[2022] 多読/extensive reading challenge

re: backlog

Thanks for writing such a detailed explanation! I’m sure some people will think we are crazy but I love when people have very specific systems like this. I’m always coming up with ways to try to balance my different hobbies and keep in check my different backlogs so this was really interesting. And I get what you say about doing the choosing ‘manually’: it’s just part of the fun!

I definitely struggle with choice paralysis sometimes, especially when I have free time after being busy for a while and suddenly I can do all of the things I’ve been thinking about doing but I don’t know where to start. Now I’m going to think about this and see if I can apply any of the concepts to my stuff. Totally stealing the “roughly weighted random draw” for something at some point P:

And I can confirm that crossing off stuff is just the best.

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Well, I am done bingeing ダンジョン飯 1-10 and とんがり帽子 1-8 (managed to find volumes 6-8 yesterday; I also read volumes 6-8 yesterday, so I’m glad I’m not buying those new).
The unexpected part, though, is that I have now 30+ unread novels. :upside_down_face:

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So how were they? particularly ダンジョン飯 :eyes:

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Both series were pretty good.
With respect to ダンジョン飯, I did like the attention to details in general,
especially in terms of making the magical/physical laws consistent, especially in terms of having a stable 魔物 ecosystem, the circulation of magic through the dungeon, etc. There were other fun details, like when ライオス is learning magic, his pronunciation of elven words is rounded, while that of マルシル is sharp and angular. The cooking also makes sense, which could be expected, considering it’s a major point of the series, thus one that received the most efforts, I guess.
On top of マルシル, I also grew to like チルチャック and カブルー. I’m okay with イヅツミ, … elf dude with half ears ( google tells me his name is ミスルン), and シスル (whose name I remember because 死する… like he makes (un)deads, kinda? At least, it works as a mnemonic). If we are talking about mnemonics, イヅツミ is “Is’s me [Mario]!” (like, a typo’d “It’s me!”), so I always ended up (sub)vocalizing her name with a fake Italian accent. The others are just as bad.
I didn’t care much for the other characters, but I didn’t hate them either, so that’s still a net positive in my book.
In terms of plot, I was disappointed to see that the second half still has basically the same goal as the first one. We didn’t update the MacGuffin (just slightly increased the stakes). Also, I didn’t like the introduction of 悪魔 either, as it breaks the “physical laws” introduced beforehand. We are close enough to the end that it doesn’t affect me much anymore, though :sweat_smile:

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So, that’s kinda old news, but I remembered some discussion of an official unofficial novel (series?) based on this game (basically one of the authors who just wanted a different plot and wrote it instead?). I remember it had a slightly different name? And we talked about it in this thread, but I can’t find it for the life of me.

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I think you’re maybe thinking of this advanced book club nominee?

The one I know I talked about a little in the thread is the original book the game was based on ( デジタル・デビル・ストーリー), while the description of that nominee (that I don’t know much about myself) is more along the lines of what you’re describing. (and it’s related to the same overarching series of games)

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Aaah thank you. Yes, that’s the one I meant. Not surprised I couldn’t find it here then :sweat_smile:

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So far things are going pretty good. Its been 11 days and I’ve made the most progress in my listening that I ever have while still averaging a book almost every 2 days. I’ll be going back for a bit longer but just finished reading something I wanted to post about before I forget.

二番目3…

This book can truly only be described as unholy. I thought the second book was bad, but it just got so much worse. It just came out a this last week and I don’t know if anyone here has picked up the series and read it, but if you have here are my thoughts. I will avoid describing things in detail so I don’t get banned or anything, but even so this might not be for the faint of heart.

Tales of a man who has stared into the abyss (proceed with caution)

Man, I really thought the last volume was rough with hayasaka going through her mental breakdown and stuff. Not to mention the dog part was kinda offputting, but that was just me.

I did not realize how easy the author was going on us.

