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Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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Soft pick.

Overly long book about beauty standards and the treatment of women in Japan. Gave some interesting perspectives, but I found it a bit dry (possibly because I dislike reading about food - if I can't eat it, what's the point?)

The murder aspects were over-marketed. Really this is a book about food and female friendship.

Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki

"...she had made no decisions herself, but simply reached for whatever was esteemed by the world."

Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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I missed the #CampLitsy discussion of this one, because I really struggled to get through it. For a book subtitled “A Novel of Food and Murder” (two of my favorite subjects), I was SO bored. It may be partially my fault for expecting more of a murder mystery, suspense aspect, so I was disappointed when that wasn‘t there. And the food descriptions were redundant and felt forced. Overall not a fan. 🤷🏻‍♀️

dabbe #fanofthepan! 🤩🤩🤩 (I'm still deciding if I should slog through or not! 😂) 3w
BarbaraBB I hope you‘ll like our next read better! 3w
BarbaraBB @dabbe I‘d say #hailthebail 😉 3w
dabbe @BarbaraBB Yes! That, too! 🤩😂🤗 3w
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Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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I am in the minority for #CampListy24 but I really enjoyed this, I thought it was a fascinating look at culture through the eyes of a fictional journalist with a true crime murderess as the inspiration. I don't normally like food based books but I thought it worked well here, I found myself eating a lot more rice than I normally do!
I liked how Reiko and Rka play off each other & are played by Kajii. Well written and lots to ponder.

Bookwormjillk I enjoyed it too! 3w
Suet624 I gave this a so-so rating but I have to admit I've been eating a lot more rice with butter and soy sauce. :) I think the book had more of an effect on me than I originally thought. 3w
ChaoticMissAdventures @Suet624 I love a subliminal book moment!! 3w
37 likes3 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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June was a good reading month, probably because I only had one chunkster over 500 pages, Independent People. Butter was easily my favorite with Razorblade Tears very closely behind. I read five books about #Iceland for #foodandlit (although Clear felt like it was in Iceland), two for #CampLitsy24, and two for #authoramonth. @Catsandbooks @Soubhiville @BarbaraBB @Megabooks @squirrelbrain

BarbaraBB Great month. Independent People is so good (edited) 4w
squirrelbrain Razorblade Tears is the Cosby that I haven‘t read, although I do own it on Kindle. 4w
Megabooks Fantastic month! @BarbaraBB Ann Patchett wanted to name Parnassus Independent People after the book, but her partner wanted Parnassus. Their motto though is “A bookstore for independent people.” She loves that book! 3w
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Soubhiville Great month! 3w
BarbaraBB @Megabooks that is a great story! Love their motto! I guess you should read the book too 😀 3w
Texreader @BarbaraBB @Megabooks @Soubhiville Thanks! Many good reads!! 3w
Texreader @squirrelbrain It was so good. It didn‘t sound like one I‘d be interested in, but I read it because of #authoramonth. So glad I did. I really like Cosby 3w
48 likes7 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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This was a real slog for me. Would not recommend. Happy to have finally finished! #CampLitsy24

dabbe I'm still slogging. Is it worth finishing? 🤩 4w
jlhammar @dabbe Not in my opinion. I definitely should have bailed. 4w
Prairiegirl_reading @dabbe I thought the second half is slower but it does come to a satisfying conclusion, if that helps. I really liked it though. 4w
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Karisimo @dabbe I thought it ended well! 4w
Kitta @dabbe, how far along are you? I found the first half tedious and the second half more interesting. Overall I‘d say it was a low pick or so-so for me because I liked reading about the food, but the storyline is 🤷🏻‍♀️. The real case is much more interesting. 4w
dabbe @Kitta I am literally at 50%. Thanks for the input! 🤩 4w
dabbe @jlhammar #fanofthepan! And thanks for the input! 🤩 4w
dabbe @Prairiegirl_reading That makes me want to stop, but for the conclusion. Thanks for the input! 🤩 4w
dabbe @Karisimo Good to know! Thanks for the input! 🤩 4w
Megabooks This wasn‘t my favorite book this year either! 4w
BarbaraBB Kudos for finishing. I am with @Prairiegirl_reading 4w
squirrelbrain I thought the second half was better too @dabbe @Kitta 4w
dabbe @squirrelbrain Good to know! Thanks! 🤩 3w
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Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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I went into this #CampLitsy24 selection with low expectations, it really did not seem like a book I'd pick up, but I was pleasantly surprised! I am a fan of slightly messy books about women trying to live outside of other people's expectations, and this fit right into that vein. I also love reading about food, so I enjoyed Rika's journey of discovery through cooking. It was by no means a perfect read, but it was one that will stay with me. cont'd

TheKidUpstairs Especially after the wonderful discussions led by @BarbaraBB - this was definitely one that benefitted from a group read. So many thoughts and insights from fellow campers that added depth and ensured a memorable reading experience! 4w
BarbaraBB I always think so about our book discussions. They always give new insights thanks to this wonderful group of people. 4w
Hooked_on_books I didn‘t love this one but did enjoy it. I also don‘t know if I would have picked it up if not for camp and I‘m glad I did. 4w
youneverarrived I‘m with you! Great review 🤍 3w
68 likes4 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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Read for ##CampLitsy24 this one gets a pick from me. It‘s not without issues like a slow start & less thrills than I was expecting. On the plus side were the food descriptions (I‘m looking at my butter differently now 🧈😉) & the Japan setting. I spent a good amount of time there in the late 90s & knew & could picture many of the Tokyo areas & neighborhoods mentioned. The second half of the book picked up & I found myself caught ⬇️

DebinHawaii … up in the drama until the end. This book was on my radar before #CampLitsy24 but I‘m glad it pushed me to read it. Thanks to @BarbaraBB for the great hosting of this first round & @squirrelbrain & @Megabooks for a great first month of camp. 💛🤗 4w
BarbaraBB Thank you for being there! Always happy to have you ❤️ 4w
squirrelbrain You‘re welcome! ☺️ 4w
Megabooks You‘re welcome! Glad you liked Butter! 4w
DieAReader 🥳🥳🥳 4w
59 likes5 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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A light pick. Definitely a case of false advertising. There wasn‘t nearly enough murder talk. But I do enjoy food writing and was invested in Rika‘s journey. It just went on a tad too long. #CampLitsy24

BarbaraBB 💯 agree! 4w
squirrelbrain Perfect review -I agree entirely! 4w
sarahbarnes Agreed. 4w
Suet624 Agree, but as I mentioned earlier it did inspire me to eat more rice with butter and soy sauce. 3w
47 likes4 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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3✨ I really enjoyed the food descriptions that made me crave the amazing food described. I‘m not sure the book needed to be as long as it was it started to drag at the end for me. However, our main character grew a lot through the story. I wasn‘t too excited for the murder aspect, but it added depth. #camplitsy

Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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The themes of misogyny and the importance of all kinds of friendships resonated with me. 5⭐️

Ruthiella Did you buy butter just for the picture or do you normally have that much butter on hand? 😅 4w
CogsOfEncouragement @Ruthiella LOL We absolutely usually have this much on hand. I want to be able to bake etc at a moment's notice! lol I don't even think of it as a lot tbh. Soooo our normal. 4w
BarbaraBB You are a Kajii with that amount of butter 🥰 so glad it‘s a five star read for you. Thanks for adding so much to the discussion 4w
30 likes3 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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“Women‘s work,” domesticity, FOOD, gourmands, self-care and self-deprivation. Winding set-up, translation feels clunky. Japanese culture. Friendship, community, seeking help. Satiation and soothing. 2024

171 “Refusing to look after yourself because there‘s nobody around to care about you is a form of violence towards somebody.”

179 “A gourmand was ultimately a seeker of the truth.”

187 “Humans just need rice, don‘t they? Basically.”

Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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Question 3 of 3

This is it for today and for Butter and for our first month of #CampLitsy24. We hope you‘ve all enjoyed camping so far. Later today I‘ll get back to you about the vote for our June winner!

