Absolute Beginners Book Club // Now reading: The Wolf of the Small Forest

Made the edits and thank you for the nomination! Please let me know if you would like any additional information added. Thank you for making the Difficulty Poll very easy to add, still figuring out how all the features work.

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Thanks @Micki !! I didn’t have the time to do it myself :slight_smile:

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Hi all I’ll put up a poll this week. There’s not many difficulty rating for some of the newer nominations if people have time to look at them in the next couple of days.

There is an argument for how useful the ratings are in this book club, we can perhaps have that discussion after the next poll!

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Hiiiii! Is it fine if I propose another reading for the ABBC? Dunno if it’s too late :blush:

Yes, there’s a nomination template in the opening post you can use.

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Soredemo Ayumu wa Yosetekuru :chess_pawn:


Ayumu is in love with his senpai Yaotome, but he’s sworn not to confess his feelings until he can beat her at the board game shogi… The problem is, his love is obvious to Yaotome, and she can’t stop trying to trick him into breaking his vow!


Amazon JP

Personal Opinion

Since I’m enjoying a lot Teasing Master Takagi-san and I want to read more of something like it, this manga is one of those I have selected and put in my TBR in the last few months. The story’s pretty simple and the graphic quite good, but I think grammar and vocabulary may be a bit more difficult than Takagi’s!

Pros and Cons for the Book Club


  • If you liked Teasing Master Takagi-san, you’ll like this one too!
  • Simple dialogues.
  • Personally, I love the drawing style too.
  • Chapters are stand-alone.


  • If you don’t like this kind of genre, this may not be the best pick!
  • Dialogues are pretty easy, but grammar - and some vocabulary - may be tricky for N5/N4.


First Three Pages of Chapter One

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Just right
  • Challenging
  • Impossible, even with everyone’s help
  • I don’t know (please click this if you’re not voting seriously)

0 voters

  • Chapters are stand-alone.

If I remember correctly, all chapters in volume one are stand-alone. If it were picked, then if someone fell behind during the club, they could simply skip ahead to the current chapter being read (much like with Teasing-Master Takagi-san).


Good point! I’ve added to the pro part :blush:

Hi. I’m a bit late to the party but I wanted to thank the organisers of the absolute beginners book club as well as those who help others learn (e.g. by explaining things, creating cool Google docs, etc.). What a lovely idea this is! I just ordered my copy of Teasing Master Takagi-san from Amazon.jp. It should arrive in a couple of weeks. Really looking forward to having my first experience reading native content!


Vote For The Next Book!

It’s time to decide which book the Absolute Beginner Book Club will read next!

If you are interested in reading along, please look at the nominated books and cast your votes. Each link below will take you to the nomination page for that book, which gives an overview of the book, and shows some sample pages.

We would be planning to start reading this book around the 10th July. If the first choice is a shorter book/manga then we will read the book in second place immediately after.

Guidance on book difficulty:

The number next to the books is a guidance on book difficulty, as rated by forum users. A score of 3 means the difficulty was judged to be “just right”. A higher score means it has been judged more challenging. The maximum score is 5.

This is only a very rough judgement of difficulty. Do look at the sample pages for yourself in the original nomination posts.

The Choices


Book Title Description
日本昔ばなしアニメ絵本 Japanese Fairy Tales - Set of 18
福娘童話集 Lucky Princess Fairy Tale Collection (Website)
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 (Issun-boshi & other stories)
もしかしたら名探偵 Detective Milky Sugiyama
ミラーさん Mr Miller
都道府県のおはなし 低学年 Stories of the Japanese Prefectures (Lower grade reader)


Manga Title Description
あたしンち My Family/Atashin’chi
Wanted Short stories from the creator of One Piece
こばと Kobato
大海原と大海原 Wadonohara and the Great Blue Sea
それでも歩は寄せてくる When will Ayumu Make his Move?

Vote Now! Which book would you like the Absolute Beginner Book Club to read next?

You can vote for up to three choices. I will keep the poll open for a few days.

  • Japanese Fairy Tales Set of 18 [2.8]

  • Lucky Princess Fairy Tales Website [3.3]

  • Kuuku the Bear Cub’s Story [2.9]

  • Japanese Folk Tales Collection (Issun-boshi & other stories) [2.6]

  • Detective Milky Sugiyama [2.3]

  • Mr Miller [2.5]

  • Stories of the Japanese Prefectures [3.0]

  • My Family/Atashin’chi [3.1]

  • Wanted [3.4]

  • Kobato [3.4]

  • Wadanohara and the Great Blue Sea [2.8]

  • When Will Ayumu Make His Move [2.5]

0 voters


Wadanohara made a move but Ayumu is fighting back! Let’s give this another 24 hours and then I’ll close the poll tomorrow (UK) evening.


By the way, それでも歩は寄せてくる is effectively 109 pages long (in case that matters if it comes in first).


And with that the poll is closed! Thanks everyone for voting. We will read When Will Ayumu Make His Move, followed by Wadanohara and the Great Blue Sea.

Any volunteers to run each book? @anon45600167 do you want to run Ayumu? @bearytoast do you want to run Wadanohara?


I would be happy to run the Wadanohara book club!


Yes, sure, I’ll gladly do it ^ ^ It’ll be my first time running a book club here, but from other clubs experience, after one week of break from the current read, we should start the next right?

So it will be around July 10th. I’ll break down the manga asap (o^^o)


Thats great, thank you both!

That’s right we’d aim for 10th July start which gives a month for people to get hold of physical copies who want them.

First job is to set up a home thread for the book, to start promoting the club and gathering a group together. You can use someone else’s home thread as a template. Once we have a thread we can ask people if 10th July is late enough or if people would prefer an extra week to get hold of the book.

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For the Wadanohara thread would I set it up once I have the schedule for Ayumu, or do people usually set them up once the preceding book club starts?

Might as well. We have home threads for the next two picks of the Beginners Club right now and that’s working fine :slight_smile:


Did someone say shogi? I could not make the current book club, but this is probably a better timing since I have now also started Genki (though still sporadically). Hope life permits it and that I can join!

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Sounds good! I’ll plan on making it once I know when the club will be starting :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: