“The Travelling Cat Chronicles” by Hiro Arikawa (Japan)
The four shortlisted books for this year’s Summer Reading Group varied greatly in style of writing and author’s experience, from the seasoned writer to the relative newcomer. When it came time for voting for Best Summer Read 2018, two books tied for first place: “The Travelling Cat Chronicles” and “Warlight”. One reader commented on this result saying how she couldn’t quite come to terms with the tie between the brilliant “Warlight” and the mediocre “Travelling Cat Chronicles,” adding that she guessed that’s the joy of the book club to which we wholeheartedly agreed!
“The Travelling Cat Chronicles” by Hiro Arikawa (Japan) is narrated by multiple characters, including a stray cat who is adopted by a solitary young man, Satoru. The story revolves around the journeys Satoru takes to find a new home for the cat. Describing it as amusing and sweet, most readers enjoyed this light read especially the cat lovers! They liked the psychological insights and humoristic view of humans as seen from the cat’s perspective. They found the descriptions of the Japanese landscape pleasant and enjoyed the flashbacks to Satoru’s younger days. The ending moved some readers to tears.
Set against the backdrop of Japan’s changing seasons and narrated with a rare gentleness and humour, Nana’s story explores the wonder and thrill of life’s unexpected detours. It is about the value of friendship and solitude, and knowing when to give and when to take… Read more
Nicola’s Summer Reading list 2018
“The Travelling Cat Chronicles” by Hiro Arikawa (Japan) *
“To the Back of Beyond” by Peter Stamm (Switzerland)
“Warlight” by Michael Ondaatje (Canada) *
“Welcome to Lagos” by Chibundu Onuzo (Nigeria)
* Best Summer Reads
In italics, SRG’s Coup de Cœur