Things That Make One’s Heart Beat Faster

Reading material

Finnish edition
English sample & synopsis

Original title: Asioita jotka saavat sydämen lyömään nopeammin

Published: 2013

Publisher: Otava

Class/genre: Non-Fiction

Pages: 380

Prizes:

Best Travel Book of 2013 (Mondo travel magazine)

A narrative non-fiction about a Finnish writer’s trip to Japan to look for her soul mate – who lived over 1000 years ago.

Mia Kankimäki quits her job and embarks on an adventure. She travels to Kyoto to research Sei Shonagon, a Japanese writer and a lady-in-waiting who wrote about her life in the court of Heian era Japan. Mia doesn’t speak a word of Japanese, and isn’t quite accustomed to scientific research, but her endeavor produced the most wonderful book about Japan, Sei Shonagon, and a middle aged woman’s solo travels.

Despite her struggles and initial culture shock, Mia finds herself mesmerized by temples, cherry blossoms, kabuki-theater, Zen meditation, and tea rooms. She reads the Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon and finds a soul sister: a modern woman who loves making lists of all things charming, annoying, elegant, or things that make one’s heart beat faster.


Rights sold:
FINLAND: Otava (orig.
ESTONIA: Varrak
ITALY: Edizioni Piemme
GERMANY: btb Verlag/Random House

“The most delightful thing about reading is to unexpectedly find new and valuable things. Mia Kankimäki’s work is like that.” –Helsingin Sanomat newspaper on Things That Make One’s Heart Beat Faster

Mia Kankimäki


Mia Kankimäki has worked as an editor and copywriter. Her first book, Things That Make One’s Heart Beat Faster, a book that took her to Kyoto in search of Sei Shonagon, a Japanese noblewoman and writer who lived a thousand years ago. The book received, among others, the 2015 HelMet Award annually given by Helsinki libraries to ‘a future classic’.

Author photo by Otava Publishing

Bibliography


Mia Kankimäki

The Women I Think About At Night

2018, Non-Fiction

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