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Kitta I guess I felt that the main message was surrounding Rika and her journey of self discovery. She begins to cook and eat food for Manako but discovers her own balance and flair. During this time, she strengthens her relationships with others and her own body, leading to living her life not merely existing. So IMO it‘s about finding your own path and self, while Asako is commenting on Japanese culture and outdated ideals. 4w
Kitta Those not exhibiting balance, Manako and her men, struggle and are shown in a negative light. Like the men relying on Manako for everything, and Manako herself for being single minded and selfish - claiming to want what‘s best for the men but getting bored and dumping them (killing them?) when she‘s not satisfied anymore. The lack of balance doesn‘t work out for them. Even Reiko is single minded at the beginning and can rely on others later on. 4w
BarbaraBB @Kitta Your words nailed it in my opinion: “living her life not merely existing”. And also agree on the subtle and sometimes not so subtle comments on Japanese culture. 4w
Bookwormjillk I think the main message was that you need to define success for yourself. @Kitta said it really well. 4w
DGRachel I can‘t say it better than @Kitta. This was Rika‘s journey. Kajii and the murders were just the catalyst. 4w
sarahbarnes Another vote for @kitta‘s response here. Both Rika and Reika were letting themselves be limited in different ways by society‘s expectations of them. It felt like by the end of the book, they were well on their way to figuring out how to live their lives more for themselves. 4w
sarahbarnes I ended up liking this book much more during the second half. Thanks @BarbaraBB for hosting a great first month of camp!! ⛺️🩵 4w
Ruthiella Totally agree with @Kitta ! I didn‘t really enjoy this book for style reasons. But I do think that the author had a message to convey that is worthy. 4w
GatheringBooks Agree with @Kitta re inner journeying & self-discovery. Another noteworthy theme is temperance - finding one‘s “balance” or equilibrium to not go too far to the extreme while at the same time not depriving one‘s self of fine tastes, joy, and the sheer exhilaration of living using your own personal yardstick as a measure of satisfaction and authentic living - not other people‘s standards or societal expectations. 4w
mcctrish I‘m on team @Kitta too. @sarahbarnes I also felt the the first half didn‘t grab me, everyone had a version of the same name 🤣🤦🏻‍♀️ and it was not unlike Shakespeare with the setting up of the story and then that last chapter in the first half with Reiko and I was like “Wait, What?!” and I was totally caught up. This won‘t appeal to everyone one but it‘s a total long game book and I am really glad I read it. 4w
Meshell1313 Ooh good question! I think it‘s mainly a comment on gender roles that still permeate Japanese society and how much emphasis is still placed on outward appearances. I‘m hopefully it‘s more about breaking these traditions and living a life that makes you happy no matter what society might think. 4w
TheKidUpstairs @mcctrish I totally agree with you, that first half was a long set up. I enjoyed it, but was definitely starting to feel like I needed something more to happen. Then the first chapter from Reiko's perspective totally sucked me in. In a way, the structure reminded me of Birnam Wood, which I loved, with the slow moving intro half and then a bit of chaos in the second half). 4w
Texreader @Meshell1313 I agree. This book is more about culture than individuals and self acceptance in a world demanding much of women. 4w
mcctrish @TheKidUpstairs absolutely like Birnam Wood with the set up which I loved 4w
squirrelbrain Oooh, good comparison @TheKidUpstairs 4w
squirrelbrain @mcctrish - I agree, that last chapter in the first half was 🔥 🔥🔥 4w
BarbaraJean For me, the theme I took away was that idea of “the right amount.” Rika challenges the messages and expectations society has handed her, redefining what is the “right” body, the right career choices, what she actually wants and doesn‘t want. She starts by thinking about what is “the right amount” with food, but it extends so much farther into other areas of her life, as she figures out a balance that is right for her rather than what society says. 4w
BarbaraJean Also what @Kitta said! And I managed to just restate @GatheringBooks response as well 🙃 4w
CogsOfEncouragement I thought the main themes were misogyny and the importance of all types of friendships. I didn't see the misogyny in Japan all that different than here in the US. Have you seen any headline about a female entertainer lately? Often they are commenting on her body and that she is so fat she must be pregnant. Yes, I'm angry. Even in the US when both spouses work, often the majority of the household tasks rest on the woman. # metoo and cases of... 4w
CogsOfEncouragement not believing women who have been kidnapped and sexually assaulted. They think we want attention. I could go on. We still definitely have a cultural expectation for women to be married with children and by a certain age. None of this has gone away in the US. Movies that are lead by women have negative ratings online before the movie even comes out. Get real. This book gives so much truth for how women are treated the world over. Still. Now. ...
CogsOfEncouragement On a more encouraging note, for the friendships - Rika begins making food that serves one. She works too much and has little time for meaningful relationships.
She ends up successfully making a turkey and has enough supportive friends to share the feast with. I loved that ending. And seeing Rika ready to do her next article interviewing women. She has made a name for herself and can make a difference because of it.
Hooked_on_books I think the book is a commentary on how women are seen in Japan. Kajii exemplifies an unruly woman—living unapologetically, including being “fat,” and she‘s thrown in jail. Then Rika starts straying from the expected female roles and is steadily treated differently as a result. I think the author is critiquing these gender roles as bad and applauding her own characters for breaking out of them. 4w
Hooked_on_books @CogsOfEncouragement You‘re so right about US misogyny. Look at politics—when a woman is running, it‘s all about her hair and clothes. We rarely ever focus on that with the men. As women we are utterly judged (controlled) by the way we look. Also, I was single for a long time (partially circumstance, partially choice) and it made people so uncomfortable. When I finally coupled up, people were so much more comfortable with me. It‘s so gross. 4w
DebinHawaii Can I just agree with everyone? 🤣 I loved what @Kitta said about finding yourself while being buffeted with societal standards & misogyny which exists everywhere but certainly in Japan. As @CogsOfEncouragement & @Hooked_on_books pointed out, that misogyny & judgement by society is alive here. As a perennial single/never-married person, I get the questions & the judgment frequently it definitely makes many people uncomfortable. Gross indeed! 🤬 4w
DebinHawaii As others have said, I found the first half of the book slow but the second half was hard to put down. I spent a lot of time in Japan for work about 20 years ago & was drawn in by the author‘s descriptions of place & of course the food descriptions, so I enjoyed it overall & am glad it was chosen for #CampLitsy24 Thank you @BarbaraBB for hosting! 🤗 4w
CogsOfEncouragement @Hooked_on_books Absolutely. PERFECT example.
My teenage son plays online video games. We have discussed that girls are treated horribly there. They pretty much need to pick a gender neutral online name to enjoy playing. I bring this up to say it is not just older generations, and we are “getting better“. My husband just took our daughter's car in for service because he knows how much I hate how I get treated and wanted to spare her. On and on...
Roary47 I‘m sure @Kitta said it better, but this was a journey for Rika, her friends, and her goals in her career. I believe the food element is something we all do to connect. There is a show called: “Somebody feed Phil” where Phil goes to various communities/and cultures and learns about their food and how it connects to their people. I really felt this as a love of learning new foods to Rika‘s own self discovery was the main goal by the author. 4w
Roary47 However, I did also she the roles of men and women a lot too. @CogsOfEncouragement I worry about that with my girls too. Being treated differently. I was a tomboy growing up so I do things for myself. Plus I like bugs more than most boys. 😂 My husband is an automotive mechanic and is slowly teaching my girls how to not be taken advantage of in this regard. It‘s sad that it is still happening. I also worry about my son with toxic masculinity. 4w
Hooked_on_books @CogsOfEncouragement That‘s awful about online video games. We as a society need to start teaching boys from every angle to respect girls and women as human beings, just as they are. Even the most diligent, feminist parent is hard pressed to fight back against the societal counter programming. It makes me sad and angry. 4w
BookWrym My biggest takeaway from this was the social commentary about the hypocrisy in the way that men and women are held to different standards. I also loved the idea of food as a way to form and strengthen bonds between people. 4w
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Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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Question 2 of 3

There is so much to discuss about this book that it‘s almost a pity we only have three questions! There are so many characters and themes and storylines in our second #CampLitsy24 book 🧈!

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Bookwormjillk It‘s hard because her relationship with the people involved in the story probably was unethical. However I don‘t think it was as bad as she was accused of and I wish she had gone on the offensive more when the article about her came out. (I know I‘m looking at this through an American cultural lens.) (edited) 4w
DGRachel It is hard not to look at this from an American perspective. Did she go overboard? Yes, she was obsessed. Was joining the cooking class under a false name a sh*tty thing to do? Yeah. But, it was what she had to do to get people to open up - it seems normal in the context of investigative journalism - not nice, but not immoral. I was kind of surprised by the backlash, but again, Kajii manipulated public opinion so well. 4w
BarbaraBB I agree @DGRachel that is all doesn‘t sound that immoral. I think investigative journalism can go way further. But maybe things are different in Japan 4w
sarahbarnes Agree that from my perspective it wasn‘t immoral and not that shocking for a journalist trying to get a story. I‘d be interested in what the response would‘ve been if she were a man, going back to the points made in the first question about women and power. (Cue Taylor Swift song 😂) (edited) 4w
Ruthiella I think Rika was obsessed but actually Riako (spelling?) was a “better” journalist in that she was less ethical than Rika. She got the story faster and was willing to go further to get it. 4w
GatheringBooks I agree with @Ruthiella about Reiko being more ruthless & talented than Rika. I am rooting for Rika in the story as she learns more about herself through the process of investigating the story. I thought it was empathetic & courageous of her to go as far as she did to understand the inner workings of Kajji‘s mind. As @BarbaraBB and @DGRachel noted - it‘s part of investigative journalism and while there are gray areas she may have crossed, she 👇🏼 4w
GatheringBooks (Cont) has done her best to represent the story in as nuanced a way as she possibly could - and perhaps by doing what she did, there can be no other person to tell Kajji‘s story than her. The antiseptic and hardline objectivity that social sciences demand hardly exists in reality anyway. We do make value judgments in the work that we do and work with the tools we are given. I thought there was an honesty in Rika too that wasn‘t predatory at all. 4w
BarbaraBB Well said @GatheringBooks about the hardline objectivity. 4w
mcctrish While I did think Rika was obsessed I never thought she crossed lines - although she wasn‘t necessarily upfront with people about what she was doing so she must have felt that way. Reiko was much more of a risk taker @Ruthiella is right. I think Reiko‘s style shows that Rika was just being an investigative journalist. The cooking school was used by Kajii to up her game and they all have the right to feel used but they weren‘t complicit, the press 4w
mcctrish Making them feel that way was wrong. I can see why they‘d feel uncomfortable with Rika hiding amongst them but someone going there seems like a no-brainer to me to understand the steps Kajii took. I don‘t think she killed the men with her own hands but I do think she intended that they die. So what level of murder is that ? 4w
ChaoticMissAdventures I tried very hard to remind myself to look at this story from a Japanese lense as opposed to an American one, the culture there is much more mysoginistic then what we pretend ours is, which puts so much more pressure on women to be perfect models. So I can see how the Japanese public would find what Rika did as immoral, the lying but I agree with others here, her job as a journalist was to get the true story, & people would not give cont>
ChaoticMissAdventures her the real truth as they see it if they knew she was writing an article. I felt like she rarely actually lied, she gave a false name at the cooking school, which to me is very minor, and then she just let people talk. Reiko I thought went a bit far, moving in with that man was such a dangerous move! I don't know if I would consider it immoral, but scary and maybe a bit stupid.... Beyond morality these women are struggling w/ purpose. 4w
squirrelbrain I agree with everyone - I think it seems more immoral in Japan‘s culture than it would in ours (US / UK). I did initially think that she was overstepping the mark at the cooking school, but everyone there was so naive and gullible I thought that they deserved it. (Maybe says more about me than I‘d like! 😬🤣) 4w
BarbaraJean @ChaoticMissAdventures Yes, Reiko‘s actions were far more problematic than Rika‘s! I think that showed Kajii‘s influence over Reiko. Reiko seemed more vulnerable to Kajii‘s manipulation—I think because she‘s more susceptible to societal messages about women. Rika‘s career goals already challenge societal expectations—and as the story progresses, she grows stronger and intentionally questions those expectations in ways Reiko can‘t. 4w
ChaoticMissAdventures @BarbaraJean it's interesting isn't it, Reiko was more manipulated and went way further but she was often telling Rika that Kajji was manipulating her. I think their personal situations (Reiko being in an unhappy marriage) really came into play here. 4w
CogsOfEncouragement I didn't think of Rika as being unethical. I was more concerned for her safety as she got caught up in pleasing Kajii. By the end of chapter 8 I was treating Rika as a unreliable narrator. Her willingness to spend the night in Kajii's childhood home was unhinged & I was glad Reiko drug her out of there. Surprisingly only to go headlong into her own situation of being snared by Kajii. Rika's tactics in the cooking school are definitely problematic. 4w
Hooked_on_books I found her behavior to be in keeping with many journalists, who I have always found to be manipulative and underhanded. (Which doesn‘t stop me from consuming media.) I think often journalists (probably not all, but many) cross lines trying to get scoops. It‘s not a good way to treat other people. 4w
DebinHawaii While both Rika & Reiko‘s actions were questionable it does seem pretty standard for undercover journalism in many places. They both got caught up in Kajii‘s manipulation and that pushed them to blur ethical lines. I do think that if the sexes were reversed. & they were men in Japan, Rika would not have been vilified by the public for their behavior-or at least not as much. 4w
Roary47 I agree with many of you that Rika wasn‘t really wrong in her investigative journalism. My thought though on the class is every one of the classmates in the cooking class went to it for their own reasons. Is it wrong to want to be a better cook? Is it wrong to want to socialize with others that have a similar interest? The reason for joining the class falls in line with the goal of the individual. Getting a story is a goal. 🤷‍♀️ 4w
BookWrym I agree through a UK lens there was nothing immoral in the behaviour and if it was a male journalist I don‘t think anyone would have raised an eyebrow. Also a male journalist would probably have been treated sympathetically as another victim if the evil woman. 4w
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Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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Question 1 of 3

