Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wendy Tokunaga Guest Blog & Giveaway

CONGRATS TO LUCKY WINNER - CARRIE!

Love in Translation by Wendy Tokunaga at A Book Blogger's DiaryAuthor Wendy Tokunaga guest blogs at A Book Blogger's Diary

The San Francisco Chronicle called her debut novel, Midori by Moonlight 1, a “terrific first novel.” Now Author Wendy Tokunaga is back with her second book, Love in Translation, which again explores the themes of Japan and Japanese culture and being a stranger in a strange land, which have played a major role in her life and writing.

I now turn the stage over to Wendy, who's here telling us all about: 


Love and Songs in Translation

As someone whose second novel has just come out, it may surprise you that when I was young, my dream wasn’t to be a writer; I wanted to be a rock star. The only writing I did was songwriting for the bands I put together on my quest to become the next Joan Jett, Blondie or Pat Benatar. At the same time I’d become mad for Japan and Japanese culture and was studying the language. When I heard about something called karaoke, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

The Japanese actually invented karaoke (singing popular songs to pre-recorded backing tracks). The term means “empty orchestra” and is pronounced kah-rah-okay— not karey-okie, which makes my ears hurt when I hear it pronounced that way!

By now I was a frustrated vocalist who had performed for peanuts (and less) with my unsuccessful bands. So I jumped at the chance to learn Japanese pop songs (J-pop) and perform them without the need for backup musicians. No more worrying about drunk guitarists or no-show drummers. Like the protagonist Celeste Duncan in my novel, LOVE IN TRANSLATION, I found singing in Japanese to be easier than speaking it, and it was fun to pretend to be fluent for the duration of a song.

I honed my skills at karaoke bars in San Francisco’s Japantown and even briefly worked at one as a singing bar hostess. Soon I was performing in Japanese karaoke recitals and contests, usually the lone female Caucasian in the group, and racked up a few trophies and prizes. When I ended up moving to Tokyo for a while I appeared on a wacky television show that was a karaoke contest for foreigners (gaijin). I even had my own backup dancers, way before Gwen Stefani and her Harajuku Girls.

At that time I was singing songs by the Japanese pop idols of the day, but I also enjoyed singing enka, a more traditional type of torch song. In LOVE IN TRANSLATION, Celeste has come to Japan to search for a long lost relative who may hold the key to the identity of the father she never knew. It is when she learns to sing a Japanese enka song called The Wishing Star (Nozomi no Hoshi) that everything begins to change for her.

My love of Japan and Japanese culture inspired me to write LOVE IN TRANSLATION, but so has my love of music. And because of this book, I also had the unique opportunity of making this fictional song a reality. Listen to The Wishing Star here! [http://tinyurl.com/yfsuebh](Music and Arrangement by Manabu Tokunaga, Lyrics by Hiro Akashi and Wendy Nelson Tokunaga; Vocal by Wendy Nelson Tokunaga).
Now that sure makes me wish I could go to Japan one day and maybe even sing in a kah-rah-okay bar!

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GIVEAWAY

The Prize

A copy of this book will go to one lucky reader.

To Enter
  • I'd love to get your recommendations of books set in Japan or Asia, in general.
  • Please list your email address within your comment so that you can be notified should you be chosen as a winner.
For Extra Entries

Please leave a NEW comment for each extra entry you do.

Deadline   Midnight CST of January 13, 2010.

Eligibility  US only.

Please read the Disclaimer. Good luck!

Note - This book was received for review/feature consideration.

1. Midori in Moonlight Synopsis - Trouble is exactly what Midori finds after following English teacher Kevin Newbury from her native Japan to San Francisco, where Prince Charming quickly becomes Prince Alarming after a nightmarish engagement party.
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123 comments :

  1. The only book I can recall taking place in Asia was Memoir of a Geisha.

    +1 I follow thru email updates.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  2. A good one based partly in Hong Kong is 9 Dragons.

    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I follow by email subscription
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  4. A fantastic set partially in Asia is Whitney Otto's underappreciated A Collection of Beauties at the Height of Their Popularity.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I recommend The Princess Bride by Yoshiko Uchida.

    bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Email subscriber.

    bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I follow via google friend connect.

    bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I follow your blog via google friend connect.

    vegwriter (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am a history buff, and Heian era Japan fascinates me. So I recommend the excellent fantasies by Kij Johnson, The Fox Woman and Fudoki. I also really love The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, which is the actual diary of a court lady in Heian Japan.

