[2021] 多読/extensive reading challenge

No that’s クレーンゲーム

クレームゲーム is where you complain to the manager and hope they give you a 景品 as an apology, of course.

7 Likes

クリームゲーム would have been funnier.

5 Likes

Sounds like something that woulda showed up in my last book :upside_down_face:

4 Likes

@seanblue you said that mahou shoujou book series you like is on the harder side right? Does it just use a lot of fancier vocab?

I’m about one week off of being free from my 6 day 60+ hour workweeks and am gonna try to clear out my unfinished books that I’ve bought. Of course, I’ll be moving to Japan in less than a month so it’s not like I won’t be busy, but overall things will cool down soon and I can go back to dedicating the time I want to be to reading.

Im trying to get a few series lined up for when I get through my tsunderegoku books, and that one caught my eye. If you would be willing, could I get a screenshot of what a few standard pages from that book is like (assuming you have digital). The Kindle sample was really short for some reason and I’ve noticed that the beginning of books isn’t always the best indicator anyways.

1 Like

It’s definitely up there among the hardest books I’ve read, not that I read too much variety. I would say it’s primarily due to the variety of vocabulary, though part of it also comes from how many different characters (viewpoints, personalities, and speech styles) there are. Some of the sentences are pretty long too, so when combined with the number of words I didn’t know, it could become hard to remember the beginning of the sentence by the time I got to the end. I had less trouble with the second book since I had another year and a half of reading experience compared to when I read the first book (and I can’t imagine the long sentences would be a problem for you anyway), but it was still much harder than the average book I read.

The prologue of the first book is definitely not a good indicator. If I remember correctly, it’s written in the first person perspective of a younger character, whereas the rest of the book is written in third person perspective. (I generally find first person perspective simpler.)

Unfortunately I only have the first book in physical, since I was still buying physical books back then. I can take photos of a couple random pages for you if you want, but I’m not going to spend much time reading through them to see if they are representative of the overall difficulty. Let me know.

2 Likes

Yeah, that works for me, thanks!

Hopefully no major spoilers in these!

Pages 34-35 (middle of chapter 1)

Pages 69-70 (beginning of chapter 2)


1 Like

Thank you sir, I’m on my phone so I’ll have to download these and zoom in to read them on my break. I didn’t want any of those pages where it’s really short dialogue and text only takes up 10% of the page, but those look pretty text heavy so that’s good. Mucho appreciate.

3 Likes

This one was part of the first large shipment of Japanese books I bought in… 2017 I think. I did some research before and went for famous children’s stories (in addition to famous literary works). While most of the literary works (like 坊ちゃん or 雪国) are also relatively well-known in the West, few people seem to care about Japanese children’s stories here, so they aren’t really discussed much. But I personally love them, especially if the story takes place a few decades ago.

Speaking of which, would anyone here be interested in a potential Kenji Miyazawa book club? I just got the idea while reading/listening to the first three stories – the bizarre atmosphere quite reminded me of Miyazawa’s stories.

Miyazawa’s 童話 tend to be a bit longer, but are still very digestible (12~25 pages and a couple of longer ones) and definitely worth their time. 注目が多い料理店 was among the first things I read in Japanese and although it was challenging back then, I also had a lot of fun.

I wrote a couple of short blog posts back in 2019 after visiting Miyazawa’s hometown in 2019 (a quite magical experience), but I actually only know about 10 of the stories, so I’d love to check out (or revisit) some of the stories with you guys – sometimes after the Ogawa book club, that is.

8 Likes

I must say that I wouldn’t join a stand-alone bookclub as there is already too much going on in parallel, but if you’d like to nominate it in an appropriate bookclub (is it too hard for the Beginner one? Or too long? Then maybe the Intermediate club would be a good fit) I‘d surely vote for it.

5 Likes

OOOOH HECK new oreshura volume came out yesterday and that cover is ominous. Could it finally be coming to a close?! Right when im in the middle of trying to clean up my unread books, this happens?! I just finished tomato tenshi 3 so I guess I can read this one real quick…

EDIT: I bought it and there’s a bad word ;w;

4 Likes

I finished something I’ve been reading in the background that’s wrestling-related but isn’t a magazine - a pro-wrestling dictionary called, as you might expect, プロレス語辞典.

It’s a dictionary format, but it’s got an easy-going presentation with a lot of illustrations by Taiki Enomoto and DDT wrestler and president Sanshiro Takagi is listed as 監修. It was one of the first few books I bought, I think, a few years ago. I was barely reading still, and hungry to read more about wrestling from Japanese sources, so it seemed like it would be a perfect fit.

Unfortunately, in practice it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for and I wouldn’t really recommend it, except maybe to wrestling fans diehard enough to look past the drawbacks (so, @fallynleaf , maybe).

More details

In my head when I heard “pro wrestling dictionary,” as a language learner I think I was expecting like - a genuinely jargon-focused dictionary. Like, “what’s the Japanese word for kayfabe? Do the terms ‘work’ and ‘shoot’ carry over?” stuff like that. In English there’s a lot of weird and sometimes over-used wrestling lingo that takes a lot of explanation originally, so I thought maybe this would be focused on that for Japanese.

In practice, there’s a little of that, but it’s kinda written in that same not-quite-kayfabe-but-not-really-talking-bluntly-about-it-either register I’m used to from shupro, so when say, it introduces the term マッチメイク, I’m still left wondering a bit if that directly correlates with “booking” or if it’s literally just setting matches.