Welcome to our #CampLitsy24 discussion of the second half of Butter. We know the book has received mixed reviews and some bails too among our campers. So a few of us will probably prefer the beach to the book today. Enjoy summer 🏖️ , the rest of us are here for it 🧈!

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Bookwormjillk I think she‘s guilty. One or two people fine, but weren‘t there four? Also she seemed to have no problem messing with people‘s lives to get her way. 4w
Kitta Honestly, I think she didn‘t directly kill them but made them rely on her, and her actions may have led to their deaths, but I don‘t think that‘s murder. Why couldn‘t they have just taken care of themselves? 🤷🏻‍♀️ (is that victim blaming?) Maybe I‘m misunderstanding women‘s roles and feminism in Japanese society, but I‘m not sure feeding someone then not doing so is tantamount to murder. I want to read more about the real story it‘s based on. 4w
youneverarrived I‘ve still not finished (I‘m at 85%) so I might change my answer but I don‘t think she is. Could it be an extension of the point the author seems to be making in regards to women‘s roles in society - the men ‘let themselves go‘ or weren‘t looked after by a woman but it‘s the woman (Kajii) that gets the blame. I feel like she makes this point in a consistent way throughout the book. (edited) 4w
BarbaraBB I agree with you @youneverarrived. To me too it seemed that she was blamed by men who couldn‘t live up to society‘s expectations. They relied on Rika but she was obviously not taking that responsibility. She loathed weak men. By pushing them away she might have triggered something in them but that‘s no murder I guess. 4w
DGRachel Kajii strikes me as so manipulative and she gets so angry/vindictive when people question her narrative, that I think she might be guilty. It feels like there‘s more to that story than we got. BUT, I wonder if there‘s a part of me that has internalized misogyny to the point where I want her to be guilty. Hmm…🤔 I‘m going to have to noodle on that. 4w
BarbaraBB @DGRachel To noodle… sounds appropriate 😉 4w
sarahbarnes I‘m with you @Kitta @youneverarrived @BarbaraBB - I don‘t think she murdered them. Maybe drove them to their deaths by abandoning them because she didn‘t like their weakness. And agree there‘s a message in there about a woman blamed for that - based on a fear of her having power over men in whatever form she does. 4w
Kitta So I read some of the real story now and I would stay the deaths of Kijima‘s victims are much more circumspect. They all died by apparent suicide using charcoal bricks, a common method in Japan at the time, with her not far away staying at a hotel or something. Definitely seems more plausible she was involved than the story of Manako, where they died of different things. I wonder if the author hadn‘t changed this fact if I‘d feel the same way. 4w
Kitta @sarahbarnes I definitely agree, there‘s a message about how society blamed Manako for their deaths and about fear of women. I like that the ending is ambiguous and Manako wants to change the narrative back to her being a sensation again though. She‘s clearly interested in being the center of attention and thought of as powerful. Rika‘s story cast her in a sympathetic light and she didn‘t want to seem weak. 4w
DGRachel @BarbaraBB can you discuss a novel titled Butter without food-based jokes? 😂 4w
Ruthiella I definitely think Yuzuki kept it purposefully ambiguous for the novel. 4w
Prairiegirl_reading I definitely thought she was guilty. She was so manipulative. Had this happened once, maybe not, but she purposely set out to get money from these men and then disposed of them. Also I think there is more to it that she just wasn‘t saying. 4w
GatheringBooks Agree with @sarahbarnes @kitta @youneverarrived and @BarbaraBB here - she may have been guilty of cunning, manipulation, and deceit - but the fact that she is being blamed for the deaths of grown men ostensibly with their own minds - seems absurd to me from a legal standpoint. Maybe from a moral standpoint, it can be argued (tenuously) that she was to “blame” - but her being unlikeable, narcissistic and a liar does not prove guilt for murder 4w
BarbaraBB That‘s so interesting @Kitta that you found that out about the real case. In that one murder seems more plausible indeed. Interesting! 4w
mcctrish @GatheringBooks I feel the same way- at the end when Kajii turns on Rika I wondered what did she do to each of the men? She‘d know their weaknesses beyond just removing her attention - they‘d kill themselves for the shame and heartbreak. The male reporter won‘t last long if Kajii gets out 4w
Meshell1313 Maybe it‘s just me but I found myself rooting for Kajii! I was hoping she wasn‘t a murderer. I do think she is guilty though. Even if she manipulated the men into thinking there was no other way out. 4w
GatheringBooks @Meshell1313 there is something about how unapologetic she is that is also noteworthy - and how in tune with her senses and her body. But rika is right - kajji is also unbearably lonely - and for someone who has nothing to lose, she can do absolutely anything. Hence the sense of freedom that is palpable in her actions. 4w
GatheringBooks @mcctrish agreed about the male reporter. He is definitely next once kajji is done with him. 4w
ChaoticMissAdventures I agree with @Ruthiella and @kitta the real story of Kanae Kijima it sounds much more like she did it, but I wonder if that is also the newspapers in Japan also slanted things, like how Yuzuki it felt slanted things to make it feel like she did not do it. The circumstances in our book do make the killings (or accidental deaths) seem less plausable that Kajii did them.
TheKidUpstairs I've got about 75 pages left, but I don't think she murdered them directly. I'm still undecided as to whether she purposefully manipulated their deaths (like @DGRachel pointed out, she lashes out when her control of the situation is challenged), or left them to their fates out of indifference (? I don't know if that's even the right word. Maybe she was coldly indifferent to their fates, but maybe she just refused to be responsible for them cont'd) 4w
TheKidUpstairs continuing... There's certainly a parallel between her leaving the men, and Rika's breakup with Makoto. While ultimately he accepts it much better, he initially pushes back. Not out of love for Rika, but out of desire for what she can do and provide for him. It highlights the transactional nature of so many toxic relationships - that need and love not for the other person but for what they can do for the person. 4w
Texreader I think the coincidence is too much. I think she killed them directly or indirectly 4w
Prairiegirl_reading @Meshell1313 I think I started out this way and then how manipulative she was reminded me of Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling from silence of the lambs. 4w
Prairiegirl_reading @DGRachel the book I finished right after Butter was Sandwich! It made me giggle. 4w
squirrelbrain @DGRachel - impatiently awaiting more food-based jokes! 🤣 4w
squirrelbrain @TheKidUpstairs - I wonder that too, if she manipulated their deaths. Isn‘t it part of Japan‘s culture that people ‘fall on their own sword‘? If that is the case and Kajii initially made them feel special then almost gaslighted them into feeling worthless, does that mean that she is ultimately responsible for their deaths? @sarahbarnes @youneverarrived @Kitta @Prairiegirl_reading @GatheringBooks @mcctrish @Meshell1313 @ChaoticMissAdventures 4w
TheKidUpstairs @squirrelbrain It does bring up an interesting question of morality vs legality, if she did manipulate them. She certainly knows how to press peoples' vulnerabilities, and if she used that with the knowledge of death as a likely outcome she may be morally and ethically culpable, but not legally guilty. 4w
mcctrish Kajii absolutely gaslit them @squirrelbrain we see the whole cycle of Kajjii play out with Rika‘s investigation but in Rika‘s case her involvement with Kajii led her to create a community that was there for her whereas all the victims ended up alone and feeling worthless 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 4w
BarbaraJean I don‘t think she‘s guilty of murder directly, but she bears some blame. She‘s clearly skilled at manipulation and she was a factor in the choices the men made. Also, it‘s a pattern: a series of men died after having a relationship with her (from which she financially benefited). It would be hard to prove a murder charge, but it‘s clear she knew what she was doing and at best didn‘t care, or at worst, manipulated the situation intending they die. 4w
BarbaraJean I agree with @Ruthiella that the author purposely kept it ambiguous. There had to be some ambiguity there for the reader to be intrigued by the mystery. And I think Rika‘s story (both in the book and the one she writes for her magazine) is more compelling because of her sympathy toward Kajii. It would be harder to garner that sympathy if Kajii was more clearly guilty of murder. 4w
BarbaraJean @mcctrish I love the idea that Rika‘s involvement with Kajii led her to create a community. And food was the catalyst for Rika. Food almost played an opposite role in both women‘s lives. For Rika, she‘s drawn to connect with others through food, to share the tastes and recipes and experiences she‘s discovering. Kajii uses food to manipulate and it destroys connection with others. I loved the way that food created community for Rika at the end! 4w
ChaoticMissAdventures @GatheringBooks @sarahbarnes @kitta @youneverarrived and @BarbaraBB TheKidUpstairs @squirrelbrain I think it is an interesting topic - legally and morally about if you are a murderer if you convince someone to kill themselves. I agree I think genderroles plays a part here, but also I think money. Like Bernie Madoff is he guilty of murder when so many of his victims died as a direct result of him taking their life savings? 1/2 cont 4w
ChaoticMissAdventures It is pointed out throughout the book that Kajii not only manipulated them with taking care of them and then leaving them, but also took $10s of K (millions of ¥) from them. There is presidence now even in the US for driving people to suicide - Michelle Carter of MA was found guilty recenlty of murder when she convinced her boyfriend to die by suicide. There are just so many factors and we never really get Kajii's side of how things went down. 4w
CogsOfEncouragement When I saw Rika and then Reiko deep in Kajii's web, it did seem like she did it. Even from prison, and without a romantic relationship she was able to cause so much harm. Only when Rika and Reiko were pulled from harm's way (by each other actually which adds to the theme of friendship) did they come back to their senses. When we meet the Kajii's family, and see the house - it is a sad but convincing villain origin story. 4w
mcctrish @BarbaraJean so true about the food working in opposite ways - it should work as a community builder ❤️❤️❤️ 4w
Kitta @ChaoticMissAdventures oh that‘s a good point, I didn‘t realize there was precedent for that. Interesting! 4w
Kitta @Ruthiella I guess if you‘re inciting someone to kill themselves i could see there being an argument for you being a murderer, but it‘s so hard to tell if that‘s what Kajii was doing or just using them and they decided of their own volition. I don‘t feel we have enough evidence from what‘s in the book, although Kajii is certainly guilty of something? Her treatment of them is very bad. With Kijima, the real case I do think she‘s a murderer. 4w
Hooked_on_books I‘m with @BarbaraJean —I don‘t think she killed them directly, but there‘s definite culpability there. She clearly doesn‘t care that they are dead and is so smug. She‘s such a brilliantly written character. 4w
DebinHawaii I land on the side of how it‘s written makes it difficult to say if it was legally murder but morally she is responsible. I like @mcctrish & @BarbaraJean s‘ points about how Rika found community through food while Kajii used it as a weapon & a tool for her manipulation. 4w
BarbaraBB @mcctrish I didn‘t think of that but you‘re right about the male reporter! 4w
BarbaraBB @BarbaraJean Food as a community builder, that‘s a wonderful thought and I am glad it worked out that way for Rika. Food left Kajii utterly lonely though as @gatheringbooks pointed out. Maybe she didn‘t want the men to kill themselves but was she just playing games to see how far she could go - she had little to lose. The gaslighting thought is such an interesting one, @squirrelbrain ! (edited) 4w
Roary47 I agree with @Kitta and @youneverarrived plus several others I don‘t think she‘s guilty of feeding them and then they being unable to fend for themselves. However, she did seem to have a pleasure in people depending on her, and manipulating others. In a moral level I would say she is guilty of the manipulation. It‘s interesting that this is a real story. I wasn‘t aware of that while reading. 4w
Daisey @mcctrish @BarbaraJean I agree about the aspect of building community with food. This creation of a place for the friends to gather and Rika‘s character development through that was my favorite part. 4w
Daisey I tend to agree that she is guilty of manipulation but not directly murder. I think she does deserve some blame because she continued to do this to person after person without remorse. 4w
BookWrym One for @squirrelbrain the journalist will be Toast when Kaji is finished with him 🤣🤣 4w
BookWrym In the confines of the book I don‘t believe there is enough evidence to convict Kaji of murder which makes the story intriguing and allows for the social commentary that speculates about why people are so ready to believe Kaji is guilty. 4w
squirrelbrain Lol! 😜 That‘s a great one, thank you! @Bookwyrm 4w
BarbaraBB @BookWrym 🙌🏽 4w
38 likes57 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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This book is making me really hungry. Namely, this chapter on Ramen 🍜 🤤 #CampLitsy @BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain @Megabooks I‘m trying to catch up for tomorrow‘s discussion. I have a mild summer cold so it‘s not hard to lay around today. 😅