The start of this volume with him talking with tachibana on the phone while in bed with hayasaka had me thinking it would be like dorodoro like normal. Even when they all three went to the love hotel honestly, it wasn’t that bad because I mean, it was consensual. The whole thing was consensual and, while unconventional, it had some degree of order to it. I legitimately thought they might be able to make something work.

AND THEN I GOT TO CHAPTER 22. What in the ever living FUCK.

Yanagi senpai reallllly just threw a goddamn wrench in things. Like when hayasaka and MC were in the window at the goddamn soccer place doing that for tachibana to see. I was like ok shit is gonna start crumbling. But man, I didn’t expect it to crumble like THAT. That scene where she is walking back with MC and just fucking begging for him to start beating her, like what like helllllll. AND THAT WASN’T EVEN THE WORST PART. Like god im gagging thinking about that next part. THE SMELL. THE WETNESS. He said she basically emptied her stomach right, and that takes time. This man let her walk up to him, unbutton his coat, and vomit inside his shit for a prolonged period of time. Like bruh.

And you know what, the next chapter managed to get worse. The elementary schooler thing? what the fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu. Like ok the whole nail thing wasn’t that bad if I’m being honest, but I actually gagged with the toothbrush thing. Like if it was just the one time on accident thats one thing, but the fact that she liked it and he kept doing it was just unpleasant. Like and then the thing with the shower head on top of that???

Not to mention the current mental state of tachibana when he did those things to her really just…Yeah thats a big fucking grey area.

And honestly, I wish he just would have stopped there. He just had to say this at the very end

このあと俺がひかりちゃん(小学生)にした愛にあふれたしん的なこうについて、ここでは多くを語ることはできない。
いずれにせよ、最高だった。

What in gods name could be so bad that you can’t write it. Lord knows we’ve basically seen everything at this point. Like that shit in the bathroom with hayasaka? Holy crap bro.

Honestly, though, I just thought this whole time while reading this book…and I know this will be a possibly unpopular opinion…but like bro just put tachibana out of her misery. Like you have mentally fucked her beyond repair and literally given her debilitating emotional trauma that will likely prevent her from ever having a normal relationship with a guy for the rest of her life. Just put the final nail in the coffin at this point. You’d be doing her a favor at this point.

And then that ending, aaaaa. Man, I love hayasaka and shes definitely my favorite, but I feel for her so hard man. Like, I cant even imagine the levels of sadness shes going through after seeing them on the platform, but I don’t like seeing her do something so desperate. The kyoto trip literally had the chance to be the end. I was thinking it would have been really solid if that was actually the end between them and thats the direction it seemed like it was going. Tachibana going for yanagi also seemed like a possibility. But I’ll be honest, tachibana got me too a little bit. Like when she was laying there crying at night looking at the pictures, yeah thats rough. And I mean, its not like theres any problem now if they do get together apart from the fact that the other 2 will be sad…but man I reaaalllly dont want hayasaka to be sad. Shes just too great. Major props to her for taking a stand and basically making mc stop being shitty.

All around, definitely the most disgusting and dirty work I have ever consumed in my life, I’d say.

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I have no particular interest in reading this series, but I’ve really enjoyed reading your writeups on it, haha. Truly taking one for the team.

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Managed to squeeze myself into the table :smile_cat:

My original goal for the year was 12 books, but thanks to a productive Tadoku session in March, I am already up to 10 books. So I am going for a revised goal of 20 books, with more of a focus on LN level (and above!) stuff from now on.

Even if I managed 20, I think I’d still have a pile (well a digital pile) of unread books to go through.

