Absolute Beginners Book Club // Now reading: Horimiya

We did try a grammar sheet in Big Brother Rental using Bunpro links. This is what it looked like:


level 12 user here. Been wanting to join the ABBC for a bit and am excited to finally give it a shot.


Ran through the first page of HxH to test drive the grammar sheet, couple of things where immediately obvious

I don’t know a good way to show grammar points that aren’t of the form “〜 X”. Case in point, adjectival clauses. Should it be like “Clause + Noun” or “Sentence + Noun”? What would be a beginner friendly way of explaining it so that if someone never ever met this pattern before, they can go “ah, that’s it”? Besides, I don’t have a good article about adjectival clauses, I don’t think (and I’m not sure if bunpro has it as a grammar point), so any link is welcome.

Bunpro won’t be the end all be all of the ref links. Some links are split on bunpro in a way that imo shouldn’t be included on the grammar sheet, like past tense is split into u and ru verbs.


“Clause + noun”

Meaning: a clause which behaves as an adjective for the noun it precedes.

Japanese With Anime has a decent article.

At least, that’s how I would put it in.


I think I would provide the exact sentence (or at least the relevant bit) as well because not everybody might be fluent enough in grammatical terms to match “Clause + Noun” to the given sentence in the book. If that’s not too lengthy?


„Now, that might sound a bit complicated and grammatical if the only clause you know is Santa“

Omg this is delicious :joy:
I might have to look into this site a little bit more, thanks for bringing it up! ^^

Real-life example of a Japanese child learning grammar.



That’s my issue exactly, especially if you’re not a native English speaker.


Yeah, sorry, to be clear, I do think putting in at least some of the sentence would be good. By “Clause + noun,” I was just using those as placeholders because I didn’t have an example sentence on hand.

Borrowing しゃべる猫 from the link, maybe “Clause + 猫” or something to that effect if the sentence is too long (that way, they can see the noun which is being modified and presumably be able to put together that the clause is the preceding sentence fragment. Otherwise, if you think it fits fine, しゃべる + 猫 would work fine, type of thing. The issue is that relative clauses can get quite lengthy.


Alright, let’s try that, it will probably improve as we go along with the book club


The Beginner book club is currently polling on what to read next. If you want to challenge yourself, have a look at the nominees!


Hey, I’m enjoying going through the first pages of Hunter x Hunter so far, and the grammar spreadsheet is probably the paramount help to the process. That being said, even from briefly going through the rest of the chapter by myself, the book seems to be pretty intense of an Absolute Beginners group? I know that the term Absolute Beginners isn’t to be taken literally, but given that the book has a Natively ranking of 30, which the site corresponds to an N2 ranking, doesn’t this seem a bit too difficult for the group?


It’s odd hunter x hunter being in beginner book club

learnnatively classifies it as N2 level. I am finishing N2 in bunpro but even then I wouldn’t touch it so soon.


I proposed it, because looking through it, there was (or at least seemed to be) less text on average, than in previous abbc picks. That, and because it’s a manga, with mostly spoken-like text, there aren’t many grammar points, that come up.
The natively score iirc is just the one that was either given by the site admins, or that was recommended when someone requested it, not sure which happened. Putting a jlpt level to a book is difficult, because grammar points tend to be equally used from all levels, but from personal reading experience, it’s definitely way easier to read and digest than a beginner level read.
It’s quite likely a bit harder than the average, but I don’t think it reaches beginner levels.
But yeah, the grammar sheet was my idea to make it a bit easier on those making this their first read.


Adding to this, the Natively score is based in part on the initial score it started out with, and on ratings current from roughly four users. The more people who read the manga and compare it with other manga, the better Natively’s score will be. Maybe it should be lower or maybe it should be higher. Maybe it’s fairly accurate where it is. I encourage anyone who’s interested in helping improve Natively’s scores to sign up, add what they’ve read and are reading, and grade comparisons as best they can. (I imagine the series will get more gradings on Natively once the book club is over.)

As for book club nominations in general, there will always be deficiencies in what gets nominated and what gets voted on, so the hope is that the power of the community will help readers keep going.


Btw, I did somewhat check this, the polls in each thread are a great way to measure drop off, and it seems to be about the same as the previous club. Activity in the threads is also quite similar, maybe a bit less, because there’s just less to talk about.

Overall I’m actually quite satisfied with how the club is turning out sofar. Engagement is alright, the vocab sheet is getting filled in, and I had multiple people say good things about the grammar sheet (even if filling out is a major pain in my backside)


I imagine drop-off can be discouraging, but as you probably noticed it’s something that just happens. Many people are likely excited to read their first manga without realizing the time and learning involved.

Populating grammar sheet for pages one to three: “This isn’t so bad.”

Grammar sheet continued through page ten: “Phew, made it. That took a while.”

Grammar sheet continued through the end of chapter one: “I never want to do this ever again.”

Week two: “Will anyone notice if I quietly sweep the grammar sheet under the carpet and never mention it again?”

(Based on my own experience.)


That’s a very robust approach. Thank you for the clarification, and thank you even moreso for setting all of this up! I’m not sure how quickly (if at all) I’ll get caught up with the book tbh, as you can see I’m only at lvl 8 on WK and my grammar knowledge is definitely going to be at the N5 level for some time, but I’ll nonetheless do what I can. At the very least, it’ll be useful to me down the line, alongside the Prefectures and Happiness books from the previous group read-alongs which I ultimately became too intimidated to participate in. Thanks!


Happiness is actually one of the easier ones. If you want one to read, that’s a very good starting point. Just do remind yourself, that reading is always hard and starting as early as you can is the best idea


Regarding Cells at work, should the start date be the 26th of November (3 weeks from now, with 1 week inbetween that and hxh) or the 3rd of December (to give a full 4 weeks before the start)?