The Diary of Lady Murasaki

A zuihitsu by Murasaki Shikibu, the fabled author of Genji monogatari. This book is a cool look into what life was like in the imperial court during the Heian era, as you get to glimpse into the fashion, poetry, drama, court procedures, and events of the period.

The Tale of Genji

A classic, never read it.

Musui's Story

Autobiography of Kokichi Katsu, later known as Musui. Join Musui, who was born into the bottom of the samurai class of the Tokugawa shogunate, on his incredible adventures that allow the little status he has left to fall right through his grasp.

The Pillow Book

A zuihitsu by Sei Shounagon, another lady in the court of the empress in the Heian era who recorded the happenings of the time, as well as poetry. She was also referenced in the The Diary of Lady Murasaki, as they were contemporaries who lived in the court at the same time, though I think Murasaki Shikibu was not the biggest fan.

A Concise Hisory of Japan

A brief overview of Japanese history from the Jomon era to the present. I had to read this one for a class in college and it is generally insightful.