walking distance to the Tokyo Chuo Library which has an incredible foreign language section and I’m told that they have many of the books on the BBC book list.

I can’t wait to get started!

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I have a goal!

People often ask me questions like, “who’s your favorite author?” or “what’s your favorite book?” and I never really have a decent answer for them. My answer is usually whatever I’m reading at the time. Being a writer one would think that I would be a very well read individual but this isn’t the case. In fact, I’ve always had an incredibly difficult time finishing a book once I’ve started it.

My life in reading habits has left an embarrassing trail of unfinished or barely touched literary works including everything from classics to chick lit. I believe my tendency to leave books incomplete stems from my days as a high school student where I was forced to read uninteresting works in an amount of time that I was not quite capable of. My first happy memories of teacher selected readings oddly enough happen to be works of Shakespeare, namely A Midsummer Nights Dream and a novel which has since been made into a movie, The Shipping News. I think having enthusiastic and interesting teachers helped peak my interest in these works.

I finally acknowledge my delinquent ways and have been making a serious effort to finish what I start, reading wise. I recently finished Memoirs of a Geisha which, to say the least, was a compete waste of time. I was about half way through when I starting feeling the urge to give up but I forced myself to endure the pain right through to the end. Now, as I know that if I can get through the pain of that book, I can finish any book. And so begins my quest/adventure to complete all of the books listed on the BBC book list, all* 100 of them.

I present to you the infamous BBC book list:

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma -Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

As soon as I finish Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk, it’s on!

I’m also open to suggestions that are not listed here.

(*perhaps I won’t read the Bible)

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