Moreso than those are entries about particular moves, or say, a particular wrestler’s nickname, or catchphrase, or just a completely incidental thing to wrestling that has an entry so the author can talk about a wrestling anecdote it was involved in. So while some entries are definitely useful from a learner’s perspective - 花道, レガース, 逆エビ固め, ロメロスペシャル, etc., others are just sort of mildly interesting at best, like Led Zeppelin has an entry because Bruiser Brody used Immigrant Song as his entry music and I didn’t actually know Makabe got that from Brody too. Theoretically the entries like “this is X’s nickname” would help you understand commentary, but in practice I think it’s a lot easier to get a wrestler’s deal from watching them and hearing a little about them than it is from hearing what their nickname is with no other context.

The comparison I thought about a lot - is reading through it feels very much like watching a show with someone who’s been a fan for a lot longer, and he’s leaning over and whispering explanatory things to you throughout the show. Like, sometimes it’s interesting, other times you just don’t know what to do with the information, probably it’s more gratifying for him to provide it than the benefit it actually gives you, you know what I mean? I get that they want to tell me about comedians who once had a famous wrestling-related bit, but I don’t have the context to appreciate why it’s interesting.
So I think it would actually serve better as like, a sort of memory book for fans who are already of this guy’s age and are in the know, to enjoy and potentially share all the trivia.

Part of the problem too though, is that wrestling changes fast. This came out in 2016, which isn’t all that long ago in the grand scheme of things - but that’s right before I would have started watching Japanese wrestling, and so all of the information involved feels juuuuuust a little bit crusty and dated. Promotions mentioned as current now defunct, massive context changes haven’t happened yet, etc.

As an example entry, here’s the one on ヨシヒコ:


The line about “it might look like stage hands move Yoshihiko during matches, but this is an illusion” is really funny! But I suspect the confusion:humor ratio would be a bit off-balance if you hadn’t seen them in a match before…

And as an extreme example of how the briefness of the entries can leave out important context, this one about Chris Benoit leaves out, um, a pretty important detail about the circumstances at the end of his life:

I guess what I mean is that it’s just not enough space in the format to give a full picture of what’s being talked about, and not enough entries to feel like a truly comprehensive dictionary, so it felt unsatisfying sometimes, and I skimmed through it at off-hours.

That said, the presentation is very endearing! And I enjoyed inserts on special topics like (mostly out of print) novels involving pro-wrestling, and all the illustrations are fun. So I don’t dislike it, I’m just a bit disappointed based on the expectations I had coming in.

Honestly – the biggest revelation I had from the book was that Dump Matsumoto was called that because in Japanese ダンプ can mean a dumptruck. I always just assumed that she was such a heel she eschewed even remotely flattering names, but knowing it can mean a huge truck makes the logic for why a wrestler would want to be called that a lot clearer (though the heelishness and other connotations are obviously also a factor).

Somewhat generously since I skimmed it and there’s lots of illustrations, I counted that as prose in the lists for the thread, which means I’ve hit my listed goal of 12 for the year! Pretty gratifying considering that unless you count graded readers, my number in that category for years prior would have been 1 after a whole lot of 0s…

6 Likes

Is it just me, or as series go on does the author tend to use fancier words in a lot of cases? I feel like overall reading gets easier because I get used to the writing, but it feels like authors start wanting to spice up the language after a few volumes for whatever reason. I mean, im hella down for it, but I can’t be the only one that thinks this, right?!

1 Like

The only series I’ve read enough of to comment on is 本好きの下剋上, and for that I noticed a big spike in words I didn’t know in volume 8 and that was it. And that volume involved a slight change of setting, so not all that surprising. So overall I want to say no, that didn’t happen with 本好きの下剋上. Maybe if I read a lot more series I’ll notice the same thing.

2 Likes

Its worth noting that I don’t have any actual proof so maybe its all in my head.

At the same time though, maybe it isn’t. Vsauce music

The words I’m referring about, to be fair though, would be ones that really just show up once so I have probably just gotten more sensitive to it overtime and am pretty biased when it comes to like oreshura, for example. For tonari tenshi and watanare, though, I noticed the same perceived spike. Imouto sae, I guess not tho. Kanouwa I know had it because the author literally just decided to start using random kanji for words he wouldnt use kanji for before like 漸く,忽ち, and all that in the 4th volume.

So yeah, I guess not all series would have had it in my experience.

3 Likes

I’m not sure I’ve even seen this word in kana before, let alone in kanji. :sweat_smile:

If anybody is interested in reading 乳と卵, now is the time! The Advanced Book Club will start reading it on Saturday, over the course of 4 weeks. Bonus treat: Afterwards you can tick off a box in the Akutagawa Prize Reading Challenge :joy:

8 Likes

I’m looking forward to this a ridiculous amount.

wrong thread

16.9.
Been a while since a did an update on the day ~ definitely won’t be reading anymore today though.
Today I finally finished week 4 of 人間失格, that only took like an actual week (from when I finished the part for week 3). I did start in on week 5 as well though! I also read a bit more of リゼロ. There’s quite a bit of action, but the parts are also so long. … Maybe that’s also why 人間失格 is taking me so long?

And! This is not a book, but that’s why it’s especially exciting for me: I finished decade 1 of 逆転検事2. It has been so long since I regularly played a game, so even this semi regular thing is making me super happy. :slight_smile:

3 Likes

I think this was supposed to go into the daily thread maybe

4 Likes

I browsed a little bit on bookwalker and I saw hundreds of books and manga I want to buy. It’s really hard to decide which one to actually buy.

8 Likes