[2022] 多読/extensive reading challenge

To further dispel your disbelief: It’s a thing, actually, and it’s called Anterograde amnesia - Wikipedia

Wasn’t the drama that they were lovers before the accident?

(And then she broke up because she could not endure his condition, but maybe I misremember that…)

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But I don’t think anterograde amnesia has a neat precise timer built-in?

They do mention similar behavior in the section “notable cases”:

  • Molaison had average intelligence and perceptual ability and a decent vocabulary. However, he could not learn new words or remember things that had happened more than a few minutes earlier.
  • As a result of anterograde amnesia, Wearing repeatedly “wakes up” every day usually in 30-second intervals.

But yeah, having a timer of exactly 80 minutes seems to belong to the realm of fiction, indeed.

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Big thanks for feedback @Vanilla @Naphthalene @rodan !

By the way, I just found about the story 吾輩は猫である by the legendary Natsume Sōseki. It’s about a house cat who thinks they are a great nobleman and uses appropriate to that language. Might be interesting as a trip to early 20th century Japan.

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Is there ever not a good time for this scene?

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I knew that there was a condition like this, but the not about the details. That’s interesting. But even if you forget about an occurence within an hour or so, would’ve you still remember thinking about what happened? E.g. if a person is away for 80 minutes, if you constantly think about that person, would you really forget them? Maybe if you fall asleep or something – though I felt the details were intentionally left vague. I’m not really bothered by it much, it wasn’t used as a cheap way to create melodrama like 一週間フレンズ after all, but handled gently.

About the 母屋 thing:

Summary

It was hinted that they were lovers, though the widow was married to the professor’s brother. But it still felt like there was a bigger mystery initially, but maybe that’s just my expectation based on mystery tropes from other stories.


I finished 俺の彼.

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The book is a collection of amusing and heartfelt anecdotes of Yōshichi Shimada’s long friendship with Takeshi Kitano (Beat Takeshi). Their first meeting, Kitano’s escape from the media to a remote island in Okinawa after causing a scandal, how they helped each other in hard times, a nearly fatal accident, how Kitano encouraged him to write books, their deep affection for their respective mothers etc.

About half of the book is about Shimada’s life, beginning with his rise to fame during the manzai boom – and the sense of inferiority and loss of direction he felt for years when his five years of popularity came to a sudden end.

Shimada admires Kitano a lot, both his personality and the intellectual qualities he himself lacks – including the talent to sense upcoming trends, adapt himself and produce hit after hit. I personally learned a lot about Kitano I didn’t know.

I really enjoyed this book, it’s super easy to read and heartwarming as his other books. Though I sometimes wonder if Shimada ever really spent time with his family (particularly his children) because he always seems to be on the road, even during his “lazy” years, but maybe he just chose to be discreet about his life at home.

I’m also 2/3 done with 推し、燃ゆ and will probably finish the 小川未明童話集 a little bit ahead of the book club. After I want to finally continue with 貝に続く場所にて while reading something lighter on the side.

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And I am now done with my plan for the month! And just as planned, I have booked 伯爵と妖精 1 from the library but didn’t manage to pick it up yet :sweat_smile:

About わたしの幸せな結婚 3, the drama was pretty intense, as is usual for that series. I keep wondering what the author will up with next. It was her direct family in the first volume, then the estranged family on her mother’s side for volume 2, and now her in-laws (a classic, I guess). What can be left?
I don’t really have to wonder this time, though, the epilogue is giving it away, with one character appearing and claiming to be her real father. He was also betrothed to her mother just before the situation changed, so it might be true? That may also explain the distant attitude of her official father.

Also, it’s funny to compare action scenes from a book like this to a light novel aimed at 青年. Here, the good guy just flexes and the bad guy rolls over, versus fight scenes that take a volume and a half for the latter.

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I finished 推し、燃ゆ.

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It was short, but very densely written and oftentimes difficult to comprehend, so my progress was significantly slower compared to other books I read. Probably comparable to 人間失格, 風立ちぬ, and 貝に続く場所にて.

It’s about a 16 year old high school girl whose live revolves entirely about her 推し, her idol and object of adoration. She can’t keep up with school – even dropping out at some point – and is constantly criticized by her mother and sister. But she is unable to comprehend how to live a normal life or become “an adult”. (なぜあたしは普通に、生活できないのだろう。人間の最低限度の生活が、ままならないのだろう。)

It is mentioned that she was diagnosed with a condition known under two names, though it is never specified. A blog article I read talks about a development disorder and mentions both autism and ADHS. Both would make sense.

In that sense, this books definitely does feel similar to コンビニ人間, although the perspective is quite different. However, compared to コンビニ人間 which was very straightforward to read, 推し、燃ゆ is written in a much more roundabout way, using flowery language and imagery characteristc of 純文学 (belles-lettres​). Meaning, you will probably need to reread sentences a lot to really comprehend their meaning.

I personally didn’t feel like I really “got” what the book wanted to tell me, especially because the last scene is particularly roundabout. After reading a few articles that explain the themes of the book, I think I got the gist, but it feels like there’s a lot I’m still missing.

