[2022] 多読/extensive reading challenge

Also in French:
Rira bien qui rira le dernier.

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I read また、同じ夢を見ていた about a month ago. Thought I’d recommend it here but kinda forgot :sweat_smile: . It has the same author as pancreas. I really liked it, was a great read, not very difficult too and a heart-warming story.

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I am so close to the end of this volume (Tsuki no Kage, Kage no Umi part 1) I can almost taste it.

After the inciting incident, there’s a lull asYouko flounders in the new world and she is merely reacting to everything that is thrown at her. The story really hits the ground running around page 150, I think, when it begins filling Youko in on the facts of her isekai situation, and she starts making real decisions and determining her own fate.

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I’ve been slowly progressing with ペンギン・ハイウェイ.
Listening to the audiobook too whenever I can. It’s been a great mix so far, I can progress so much with the audiobook, but the understanding is much less, specially 'cause it’s easier to get distracted while listening.
But on the other hand I can then read and have already a vague idea of what it’s coming while reading, so that makes it somewhat easier.

Anyway thought on mentioning this mix. Audiobooks weren’t in my radar some months ago and I’m still trying to see where they might fit :sweat_smile: .

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I swear the most common single-kanji word in this book is 膝 (knee).

Aha, the first part ends on the introduction of the main antagonist. Sorta.

…only one chapter left.

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This was not on my radar because I was planning to read more manga in the coming week, but after taking a short look at it yesterday, I ended up reading 60 pages of 佐賀のがばいばあちゃん. It’s an autobiographic novel by manzai comedian Youshichi Shimada (unusual first name) and his childhood he spent in poverty, but happy in a rural town in Saga prefecture. He begins complaining about how many people today measure their happiness in wealth and then goes on to describe his childhood and what creative means his cheerful grandmother used to cope with or compensate for their lack of money. It’s fun and endearing and sometimes touching, and I really like Shimada’s style. He writes in である文体, but often uses really colloquial phrases or addresses the reader or the society in general. He has a great sense of humor.

This page really stuck with me.

「ばあちゃん、うちって貧乏だけど、そのうち金持ちになったらいいねー」

しかし、ばあちゃんの答えはこうだった。
「何言うとるの。貧乏には二通りある。
暗い貧乏と明るい貧乏。
うちは明るい貧乏だからよか。
それも、最近貧乏になったのと違うから、心配せんでもよか。
自信を持ちなさい。
うちは先祖代々貧乏だから。
第一、金持ちは大変と。
いいもの食べたり、旅行に行ったり、忙しい。
それに、いい服着て歩くから、こける時も気ぃつけてこけないとダメだし。
その点、貧乏で最初から汚い服着てたら、雨が降ろうが、地面に座ろうが、こけようが、何してもいい。 ああ、貧乏で良かった」

Apart from that, I’ve been reading a couple of manga.

町田くんの世界 Vol. 1-4 was heartwarming shoujo fluff, nothing special, but easy and fun to read. Problem is, vol. 5-7 are out of print due to the upcoming movie.

水域, a 2-volume story by Mushishi mangaka Yuki Urushibara, was incredibly beautiful. I’ll write more about that at some point, I think. Just my kind of manga.

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I’m really on a roll and finished the above-mentioned 佐賀のがばいばあちゃん within 5 days. In terms of pure enjoyment, this book is easily #1 among all Japanese books I’ve read. It made me smile so many times and brought me close to tears a couple of times, too.

The way Shimada describes (and reminisces about) the kindness he has experienced from his grandmother, his friends, his teacher and others is so moving and heartwarming – and so are the things he did for others.

Example for a heartwarming episode:
Shimada loved his mother very much. Usually he could only see her during the summer holidays. Even though he always invited her, she (living in Hiroshima, not in Saga prefecture) never had time to come to the sports day, so he was always the only child without parents there. But for his last year of middle school, his mother promised to come. Shimada was very excited for that, but on the day before, it became uncertain again due to her work schedule. She still wasn’t there when he went to school on the next morning.

After lunch, the main event – a 7km marathon competition – began and Shimada really wanted his mother to see him win the competition. His grandmother’s place where he lived was also on the course, but when he actually reached it, he was too afraid to look up in fear of being disappointed that his mother wouldn’t be there. But then he heard her voice.

「昭広ー! 頑張ってー!」

She was crying while cheering him on, and while that was moving enough already, what really got me was the reaction of his teacher, riding next to him with his bicycle, also breaking into tears because he was so happy for Shimada, who in turn also started to cry. In the end he won the marathon competition, setting a new school record.

「徳永、良かったなあ。かあちゃん、来てくれて」
田中先生は、日焼けした汗の浮いた顔を、涙でクシャクシャにしている。
俺は、首にかけていたタオルを先生に差し出した。
涙を拭う田中先生を見ていたら、俺の頰にも温かなものが伝った。
「お前が拭け」
田中先生が、泣きながら笑って俺にタオルを返す。
「先生が、拭いてください」
「いいや、お前が拭け」
「先生が、拭いてください」
「いいや、お前が拭け」
何度かタオルを押し付け合った後、田中先生は、
「ふたりで泣いてる場合か。もっとスピードあげて、頑張ろう」
そう言って、俺にタオルを投げつけた。
俺は、乱暴に涙をぬぐって、また一分、一秒と走ることだけに集中しようとつとめた。
前へ、前へ。
誰よりも早く。
かあちゃんが応援してくれているのだから。
一着でゴールインした俺は、二位の選手を200mも離していた。
学校が始まって以来の記録だったと言う。

Example for a silly episode:

Shimada’s first love was a girl who often treated him to udon. He wanted to give her something in return, but had no money, so he went with his friends and stole oranges from the orange trees of a wealthy home in the town at night. He gave one to her the next day, telling her they were from his garden, and this continued for a few days. But one night, he heard voices from that garden and realized that this very girl was living there with her family. He never found out if she actually realized it was him stealing the oranges, but he was so ashamed that he made an effort to never meet her again.