squirrelbrain Ugh - hope you feel better soon! 4w
Roary47 @squirrelbrain Thank you! The hazards of having littles is catching everything. 😅 4w
24 likes2 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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See last 3 posts.

I am hoping that this book progresses in a way that makes it obvious that it's all social satire. Still... it's very hard to read these perspectives without wanting to have stern words with the various characters!

BarbaraJean I felt the same way about those passages. Keep going--it takes some interesting turns with it! 4w
RaeLovesToRead @BarbaraJean If anyone needs me, I'll be in the cupboard with a bowl of buttercream 😄😵 4w
BarbaraJean 😂 😂 I affirm your decision!! 4w
48 likes3 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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I can't say I concur, book!

Ruthiella I don‘t think the reader is expected to concur with Kajii. It‘s exploring ideas, IMO. 4w
RaeLovesToRead @Ruthiella Yes... BUT... Kajii is supposed to be this sensual woman who is attractive to men at her (supposedly enormous) size... but, according to her, it's because she CATERS to men in a servile manner? I'm only about 100 pages in, so I will have to see how things pan out... 4w
RaeLovesToRead ( @Ruthiella in my no-longer-catering-to-men era 🤣🤣) 4w
38 likes3 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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DaveGreen7777 Yikes! 😳 4w
RaeLovesToRead @DaveGreen7777 I'm not in agreement with Kajii on this one 🤣🤣 4w
Branwen Ick. 😩 3w
36 likes3 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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Me reading Butter like... 😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐

Jari-chan 😑😑😑 4w
dabbe Agree 💯. 4w
RaeLovesToRead @Jari-chan @dabbe This book is critiquing these attitudes, but it's still exhausting to read about 4w
36 likes3 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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When all of the books you're reading are conspiring to bum you out...


Ruthiella That‘s what happens sometimes with group reads. At least Clear was SHORT! 😂 I try to also have something lighter on the go to balance it out. Last week Terry Pratchett, this week Elizabeth Peters. 👍 4w
RaeLovesToRead @Ruthiella A lot of these books I chose myself 😅 Clear was OK but didn't win my heart... I'm stacking cosy fantasy for July!!!! Haha 4w
53 likes2 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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I‘m still on #TeamLoveIt even if like others mentioned it‘s not about murder as billed. Can‘t wait for #CampLitsy this weekend!

squirrelbrain Glad you liked it! Looking forward to this weekend. 1mo
Megabooks So glad you enjoyed it! 1mo
Ruthiella Nice picture! 👍 1mo
BarbaraBB It was unlike any other book I think. See you tomorrow 🤍 4w
64 likes4 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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Initially,this book seemed tedious & repetitive to me.Rika was not a likable protagonist.But because it was a #Camplitsy24 pick, I persevered.Rika is a journalist on the hunt for Kajii,a serial killer‘s story. Rika became enmeshed with Kajii who manipulated her into performing tasks on demand.Fortunately her best friend & others helped her leave Kajii‘s skewed reality & separate herself from her, enabling Rika to regain her sense of self. 🧈🧈

sarahbarnes I had a similar experience with the book and ended up liking it in the end, too. 1mo
BookWrym Yay welcome to camp liked it 1mo
squirrelbrain I thought it rather boring at the start too. I don‘t think I‘d have persevered either if not for @camplitsy. 1mo
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Kitta I thought the beginning was tedious too (edited) 1mo
youneverarrived I love the development of Rika. Fab review! 1mo
BarbaraBB Great review! I am glad it‘s a pick for you. Like @youneverarrived I enjoyed Rika‘s development. 4w
62 likes6 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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The end of Rika‘s long journey of self discovery. She is full of hope. #Camplitsy24

squirrelbrain ❤️❤️❤️ 1mo
43 likes1 comment
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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I want those hours of my life back. Despite the cover calling this a novel of food and murder, it is not a crime novel. I found the whole thing tedious, unnecessarily angsty, filled with way too many tangents, and I never want to see another stick of butter as long as I live. #camplitsy24

Megabooks Sorry this one didn‘t work for you! Hopefully you‘ll like James better! 1mo
vivastory I'm sorry but this made me lol. I was listening to a BBC podcast today & 1 guest was like “This is a book that I have given to several friends since reading“ & when it came time to the next guest, they were all “No offense, but I want to keep my friends so I will not be giving them this book“ lolol 1mo
DGRachel @vivastory That‘s hysterical. I definitely side with the second guest! 1mo
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DGRachel @Megabooks I have high hopes for James! 1mo
Ruthiella Your review jives with how I felt about this one too. I found it rambling and unfocused. 1mo
BarbaraBB Kudos for singing it out! James probably will make up for this experience 🤞🏽😀 1mo
Hooked_on_books I enjoyed the book, but I love this review. Especially about not wanting to see a stick of butter. 😂 And yeah, it‘s definitely not a crime novel. That tagline doesn‘t help reader expectations. 1mo
sarahbarnes I ended up liking this but 😆😆 1mo
dabbe 😂🧈🤩 1mo
squirrelbrain @vivastory, that‘s so funny! 🤣 1mo
57 likes10 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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One thing I haven‘t seen anyone touch on yet for this #camplitsy24 read is the LGBTQIA+ themes, and Rika‘s mentions of the girls at school, as well as her comments about fascinating both genders, and being a “prince”.

It made me expect something to happen to clarify whether Rika was bisexual and whether Japanese society was causing her to suppress those desires.

I‘m not sure if I‘m reading too much into this though. 🤔

What did you think?

