Tuesday, October 27, 2009

review and tour: japan took the j.a.p. out of me by lisa fineberg cook

When Lisa Fineberg Cook agreed to move to Japan immediately following her wedding, her friends thought she was crazy. She knew it would be different, but imagined living a glamorous life eating sushi and drinking sake. Immediately upon arriving, Cook discovers that an apartment considered large in Japan doesn’t exactly meet her standards.

I was onboard from Cook’s first laundry experience in Japan. (I kind of wanted to smack her husband at times though with his “I’m a better person for having lived overseas as much as I have” pompousness.) As someone who hates to do laundry in the full-sized machines conveniently located between my bedroom and bathroom, I was horrified at her discovery of a tiny washing machine that destroyed her bra. And then to have to hang the wet clothes on a line out on the balcony…well, let’s just say I won’t be moving. Cook’s descriptions of her experiences in Japan were so vivid that there were times I could really picture the scenes even though I’ve never been to Japan.

Japan Took the J.A.P. Out of Me details Cook’s many funny experiences (the description of Cook attempting to use the clothespins even though her fingers were numb from the cold washing machine water was fantastic), but there were also some serious moments. I especially loved it when she tried to rally her senior students (all female at a private school) to stand up for themselves and fight for equality. Cook was also dealing with the first year of marriage, which was of course made more difficult since she was struggling with the culture and was initially bored to death since she didn’t have a job right away. Moving to Japan immediately after marrying definitely changed Cook, which affected at least one friendship back home, but the interview included at the end of book indicates she would do it again. Since Japan Took the J.A.P. Out of Me only documents the first year in Japan, I hope Cook writes a second book about the second year.
Check out the other participating sites:
The Life (And Lies) of an Inanimate Flying Object
The Neverending Shelf
Drey’s Library
A Sea of Books
Libby’s Library News
Bookin’ With Bingo
That’s A Novel Idea
Starting Fresh
Just Another New Blog
Blog Business World
My Friend Amy
Chick With Books
Book N Around
So Many Books, So Little Time
Keep on Booking
Reading at the Beach
Found Not Lost
Brizmus Blogs Books
I Read

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