that’s a bit scary
Advanced Japanese Book Club // Now reading: この本を盗む者は・Next: 四畳半神話大系 (The Tatami Galaxy)
I took a stab at a schedule yesterday, and my suggestion would be 13 weeks, with ~40 pages per week. This is of course subject to negotiations among the participants (which I would like to defer to the home thread).
Well it is the advanced book club for a reason! The intermediate book club averages closer to 15 pages per week, but then in this case they couldn’t even consider this book because it’s so long.
I was about to say that the Bookwalker link in this nomination post is broken, but seems like Bookwalker just stopped selling the book…?
On the bright side, it has a list of characters with pronunciation
11 weeks with one week per chapter makes a lot more sense!
While that seems an attractive option - are the chapters of roughly equal length? If so, how long are they?
The average is 44
The last week will be heavy (a little bit) but this is the advanced book club, people can probably handle it
Even if the last week is heavy, since it’s the last week and people won’t be falling behind on further reading even if they don’t finish on time, it doesn’t seem like it would be that big of a problem to me either.
When the poll is closed, I will post the home thread and some schedule suggestions.
Well, we have a winner. Next up is すべてがFになる!
Ah that’s OK, I don’t feel like I’m missing out because I already saw the anime adaptation
Although I wonder how that cringy English dialogue scene is presented in the original novel. I may be lurking in the discussion threads.
And here is the home thread for it:
If we apply the usual one-week-break between books, that means we will start reading it on April 10th.
Also, I cleaned up the nominations, and sadly I must say that アウト is out because of lack of interest in the past three polls. Which, on the other hand, gives us some more space for new nominations!
Oh man, I’ve missed so much––so sorry! Had to jump into a job search.
But look at y’all, eatin’ thru some books. Hell yeah.
Just a quick tip that the current book is currently on half coin back on Bookwalker if anyone not participating in the bookclub is interested.
Hey, I’d like to join this club starting with the next book (すべてがFになる). I’ve been reading Haruki Murakami’s ノルウェイの森 for a long time, but the end is currently in sight and I want to read more books. I need to raise my reading pace though. Hopefully this club will help me do that.
I’m also currently studying for the N1, so I hope this will help with that too.
After a bit of discussion here (book review by Myria), here (comments by Naphthalene) and here (more comments by Myria), I decided to move this book nomination from Intermediate to Advanced Book Club.
It is very short, so I guess if it wins, we would read it and also the second winner of that same poll.
乳と卵 - Breasts and Eggs
Breasts & Eggs paints a portrait of contemporary womanhood in Japan and recounts the intimate journeys of three women as they confront oppressive mores and their own uncertainties on the road to finding peace and futures they can truly call their own.
It tells the story of three women: the thirty-year-old Natsu, her older sister, Makiko, and Makiko’s daughter, Midoriko. Makiko has traveled to Tokyo in search of an affordable breast enhancement procedure. She is accompanied by Midoriko, who has recently grown silent, finding herself unable to voice the vague yet overwhelming pressures associated with growing up. Her silence proves a catalyst for each woman to confront her fears and frustrations.
On another hot summer’s day ten years later, Natsu, on a journey back to her native city, struggles with her own indeterminate identity as she confronts anxieties about growing old alone and childless.
(from this review of an English version)
I became aware of the author through this Japan Times article about the most important Japan-related books of the 2010’s, and it turns out that she is quite the celebrated author right now. Therefore I would love to read something written by her.
Pros and Cons for the Book Club
- The book won the Akutagawa Prize in 2008
- I like the subject of criticism towards society and its norms
- Very short (only 133 pages), so it’s a quick read (maybe 4 weeks or a bit longer?)
- There are at least 2 English translations available, called “Breasts and Eggs” (one of which interestingly translates Osaka-ben to Manchester dialect).
- Kawakami’s writing often employs Osaka-ben
- She also incorporates experimental and poetic language into her short stories and novels, citing Lydia Davis and James Joyce as literary influences
- (I actually don’t think these are con’s, it might just make the book harder to read, so I listed them here.)
How much effort would you need to read this book?
- No effort at all
- Minimal effort
- Moderate effort
- Significant effort
- So much effort my head might explode
- I don’t know
I hope the excerpts @Myria posted in the akutagawa thread and my fuzzy memory from when I read the sample pages when you nominated it before fused into an accurate assessment.
It feels weird to be one the same effort vote as @Naphthalene somehow.
Time flies, and we’re already almost halfway through our current pick
That means that the next poll is already around the corner, and if you want to throw your favorite book(s) into the ring, now would be a very good time for that
We currently have 11 nominations in the “fast” category and 5 entries in the “hard” category - this does not leave much space but we can take on 4 new nominations!
Looking forward to your books of choice
On to the next round!
Have a look at the List of Proposed Books section in the first post for details on each book. Every book has a difficulty associated with it (based on the book club members’ votes, thus subjective) out of 5, where 1 means “no effort at all” and 5 means “impossible, even with everyone’s help”. The difficulty is annotated in the poll in square brackets after the book’s name.
Do not rely solely on difficulty when making a choice. Please have a look at the nomination posts and text samples if you haven’t already.
Expected reading pace: The proposals fall into two categories, Fast and Hard. We aim to read fast books at 30-50 pages and hard books at ~15 pages per week (that number might vary a bit throughout, depending on the book’s breaks and chapters). For manga, depending on difficulty and chapter length, we will probably read one to several chapters per week. The pick’s exact reading schedule will be negotiated before the book club kicks off.
Start of Book Club: We will start the next book on July 3rd (after a one-week break).
Poll duration: The poll will be closed within a week (and most likely before that), whenever it looks like voting has dried up. You can choose up to 5 options.
- Fast: 86―エイティシックス― [2.67]
- Fast: クォンタムデビルサーガ アバタールチューナーⅠ [3.29]
- Fast: 狼と香辛料 [2.67]
- Fast: マスカレード・ホテル [1.89]
- Fast: 風の谷のナウシカ [3.13]
- Fast: 海辺のカフカ (上) [2.31]
- Fast: 騎士団長殺し 第１部 [2.33]
- Fast: 化物語(上) [2.8]
- Fast: 虐殺器官 - Genocidal Organ 
- Fast/Hard: 薬屋のひとりごと [3.5]
- Fast: 乳と卵 - Breasts and Eggs 
- Hard: 薮の中・将軍 [3.6]
- Hard: 檸檬 [3.6]
- Hard: 風立ちぬ 
- Hard: 午後の曳航 
- Hard: 人間失格 [3.14]