海辺のカフカ - Kafka on the Shore 🏖 (Advanced Book Club)

Welcome back! How did it go? The people want to know!

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Thank you! :blush: It was a great trip, Paris is such a beautiful city, I love it! And I guess I gained 2 kilos from all the delicious food :sweat_smile: At first I spent a few days with @Belerith, then @Myria also joined us, then @Belerith returned home and instead three Japanese friends (who live in Germany) came over, and so every day contained a lot of sightseeing and also chilling and reading in the park and stuff. Oh and I visited BookOff three times :wink: and bought more than 15 Japanese books and also a small handful of French books (as I want to work on improving my French once again).

Or did you rather want to know about JLPT? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
The grammar part was not too bad, I think; the reading part went better than I had feared (I even managed to read everything!) but there’s always a non-zero chance of me misunderstanding something or falling for some words I don’t know or something, so I don’t want to be too sure on that; and listening was rather catastrophic. All in all it felt better than my previous attempt at N2 (where I failed by 2 points) and roughly the same as when I took the lower levels (which I passed each time but not necessarily by a wide margin :grin:). So I think there is a realistic chance that I passed this time, but at the same time I wouldn’t be surprised if I failed again. We’ll find out in due time…

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Thanks for the news! I’m sure you did ok. Do you practice listening at all? I think the one thing that helped me improve my listening skills the most is listening to the 4989 American Life podcast.
I don’t really look at the wanikani forums apart from the book club threads so I didn’t realize you were coming to Paris! You guys need to invite me next time, I would’ve enjoyed meeting up. Is there more than one Book Off with a japanese section btw? I only know the one next to Opera. Sorry if this is all a bit off topic for this thread :upside_down_face:

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Some more off-topic chat

Ahem :grin:
Well, I chat with a Japanese friend each week, and we discuss a lot of topics and if I were able to remember all the vocab he regularly throws at me, I’m sure that would be a very good preparation. :sweat_smile:
My general problem is lack of vocab (for reading books as well as for all aspects of JLPT) so my plan is to once again focus on that going forward.
Thanks for the podcast recommendation! I don’t usually listen to podcasts a lot but I would like to change this going forward, so all sorts of recommendations are welcome.

Oh dang! When I wrote my first reply I was like, aren’t you French anyway? in my head, but I would never have dreamed that you actually live in Paris :woman_facepalming: I’m sorry, that was really a wasted opportunity. Will make up for it next time!

Yes, the one next to Opera is the larger one (in terms of everything), and there is also a Junkudo (bookstore with new books) close to it as you probably know (where I bought one super-expensive book that I really want to read but that is pretty rare so I had to bite the bullet). Then there is a BookOff near Châtelet that features a small shelf of Japanese books (in the basement in the far back :sweat_smile:) but please don’t expect too much as it’s a really small number of books that they have.

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More off topic-ness

Haha yeah I’m here (in Paris) full-time :slightly_smiling_face: It’s ok though, maybe some other time! I’ll check out the Châtelet BookOff, thanks! I do know the Junku library, I’ve bought some stuff there in the past (including 人間失格 for the book club) but it is pretty expensive.
For listening, if you can get into a habit of listening to podcasts, in my experience it really helps. I like this one in particular a lot because it’s a native podcast but it’s fairly easy to understand, and she provides transcripts on her website (she started doing that after noticing that a lot of Japanese learners listened to it). It’s also very natural conversational japanese and can improve your speaking too. Plus she’s fun to listen to. I got 56/60 for listening at the N1 two years ago and I mostly credit her.

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This week is pretty chill - only one chapter, containing only 26 pages.
I hope everybody can get some rest this week or catch up if you’re lagging slightly behind:

I for one will definitely try to catch back up to y’all again :grin:

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Length wise, at least :grimacing:

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Now that we’re about 4 weeks from the end of this book, I was wondering whether anybody would be interested in reading the second part as an off-shoot book club?
(I feel like there are still lots of speculations to be had for the second part :eyes:)

  • I want to continue straight away
  • I want to continue, but I need a break first
  • I’m not sure yet
  • I will (probably) not continue

0 voters

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I voted both to continue and take a break, since a break would be nice but not absolute necessary :durtle_noice:

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I put no break, but would be happy enough with a short break (ie a week or two so that anyone a bit behind has a chance to catch up) - I just don’t think I’d have the self control not to just read on if the break was significant!

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To be honest, I have no reason to believe the break would NOT be significant :joy_cat:
After all, it’s about getting readers to buy the second book as well, innit? :grin:

I think we can decide this on short notice (i.e. when the first persons have finished the final week’s reading, which shouldn’t take too long as it is only one chapter iirc).

For the schedule of the second volume, I checked out the book and it is of similar length and contains 26 chapters (#24 - #49). Currently I am way too lazy to come up with a detailed schedule - would you all be ok with just continuing to read two chapters per week? I think Murakami writes chapters of pretty equal length so I’m expecting this to work out more or less okay. (If you definitely need a more detailed schedule, then please nudge me and I will work it out.)

Given the intensity of our discussions here and the amount of readers who want to continue, I will just continue with one thread per week if that’s okay.

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Haha woops I think this was my bad/vague phrasing. I meant significant in terms of time - like if we set it to start in a month or two rather than a shorter break then it would be more difficult to resist just reading on.

But the plan you’ve suggested sounds good! If it happens that a week for some reason has some obnoxiously long chapter or a really significant ramp up in difficulty then I’m sure we can just discuss and arrange any updates to the schedule in the threads.

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That was my thinking as well! :+1: Let’s roll with that, then, for the time being. Next week or so I will update the OP and add the new weeks as off-shoot reading.

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With this week, we are back to our usual rhythm of two chapters per week:

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Here is week #10, now it’s not far until we finish the first part of this book!

Quick heads up: Next week I will only be able to set up the new thread on Sunday evening (travelling once again without computer, for very different reasons but still :woman_shrugging:).
I guess y’all know what to do in the meantime :grin:

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Thanks everybody for your patience once again! :bowing_woman: Here is the thread for our penultimate week:

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The end of the book is drawing near, and we should decide when to continue with the second part of the book. This week we’ve seen the last Nakata chapter of this part, and there will be one more upcoming Kafka chapter (if everything continues as before). So I guess we can already start to gauge how much of a cliffhanger this division will bring about…

  • Let’s continue straight away (on Aug 20th)
  • I need a one week break (on Aug 27th)
  • There is no other option (or is there? Pls explain)

0 voters

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I’m already finished with Volume 1 and waiting to start Volume 2. :grinning:

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Now that was easy :joy_cat: Let’s continue on August 20th, then!

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And here it finally is: Our last week in this book club!

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