Ruthiella The book dances around this but never comes to any conclusion on it, IMO. I think also that Reiko is maybe gay or bi, but doesn‘t/can‘t admit it, which is in part why she‘s so unhappy. 1mo
Kitta @Ruthiella I agree but couldn‘t tell if I was reading it that way because I‘m bi 😆 Glad to hear I‘m not the only one who thought this! It was seeming to me the whole time that they were going to get together and then it just didn‘t happen. 1mo
BarbaraJean I'm late to comment, but YES! I was waiting for something to happen with these themes as well. I thought something might happen romantically between Rika & Reiko. There was a LOT going on in the book already, so I could understand not developing that thread further. But I was disappointed that the author didn't follow up on all the hints sprinkled throughout, especially re: Rika's experiences at school and the interactions between her and Reiko. 3w
Kitta @BarbaraJean I know! I was kinda disappointed too tbh. But your reasoning makes sense. (edited) 3w
18 likes4 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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I loved this book. Not really a murder mystery but rather a deep introspection into a female journalist‘s self image as she learns more about herself while interviewing a serial killer in prison for a magazine story. The killer insists the journalist try the tastiest foods, with butter of course, in Tokyo and tells her all about them in return for more interviews. Heaven forbid, the journalist gains some weight. She then realizes how society ⬇️

Texreader so poorly treats women who are not stick thin, and the misogynistic world she often finds herself. This book is so important about self acceptance. It touched me deeply as I‘m going through personal changes and trying so hard to accept myself as I am now. A few times the book was just gross, such as describing scabs. Ewww. But the food descriptions were amazing! I ❤️ books about food, which may explain why I co-host #foodandlit! #camplitsy24 1mo
slategreyskies Great review! I‘ve read lots of reviews of this book, but this is the first one I‘ve read where I feel like I now actually know what the book‘s about. Thanks! 🧈 1mo
Texreader @mcctrish Do you agree with how I interpreted this book? 1mo
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Texreader @slategreyskies Thank you so much. It helped that it touched me deeply. I felt like some readers have missed the point of the book. I think it‘s such an important book for women in Japan and everywhere. And it‘s very well written. 1mo
BarbaraBB The book really resonates with you and that shows. You‘ve shared some wonderful insights and this is a great review. 1mo
squirrelbrain I‘m so glad you loved the book, and that it meant a lot to you. Thank you for your contributions to the discussions. 1mo
The_Book_Ninja Agreed. Great review🙌🏼 1mo
youneverarrived Excellent review. That‘s one thing I‘m really liking about it - the introspection. 1mo
mcctrish YES!!!! The only thing I kind of knew going into it was that it wasn‘t what people thought it was - I was purposely avoiding reviews once I saw that and I‘m glad I did. This book is so much than a murder mystery ( the scabs were gross ) 1mo
Daisey Great review! I agree many reviews, including my own, don‘t really describe it well, but you did a wonderful job of getting to the heart of it. 1mo
Kitta You did a great job describing it, I left mine intentionally vague because of the upcoming #camplitsy24 discussions but maybe that was a mistake! I didn‘t connect as well with this book as you did, but enjoyed it overall. I thought it was a bit too long and would have cut sections or changed the writing to not seem like it was ending so often! I was reading on my kindle and kept checking to see if I was done 😆 1mo
Megabooks I love your review! You really got to the heart of the book! 1mo
kspenmoll Great review! 💙 1mo
kspenmoll @mcctrish But aren‘t scabs tasty?! 🤢🤮 1mo
Texreader @kspenmoll Yea that part about scabs just really turned me off. But kids do do that! So yea, it‘s real. 🤢 1mo
55 likes2 stack adds16 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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I want to thank #camplitsy for choosing this. I learned a lot about Japanese culture, the food in this was FANTASTIC, I loved seeing how the main character, Rika, evolved. The murderess was quite the narcissist and her ‘evilness‘ was the perfect foil for all the people Rika kept at arms length in her life until the end when she made more room for them. Sometimes it was a bit blah, blah, blah but most of the time I was just lost in the story

Texreader Finally someone who loved it like I did! 1mo
mcctrish @Texreader it really is a book you have to finish, around the middle when Reiko is acting nuts and Rika‘s relationship with her boyfriend just seems bizarre and Kajii just seems malicious and manipulative you really wonder if it‘s worth it. I would really love to see this made into a series 1mo
BarbaraBB I am glad you loved it. Thanks for your review! I think it‘s a book you should read without too many expectations since it is definitely not a murder mystery in the regular sense of the word 1mo
53 likes4 stack adds3 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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Such a delightful conversation!! 👩🏻‍🍳 🥦🥕🍤🧈🍚

Depending on my mood, I do listen to music, an audiobook or NPR radio when I cook.

mcctrish I like to cook ( I‘m making a lemon blueberry loaf and my own whip up of a Greek/middle eastern bowl for dinner ) I love having an audio book or BBC radio music show on 1mo
youneverarrived Love this! 1mo
47 likes1 stack add2 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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I feel like Kajii would not approve of this vegan hot dog made out of a carrot, but it made for a good #LunchAndBook treat on a hot day. I‘m still on team #LoveIt and am looking forward to the discussion next week for #CampLitsy

AnnCrystal Oh, that's clever 🥕🌭👏👍. 1mo
Ruthiella She definitely would not approve! 😂 1mo
BarbaraBB So glad you‘re loving it! 1mo
60 likes3 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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Rika has asked several friends/workmates to help Reiko heal by taking turns staying with her in Shinoi‘s house of many rooms. That they all made connections with each other was beyond Rika‘s expectations & understanding. 💡🫚🪴🌿🍃
Just love this image.💚

squirrelbrain I liked this part too. 1mo
44 likes1 comment
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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Best thing about summer days - the kids are happy in the garden most of the day so I get to sit and read 😁☀️ just starting the second half #camplitsy

mcctrish Summer reading is the best 1mo
squirrelbrain Perfect! ☀️ 1mo
BarbaraBB So cute! Enjoy! 1mo
48 likes3 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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Fun or responsibility this cool morning? It‘s only 70 degrees!!! What a gift after a week+ of mid-high 90s! #porchlife #birdsong #coolbreezes

Tamra My vote is always for fun! 😁 1mo
mcctrish My vote is fun too, although I‘ve spent this break from the heat going grocery shopping, washing my sheets and hanging them on the line and weeding in the backyard. 1mo
kspenmoll @mcctrish I read for fun, took a long walk in the cool breezy air ( finally) talked with some neighbors, then organized mountains of bottles/cans to take to a local recovery center, now it‘s time to make dinner. Being outside after being stuck inside for a week was a huge source of joy for me! 1mo
mcctrish I‘ve tried to spend the whole day outside ❤️❤️ 1mo
68 likes1 stack add4 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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I am still just in camp loved it. I felt the second half was weaker and went on beyond the natural end point. That said I did enjoy the ending and seeing how all the characters have progressed.

This is a great book for prompting discussions around food, gender stereotypes, traditional roles for women and of course beauty standards.

Dinner today featured jacket potato with lashings of butter 😋

BookWrym PS really wish we could create tag groups like a WhatsApp chat as I can never remember who to tag 🤣 1mo
Bookwormjillk I‘m about 75% and still loving it too! 1mo
squirrelbrain Glad you loved it! 1mo
See All 6 Comments
BarbaraBB So glad you loved it! 1mo
Prairiegirl_reading #teamloveit I‘m still on the team!! Not done yet though. Doesn‘t matter I‘m so taken with it! I ordered my paper copy! 1mo
Prairiegirl_reading @Megabooks @squirrelbrain @Bookwormjillk sorry I forgot the tags too!! 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️ 1mo
17 likes6 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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Found this butter from Normandy at Whole Foods. “Beurre de baratte is traditionally made in France using a churn or barrel shaped churn called a ‘“ baratte.‘” This method churnsthe cream until it separates into butter and buttermilk.* see website below.
It was delicious but not unlike Cabot‘s extra creamy premium butter. Maybe my butter palette is not discerning enough!

Megabooks Glad you tried something new! 1mo
willaful I once bought some fancy butter at Trader Joes -- Irish, I think -- and tried one of my favorite recipes for English toffee and it was a complete disaster! I don't know why, but some kind of separation could well explain it. 1mo
See All 6 Comments
kspenmoll @willaful Given your experience I definitely will not bake with this butter!🧈😀 1mo
BarbaraBB Love this post! 1mo
Texreader ❤️❤️❤️ so glad you posted this! 1mo
52 likes6 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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A soft pick.

Lots to chat about for this one but I‘ll save my thoughts on the ending for the #camplitsy24 discussion on Saturday!

I didn‘t know where this book was going to go at the beginning and there were some unexpected twists I didn‘t see coming, but on the whole it felt a bit predictable. I kept thinking it was going to end and I‘d check my kindle and it‘d be at 75%!

I really want to research the true story it‘s based off of.

Kitta Also for reasons that will become clear by the ending I ordered a rotisserie chicken for lunch 😂 This book makes me want to eat and cook! 1mo
BarbaraBB Great review. I love how this book can cause so many different reactions throughout reading it. I am glad you stuck with it and I agree on the rotisserie chicken! See you on Saturday! 1mo
Kitta @BarbaraBB it was definitely interesting! I‘m glad I voted for it to be included in #camplitsy. Will be an interesting discussion! 1mo
Megabooks I‘m curious about the true story, too! 1mo
24 likes4 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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For those in Camp Listy reading Butter, I have found that researching the woman this book is based off of makes me far more interested in the book.

Her name is Kanae Kijima and she is called the Konkatsu Killer (“marriage-hunting”). She was convicted in 2019 of killing 3 men - suspected of another 4 murders. She is currently on death row in Japan


Bookwormjillk That‘s what they‘re calling really overweight? 1mo
ChaoticMissAdventures @Bookwormjillk I think it is really important to look at it from a cultural persepective. From what I gather (I do not go to Japan because of my tattoos) for Japan, in general she is considered very overweight. 1mo
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ChaoticMissAdventures One thing I find intersting is the way Kajii speaks in the book, the articles say that Kijima “cooed“ when she spoke, and I think the author really grasped that aspect of her because that is how I read her when she speaks. It looks like though the murders Kijima is convicted of were a lot more indepth than what I am reading in the novelization, she was daking 10s of thousands from the men and they were dying of poisonings. 1mo
dabbe Excellent articles; thanks for sharing! 💙💚💙 1mo
Bookwormjillk @ChaoticMissAdventures makes sense, just kind of shocking from an American perspective. 1mo
ChaoticMissAdventures @Bookwormjillk for sure, I keep doing the math and thinking Rika's "fat" is what I see as my perfect weight, and is often considered skinny in the US. 1mo
Deblovestoread It escaped me that Butter was based on a true story. Thanks for the articles. I‘m a little more invested now. 1mo
ChaoticMissAdventures @Deblovestoread right? And there is so much to learn, like I didn't realize Japan had the death penalty. 1mo
Kitta Thanks for the link! I‘m definitely interested in the true story of this woman. 1mo
kspenmoll Wow. Thanks for the articles- really helps with the book despite its sometimes tedious drooling over food & how naive Rika seems to be. 1mo
29 likes11 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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I want to think Kajii would approve of my snack choice despite the lack of butter. Crisp chilled rosé paired with Hawkins Cheezies ( a Canadian classic that is worth the trip here for #ifykyk. )

