[2022] 多読/extensive reading challenge

Also, I feel like reading a summary of each book would be less painful. Then you can find out what happens without having to listen to Subaru talk!

I gave up on the anime after season two for the same reasons you don’t like the LN. I also don’t particularly care what happens at this point, but if I ever get curious I’ll probably just read some summaries.


By the way, I’ve been meaning to ask you… what are your favorite books / series besides 本好き?

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That’s what I ended up doing, actually.

That’s kinda hard to say. I don’t know why 本好き got me so much, but I couldn’t put it down, and just kept reading whenever I had the occasion. In comparison, everything I have been reading in recent years has been kinda meh (or worse).

With that in mind, and just going one order of magnitude lower, I guess some of my favorite series have been:

  • 薬屋のひとりごと (some problematic “romance” but otherwise nice)
  • 裏世界ピクニック (I liked it a lot, but only 6 volumes published so far and it takes years between volumes)
  • ビブリア古書堂の事件手帖 (Nothing negative to say except that it was maybe a bit slow?)
  • 天冥の標 (I like it, but each book is separated by a time skip in the scale of centuries, so it’s hard to remain involved; I don’t care that you are the descendent of whatever character I liked, you are a different character)
  • かくりよの宿飯 七 あやかしお宿の勝負めし (50%+ is just cooking)
  • わたしの幸せな結婚 (it’s pretty dark at time, can’t really binge, also only 5 volumes published)

There are more stuff, like 獣の奏者, 新世界より, or 君の膵臓をたべたい, but I guess they only reached the “I liked it” level, rather than being my favorite.

Checking that list, I see that there’s a lot of light novels in there. In fact, except for 天冥の標, it’s exclusively light novels… I guess the lower requirement on brain capacity does help.

I really hope to find something that I can enjoy just as much as 本好き one day…

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I always see people reading it/talking about it, but what even is 本好き? Like whats it supposed to be about and why do people like it so much? It got an anime too, right?

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This one is on my wishlist on Amazon, but I’m not sure if it’s for me. Isn’t it a mystery or something?

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It’s an isekai where the main character is absolutely crazy about books and gets reincarnated in a world at the high middle ages level of technology (so books are very rare and expensive). She also has a very large range of knowledge (which amounts to overtech in that context) and is not afraid to use it to get books as common as possible. She starts at the bottom of society, but through her drive to make those very valuable items (and having the knowledge to make those), she does some social ascending.
There’s a lot more to the series, but it’s very spoilery. I was not super convinced until the end of volume 1, then it had my attention until volume 6, then I was absolutely into it until the end, although I felt it just kept getting better. Once I reached the end of published volumes, I just read the rest of the story from the webnovel. Now, I just wait for volumes to come out, buy them on day one and then complain about comment on the editorial decisions.

It did get an anime adaptation, but I heard that it wasn’t so good.

It’s a mystery series about books.

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Oh wow, it looks like 〆切前に百合が捗る is over for the time being (unless the comic does really well, in which case theres a chance for a 3rd one according to the afterword). Overall, I really liked it and thought it was super cute. Honestly could see it going on for a few more books, but I think it ended in a good spot anyways. For anyone looking for a manageable yuri read, the difficulty, cuteness, and length of this one makes it a great choice imo. Would recommend.

It also has what I would consider the greatest interactions I’ve seen in a light novel in a while between characters A, B, and A’s parents:

A’s Parents: No, A, you’re still a minor and can’t date this person 6 years older than you. Thats illegal and we don’t like homosexuality
B: [puts on a suit, sunglasses, and rolls up in a lambo to A’s parents house honking the horn] How about now?
A’s parents: What…no that doesn’t make it ok
A: Well, looks like I have no choice but to murder you guys myself
B: Wait, I’m rich, lets just hire a pro to kill them
A’s parents: Please stop talking about killing us in front of us and just leave
MISSION SUCCESS

I was dying that whole scene and it was great.

