Entertainment Highlights of January 2023

Entertainment Highlights of January 2023
Photo by Arif Riyanto / Unsplash

My Personal Review of Books, Movies, and Music! There are also book recommendations for Japanese language learners.

Recommended book for Japanese language learners: Understands the modern Japanese lifestyle, habits, and thoughts.
日本語学習者におすすめ: 汝、星のごとく, おいしいごはんが食べられますように, 三千円の使いかた 現代の日本人の生活や習慣や考え方がわかります。


Author: Jenny Odell
Completed: January 26, 2023
English title: How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy
Link: https://amzn.to/405A2hF
Recommended for learning Japanese: No
Score: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Type: Book
感想: 現代社会においてあえて’何もしない’は’何かする’よりもはるかに難しくなってきていると感じる。本からは筆者の知見だけではなく幅広い分野の研究や偉人の名言からこのアテンションエコノミーをうまく生きるヒントを得られる。私も筆者と同じで鳥の観察が好き。冬のスズメは太っていて可愛い。In today's society, it's becoming increasingly harder to "do nothing" than to "do something." This book offers not just the author's insights, but also draws from a wide range of fields and includes quotes from notable figures to provide hints on how to live well in this attention economy. I, like the author, enjoy birdwatching. Winter sparrows are plump and adorable.


Author: 凪良ゆう
Completed: January 3, 2023
English title: None
Link: https://amzn.to/3Ra3TS1
Recommended for learning Japanese: Yes
Score: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Type: Book
感想: 2023年の本屋大賞有力候作品。瀬戸内海の島を舞台にした恋愛小説。最近巷でよく使われる*’親ガチャ’で外れてしまった二人の高校生が社会人になって20代、30代となる様子を描いている。個人的にはストーリーがありきたりでつまらなかった。A top contender for the 2023 Honya Taisho Award, this novel is a love story set on an island in the Seto Inland Sea. It follows the lives of two high school students who have been impacted by the occurrence of "oyagacha," and tracks their growth into adulthood as they reach their 20s and 30s. Personally, I found the plot predictable and unengaging.

What is 親ガチャ?

 The term "Oyagacha" is a slang expression that originated online. It is often used to compare a child's inability to choose their parents to the gacha mechanics in smartphone games, implying "whether or not the child was born to good parents.


Author: Anders Hansen
Completed: January 1, 2023
English title: The Real Happy Pill: Power Up Your Brain by Moving Your Body
Link: https://amzn.to/3XYpCP7
Recommended for learning Japanese: No
Score: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Type: Book
感想: 私のポッドキャストエピソードでも取り上げた一冊。とにかく体を動かそうという気にさせてくれる。「体を動かせば精神状態が良くなる」と単純に聞こえる主張はあながち間違っていない。私もそれを実感しているので、とにかく勉強に疲れたら運動することをおすすめする。This is one of the books I mentioned in my podcast episode. It motivated me to get moving. The seemingly simple idea that "exercise can improve your mental state" is actually quite accurate. I have experienced this firsthand, so I would suggest that when you feel overwhelmed with studying, try exercising!

The way to train your brain
参考にした本 運動脳 The Real Happy Pill: Power Up Your Brain by Moving Your Body Anders Hansen

22世紀の民主主義 選挙はアルゴリズムになり、政治家はネコになる

Author: 成田悠輔
Completed: January 18, 2023
Link: https://amzn.to/403nTdi
Recommended for learning Japanese: No
Score: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Type: Book
感想: この本の著者はコロナ禍になったぐらいからよくインターネットのメディアに出てくるようになった、イェール大学助教授の成田悠輔さん。こんな真面目な本のタイトルだが、経済の本としては読んでしまってはもったいない。成田教授のブラックジョーク。(おそらく本音!)がコメディ本として面白い。The author of this book is Yusuke Narita, an assistant professor at Yale University who has become a popular figure on the internet since the outbreak of the pandemic. Despite its serious-sounding title, this book is not a comprehensive work on economics. Professor Narita's use of humor, including black jokes, makes it more enjoyable as a comedic read. He says what he means in a humorous manner.