LeahBergen The best Cheezies! 1mo
mcctrish @LeahBergen they sure are 1mo
57 likes2 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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Finally starting to feel human again after being sick & traveling & relapsing. Out of the house for some quiet time at the coffee shop. Catching up on reading the first half of Butter so I can join in the #CampLitsy24 discussion. Catching up on #5JoysFriday posts & lots of #LitsyLove & card swap correspondence. I‘m behind so expect late solstice cards & letters. Sorry!😣 But I‘m happy to be able to taste my dirty chai oatmilk latte & sammie.🤗

TheBookHippie 💚💚💚💚💚🙃 1mo
Lesliereadsalot So glad you‘re finally better! 💜 1mo
dabbe Glad you're feeling better. 💙💚💙 1mo
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DebinHawaii @Lesliereadsalot @dabbe @TheBookHippie Thank you, friends! I am so ready to feel better! 💛💛💛 1mo
LeahBergen I‘m glad you‘re feeling more like your old self! ❤️ 1mo
Deblovestoread Glad you are feeling better! 💜 1mo
kspenmoll Deb so glad you are out & about! Yay! 1mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Glad you are feeling better ❤️‍🩹 1mo
62 likes8 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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Translated from the Japanese, Butter is an indulgent book full of food descriptions and characters to get to know. I felt immersed in Japanese culture, especially body image views and gender relations. Yuzuki was undoubtedly making a point with this book but I do wonder if it could have been done in less pages with fewer side stories and characters. “A novel of food and murder” is a great tag line but the murder facet was lost on me. #camplitsy24

Daisey I felt similarly about this one. 1mo
Tamra Such a pretty pic! 1mo
dabbe Agree 💯! 1mo
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Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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Question 3 of 3

Here is our third question. Back to sun and fun afterwards! For dinner tonight we‘ll have rice with soy sauce and butter, anyone interested?

To be continued next week! #CampLitsy24

See All 34 Comments
GatheringBooks It seems that Reiko has found a purpose beyond the confines of her home. Despite her distaste of kajji, rika is right in noting uncanny resemblances - particularly with the snobbery in relation to food and how it is prepared. Reiko also finds Rika to be her “prince” - and may be justified in her worry of Rika falling deeply into the charm or spell of Kajji. Reiko also spoke of jealousy - that and the “prince” element portends something deeper. 1mo
BarbaraBB @GatheringBooks That is a good point about Reiko being jealous while she, in theory, is the perfect Japanese woman. 1mo
ChaoticMissAdventures I felt that Reiko was running away from home and Rika's trip (which she basically invited herself on) was a way for her to escape her failing domestic life, which is an interesting juxtaposition to Kaji's views about the feminine "perfect" life being the end all be all. 1mo
Kitta Agreed with @GatheringBooks and @ChaoticMissAdventures the trip for Reiko is about escaping home and her domestic life and problems with her husband. I feel like for being her best friend a lot of their conversations are surface level and as Rika evolves she starts having more in depth conversations with people in her life. Like she was just existing before and now she‘s starting to live for the first time. Agreed about the jealousy too! 1mo
Bookwormjillk Maybe it‘s just me but I don‘t fully trust Reiko. I‘m worried she‘s somehow going to take credit for Rika‘s work or sabotage her somehow. 1mo
Kitta @ChaoticMissAdventures as a feminist, I found Kajii‘s hatred of feminists and her views on the “perfect life” very difficult to read. It was interesting to know Reiko previously was a feminist and was very dedicated to work but easily gave up her job to stay home. Obviously both are options but it seems that Reiko isn‘t happy and is in denial, which is why she decides to go with Rika. She needs to find something to fill the void in her life. 1mo
Hooked_on_books I think Reiko‘s choice to go on the trip was a combination of trying to escape her unhappy home life along with concern that her friend was falling too far under the influence of Kajji and wanting to help moderate that happening any further. 1mo
Kitta @Bookwormjillk oh interesting! I didn‘t get that sense at all. I‘ve read ahead so I won‘t spoil it but Reiko is definitely an interesting character. 1mo
JenReadsAlot @Hooked_on_books I agree with you! 1mo
Meshell1313 @Hooked_on_books yes! That‘s exactly what I think! In Reiko‘s mind she probably thinks she‘s helping her friend get back to “normal.” In the process maybe Reiko is finally beginning to question her own situation and see another way to live. 1mo
Prairiegirl_reading I also think Reiko was escaping home and keeping an eye on her friend. I am so curious about the significance of the bugs/flea bites. Rika didn‘t notice until reiko pointed it out but then she saw them at the end of the chapter. Stopping at the end of chapter 8 was hard!! 1mo
DGRachel @Bookwormjillk I don‘t trust Reiko at all! I get a real “mean girl” vibe from her. 1mo
sarahbarnes I agree that it felt like a distraction from the pressures of Reiko‘s life. I also like the thoughts from @GatheringBooks about there being some jealousy at play - I think that‘s very likely true. I‘m definitely looking forward to rice with soy sauce and butter around the campfire tonight! 🍚 1mo
Megabooks @Prairiegirl_reading Yes, I thought it was so strange that both women saw such different things in the house. Reiko made it sound like an episode of Hoarders, and Rika made it sound like a normal home. Who is right? @squirrelbrain and I talked in our counselor chat about how fleas don't like human hosts in general and that there must be a continued animal source they're feasting on, which is a different level of gross! 1mo
Megabooks I agree with the many here that say Reiko was having a bit of an escape from her daily life. She was so focused on pregnancy. It was probably driving her nuts to have nothing else to do. 1mo
squirrelbrain @Prairiegirl_reading - it will be interesting to return to the fleas next weekend, when you‘ve read the whole book. Can‘t comment any more 🤐 as I have read it all! Do you agree @Megabooks ? 1mo
squirrelbrain I felt that a bit too @Bookwormjillk - I didn‘t trust Reiko and wondered if she was in cahoots with Kajii somehow. 1mo
Prairiegirl_reading @Megabooks @squirrelbrain I suspected that there would be something gross! I was thinking about how we see things differently based on other things we believe. Like reiko believes Kajii to be guilty and reiko isn‘t sure so she might give the house a pass while reiko would be sensitive to everything. We shall see next week! 1mo
BookWrym I think she was escaping home but also that she wants to win her friend back she is concerned about Kaji‘s influence and the change she sees in Rika. Also theses names sound really different in the audio version so forgive the spellings 🤣🤣 1mo
CogsOfEncouragement I'm getting an unreliable narrator vibe from Rika. To me Reiko is the voice of reason. I feel she is worried about Rika. The fact she quit her job to have a baby, but is still not pregnant certainly adds to all of the other themes - but it gives her the ability to go w/Rika at a moment's notice. I fear Rika is falling into Kajii's deranged web. I thought it before, but especially by the end of Ch 8. @Bookwormjillk @Hooked_on_books @DGRachel 1mo
Deblovestoread I really felt Reiko had it together until her confession about doing the things to get pregnant when it was impossible. And I thought she used the trip to distance herself from home but also partly worried about Rika but like @Bookwormjillk I started not trusting her when she went back to the house on her own. (edited) 1mo
kspenmoll @sarahbarnes @Megabooks Agree with your thoughts on Reiko‘s role in the novel. I too think she saw she was losing Rika to Kajii & that scared her. Jealously also played into her reactions as well. That flea scene was disgusting!!!!🤢 1mo
Megabooks @kspenmoll Jealousy is a excellent point. I think Reiko was jealous of Rika's career, too. I think Reiko is beginning to have regrets about leaving her job since her husband is acting so sketchy about getting her pregnant. 1mo
mcctrish Reiko feels all over the place to me. I thought it was awkward that she invited herself along on a work trip although it‘s not an organized by work trip more a self directed one. @DGRachel I get more of a crazy vibe from Reiko 1mo
youneverarrived It felt like she was bored at home and wanted to get away. Reading the comments has made me think maybe it wasn‘t that innocent though 🤔 I do like the different perspectives of Kajii that they have and how Reiko says perhaps Rika is being blind to any faults she has & is only seeing what Kajii wants her to. 1mo
Roary47 I think Reiko is bored. She left her high stress job to have a family and she doesn‘t have a baby to keep her mind occupied. Maybe the maternal instinct she has (she‘s buying baby books- it‘s there somewhere) is being a mom to her friend. Keeping her in check because she‘s concerned. I didn‘t see jealousy or deception, but that of an overprotective mom on her friend. 4w
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Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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Question 2 of 3

#CampLitsy24 is the place for making new friends and we are so pleased that @Bookwrym and @PrairieGirl_reading now have become bookish bff‘s thanks to Butter!
They are on the “love it” side of the book but we‘ve noticed many mixed reviews as well. We‘d love to hear what you think!

