This weekend and last (26-27 Oct & 03-04 Nov), the Kanda Used Book Festival took over the main drag surrounding Jimbocho Station.

The Kanda Used Book Festival is one of the largest annual events in the Jimbocho district of Kanda—renowned as a town of used and antique books. The organizers go further to claim it’s the largest event of its kind in the world.
For the festival, bookshelves are placed on the sidewalks of the area’s main street (Yasukuni Dori), creating a long corridor of books that faces the local bookstores. In addition to the street market, a variety of related events are scheduled during the festival, including a Special Used Book Sale Fair (at the Tokyo Used Book Kaikan underground hall)—featuring rare and valuable books—and library seal workshops.
A delivery service is also available for purchased books, so you can buy up lots without having to worry about carting your loot home.

(Via tokyocheapo.com)
As my well documented (and commented upon) deficiencies with my Japanese studies have no quick fix, I choose to look upon this as an advantage: the number of English language books is limited so I won’t blow my whole month’s budget on books I might not get around to reading until the next Kanda festival.
And yet, I still managed to spend a healthy sum of ¥2200. But the rewards … 

  • The Discourses and Manual, Vol. 1 by Epictetus
  • Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy
  • The Thoughts of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antonius, Translated by George Long
  • The Story of Old Japan by Joseph H. Longford
  • Moral Essays, Vol. 3 by Seneca (Loeb Classical Library)

In all cases they are first editions and except for the Ogilvy and Seneca tomes are over 90 years old. All are in remarkable shape for their age, even the Epictetus one with the Japanese handwriting in it. The author of those notes was both tidy and brief – the notes only continue for about 10 pages.
All in all, I am pleased with my purchases. I could have gone down a deep dive on Robert Lewis Stevenson, for example. The likelihood of actually reading those was slim, so I wisely if begrudgingly resisted purchasing them.

Schneier’s “Click Here To Kill Everyone”: pervasive connected devices mean we REALLY can’t afford shitty internet policy:

Bruce Schenier (previously) has spent literal decades as part of the vanguard of the movement to get policy makers to take internet security seriously: to actually try to make devices and services secure, and to resist the temptation to blow holes in their security in order to spy on “bad guys.” In Click Here to Kill Everybody: Security and Survival in a Hyper-connected World, Schneier makes a desperate, impassioned plea for sensible action, painting a picture of a world balanced on the point of no return.

(Via Boing Boing)
I haven’t read Bruce’s latest yet but it is on my list. If you have it on your Books to Read, give this review a good once over.

The Art of Drawing ‘The Art of War’ https://nyti.ms/2lYxqAl

you should win before you go to war. And that when you lose a war, it’s because you haven’t prepared adequately. Also, that you shouldn’t fight without there being clear goals. You have to have some reason to go to war. Also, that anger is something one should be very cautious about when it comes to warfare. That it shouldn’t be a pretext to warfare.

All the books Bill Gates has recommended over the last eight years:

Bill Gates has become a powerful influence on publishing. An endorsement from the philanthropist and Microsoft cofounder can cause tangible sales spikes, reminiscent of the golden ticket that once came with being picked for Oprah’s book club.
So just what does Gates read? Quartz manually compiled all 186 of the books mentioned on his blog, which dates back to January 2010, and organized them by topic. We’ve included all titles, even those of which Gates was mostly critical, like Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist. But this is relatively rare; Gates usually only blogs about books he recommends.
Gates reads little fiction, as he readily admits, but will dabble in YA, comedic memoir, and graphic novels on occasion. As the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he is wont to recommend books on development, poverty, disease, and education on his blog.
Gates, of course, reads books on scientific topics like biology and physics, but he’s also a big fan of books that offer a scientific or mathematical framework for seeing the world, like What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, by xkcd’s Randall Munroe. Many of the books Gates endorses, especially those that focus on the long arc of human civilization, both its past and future, argue for an optimistic outlook. Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong about the World—and Why Things Are Better than You Think, a book by the late Hans Rosling, his son, and his daughter-in-law, does both: It argues for an optimism about the world through principles of sound scientific thinking, and it got a strong endorsement from Gates this year.
Vaclav Smil is the author Gates has mentioned the most on his blog. Smil is a highly prolific academic emeritus from the University of Manitoba in Canada, who writes about energy and public policy, among other things. Over the years Gates has recommended so many books by Smil that they warrant their own category.
In the scheme of things, Gates surprisingly does not frequently recommend books about business success or digital technology.

(Via Quartz » Technology)
Quartz classified the books, so check out the article (or save it for later asI am doing).

I am reading & listening to Ian Flemming’sJames Bond novels.
Two things:
First, the third book in the series (“Moonraker” [US] [JP], with almost no resemblance to the movie [Amazon US] [iTunes]) has several chapters describing a bridge game. It captivated me in a way reading about people playing cards shouldn’t.
Second, Flemming’s use of language is educational. I use Amazon’s lookup feature more for Fleming’s use of outdated English and very British terms than I used it for a Japanese novel translated into English before James Bond came into being.
I’ve long heard the term “chicanery“. I equated it with shenanigans. Basically, chicanery means one resorting to tricks. I never thought about from where the word comes. It so happens that a “chicane” is a serpentine curve in the road. It’s also a card trick (in the “you’re cheating” sense).
By 2018 standards there are … issues with these books. Others can debate them and I’m sure they have.
This is a better read than either Live and Let Die [US] [JP] or Casino Royale [US] [JP] , the second and first books in the series. I enjoyed both for what they are.
Every experience carries its lesson, and these books prove no exception.