Almost finished ボッコちゃん by 新一星, which is pretty well known and a good step up from his easier short-short books. Then it will be back to ようこそ実力至上主義の教室へ

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I read the second book of this and I don’t think anything went the way I expected it too. After the first book ended with one of the mcs(Hoshi) seeing the other(Umi) kiss the slightly older woman(compared to the high school age mcs, she’s in her early twenties), I was thinking that’d be used for drama but instead it turns out they notice she’s there almost immediately afterwards and Hoshi confesses and gets rejected pretty early in the book after the older woman(Chiki/Shio, her real name is the latter but she told the girl that’s in love with her the first of those names) makes it so all three of them awkwardly hang out.

Then Hoshi ends up meeting Chiki/Shio a couple of times, and is at first more aware of how Chiki/Shio is being a bit manipulative compared to Umi and is more annoyed with her at first, but eventually ends up falling for her as well while also blaming herself for falling in love with her other crush’s girlfriend. Everything is set up for a final scene that seems to be the opposite of the first book, with Umi seeing Hoshi and Chiki/Shio together instead of Hoshi seeing the other two. Though, that’s where Umi’s mom enters the scene and the book ends with the reveal that Chiki/Shio is actually Umi’s older sister but her mom hadn’t told her about the fact that she even had an older sister in the first place(it seems like the so far rather mysterious Chiki/Shio did know this all along though).

So in hindsight I guess Hoshi was probably actually attracted to the similarities to her “original” crush Umi and didn’t just randomly fall in love with two totally unrelated people she met in a row. And in terms of final pairing I guess it seems like Hoshi/Umi is probably the likeliest, since Shio’s weirdness and the fact that she’s Umi’s older sister makes it feel that she wouldn’t really be able to be in a stable relationship with either of the other two, as well as the first two books ending with Shio(known as Chiki at the time)/Umi and Shio/Hoshi, so the third and final book ending with Umi/Hoshi would be the only possible remaining pair of two of the three.

While the relationship’s between characters took some strange turns, overall the book was very nicely written and the characters felt pretty believable, so I actually quite liked it :slight_smile: (though it was the 16th book I read by the same author so in a way it’s not very surprising that I enjoyed it)

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So, I’ve been often complaining about the recommendations from Booklive.
No matter how much 悪役令嬢 series I bought, it kept giving me random 男性向け light novels that I don’t care about. I thought it was because I buy from both categories and the algorithm sorted by “sells more”, which artificially pushed 男性向け stuff higher, but maybe not…
Everything changed when I recently bought a single TL volume. The algorithm just went pikachu face and updated the list of recommendations. I wish I had taken a screenshot of the list before, but I just didn’t expect it. Now I get stuff like

I guess the algorithm just drastically modified its expectations of my gender. :joy:
There’s technically a 男性向け light novel in there (どうでもいいから帰らせてくれ) but the description makes it sound like a 令嬢 type thing, except there’s maybe no romance? I guess the publisher decision tree goes “no romance → 男性向け”. There’s also a 女性 manga about two boys in love. It’s still wild to me that Japan goes “wlw stories are for men and mlm stories are for women”. Now that’s going to be accurate storytelling.
Other than that, " 十三歳の誕生日、皇后になりました" ? Thank you I hate it. I mean, I don’t know anything about it and I’m fine this way. I guess 女性向け light novels have problems too, huh.


Unrelated, but I finished reading the second volume of 後宮妃の管理人 and it wasn’t so great.
The first half of the book was really uneventful, basically the main character working (and having some frustrating roadblocks in doing so). Then suddenly plot happened and it was fine until ~80%. Then we go to the conclusion, where we just skip ahead and are informed that the character has solved the problems from the first half, and that whole part is already over. How did she do it? Don’t worry about it. Well, then why did you spend so much time over that to begin with??
The first volume was very good, so I had high expectations, which might have been the issue? Anyway, I already own volume 3 (which made its way to my recommended list as well, funnily enough… it’s not like I can buy it twice though) so I’m not dropping this series just yet.
I decided to pick クォンタムデビルサーガ アバタールチューナー from the library, though.

獣の奏者 3? What about it? I finished part 2.