See All 41 Comments
GatheringBooks I enjoyed reading the contrasts between reiko and rika‘s perception of kajji‘s character. Kajji herself is unperturbed by everything- embracing all things delicious with some degree of obliviousness that is almost pathological. The premium on women needing to be paper thin was also explored fully, along with the masculine gaze of “applying one‘s self” ostensibly to “look good” as framed through the famous girl group was particularly illuminating. 1mo
ChaoticMissAdventures @GatheringBooks I agree it was really interesting to see Reiko confront Rika as they went to visit Kaji's family. I don't think I realized just how differently the 2 women understand the situation until that point. 1mo
ChaoticMissAdventures It has been funny as an American to read this, I am a Grn x'r who lives through the prime Heroin Chic era where we needed to be sickly thin to be considered attractive. It is interesting (and sad) to see the obsession of weight in another country. The way they talk about how some think Kajji could not have attracted men because of her size has really drawn me and I want to read articles about the woman the story is based on for comparison. 1mo
squirrelbrain I‘m currently listening to a NF book, about a guy who goes to Japan to teach, in 2012. It‘s interesting to compare his comments about weight - he says it is normal that a colleague would point out that you have put weight on and no offence would be taken. 1mo
Kitta @ChaoticMissAdventures I agree it‘s interesting to compare to North American standards in that era. I spoke with a Japanese friend and she said that Japan is changing now and that models need to be a certain weight and even clothing sizes have changed to reflect international standards. Honestly I personally found the beginning very hard to read and triggering as I had an eating disorder which I‘m mostly recovered from. It was tough reading. 1mo
Kitta @squirrelbrain that‘s so interesting, I was reading it definitely with a western view and got very offended for Rika when they made weight comments but maybe it‘s normal and not malicious? When I was living in Thailand many people commented on my weight and called me fat (I was very small at the time, almost underweight, but I was bigger than them) but they meant it as a compliment! Like oh you look well fed and healthy! I found it hard to grasp. 1mo
Kitta @ChaoticMissAdventures @GatheringBooks Agreed it was really interesting to see Reiko‘s take and how differently it differed from the narrative we‘d been given about it from Rika. It was also interesting that all the men Kajii was with said she was too big but also fawned over her and were attracted to her. Like societal pressure to be with someone thin differed from their actual desires. I‘ve read a bit farther but I think it‘s in the first half. 1mo
Bookwormjillk It was interesting how everyone accepted Rika‘s weight gain when they started telling themselves it was for work. 1mo
Bookwormjillk Also I am on team Love It. It‘s long but I had a hard time stopping at chapter 8. Today I‘m looking forward to buying rice and diving back in! 1mo
Hooked_on_books I hesitate to say too much here, as I feel this is part of Rika‘s character arc and there‘s more to come on it in the second half. I did love Kajii looking down her nose at dieting, focusing on the pleasure of food, and happily being larger than what society would find acceptable for her as a woman. 1mo
mcctrish I found the whole exchange with Makoto when he came over and she whipped up some noodles for him bizarre. On the one hand it was awesome he acknowledged she works as hard as him so must have the same level of energy at the end of the day so it‘s not necessary BUT if she has never cooked before why not ask about it ? Say thank you ? We know the recipe was easy so why not talk about her cooking learning curve ? 1mo
DGRachel I didn‘t even consider the fact that I was looking at this from a Western perspective, but I found (what I felt to be) all the misogyny and patriarchal attitudes horrible. I just kept getting angrier as I read. Also, as someone who graduated college at 5‘ 10” and 111 lbs (177 cm/50 kg) and who, nearly 30 years later, is significantly heavier, and who feels shame around it still, I found the comments on Rika‘s eating and weight painful to read. 1mo
DGRachel @mcctrish YES! Why not be curious? That whole scene had me seeing red. 1mo
mcctrish @DGRachel we need more Ted Lasso in the world 😆 1mo
Prairiegirl_reading @mcctrish be curious not judgemental! Absolutely. 1mo
Prairiegirl_reading @BookWrym 🤣💙 so far definitely team love it!! I‘m having some trouble putting my thoughts together in a concise way for this discussion however. I will say at this point I have never put so many bookmarks in an audiobook!! I wish I had a paper copy! (edited) 1mo
sarahbarnes I did feel a lot of parallels with messages for women and girls in the US around food and eating from when I was growing up (and still in some ways). I found it interesting though how matter of fact the comments were about weight in the book. In the US it feels more passive aggressive. 😂 1mo
Megabooks @Hooked_on_books Yes, I loved that Kajii derived pleasure from her weight and bucked societal expectations, especially in continuing to live without trying to lose. There was SO MUCH talk about dieting. 1mo
Megabooks @mcctrish Their relationship (Rika and Makoto) struck me as really bizarre. It's like they had just met, but they were supposed to have been dating for years! 1mo
Megabooks @DGRachel Same. I've had a lot of weight gain through my adult years after being really skinny in high school and college, and I found the weight talk to be one of the most challenging parts of the book. 1mo
dabbe @DGRachel Agree 💯! 1mo
BookWrym I like the fact that through Kaji and Rika the author is highlighting the hypocrisy of societal standards. I appreciate the highlighting of the way that women are blamed for the fact that the single men neglect themselves and that society finds it acceptable to blame the women for removing that care particularly when it comes to providing nutrition. 1mo
BookWrym Kaji is a appealing to men in my view because she mothers them and because she doesn‘t let them dictate her weight which is rare in that society. Also who deep down doesn‘t appreciate the act of care that is home cooking. 1mo
CogsOfEncouragement Love It.
I enjoy how these are weaving together: butter, body image, gender roles, misogyny, fertility issues, family dynamics. I was surprised how the same issues ultra conservative americans have w/gender roles: men have to be in charge of the family, obeyed etc yet at the same time they are babies who require a wife to take care of them & women r blamed for so much. Cultures are unfortunately familiar in these negative ways round the world.
BarbaraJean @squirrelbrain @Kitta So interesting about cultural standards on comments about weight, when it‘s seen as SO rude in the US! I lived in South Africa for a few years; people would comment on others‘ weight and it wasn‘t seen as mean or rude. One friend told me it was so odd that I was white but “had the butt of an African.” She didn‘t mean to be rude, but that‘s not how I took it! I hadn‘t thought to apply that lens here—it makes a lot of sense. 1mo
Kitta @BarbaraJean yes it‘s very different compared to North America! In Thailand, strangers would come up to me and complement my skin tone which was weird. All the beauty products had lightener in them which I didn‘t want, I‘m so pale! While there‘s definitely issues related to other things - weight is not something offensive to comment on. Being called fat at under 110 lbs was bonkers. My Thai is bad, but they meant it as saying I‘m healthy, I hope! 1mo
Kitta @DGRachel I found that part incredibly hard too! The talk of weight and the specific weights mentioned as well as the comments from people in her life really affected me. But I was definitely reading from a western perspective and from my own shame about my weight. 1mo
Kitta @Bookwormjillk I thought it was so interesting when they realized the weight gain was for a story and they apologized for their comments and became supportive. So weird that it requires a reason and has to be justified. Sometimes gaining weight is just that! It makes me wonder what if there wasn‘t a story she was following - would they keep treating her badly and telling her she‘s fat? I think so. 1mo
Bookwormjillk @Kitta I think so too 1mo
kspenmoll @GatheringBooks The girl group link was fascinating as well as all the cultural pressures. 1mo
Roary47 @DGRachel @Megabooks I‘m the same. I was really tiny in high school and now have a proud “Mom Bod” the weight comments for me were hard to read through, but I also read and watch a lot of Japanese entertainment, so I focused on the great descriptions of food instead. Loving the body you are in can be a challenge, but I think Rika is learning to love herself no matter what. @BarbaraJean “white girl with a butt” I‘ve been told that too! ⬇️ 4w
Roary47 I live in a Hispanic cultured area and my nickname at an old job was “Negra” because of my butt. It‘s Spanish for Black Woman. Again this is a culture thing that I just rolled with. 😅🤷‍♀️ 4w
33 likes41 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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Question 1 of 3

After Clear we‘re now continuing #CampLitsy24 with a completely different one. But that‘s what makes Camp so fun, right ?!

Today we discuss Butter, chapters 1 to 8. No spoilers please about the second half. I‘ll post three questions again. Thanks for joining!