    ReplyDelete
  10. bonus
    Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
    by Lisa See

    ReplyDelete
  11. I can't remember any books except Memoirs of a Geisha, which I liked a lot.
    Amanda
    catss99@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I sub to the feed
    amanda
    catss99@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I sub . via email
    amanda
    catss99@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. have your button at catss99.blogspot.com
    amanda
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  15. have you on blog roll at catss99.blogspot.com
    amanda
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  16. I follow the blog
    amanda
    catss99@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Three Cups of Tea (Pakistan)
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

    (forgot my email address on my Snow Flower suggestion!)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Bonus entry-

    How about An Artist of the Floating World by Kazua Ishiguro?


    bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  19. bonus entry...
    Good Earth by Pearl Buck (China)
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  20. Bonus entry-

    I recommend Midnight's Children by Simon Reade. It takes place in Southeast Asia.

    bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  21. Bonus entry
    Waiting by Ha Jin (Cbhina)
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I recommend: "Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China" by Jung Chang.

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  23. I subscribe to your feed via Google Reader.

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  24. I subscribe via email updates.

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  25. I added this blog to my Technorati favorites.

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    Sarah Emmerson

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  26. I sent a friend request on Facebook.

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    Sarah Emmerson

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  27. I follow this blog.

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    Sarah Emmerson

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  28. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

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    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  29. Bonus Entry-I recommend The Tale of Genji by Shikibu Muraki;this novel is set in Japan.

    bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  30. Bonus Entry-

    I'd recommend I am a Cat by Natsume Soseki.


    bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  31. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/6178574473

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    Sarah Emmerson

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  32. Bonus entry:

    I recommend "When Heaven and Earth Changed Places" by Le Ly Hayslip, which takes place in Vietnam.

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  33. Bonus
    A mystery, Six Suspects, by Vikas Swarup (India)
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  34. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/6224821939

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    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  35. Bonus entry:

    I recommend Mao: The Unknown Story by Jon Halliday (China)

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  36. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/6242043759

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    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  37. Bonus entry:

    I recommend Life and Death in Shanghai by N. Cheng (China)

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  38. Bonus Entry-

    I recommend Some Prefer Nettles by Junichiro Tanizaki. It's set in Japan.

    bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Bonus
    Plum Wine by Angela Davis-Gardner (1960s Japan)
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  40. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/6294279685

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  41. Bonus entry:

    I recommend The Secrets of Mariko: A Year in the Life of a Japanese Woman and Her Family by Elisabeth Bumiller (Japan)

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  42. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/6327717934

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    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  43. Bonus entry:

    I recommend The House of Lim: A Study of a Chinese Family by Margery Wolf (China)

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    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  44. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/6397804151

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    Sarah Emmerson

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  45. Bonus entry:

    I recommend Bound Feet & Western Dress: A Memoir by Pang-Mei Natasha Chang (China)

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  46. bonus entry
    The Piano Teacher by Janice Lee (Hong Kong)
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  47. Bonus entry-

    I recommend Singular Rebellion by Saliichi Maruya.


    bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  48. I recommend The Commoner by John Burnham Schwartz. It's about the Crown Prince's mother and her marriage to the current Emperor of Japan.

    gaby317nyc at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  49. I follow

    gaby317nyc at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  50. email subscriber

    gaby317nyc at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  51. you're on my blog roll
    gaby317nyc at gmail.com

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  52. subscribe via googlereader and blogger

    gaby317nyc at gmail.com

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  53. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/6470025471

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  54. Bonus entry:

    I recommend Naomi: A Novel by Junichiro Tanizaki (Japan)

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  55. Having been born in Bangladesh, one I like is Daktar: Diplomat in Bangladesh.

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  56. I'm a follower.

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  57. And subscribed to your feed.