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Decided to drop 蒲団 for now. It ended up being more difficult than I wanted to deal with…not impossible by any means, just not very fun to read. The Aozora Bunko text helpfully has a lot of furigana so the weird kanji usage wasn’t a problem, and the grammar is definitely not kobun level, but it just felt like a slog for some reason. This character introduction really got me:

渠は名を竹中時雄と謂った

(渠 is 彼 btw)

I’ll probably go back to it at some point but imo proactive quitting of stuff you don’t like is the key to happiness :v:

(Honestly the only reason I started reading it in the first place was because the author’s character from 文豪ストレイドッグス is relatable)

Anyway since it’s October aka the month of Halloween I decided to read another 恒川光太郎 book, and as luck would have it amazon was running a 50%-off sale on two of his books that I didn’t have yet, 南の子供が夜いくところ and 月夜の鳥渡り, so I started the latter yesterday. I’ve yet to be disappointed by this author so it should be a good time.

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ahaha, he is :laughing: regarding the attitude toward the outside world, at least. not so much the “genius” part. :sweat_smile:
edit: (i know that technically his skill is mostly about controlling electronics, but he also “process information dozens of times faster than an average human”, so eh)

But this is a common problem with this trope, eh.
I think Murata might be the only author that comes to my mind where weird people don’t end up being geniuses as a package deal.

And how was the 蒲団’s plot, at least the opening part?

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There wasn’t a lot of plot in the part that I read, mostly just setting up for the plot (the main character is married with children and yet finds himself attracted to his new student, who herself is already involved with somebody else). Apparently it’s based on the author’s life to a certain extent but it’s also somewhat fictionalized. When I do get back to it someday I’ll be curious to see how the story and the historical record diverge.

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Well, it’s been a while since I last read bofuri. Last time, I gave up half way through the prologue of volume 10 (the last volume I own) because it had gotten too boring for me.
The point is that the author is finally introducing new characters with new fighting styles to refresh things a bit… but I’m not super convinced.
Their skills look fun, Maple got some cool new skills as well, but meh. Again, fights are now just long strings of skills being used. New fighting style = I know none of those. So, not super fun.
The author mentioned in the afterword that things will change a bit from now on… but I’ll never know how, since I’m not planning to buy the next book :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, I’m starting to be fine on the 積読 thing. Only 10 unread books left!

Also also, I’m at 78 books this year (including light novels). I might still make it to 100 despite my drop in activity during summer, but that will require some efforts.

Edit: also finished a book on ADHD. It wasn’t that long, but it took a while to get through (more that a week) since it’s absolutely boring. The info were good, I guess, but it feels kinda weird to write something that won’t catch the reader’s attention when aiming it at people who are having problems with attention to begin with :woman_shrugging:

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So you’re saying it wasn’t a paafekuto gaido :eyes: ?

image

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That’s pretty much exactly what I am saying.
At the same time, I wonder how much of it is due to the translation…

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I finished 獄門島! I loved it!
It’s the first full-length novel by Seishi Yokomizo about the 名探偵 Kosuke Kindaichi (and the second major story overall following 本陣殺人事件)

Since the advanced book club is going to start Panorama Island within the week off of my nomination, I wanted to make sure I didn’t have spooky island stories overlapping. It’ll be interesting to see them juxtaposed though - This definitely felt very Yokomizo, and I get the impression that whatever Panorama Island turns out to be, it’ll be very Ranpo.

More thoughts about 獄門島

Like with 本陣殺人事件, Yokomizo’s main strength is definitely his care in setting the scene in a specific place and time. This time around, it’s a fictional isolated island in the 瀬戸内海 with an unusual spooky name that was historically a refuge for pirates. Yokomizo gets to spend plenty of time offering historical explanations for the spooky name, describing the geography of the island, and describing in detail the similar but notably distinct politics inherent to an isolated fishing village as compared to a farming village (e.g. instead of a powerful 地主 owning the land, a powerful 網元 owns the fishing boats and tools).

As for the time, this was serialized in 1947/8 and depicts 1946, which makes it an extremely interesting contrast in setting to 本陣殺人事件, which was serialized in 1946 but set around 1937. Instead of the raft of adventures and exploits a burgeoning young 名探偵 should have in the 9 years following their first adventure, we meet back up with Kindaichi as he returns to Japan having had those years miserably wasted by war having been conscripted and stationed somewhere in New Guinea where he and his friends did nothing but slowly die. 復員 is an important keyword, since harried young men are slowly trickling back to the island, and the inciting incident that brings Kindaichi to the island is that a war buddy dies of illness on the boat back, his dying wish that Kindaichi go to 獄門島 to protect his three sisters from imminent murder.