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It does seem like this might be a better use of your time at this point. :joy:

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I am reading it very slowly. Mostly a couple pages over coffee in the morning.

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I’ve finally finished 島はぼくらと by Mizuki Tsujimura.

It was a slow read, but I liked it. I initially thought it would focus on the coming-of-age aspect and highlight the last year of high school the protagonists spend together – before graduating and parting ways.

While that was certainly part of the story, it’s more focused on the microcosm of the island itself and the concept of “home”. For half of the book, side characters (mostly adults) take much more of the spotlight than our four leads. Overall the mundane drama felt well-written. It’s never super emotional, but there’s some sense of catharsis at the end.

It took me way too long to read it, though. I partly attribute this to the lack of tension – there are some mysteries, but they’re only mildly compelling –, but mostly to the fact that my attention shifted towards other hobbies in the past two months or so.

So tl;dr: I think it’s a good book, although not quite as compelling as かがみの孤城. I’ll definitely read more of Tsujimura’s books. It’s just that they’re all pretty long, so it’s a bit of a commitment every time.

I also (finally!) continued reading Nahoko Uehashi’s 香君, having reached the second part of the book and the 30% mark. As expected I forgot who half of the characters were in the meantime. Looks like this will be some kind of “training” arc with plenty of world building – at least I hope it will.

And lastly I’ve started a new book called 吉田の日々赤裸々。

It’s about the development of Final Fantasy XIV – more precisely a compilation of biweekly columns director/producer Naoki Yoshida wrote for the Famitsu magazine starting in 2013. The book contains a total of 45 columns. What I like is that they aren’t just random essays. They describe in chronological order how Final Fantasy XIV became the game it is today, starting from it’s catastrophic launch in 2010. So far it’s very compelling.

The book is more meaty than I expected – it’s only 250 pages (according to Amazon), but ~144k characters, so more than some 350+ pages novels. It’s also only the first book of three (so far?), so I definitely won’t run out of Yoshida content for the foreseeable future.

Yoshida has a very enjoyable style of writing – very clear sentences, but with a lot of humor and self-tsukkomi-ing. I’m planning to read at least one chapter a day, though knowing myself I probably won’t be able to keep this rhythm.

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A bit longer than expected, but after 16 days I’m back. I’m sure everyone missed me dearly. I feel like I got refocused and made what I feel like was the most progress in listening yet. Major shoutout to @Iinchou for recommending tsukino mito. She has been a godsend in terms of interesting listening content.

Anyways, this is a book thread, so thats enough about listening. I finished 10 books while I was away. Just a general summary about my thoughts about them:

ひげを剃る。そして女子高生を拾う: I only read book 1 and then kinda figured out the book didn’t go further than the anime (which I also watched for listening practice). As a result I don’t know if I’ll bother reading the next 4 books or whatever. Overall, they were pretty similar and there were just a couple added parts it felt like so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on much. I thought the book/anime would be pretty sketchy because of the plot, but honestly it wasn’t bad. MC had his shit together, and I mean theres some stuff I certainly was a bit iffy about, but overall it didn’t feel immoral or anything. I was expecting something a bit more controversial, but honestly I’m glad it wasn’t. I liked the story overall.

カノジョに浮気されていた俺が、小悪魔な後輩に懐かれています6: Wew, what a book. This series is really just great. The writing feels different from other light novels, but not necessarily in a good way. It just feels like the author keeps trying to one up himself and stay original, but thats whatever. The story had some good developments and it was an enjoyable read as always. The ending though… I dunno man. It’s like, I dunno. Part of me just feels like while it looks happy on the surface, its really actually kinda unhealthy. Like he basically rejected reina outright, but doesn’t want her to move on and wants her to remain in his life one way or another. And shes like cool with going along with that. But like really, is she even gonna be happy with that? There was the whole thing about how she wouldn’t be able to face him for awhile so I guess she won’t necessarily be with him for awhile but still. Were it some other series I would just kinda blow it off as “thats just how light novels are.”. But this series seems to take the relationship between characters quite seriously relatively speaking, so it feels like something worth 突っ込みing.

