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2:46: Aftershocks: Stories from the Japan Earthquake Hardcover – May 4, 2011
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
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Amazon went to great lengths to ensure that all proceeds from this book go directly to the Japan Red Cross, which aids the victims in Japan in many ways. They are not taking a single cent. It is a tremendous act of corporate altruism.
The writing quality in the book is uneven. There are typos as well--the book was rushed together while the memory of the disaster was fresh in the minds of people and also because there are many who still need medical aid, food, blankets, support right now, not months later. Some entries are poorly worded but the sentiments are heart-felt. Yes, there is disparity in the quality of the writing. This is to be expected; this is not a book written by professional journalists or novelists.
These are pieces from Japanese citizens, foreign residents, bystanders, witnesses, journalists,artists, and people who are tied to Japan in often nebulous ways. What they have in common is a love for this country, Japan, and for humanity. All proceeds go to charity.
I'm very fond of Japanese proverbs and there's one that sums up this book quite beautifully. "Nasake wa hito no tame narazu". It's difficult to translate but what it means is this: the kindness we bestow on others benefits not only them but in some ways ourselves as well. I've often felt the best way to mourn the dead is to help those who remain. Reading this book is one way to do it.
I know precisely where I was and what I was feeling at the time of the quake--what my fears were, what my reaction was, what my thoughts were. I remember looking at a TV as I was walking by and seeing the swamping of Sendai airport--I was mistakenly told it was Narita, and though it wasn't after all, it was still shocking to witness. I watched videos of Chiba refineries burning, listened to my friend tell me of the 8 months pregnant lady who walked for 6 hours to get home. I remember the swamping of my emotions over the weekend--worrying about friends and what was going to become of them as the events at Fukushima unfolded as well. At the time I lost my cell and I lost my internet for 24 hours. I didn't have cable at home so no TV there. Seriously, the only link I had until the next day was my Kindle as the 3g network it was on was not overwhelmed.
I'm an American living not too far from Tokyo...I was safe, my family was safe, but I had no idea what would happen to my Japanese friends if things got worse. Over the last 6 weeks I have seen and heard tremendous stories of fortitude and resiliency. As I finally brought myself to read this book I was reminded several times over about how amazing the human spirit is and how humans can show the best in times of stress.
To read the thoughts and feelings of others at the same time was amazing and humbling and will help me keep my memories and thoughts intact.
The way this book was brought together and the way it is to fully benefit those affected by the disaster is also amazing. Kudos to the authors/contributors/publishers and Amazon.
~The Rebecca Review