See All 53 Comments
GatheringBooks I love the coherence in the entire narrative with the title setting the vibe for the storytelling, the unfolding of each character‘s lives and motivations, and the undeniable sense of place. It isn‘t just any food - it is japanese food with its celebration of rice and mochi and all the tiny details that surface identity entangled with body image issues, societal expectations of what constitutes femininity, and gastronomic delights. 1mo
GatheringBooks I managed to find echire butter in the only place that sells it here in the uae - and now including it in my 88 year old mother‘s staple dish (rice). Haven‘t tried it yet myself but looking forward to savoring its taste. 1mo
ChaoticMissAdventures I am not a foodie, and rarely cook but I have found myself making rice with butter and soy sauce a couple of times while reading! The author is doing an excellent job creating a foodie vibe, and I am absorbed by it, which is really surprising I am not normally into food based stories. Her writing on the topic is very engaging though! 1mo
squirrelbrain Like you @ChaoticMissAdventures I‘m not drawn to food-based stories but, for me, in this case, it was all a bit much. I found myself skimming a lot. 1mo
squirrelbrain But your comments @GatheringBooks make me want to go back and re-read with a more positive viewpoint and to see how the food is inextricably linked with all of the other themes of the book. This is why I love #camplitsy so much - all of the comments can make you see a book in a new light. 1mo
Kitta I think the food and the increasing complexity of the recipes Rika cooks is a reflection of her own self discovery. They start simple introducing her to what she didn‘t even know she was missing and as they get more complex she starts to better understand herself and the complexities of her own life. I think it also really helps set anchor the narrative in Japan too! Like @GatheringBooks I‘m looking to find some echire butter to try it with rice! 1mo
Kitta I think it‘s hard to answer this question without touching a bit on the second one: the food culture and societal expectations in Japan. Agreed with @GatheringBooks that it also helps bring up themes of body image issues and femininity but I‘d also add self control. It seems to be a very restrained society and gaining weight is associated with losing control of yourself. Rika seems to defy that later on, but in the beginning it was hard to read. 1mo
Bookwormjillk There seems to be an element of self care to Rika‘s discovery of food. As she feeds herself she gets more confident about herself. (I am out of both rice and butter and it‘s killing me a little. Need to shop today.) 1mo
Hooked_on_books Everyone eats, but not everyone approaches food the same way, so having these 2 characters connect through food and Rika‘s changing attitude to food was interesting. I also felt like the author was strongly equating enjoying food to sex, which didn‘t really work for me, but I feel like she hammered at it with the language and constant references to people‘s glistening lips. 1mo
Laughterhp So I ended up having to skip this one. I thought my library had a copy, but it was in German when I went to go check it out. 🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️ and I couldn‘t find another copy. 1mo
Suet624 I wonder how many of us felt a yearning for rice, butter and soy sauce as they read the first half of this book. I sure did. I also don't like to cook and as I read I found myself checking out recipes and experimenting a bit. This has never happened that a book has inspired me to do this. 1mo
AmyG I am sorry. I bailed. See you in July! 1mo
mcctrish @Suet624 oh I ABSOLUTELY did and if there wasn‘t such a heat wave on I‘d be cooking and baking up a storm 1mo
DGRachel I am with @squirrelbrain on this one, although it may have bugged me even more. I had to switch to audio, so I didn‘t skim, but I just kept thinking “enough with the food already” and I never want to see another stick of butter, see a recipe with it, or hear the word. It seemed like just when we started to get real character interaction, there‘d be another 20-30 minutes of just food details. 🤬 1mo
Texreader All I want is butter!! Love this book! 1mo
Meshell1313 @Suet624 me!!! 🙋🏼‍♀️I‘m on the hunt for that butter brand too- it sounds sooo good! 🤣 1mo
Meshell1313 So interesting to me how it really becomes about gender roles- the role of the perfect wife, the perfect woman. Def a comment on society‘s expectations of women- not just the household duties but how they should look in what is a very restrictive society. I found myself angry for the women in this book and wanted them to defy all of the “norms!” 1mo
sarahbarnes Love all the comments here. I love to cook and really enjoyed the MC‘s starting to change the way she thinks about food. For me it is a very emotional thing. Agree that the overwrought connections to sex were a bit over the top for me at times. 1mo
Megabooks @Kitta Yes, I liked that Rika was on a journey of self-discovery through food. I felt the dishes really fit the character arc. @gatheringbooks I'd love to get ahold of that butter! @bookwormjillk She definitely seems to care for herself more as she discovers a love of cooking. I know I feel better about myself when I've taken the time to make a meal rather than eat something more convenient. 1mo
Megabooks @sarahbarnes Love that you pointed out that food is tied to emotion both in the book and life! But I think the whole equating food to sex is a bit reductive and tiresome in all literary incarnations. @hooked_on_books 1mo
Karisa @Meshell1313 Yes, that‘s what I kept thinking too. It‘s seen as women‘s work, cooking and food in general. Definitely tangled up in what is expected of them as women and what happens when someone trying to be more modern like Rika (hungry for success) is swayed by someone who‘s a true believer in it. It‘s like she‘s being converted 😂 and those of us craving rice with soy sauce and butter are right there too! @Suet624 it is sounding so good! (edited) 1mo
dabbe I'm between @AmyG and @squirrelbrain on this one. I'm reading, skipping, and almost close to bailing. As someone who has had to lose weight to control her diabetes, all of the food stuff is hard to take. And to find herself by gaining weight but having others admonish her for it is also hard to take. I'll give it a try one more time for next week. It also could be a lot shorter, IMHO. 1mo
BookWrym Love the food descriptions I love butter and cooking with butter so I was captured by the food aspect but it also strongly links to gender stereotypes and the different expectations for men and women. Men are allowed to enjoy food but women must be restrained in what they consume. Love the fact that Rika acknowledges she is still searching for the balance that is right for her, in life as well as in food. 1mo
CogsOfEncouragement My husband is a foodie. Eating at places that are doing an excellent job at their specialty is fun & adds another experience to what we are doing that day. He also tries recipes I wouldn't like homemade marshmallows. We gotta eat, but Rika has been starving herself, working long hours, rushing around w/out much to show for it. Enjoying food and nourishing herself is good. Getting caught up in Kajii's views on other things is problematic. 1mo
TrishB @AmyG I did too! 1mo
Prairiegirl_reading @BookWrym “the right amount for me”. I keep going back to this thought. The right amount of food, sex, how much effort we put in. And that takes me to your comment about enjoyment and gender stereotypes and how men don‘t have to worry about these unrealistic beauty standards, the way to a man‘s heart and all that. I agree with other people that this is difficult, It‘s definitely been scrambling my brain a bit. I can‘t wait to find out what happens 1mo
Prairiegirl_reading I‘m also a foodie. I love to cook, eat, try new recipes and new wines. I also struggle with body image. I‘ve been every size and back again over my adult life. I am loving the food descriptions and struggling with the beauty standards and fat phobia. 1mo
BarbaraBB @Laughterhp @AmyG @TrishB That‘s too bad! Hopefully you‘ll join us in July for (edited) 1mo
BarbaraBB @sarahbarnes Yes to all you say. I feel the same about cooking and the emotions related to it. 1mo
BarbaraBB @Suet624 I do like to cook but I have never before felt inspired by a book to do so. Those simple dishes sound delicious! (edited) 1mo
BarbaraBB @Prairiegirl_reading I‘m with you completely. I love food and wine and feel so guilty when enjoying one or the other or both 🤦🏻‍♀️ 1mo
Soubhiville I decided to skip this one. Be back in July 🙂. (I am enjoying reading all of your responses though!) 1mo
TrishB I definitely will be! 1mo
Larkken @dabbe @AmyG @squirrelbrain i think I‘m with you. I liked the food descriptions at first but they started to feel over the top and tending almost to gross? I was fascinated a bit with what feels like a focus on western foods and recipes tho - I do not associate butter with Japan but maybe that‘s me being unfamiliar! I feel like there might be something there about the western food and western impacts on gender roles in Japan? 1mo
BarbaraJean @Kitta I love the insight that the recipes mirror Rika‘s self-discovery—almost guiding her as she navigates an increasingly complex view of herself & life in general. I think it also reflects the increasing complexity of the story Rika is pursuing, Kajii herself, and of the narrative overall. @Hooked_on_books @DGRachel @Megabooks @Larkken The repeated references to glistening lips etc. were off-putting & turned me off to the food descriptions. ⬇ 1mo
BarbaraJean I did think it was interesting HOW the author made connections between food & sex, though. I wonder if some of it is cultural. In American culture, I think sex is served up as the main dish. Food would be the appetizer or side dish! But here, it felt the opposite: the emphasis wasn‘t on sex, but on food, almost as a replacement for sex—sex was the appetizer or side dish, food was the main attraction. 1mo
AmyG @BarbaraBB I am reading James now and really enjoying it. Just skipped this one. I was also on a cruise and busy so that didn‘t help. @TrishB 👊🏻 (edited) 1mo
Deblovestoread I finally had time to finish this week‘s chapters. At first I enjoyed the food descriptions and I appreciate how it relates to Rika‘s self discovery but I‘m now starting to weary of it and can‘t imagine another half of book of the same. 1mo
kspenmoll @Deblovestoread I feel the same. There were points when I had to put this book down & read something else. I did finish the chapters but still on the fence as to whether it is worth finishing! 1mo
kspenmoll @dabbe I have on & off considered bailing as it seems like I have better books to read!!!! 1mo
kspenmoll Food is central to the book, so much so that I got some French butter! Its eerie though how Rika seems to be buying it to Kajii‘s way of life & thinking, as if she is becoming her. If not for her best friend Reiko bringing her back to the reality of her life, Rika could become another Kajii— not murdering but everything else - she is losing any objectivity she needs for honest reporting. 1mo
squirrelbrain @Larkken - I‘m not sure I saw them as gross, I was just a bit bored by the repetitiveness of the food descriptions. 1mo
dabbe @kspenmoll 🤩😂🤗 1mo
youneverarrived I thought the same as @Kitta that the food is a drive for Rika to learn more about herself - I feel like through food she starts to experience different things and become more aware/questioning of herself & society‘s expectations. The fact she does it from Kajii telling her to & always trying to think of how Kajii would feel/must have felt eating certain foods adds another layer & development to the story. I‘m intrigued for the 2nd half. 1mo
Roary47 I‘m late to the game, but finally finished the first half. I agree with @ChaoticMissAdventures the author does a great job of setting a foodie vibe. As a foodie, and lover of cozies incorporating food I‘m enjoying this. I also agree with @Kitta as the story progresses Rika is learning more about herself. 4w
35 likes53 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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I managed to get through chapter 8 in time for the #camplitsy24 discussion, but only by switching to audio. I‘m honestly not sure I can stomach any more of this book. I‘m interested to see the conversation around this first half, though, before I make my final decision about bailing.

BarbaraBB For me audio helped too although I later switched back to print. In the second half the book picks up pace I think and I became more engaged. I hope you will too! Thanks for sticking it out so far 😀 1mo
squirrelbrain I agree with @BarbaraBB about the second half. If you‘ve made it this far - it gets better! 1mo
DGRachel @BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain I feel a little duped by the book. Thus far, the novel of “food and murder” has not had a lot of murdereryness. It read more like literary fiction, which is not my jam, so not only am I mad based on my Western perspective of misogyny, but also that it‘s really a different genre than the blurb made it out to be (in my opinion) 1mo
squirrelbrain I agree - it‘s not very murdery at all. 🤷‍♀️ 1mo
BarbaraBB I expected a different book as well! 1mo
42 likes5 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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Soft pick for me....it was way too long. #camplitsy24 @Megabooks @BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain

dabbe I'm slogging through (barely) and getting TIRED of all of the food descriptions. #oy! 😂 1mo
Megabooks @dabbe that‘s something you either like or don‘t! 1mo
Megabooks Agree with you on length. 100 pages could‘ve easily been cut and made a stronger story 1mo
squirrelbrain I agree with your review! 1mo
Chelsea.Poole I definitely agree with you. This was too long and could have been accomplished with fewer pages! 1mo
38 likes5 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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CW: Discussion of body weight

Even if this story turns out body positive ultimately, the above text refers to a woman who "looks around 70kg".

This woman is supposedly "huge" and so "fat" that a man can't understand why any man would want to marry her. Bonkers!

If I was to get to 70kg, you'd have to dissolve half my bone mass, and chop off a leg or two.

Numbers mean very little. Bodies differ massively. But still, this is difficult reading.

Clare-Dragonfly Urgh. 1mo
Susanita I really thought I was doing the conversion wrong, but I wasn‘t. 1mo
Jari-chan So much is wrong with our societies 🤦‍♀️ 1mo
RaeLovesToRead @Clare-Dragonfly @Susanita @Jari-chan Madness! Absolute madness! 1mo
42 likes4 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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Poe is not enamored this book. Is it the perfect bed or is he sending me a clear message to stop reading?! #catsoflitsy #Poe

Megabooks 😻😻😻 1mo
robinb Love that expression! 😹 1mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Awww Poe 🐾 1mo
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Ruthiella 😻😻😻 1mo
AmyG I bailed. I just couldn‘t. 1mo
CatMS 😺😻 1mo
kspenmoll @AmyG Not sure I can hang in with Butter either. Too much else to read! 1mo
dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 1mo
kspenmoll @Megabooks @robinb @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Ruthie @CatMS @dabbe As my husband frequently says: “He‘s SUCH a POE!” 1mo
71 likes9 comments
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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Started today. Won't be halfway through by Saturday, but hopefully I'll finish in time to discuss the weekend after #camplitsy24