|I wonder if anyone told him that backpacks are for dorks?|
Then there's also these bloggers that I know of and respect without feeling particularly close to in a blogging sense. One of those is Loco in Yokohama that's run by Baye "Loco" McNeil. As far as I know, he's probably been around as long as this little blog, I've been aware of the blog for a while and while not following it extremely diligently, it's still been a blog that I've enjoyed at times and always respected. But I've never really felt particularly "close" to it and there's one big difference; Loco almost always felt like a pro. He's a Writer that writes a blog because he's a Writer. Thematically and in his posts, he always felt like a pro following a path that he's set out for himself as a writer, not like me who don't particularly care about grammatical errors or plan very much about what I'm writing about a given day. So not "feeling particularly close" to my blog is not really a bad thing in that sense.
So to my not so big surprise, Loco has self-published his first book "Hi my name is Loco". It doesn't feel like a surprise but more like a logical consequence for him moving from a blog to publishing a book. Don't let the cartoony cover fool you though, it's not a collection of amusing anecdotes about living in Japan, from what I've gathered it confronts the theme of racism in Japan head on in parts. But you can click the link above yourself to check it out, read some excerpts and check out his blog to get a feeling for what the book is about.
To be completely honest, I don't really think that much of racism in Japan as I've been exposed to more mean-spirited racism living in Sweden than in Japan as a half-Japanese-Swedish guy with looks leaning towards Asian. But Loco, as a black guy from New York, coming to Japan without much knowledge of what to expect (at least that's what I've gathered) gets exposed to a lot of it from expected and unexpected corners.
I bought the book when I saw it was out and it's currently stored in the Kindle app on my iPad and am looking forward to reading it as soon as I finish up what already is queued up. I'm also quite convinced that it's ten bucks well spent as his blog kinda vouches for the quality (hey, if you check out his blog and hate the writing, then maybe this book ain't for you but then you can get on with your life without feeling like you wasted money). I might post a "review" with my thoughts on it when I've finished up with it as well.
If the above got your interest even a little, you can do yourself a favor and check out the blog and book site and see if it catches your interest.
...now, maybe it's time for me to dust off those thoughts about publishing that collection of essays and thoughts on Manpanzees that's been cooking in my head for a few years...