なぜ私たちは友だちをつくるのか: 進化心理学から考える人類にとって一番重要な関係

Author: Robin Dunbar
Completed: January 25, 2023
English title: Friends: Understanding the Power of our Most Important Relationships
Link: https://amzn.to/3WGifLp
Recommended for learning Japanese: No
Score: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Type: Book
感想: ‘ダンバー数’という言葉を聞いたことがある人は多い。しかし、失礼ながらその偉大な提唱者がご存命だとは知らなかった。友達の上限数がなぜ150人なのかを動物行動学、人類学、進化心理学、脳科学などさまざまな側面から分析し、解説している。「友人関係のジェンダー」、「なぜ友人関係が終わるのか?」、「オンラインでの友達」など身近な切り口なので読みやすい。The concept of the "Dunbar number" is well-known to many people. However, it may come as a surprise to some that its foremost proponent is still alive. In the book, the author examines and explains the reason behind the maximum number of friends being limited to 150, drawing on diverse fields such as animal behavior, anthropology, evolutionary psychology, and brain science. The book includes chapters such as "The Gender of Friendship," "Why Friendships End," and "Online Friends," making it an accessible read for all.


Author: 原田 ひ香
Completed: January 23, 2023
Link: https://amzn.to/3HxdzCX
Recommended for learning Japanese: Yes
Score: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Type: Book
感想: 家族にお金が絡んでくる物語。時代は変わってきたが、基本的に日本ではお金の話はタブーとされている。だからこそ「日本人の金銭感覚や金銭的な問題を知りたい。」という日本語学習におすすめ。登場人物のそれぞれの金銭的な価値観が分かるだけではなく、どのような行事と共にお金が動くかも見えてくる。This book tells a story about money within a family. Although times have changed, discussing money is still considered taboo in Japan. For this reason, we recommend this book to Japanese language learners who want to understand the Japanese people's attitudes towards money and financial issues. By reading this book, you will gain insight into the financial values of each character and the various situations in which money plays a role.


Author: 高瀬 隼子
Completed: January 31, 2023
Link: https://amzn.to/3wHXmEN
Recommended for learning Japanese: Yes
Score: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Type: Book
感想: ほのぼのしたタイトルとは反して社内政治の物語。オフィスワークの経験がある人は国を問わず共感できる。主な登場人物は3人なので日本語学習者にも読みやすい。第167回芥川龍之介賞の受賞作である。114ページと短いのでとても読みやすい。Contrary to the heartwarming title, this book is about internal office politics. Regardless of the country, anyone with experience in office work can relate to the themes. The book has three main characters, making it an accessible read for those learning Japanese. With a length of only 114 pages, it is a brief and straightforward read.

ディクテーター 身元不明でニューヨーク

Completed: January 22, 2023
English title: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dictator_(2012_film)
Link: https://amzn.to/3kJNQhU
Recommended for learning Japanese: No
Score: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Type: Film
感想: 2012年に公開した2023年に見ると最悪の差別映画。でもなぜ笑ってしまうのだろう。この先もこの世の中はどんどん’クリーンで平等’な世界になる。そうなると見られなくなるであろう映画遺産。The most racist movie to watch in 2023, which was released in 2012. But why do we find it amusing? I guess the world is becoming increasingly "clean and equal "so this is a film heritage that will no longer exist when that happens.


Author: Kenta Dedachi
Completed: January 29, 2023
Link: https://amzn.to/3Y8AUQT
Recommended for learning Japanese: No
Score: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Type: Music
感想: ワークアウトの音楽プレイリストで出てきた完璧な日英バイリンガルラップ。人は歳をとると聞きなれた音楽しか聞かなくなるという。音楽ストリーミングサービスは賛否両論だが、このようなまだ無名で世代が違うアーティストを見つけられる点は評価したい。A perfect bilingual Japanese-English rap appeared on my workout music playlist. As people age, we typically stick to listening to the music we're familiar with. While music streaming services have their pro and cons, I appreciate the fact that I can discover artists like this who are still unknown and from a different generation.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links to Amazon.

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