So was it an interesting read? Definitely. Did I enjoy it? I’m inclinded to say no for the reasons stated above. Although I can emphasize with the themes in a broader sense, the style of narration was a bit too detached from reality (or: my reality) to make me feel much. I think I’d need to dig a bit deeper still to understand why it got that kind of reception and recognition in Japan.

P.S. Made me feel very old when I read the author was born in 1999.
P.P.S. I really dig the cover art, though.

Next on my list: Nahoko Uehashi’s biographic 物語ること、生きること.

It is not actually written by her, but based on four long interviews conducted for this book after she had finished 守り人 and 獣の奏者. I always felt like Uehashi’s background in anthropology could be felt keenly in her works and I’m very curious to learn more about her background as a writer. So far it’s very interesting to read.

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As soon as I’m done with this novel I am moving to manga. It should be easier to understand with visual aids.
30 or so more pages to go. I’m stubborn and have to finish.

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My goal this year was to read 10 books (and some manga) and I finished my tenth book a few days ago, just before Halloween.

So I reached my goal :eyes: :sparkles: That’s an average of one book per month, which is improvement from last year, where I completed the tenth book on Dec 26 or so. Wiiii, progress! :durtle_noice:

This is literally all the books I’ve read/completed so far:

(My bookshelf on bookmeter, from newest to oldest entry.)
Feels like it’s been forever since I read Hyouka, but was actually “just” as far back as first quarter of last year. 0: Like, pre-pandemic and a bit during it too. Kinda wild to think about.


But yeah, am pretty happy with my progress so far :3

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:clap::clap: き! :clap:

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I finished the 小川未明童話集 the other day.

I listened to the audio versions of most stories. I enjoyed about half of them, usually the more eerie or surreal ones, while the straightforward stories felt rather trite. It also felt like the long stories were more long-winded than anything else – many of them didn’t really have more content than the short ones. I did like that many of them were rather melancholic, though.

Overall I’m glad I read this, but I really don’t think you need to read 20+ stories to know what Memei is about, a couple of them should easily be enough.

Today I finished 物語ること、生きること (Nahoko Uehashi biography).

I really enjoyed reading about her life and what events led to her becoming a writer. I particularly liked to read what shaped her world view that is obviously reflected in her books. E.g. the lack of a good/evil dichotomy and the incorporation of various cultures (including indigenous people) in her stories that were influenced by her own field work with aboriginal Australians and the indigenous people of Okinawa (Ryūkyū).

That makes 5 books in 8 days and I will probably take it easier in the coming weeks, focusing on things other than reading. I will still read, but not 50-150 pages a day. As my next novel, I’ll probably read カラフル.

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I’ve started reading カラフル (prologue and first chapter). I was expecting to really like it, but… so far I’m not intrigued.

The first pages felt really anime-ish with an angel appearing out of nowhere, using plenty of slang and English loanwords, arbitrary rules set up by a higher being and so on. Not exactly my favorite kind of setup.

Then the first chapter was very clichéd – the boy believes the family is kind until the angel nonchalantly tells him they’re all assholes (basically). There’s no nuance, it’s all just told impassionately and just feels like a lazy setup for something that could’ve been conveyed much better in action. And why’s the angel so mean-spirited?

That being said, it looks like the exposition is over and I’ll give the book the benefit of doubt for now. I’ll read another 2-3 chapters at least to see if my impressions change. Let’s just hope this doesn’t turn into a contrived melodrama.

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I like the cover in any case.

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That’s actually one of my favorite parts :laughing:

Now I’m curious what did you hear about the book before buying it, if the setup is not your thing.
Meanwhile, I liked the first half more than the second half. :stuck_out_tongue:

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And we are on! I actually read かくりよの宿飯 9 first, but anyway, I’m basically following the plan. (This is all in the first 20 pages, so no spoilers)
First thought: okay, 17 yo main protagonist, smack in the middle of the readership target range. That make sense.
Second thought:

あまいような灰紫アッシュモーブの瞳で困惑させた。

haha of course. At least, the setup justifies the gratuitous English.

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Last night I finished パノラマ島綺譚 to put myself at 40 novels for the year. :tada: I liked the book fairly well, though I enjoyed my previous 江戸川乱歩 more.

Before that I finished 伯爵と妖精 21, which was a particularly good volume of short stories. It’s always exciting to get back to the main story after a short story volume, so while I’m dipping a toe into かがみの古城 right now to see if I want to join the book club, I probably won’t be able to resist 伯爵と妖精 22.

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What was the book about? I’ve been reading a lot of Edogawa stuff lately and I really like his detective stories and novelas.

Ah, I just read the synopsis on Wikipedia. Definitely sounds like something I’d enjoy :smiley:

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Well, we are currently reading it with the advanced book club, so you can just come along :slight_smile:

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What @Naphthalene said! It’s definitely not a detective story, but I hope it does turn out to be your kind of thing. :relaxed:

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