Book Spotlight: How Do You Live? by Genzaburo Yoshino, translated by Bruno Navasky

Special thanks to Algonquin Books for providing an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Hello, friends! Today I’m shining a book spotlight on How Do You Live? by Genazburo Yoshino. This book is the first English translation of the Japanese classic and it has a foreword by Neil Gaiman! It has also inspired the world-famous director: Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki is the genius behind some of my all-time favourites from Ghibli Studio (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbour Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Howl’s Moving Castle, etc.), so of course I’m interested in seeing what inspired the man! 😍

Goodreads: How Do You Live?
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publish Date: 26 October 2021
Genre: Middle-Grade Fiction, Japanese Literature

Anime master Hayao Miyazaki’s favorite childhood book, in English for the first time.
First published in 1937, Genzaburō Yoshino’s How Do You Live? has long been acknowledged in Japan as a crossover classic for young readers. Academy Award–winning animator Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle) has called it his favorite childhood book and announced plans to emerge from retirement to make it the basis of a final film.


How Do You Live? is narrated in two voices. The first belongs to Copper, fifteen, who after the death of his father must confront inevitable and enormous change, including his own betrayal of his best friend. In between episodes of Copper’s emerging story, his uncle writes to him in a journal, sharing knowledge and offering advice on life’s big questions as Copper begins to encounter them. Over the course of the story, Copper, like his namesake Copernicus, looks to the stars, and uses his discoveries about the heavens, earth, and human nature to answer the question of how he will live.

This first-ever English-language translation of a Japanese classic about finding one’s place in a world both infinitely large and unimaginably small is perfect for readers of philosophical fiction like The Alchemist and The Little Prince, as well as Miyazaki fans eager to understand one of his most important influences.

Buy a copy:

Continue reading “Book Spotlight: How Do You Live? by Genzaburo Yoshino, translated by Bruno Navasky”

Book Review: Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Goodreads: Before the Coffee Gets Cold
Publisher: Picador
Published: 19 September 2019
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Magical Realism

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

What would you change if you could go back in time?

In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time.

In Before the Coffee Gets Cold, we meet four visitors, each of whom is hoping to make use of the café’s time-travelling offer, in order to: confront the man who left them, receive a letter from their husband whose memory has been taken by early onset Alzheimer’s, to see their sister one last time, and to meet the daughter they never got the chance to know.

But the journey into the past does not come without risks: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the café, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold…

TL;DR: A well-paced character driven story where the magical fits the mundane to perfection! Before the Coffee Gets Cold asks us if you would travel to the past knowing nothing would change in the present and if you could, who would you choose to meet, maybe for one last time? The four stories we follow wonderfully intertwine to create one moving story about love, loss, grief and hope. This was a short and quick read that packed quite an emotional punch and unsurprisingly, as a mood reader, made me teary eyed! It was equally heartbreaking and heartwarming and I would definitely recommend it.

Continue reading “Book Review: Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi”

Review: The Fallen Angel by Kenneth B. Andersen

You can find my review for the previous books in The Great Devil War series here and here.


Goodreads: The Fallen Angel (The Great Devil War #5)
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Average Panda Rating:


It’s been almost two years since Philip left Hell and returned to life—this time for good. But things have changed and so has Philip. He’s haunted by terrifying nightmares and has never felt so lonely. Lonely and angry. Then one day the impossible happens and Philip is brought back to Hell. Not by the Devil, but by the Almighty himself. Although the Great Devil War ended a long time ago, the battle is far from over—and the worst is yet to come.

The Fallen Angel is volume 5 of The Great Devil War series.

Continue reading “Review: The Fallen Angel by Kenneth B. Andersen”

Review: The Great Devil War #2-4 by Kenneth B. Andersen

Today I’m coming at you with one big review for the three books in The Great Devil War series that I read over the last week! I read the first book, The Devil’s Apprentice (read my review here), when I took part in the blog tour organised by Dave @ TheWriteReads. I thought it was a bizarre book but highly enjoyable and like nothing I’ve read before. This was followed by Andersen contacting me on Twitter a couple of months ago to ask if I’d like to be part of his ARC team and I said yes! So a big thank you to Kenneth Andersen for reaching out to me and for sending me the books to read. Of course it goes without saying that this did not influence my reading experience or review, which is, as always, honest and unbiased.

Now let’s get back to the review before I get even further off track! Despite a slightly slow start with book two, I’ve really enjoyed reading these books and I think book four is without a doubt my favourite in the series so far.

Goodreads: The Great Devil War series
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Average Panda Rating:

Book 2: ★★★½ | Book 3: ★★★★☆ | Book 4: ★★★★½
(images linked to the Goodreads pages)

Continue reading “Review: The Great Devil War #2-4 by Kenneth B. Andersen”

Goodreads Monday – The Shamer’s Daughter by Lene Kaaberbøl

It’s the first Goodreads Monday of 2020, friends! This weekly meme was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners and it invites you to pick a book from your TBR and explain why you want to read it. Easy enough, right? Feel free to join in if you want to! I’ll be using a random number generator to pick my books from my insanely long GR Want-to-read list.

This week’s book is The Shamer’s Daughter (The Shamer Chronicles #1) by Lene Kaaberbøl. It’s a Scandinavian Middle Grade/Young Adult Fantasy that I added to my Goodreads TBR in September 2019. On Goodreads it has 3.91 stars with 7.9k+ ratings and 416 reviews.

Continue reading “Goodreads Monday – The Shamer’s Daughter by Lene Kaaberbøl”