Lifestyle/Entertainment Editor, Asia, Tokyo
Elaine's Feed
May 24, 2012

Book Talk: Author explores Jewish sect she left

TOKYO (Reuters) – Like the characters of her book, Anouk Markovits grew up inside the strict Satmar Hasidic Jewish sect, where reading novels was frowned upon and she was expected to wed in an arranged marriage at a young age.

Markovits, a native of France, broke away from the community, as does Atara Stern, one of the daughters of the family in “I Am Forbidden.”

May 10, 2012

Book Talk: Memory and re-invention with Alison Winn Scotch

TOKYO, May 10 (Reuters) – A fear of flying inspired
bestselling author Alison Winn Scotch’s latest book, centering
on a woman who awakes in a hospital with total amnesia, one of
two people left alive after a massive plane crash.

“The Song Remains the Same” follows Nell Slattery as she
tries to piece together her former life even as her nearest and
dearest – her husband, mother and sister – all feed her
information about who she was in line with their own personal
agendas and issues.

Apr 26, 2012

Writer worked to make vampires scary again

TOKYO, April 26 (Reuters) – What with romance and suave,
sensitive characters, vampires weren’t scary enough for author
David Wellington anymore. So he decided to see if he could bring
some terror back to tales about the centuries-old undead
creatures.

The result was five books starring policewoman Laura Caxton
and Justinia Malvern, the ancient vampire she fights, climaxing
in the just-released “32 Fangs” – a chilling, sometimes graphic
tale of their final, epic battle.

Apr 12, 2012

“Northeast Kingdom” a treasure trove for US writer

TOKYO, April 12 (Reuters) – The writer Howard Frank Mosher
has lived for nearly half a century in such a remote part of the
northern U.S. state of Vermont that Internet connections are
very slow and even landline phone reception can be terrible at
times.

Yet the area known as the “Northeast Kingdom” – the three
northeasternmost counties in the state – proved to be such a
fertile source of inspiration that Mosher, born in 1942 and with
12 books behind him, has ended up spending most of his life
there.

Mar 29, 2012

Book Talk: Witch trials and sleuthing in 1890s Maine

TOKYO, March 29 (Reuters) – When a prostitute is found
stabbed through with a pitchfork in a ritualised death said to
be a way of killing a witch, local marshal Archie Lean is forced
to call on Perceval Grey, a half-Native American sleuth, for
help.

Set in the city of Portland, Maine in 1892, “The Truth of
All Things” by debut novelist Kieran Shields follows the pair as
they set out on the trail of a killer whose moves hark back to
the Salem witch trials two centuries in the past.

Mar 28, 2012

How do I love thee? Numbers tell all in book

TOKYO, March 28 (Reuters) – When a man thinks his partner is
cheating on him, chances are fifty-fifty that he’s right. But if
a woman suspects her nearest and dearest of being unfaithful,
she’s correct a whopping 85 percent of the time.

Special intuition? No, simply numbers – as compiled in “Love
by Numbers,” a wide-ranging and sometimes wacky look at the
figures and trends behind how and who people love, drawn up by
Australian statistician John Croucher as a tongue-in-cheek way,
so to speak, of making sense out of romance and sex.

Mar 22, 2012

Kari Vaara drifts into Finnish darkness

TOKYO (Reuters) – Finnish cop Kari Vaara has just had surgery for a brain tumour that leaves him unable to feel any emotions and is running a covert operation which strays onto morally ambiguous ground.

“Helsinki White,” James Thompson’s third novel featuring Vaara, follows him on a dark trail through a wintry Finland beset with corruption, xenophobia and economic angst.

Mar 22, 2012

Book Talk: Kari Vaara drifts into Finnish darkness

TOKYO, March 22 (Reuters) – Finnish cop Kari Vaara has just
had surgery for a brain tumour that leaves him unable to feel
any emotions and is running a covert operation which strays onto
morally ambiguous ground.

“Helsinki White,” James Thompson’s third novel featuring
Vaara, follows him on a dark trail through a wintry Finland
beset with corruption, xenophobia and economic angst.

Mar 15, 2012

Book Talk: Deceit and espionage in darkest Luxembourg

TOKYO, March 15 (Reuters) – The worst thing about
Kate’s life in Luxembourg as the trailing spouse of a man hired
to work on banking security at first simply appears to be the
boredom of spending days among fellow housewives after giving up
her career.

But Kate, the heroine of Chris Pavone’s debut novel “The
Expats,” is a former CIA agent who has never told her husband
what she did. As she seeks both to escape her past deeds and
become a new person, she starts to become suspicious not only of
her husband Dexter’s doings but those of a couple whose
friendliness may not be quite what it seems.

Mar 14, 2012

Finding the BFF of your dreams

TOKYO, March 14 (Reuters) – When Rachel Bertsche
finally moved to Chicago to live with her boyfriend, soon to be
husband, she realized that despite the romantic bliss her life
was missing something significant — girlfriends.

After bemoaning her status for more than two years, Rachel
set out on a search for a “best friend forever” or BFF, pledging
to go on at least one friend date a week until she found her
ideal: a person she could call on a whim for brunch, hang out
with in front of the television, or share coffee and long talks.