First off, I have to be honest and say that this book was a bit of a departure from what I normally read, and I knew that thanks to Nymeth's review. One thing I've been trying to do since starting this blog, though, is to branch out and find new authors, genres and subject matter--basically, to grow as a reader. Most of the vignettes in Barzak's book are sad and poignant snapshots of people's lives in modern-day Japan. They weren't sad in so much that I cried, but they were thought-provoking and full of emotion. I can't truthfully say that I enjoyed all of the subject matter, I mean, I don't generally like to read sad stories, but I couldn't put this book down. Barzak's beautiful writing grabbed me and kept me turning the pages because I simply had to know what happened to these people. The stories are so human that you often find yourself able to identify with someone in the story--some will of course hit home more than others. But I think we all have times where we feel loneliness and want nothing more than to have someone love us and understand us. Something else that was fascinating to me was how each of the stories was linked by one or more of the characters. It made me realize how so many different lives can be touched by one person in some way, which is part of "the love we share without knowing."