It’s such an endearing, heartwarming book. Easy and fun to read, too. I really, really heartily recommend it to anyone.

In the past 40 days, I’ve managed to read over a 1000 pages and finished 4 books (3 in Japanese, one English book on Japan), plus 7.5 volumes of manga (not included in the graph or the 1000 pages):
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Blue: 獣の奏者その3
Red: The Chryanthemum and the Sword
Green: 世界の真ん中の木
Yellow: 佐賀のがばいばあちゃん

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I finished the second ポレポレ日記 book, so I figured I’d say some stuff about it, both because it’s nice to write stuff about what I’m reading and because posting here may remind people that this thread exists(since there seems to be quite a few people who haven’t updated anything for a while).

First of all, non-spoilery stuff: This is super easy to read for me now, to be honest. I’ll probably read the third book sometime since I already have it and the story is interesting enough so far, but I really need to start reading some more difficult stuff too. As for the actual story, the second book was more of a “typical”(when compared to stuff I’ve read, obviously) shoujo story than the first, but still had some small surprises in store.

Next up, spoilery stuff:

Summary

The larger focus on the relationships between the characters(as opposed to the dancing and stuff in the first book) is probably in large part what contributes to this feeling more stereotypical than the first book since most of the characters(with exceptions) aren’t that deep. That said, there are a few things it does that it does better than some other similar stuff I’ve read:

  • The main character being shy/lacking courage mostly doesn’t really stop her from doing stuff, at least not to the point it does for some other mcs of similar stuff
  • No random love triangles or anything in situations where some other things would have put them in just to add drama(might be because this probably is aimed at a younger audience though)
  • Characters are not just the stereotype they initially seem like, nor are they just secretly some other stereotype. Like the book put it, their “true self” is not just something that easily can be described like that or just what can be seen on the outside and is a mix of a lot of different things.

Aside from that, I’m starting to suspect that there will be a title drop in all the books after both of the first two volumes had one near the end. I’m also hoping that Yuzu at least partially will succeed at whatever the main goal of the third book is, because the main character failing at the end of every book could get a bit annoying(even if the author probably wants to convey the message that it’s okay to take things slowly, thus the title… but three books would be slow enough for me, I think)

Finally, I think I’ll try to start reading 佐伯沙弥香について a bit more seriously now so I maybe can have a chance of finishing it before the end of the month like I initially planned to. I think I can do it if it’s not too much more difficult than Kino(and if it is, I’m still going to read it, it’s just going to take a bit longer).

I don’t have the book near me at the moment though, so I’ll just read the second volume of 放浪息子 first and then move on to that.

Also, is the unsorted section really needed in the first post now that no one is in it anymore?

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I haven’t read anything (except book club stuff) in a while :upside_down_face: But yeah, it’s nice to see activity here.
(Life is getting in the way hard and I haven’t done anything Japanese related in almost 3 weeks; I have like 600 reviews waiting for me as well)

No, it isn’t. Neither is my dumb introductory line. But it’s fine.

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Hey it’s been 3 weeks for me too! I kept re-reading the first chapter of Kiki Vol 2 but just couldn’t find the time at all to get past it. Now I’ve had serious jet lag for the past 2 days that just makes me completely exhausted all day long, but I’m determined to get some reading done this weekend.

Though I did managed to get my Floflo reviews from 550~ to <100 rather painlessly of the past few days thankfully…

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Life changed drastically with the new semester in April. I was so blindsided I dropped everything study-related besides reading. Then Golden Week happened and I went on vacation mode and forgot to turn WK off, but read half my book waiting in lines at Tokyo Disneyland, and that was that, and it’s only this week that I’ve been (marginally) emotionally prepared to return to WK. IF I’m listening to music at the time.

Dont’cha wish retroactive vacation mode was a thing?

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I’m doing two reading clubs and decided to read the second 少女週末旅行 book plus I have work and JLPT N3 study, so my side reading time has become more limited. ._.

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This plan was unfortunately ruined by my utter inability to remember where I actually put the book, so I’ll just read ゼロの使い魔 for now and hope I actually find the book I originally intended to read before I finish that(if not, maybe I’ll buy an ebook copy or something… but I’m hoping I won’t have to)

I also happened to get this today, ironically enough

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I wanted to join several book clubs, but my study suddenly got incredibly busy. I decided to read most books, but later and follow the threads later too. I finally added myself here to keep better track of the books I read! I really need to read more for the jlpt. Am not reading 世界から猫が消えたなら which seems to fit my level well (at least for now).

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…so, what are you reading, then?

Yes, this is a really bad joke. Feel free to ignore

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D:

This is a very sad moment for me, I am usually really careful with typos, and this one is especially unfortunate lmao

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You can always edit it so @Ditto20 looks silly. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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I’ll give @Ditto20 this one… but next time…

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Decided to take a break from Bungo Stray Dogs, which has a lot of difficult vocabulary, and consume some simpler manga. Gonna bounce between 少女終末旅行 and カードキャプターさくら for a bit.

Challenging is good, but I’m also reading two novels and studying for that summer JLPT. I need something simple and satisfying to keep me going. x_x

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OK, I officially finished my first Japanese book this year!!! Cheers!

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