蜘蛛の糸: This one isn’t really a book and more like a very short story, and it was really easy so it just took a few minutes to read. I dunno though, I didn’t really vibe with what I think the story was going for. Like I feel like I sympathized more with 犍陀多 by the end of it lol. I was like damn bro shoulda carried the end up with you, or cut the part under where you were climbing. And then theres the fact that if the thread didn’t break, then like what was the plan, 御釈迦様? Like were you actually cool with 犍陀多 not have to be in hell all because of one spider he helped? Were you cool with all those other people making it up the thread? Like you wanna talk shit about 犍陀多’s lack of compassion, but he woulda been doing your dumbass a favor by cutting the thread below where he was climbing. Besides, you said it was repayment for his good deed, so why should he let other people, let alone horrible people, not only possibly prevent him from being able to climb the thread that YOU prepared for him but also possibly make it to heaven by a means that wasn’t intended for them. Like maybe I’m reading into this too literally, and sure theres the fact that he didn’t actually know thats why the thread was lowered, but still. I thought it was kinda dumb.

わたし、二番目の彼女でいいから。3: Holy schmolies. Review written above. This shit is wack doe.

娘じゃなくて私が好きなの!? 2-7: Very wholesome and great story. At first I kinda didn’t know what to expect and felt kinda iffy about the premise, but it turned out to be like the most wholesome and cute thing I have ever read. Very nice. The author really liked using yojijukugo for some reason, but ey all good with me. I thought the pacing was also surprisingly decent for a rabucome. Until the end at least, lol. Like bruh, what. Right after they start dating they start living together and he gets her pregnant while hes still in college. Literally in the course of a couple months it goes from not dating to pregnant and keeping it. Yikey blikeys. Overall, everything ended pretty happy though and it was a really pleasant read. Would recommend.

Next, I plan on reading 今日も生きててえらい. Main girl is cute. Thats really all there is to it. I also know someone who read it and liked it, so theres that too.

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Random, but that reminds me of a certain song

:notes: 布団(ふとん)のなかから出てえらい :notes:

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I don’t understand publishers sometimes. I want to read the series 青い花 at some point, because I like the mangaka (放浪息子 is one of my favorite series, and I’m currently reading おとなになっても) and I enjoyed the anime years back, which covered maybe about half the manga. And yet for some reason, the first volume and only the first volume is always sold out. I’ve never seen it in stock, and yet volumes 2-7 are often in stock (as they are currently). It’s like, did they decide to discontinue just the first volume for some reason? Makes no sense.

How am I supposed to buy the series physically if the first volume is never unavailable? Of course I could resort to buying the series used, but that tends to not save that much money when you account for shipping costs, and it’s a gamble on whether they will be in good condition. Plus I’d rather support the mangaka anyway. (I always felt a little guilty about buying 放浪息子 used.) And of course I could resort to digital, but the resolution isn’t that great. It’s good enough that I could read the series that way, but I think it wouldn’t be as enjoyable as reading physical copies.

Back to the waiting game I go I suppose. Maybe by some miracle they’ll start printing volume one again.

/rant

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I have no idea about online stores, but some (all maybe?) brick-and-mortar bookstores can place a request for stuff out of print (and will inform you when it becomes available). They will also tell you if something is definitely discontinued.

Generally speaking, though, I feel like a lot of publishers are putting more efforts in ebooks than paper books, as they are cheaper to produce and can’t go to the second hand cycle nor be borrowed from a friend.

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I inquired about another out of stock item at CD Japan before and the response was “We are sorry to inform you the book will not be available again”. It ended up being back in stock again a couple weeks later. So clearly their support staff at least is unreliable.

Which is why digital media is a scam because you never truly own the thing you’re paying for. (And also why DRM is awful.)

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