Absolute Beginners Book Club // Currently reading: Prefecture Stories ・ Next: Hunter × Hunter

Is that title ok?

Great, thank you!

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I’d forgotten it was starting already!

I was hoping to have reached home before it did, as I think I may have a copy at home…maybe I’ll just need to buy the digital version. Home in about a week, anyway.

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People here might be interested to know that we’re starting the next Doggy Detectives book on the 11th of January!

It will be around Absolute Beginner level, and you don’t need to have read the first book in the series to join in now - it’s a bit like reading a Miss Marple or Sherlock Holmes story.


I would definitely recommend the Doggy Detectives book for anyone reading their first Japanese book. One of the other books in the series was the original absolute beginner book club book. They have a nice mix of story telling and dialogue. The pages are not very dense, and the pictures give a lot of context that help you understand the text.


Teasing Master Takagi-san ・ からかい上手の高木さん


Middle school students Nishikata and Takagi sit next to each other in class. Takagi, who is in love with Nishikata, enjoys teasing him with embarrassing pranks and jokes. In response, Nishikata creates plans to get his revenge, but they always fail when she identifies his weaknesses and capitalizes on them.


Physical: Amazon JPCD Japan
Digital: KoboBookwalker

Personal Opinion

The anime is often recommended for listening practice because the vocab is common and the sentences are relatively simple. It made me think that the manga might be suitable for this reading club. The anime is also very funny (and cute), so I think it should be an entertaining read.

Pros and Cons


  • Slice of life, so easy in the vocab department
  • No wall of kana, plus the kanji have furigana
  • Low text density, so can be read in 9 weeks (15 pages per week).
  • There is an anime on Netflix


  • Might be a little too cute for some?


First Three Pages of Chapter One

Additional Pages

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • 1 - No effort at all
  • 2 - Minimal effort
  • 3 - Moderate effort
  • 4 - Substantial effort
  • 5 - So much effort my head might explode :exploding_head:
  • I don’t know

0 voters


Kobo has been recommending this one to me off and on for over a year now. I may have to vote for it in the next poll just so Kobo can ease up.

I see there’s also a full-color version that is a third of the price per volume compared with the original. I don’t see anything on whether that’s normal or limited time pricing.

Here are the links (ebook only): KoboBookwalkerAmazon JP

It’s not the entire volume, which would explain the price difference:


So it just contains the two stories for volume 1 that made it into the anime adaptation.

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Ah, good to know! I didn’t clearly read the summary part.

I have that one! I’m in!

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Amazon.jp doesn’t let me purchase Kindle resources. I think it doesn’t like me being outside of Japan. Is anyone familiar with this and have suggestions for a work around? Thanks.

There is a post that explains all the details of buying from Amazon.jp:


Just be aware that you need to switch your Kindle contents between your Amazon.jp collection and your “normal” collection afaik; they can’t both be present on the same device at the same time.


I removed mention of Dragon Ball SD as a spin-off club in the main post. We started out at ~6 pages a week, but participation dropped to the point where only 4 people were reading, all of whom preferred a faster pace. We’re currently reading volume 2 at 18-20 pages a week. I don’t think it’s suitable for absolute beginners anymore because of that.


Hi everyone! I’ve been contemplating joining a book club for some time and finally decided that I’m ready to do so :slightly_smiling_face:

I’ve read the information pinned in the top thread post, and I think I understand how everything works, but here’s my question: what would be a good time to join? Should I wait until the club starts a new book? I’m in absolutely no rush and have enough Japanese content to keep me busy, so I can wait, even for a few months. Should I?

How long is this 10 minutes biography book everyone’s currently reading? Are you halfway through, or close to the finish? How difficult, and how interesting it is compared to the other books you’ve read?

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The current book is scheduled to be finished on April 24th, so still a couple of months left to go (about 4 chapters left).

This is my first time joining a book club, so I can’t speak to what other books have been like in comparison. So far it has been a lot of fun to follow along though!


You can join whenever you like! This is especially the case with the current selection because each chapter is self-contained (disclaimer: I’m not reading the currently the book, so I’m 99% sure this is the case, but I could be wrong)- so I would just do the reading for this week and dive straight into the chat. It’s a lot of fun to read at the same time as other people, so I’d take advantage of the fact that it’s happening right now and just go for it.

From my understanding, each chapter is a biography of a famous person - whether that sounds appealing, is up to you :slight_smile:

For the chapters already read, look at them at your pace: you can always go back to the threads and read over other people’s questions/answers. You can even post in them now - plenty of people will still be watching the thread and will be happy to help.


Yes, this is the case. Each chapter is a mini biography of a different person and you don’t need to have read previous chapters. The benefit of reading previous chapters is that similar grammar/phrasing is used so it can make reading later chapters easier/fast/more familiar, but it’s in no way necessary.


Doggy Detectives just started a new case and those can be read independently too. Also, doggies! :dog:


Finally guys! This is a very accessible manga, mainly compared to しろくまカフェ and よつばと: からかい上手の高木さん is easier in my opinion. If you’ve watched the anime, then you’ll enjoy the manga even more because now you can actually pause and squeeze with a big smile to 高木さん’s teasing :heart_eyes:.

impossibru, everyone needs to embrace 高木さん’s cuteness



The current book finishes on April 24th which means we will be looking to start the next book on the 1st May.

This means it is a good time to finalise nominations and carry out a poll to choose the next book!

Can I suggest we have a week to get in any other nominations and I’ll aim to launch the poll next weekend (6th March).

Current nominations are:

Book Title Description
日本昔ばなしアニメ絵本 Japanese Fairy Tales
福娘童話集 Lucky Princess Fairy Tale Collection
こぐまのクーク物語 春と夏 Kuuku the Bear Cub’s Story, Spring and Summer
日本の昔ばなし Japanese Folk Takes Collection Vol 1 (Issun-boshi and other stories)


Manga Title Description
あたしンち My Family
Wanted Short stories from the creator of One Piece
からかい上手の高木さん Teasing Master Takagi-san