I was more than happy to just eat up details about that interesting setting, but I thought the mystery itself turned out to be awfully well executed also. The book successfully distracted me with multiple red herrings the same way Kindaichi was distracted (while filling in seemingly unimportant clues in the background), and while I’ve never been a “guess what’s going to happen” type of reader, I was in the sweet spot of following and anticipating Kindaichi’s train of thought as revelations finally put the pieces together and was totally along for the ride as he described what happened. It’s also got fun stuff like pullies and papier-mache and haiku. The end is very satisfying and very sad at the same time, as the island’s so thoroughly depleted of both young people and authority figures due to the misguided mistakes of people in charge. Even though in the end they’re plot devices in a mystery novel, it really is especially sad that nobody seemed to ever really mourn the three girls except the ones who were already dead or gone themselves.

Since the last Kindaichi mystery involved the koto so heavily, I often listened to koto music while reading for atmosphere, and it makes for a very nice evening indeed.

It’s probably the longest and hardest (vocabulary-wise at least) novel I’ve read so far in Japanese (and also probably my favorite). It’s really wonderful to be able to have a good time casually reading something like this, although one hand pretty much constantly had my phone open to look up vocabulary, whether it was turns of phrase, fishing infrastructure-related, the various parts of a Buddhist temple, haiku terminology, post-war terminology, folklore and drama references, or anything and everything in-between. I was also very glad that the wikipedia page for the book has a list of characters without spoilers, because otherwise I would have had no hope remembering the weird readings for everyone’s names. It’s even got a family tree diagram. Yokomizo generally does a really good job reminding you of who someone was when they become important again, but it’s nice to have that little bit of help + the readings again.
The book does use the “lunatic” character archetype in a now-old-fashioned way, and I would imagine the vocabulary used about them (lot of きちがい) I would assume isn’t ideal nowadays, but ultimately I don’t think it’s too bad a portrayal, as that whole angle is pretty much just a red herring and the man with debilitating mental illness has nothing to do with the murders.

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I’ve now read 20 volumes of 伯爵と妖精 this year. I don’t think I’ve read 20 books in a series in English, so it feels like a lot, but in a good way. Only 12 to go! :cry:

With the next volume being short stories, this is a good place to pause. I’m going back to パノラマ島綺譚 for however long it catches me. And then… I don’t know! Probably 伯爵と妖精, honestly, but it could be fun to pick another candidate and see if it sticks. (looks at my 積読ed books for exciting things)

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By the way, since I’ve been good with decreasing my 積読 pile, I’m planning to start reading that series as soon as I get below 10 unread books. (I incorrectly thought I was getting there, but then I remembered I have 獣の奏者 3-4 as well, totally 12 unread books in the pile)

Current plan, to keep things varied: かくりよの宿飯 8, 鹿の王 2, わたしの幸せな結婚 3, 伯爵と妖精 1

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Did you never fall for any of those teenager series by Enid Blyton or the like? I binge-read “Dolly” when I was a teen, and I guess that series contained more than 20 volumes… There were other series as well that I liked (e.g. The Three Investigators or TKKG), but I don’t know whether I managed to read more than 20 volumes…

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@Naphthalene Nice!! The first book has a bit of a different feel from the series as a whole, but if the series is going to be for you then you’ll probably be into it by the end. I hope you enjoy it when you get there! :grin: Glad to see 獣の奏者 3 isn’t ahead of it in the queue, because I feel like that one took me a long time to finish. I haven’t read 4 yet, and there’s a 5, too, right, even if it’s not called 5?

@NicoleRauch I definitely read series, but I can’t remember anything over maybe 10 volumes. If I expanded to 20+ books by a single author, then I definitely have some, though not many!

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Yes… I have to admit that I am pushing the door stoppers to the back of my reading list.
Volume “5” is indeed a different thing, set in the same universe iirc.

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just wanted to share this really cute bit from 夜の名前をよんで



kinda reminds me of a Doraemon gadget, come to think of it

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Where’s the エメラルドグリーン, though?

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