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  58. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/6520842531

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  59. Bonus entry:

    I recommend The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyong: The Autobiographical Writings of a Crown Princess of Eighteenth-Century Korea by JaHyun Kim Haboush (Korea)

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  60. bonus...
    Coppola, memoir of a doctor in Iraq
    mtakala1 AT yahnoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  61. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    http://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/6552353881

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  62. Bonus entry:

    I recommend The Sorrow of War: A Novel of North Vietnam by B. Ninh (Vietnam)

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  63. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    http://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/6585787853

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  64. Bonus entry:

    I recommend River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze by Peter Hessler (China)

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  65. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/6618779288

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  66. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    http://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/6652461318

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  67. Bonus entry:

    I recommend Red China Blues: My Long March From Mao to Now by Jan Wong (China)

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  68. Really very good and i like the way they treat for giveaway.. Having born in Hongkong, one I like is this city most of all...

    nintendo dsi r4

    ReplyDelete
  69. Bonus entry
    Peony in Love by Lee

    ReplyDelete
  70. Bonus
    Stoning of Soroyan M by Sahebjam (Iran)

    ReplyDelete
  71. Quiet flows the Don -set in Russia

    jacksond@nhr3.net

    ReplyDelete
  72. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    http://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/6788589387

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  73. Bonus entry:

    I recommend Beijing Confidential: A Tale of Comrades Lost and Found by Jan Wong (China)

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  74. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/6830758784

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  75. Bonus entry:

    I recommend China Witness: Voices from a Silent Generation by Xinran (China)

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  76. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/6881902262

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  77. Bonus entry:

    I recommend A Boy Called H: A Childhood in Wartime Japan by Kappa Senoh (Japan)

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  78. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/6982526959

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    Sarah Emmerson

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  79. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/7027379307

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    Sarah Emmerson

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  80. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/7064550983

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    Sarah Emmerson

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  81. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/7114325049

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  82. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/7147727340

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  83. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/7163303824

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    Sarah Emmerson

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  84. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/7219600480

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    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  85. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/7248897338

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    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  86. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/7286368052

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  87. I am dying to get my hands on this book! It sounds wonderful.
    email subscriber
    facebook fan
    blog follower
    lisaglidewell(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  88. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/7317896295

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  89. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/7355695340

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  90. I cannot recommend any book at this time. I can't remember the titles off hand. I believe one title is The Geisha of a few years ago.

    dsandyboy@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  91. Red China Blues walkerd@primus.ca

    ReplyDelete
  92. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/7391991163

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  93. Bonus entry:

    I recommend A Comrade Lost and Found: A Beijing Story by Jan Wong (China)

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  94. I haven't read many Asian books. But I did really like Memoirs of a Geisha.

    clenna at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  95. I subscribe to your feed.

    clenna at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  96. I subscribe to your email updates

    clenna at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  97. I'm a follower

    clenna at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  98. I'm a Facebook fan.

    clenna at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  99. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/7429801140

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  100. Bonus entry:

    I recommend The Blue Notebook by James Levine (India)

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  101. At the moment the only book I can think of set in Asia is The Good Earth.
    enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  102. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/7467212894

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  103. Bonus entry:

    I recommend Kingdom of Make-Believe: A Novel of Thailand by Dean Barrett (Thailand)

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  104. The only one I know about and have read is Memoir Of A Geisha.

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  105. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/7506698269

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  106. Memoirs of a Geisha was very good.

    misusedinnocence@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  107. Remember Madam Butterfly. I love stories set in this scenery, so beautiful and can be so tragic.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  108. 1 ENTRY- I Subscribe to A Book Blogger's Diary feed

    Japan is such a beautiful country when it comes to scenery. So romantic..

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  109. 1 ENTRY -I Subscribe to A Book Blogger's Diary Email Updates

    I have always been facinated by Tea Houses because of the beautiful ceremony of serving tea.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  110. 1 ENTRY - Follow this blog

    Tropical islands are also beautiful spots with georgous scenery which makes romantic love believable.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  111. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/7546211353

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  112. Bonus entry:

    I recommend A Nail Through the Heart: A Novel of Bangkok by Timothy Hallinan (Thailand)

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  113. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/7582464887

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  114. Bonus entry:

    I recommend The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill (Laos/Vietnam). A great book!

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  115. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/7618973916

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    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  116. Bonus entry:

    I recommend Curse of the Pogo Stick by Colin Cotterill (Laos). Part of a great series of books by this author!

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  117. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/7657745323

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    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  118. Bonus entry:

    I recommend The Merry Misogynist by Colin Cotterill (Laos).

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    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  119. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/7700951181

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    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  120. Bonus entry:

    I recommend Anarchy and Old Dogs by Colin Cotterill (Laos).

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  121. Thanks for all your comments. The winner has been notified!

    ReplyDelete