Advanced Japanese Book Club // Now reading: 海辺のカフカ・Next: 狼と香辛料

Maybe it changed from earlier but its there if you click the title of the book in the main post now. Or here


Just an FYI for anyone who was interested in Naphthalene’s nomination for くま クマ 熊 ベアー and also reads on a Kindle. The first volume is currently on “sale” with 50% back in points on Amazon.

Sometimes the other bookstores have mirrored sales, so I checked the Bookwalker link, but it doesn’t look like it has extra points back there. :cry:


Yep, Bookwalker still charges a whooping 1100 yen for this one.

BUT there is a free trial which contains the first 57 pages (the full book has 291 pages as per Bookwalker): (and it doesn’t look like there’s an expiry date to this one but I might be wrong).

Also, there is currently a 50% sale (i.e. real price reduction, not cashback) going on that features some older books, including

(note: this book is available for free at Aozora but if you prefer to read in the bookwalker app then this might be your deal :slight_smile:)


Nice! This must be a new sale. I didn’t notice it when I was doing my daily Amazon wishlist stalking yesterday. :laughing:

Amazon has two nominations from here on sale for 50% off: 檸檬 (¥220), which you mentioned for Bookwalker, and 雪国 (¥197).

雪国 is also on sale at Bookwalker, but it is a different version of than the one linked in the nomination post.


Also, it’s that time of the year again! We will vote on the next book in about a week, so it’s time to top off the nominations list!

We already have 16, though, so I don’t know if that’s that useful, but why not :thinking:



Author : 西尾 維新
Illustrations: VOFAN






There’s a girl at their school who is always ill. She routinely arrives late, leaves early, or doesn’t show up at all, and skips gym as a matter of course. She’s pretty, and the boys take to whispering that she’s a cloistered princess. As the self-described worst loser in her class soon finds out, they just don’t know what a monster she is.

So begins a tale of mysterious maladies that are supernatural in origin yet deeply revealing of the human psyche, a set of case files as given to unexpected feeling as it is to irreverent humor. So begins the legendary novel that kicked off the MONOGATARI series, whose anime adaptations have enjoyed international popularity and critical acclaim.

Length : 436 (physical book)
Category : easier reading, faster pace


Amazon JP
Ebook Japan

Personal Opinion

This the first book (in release order) of the Monogatari series by Nisio Isin. Nisio Isin is a well acclaimed young adult fiction writer with a unique style. Monogatari series is his best know work adapted into a popular anime franchise.

I heard it from different sources that his novels are quite challenging because of Nisio Isin’s innovative use of language. He likes wordplay, ambiguous phrases, and puns. He also likes to let the characters speak for themselves making the novel quite diague heavy. And the characters are the main appeal of the story. They are well-written and quite appealing.

Personally, I got really interested in learning Japanese after watching the Bakemonogatari anime adaptation. The anime would often display novel excerpts and show kanji of the words the characters are discussing (yes, charactes were often discussing how something is spelled and what if it was spelled with a different kanji).

I think it Bakemonogatari is a good fit fo the book club because it is a good practice for advanced readers and also simply an influential piece of contemporary fiction.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club


  • interesting use of language makes for a fun read
  • abundunt puns and wordplay
  • appealing characters
  • culturally significant work


  • a long series with works not written in chronolgical order
  • target audience is otaku


First Three Pages of Chapter One

Additional Pages

Difficulty Poll

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

0 voters


I went and nominated it! :smiley:


The pictures are very hard to read for me… :see_no_evil:
maybe put screenshots of the ebook preview?
there’s also the fact it’s super late and my eyes refuse to focus, but still.

@Naphthalene Looks like no new nominations are coming in. Should we just vote for the next book?

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Right, I guess so too. I was hoping that something else would pop up, especially since we do have an active readership, but I guess not. (Or maybe I should have been a bit more spamy with reminders).
I’ll do that in the evening JP time.


Here’s the poll for the next book. As usual, you may choose up to five books.

See the original post for book descriptions.

  • 86―エイティシックス―
  • アウト (OUT) (上)
  • くま クマ 熊 ベアー
  • クォンタムデビルサーガ アバタールチューナーⅠ
  • 狼と香辛料
  • マスカレード・ホテル
  • 容疑者Xの献身
  • 風の谷のナウシカ
  • 海辺のカフカ(上)
  • 騎士団長殺し 第1部
  • すべてがFになる
  • 薮の中・将軍 (角川文庫)
  • 檸檬 (角川文庫)
  • 雪国
  • 風立ちぬ
  • 午後の曳航
  • 化物語(上)

0 voters

Kinda unrelated, but I wonder if @Azmo is still around :thinking:


I want to vote, but I know I won’t be able to keep up with any books we pick, thanks to work. :frowning: I started reading 本好き, and then August became a black hole which I have yet to fully escape. (…October, maybe? I can only hope…) Everyone needs to pick and read good literature for me. >.<


Probably won’t participate in the next club (how many times have I said that?) but I just have to say real quick – I started reading 狼と香辛料 about a month ago and I’m on track to finish it by Saturday, and there were parts that simply made me want to die. On top of all the economics vocab, the whole thought process behind a lot of the conversations was really difficult to follow. They’ll suddenly break from a high-stakes situation to do some theorizing about the best way to turn a profit given all the current political powers at play.

The difficulty comes in spikes so it may not be evident by just looking at the first few pages. Even though there’s nothing too crazy in terms of grammar here, I personally wouldn’t put it in the easy category. Granted, I was going at a much higher pace than what we’ve been doing with 本好きの下剋上 (10 pages per day), and going slower certainly would have helped. Just something to keep in mind when voting.


I had a similar experience for the first two chapters before I stopped reading. There were some easy parts and then I would just get lost for a while. I found it too tedious to keep reading, which is why I didn’t finish it. I was also trying to read at a faster page than 本好き though.

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It’s at times like this that I wish I was a bit less stubborn and could allow myself to just drop a book…I’m more or less grinding through the tough sections to get to the character moments (which are very fun). Theoretically it all goes towards improving my reading ability so it’s not a complete waste…


Yes, but it’s also good to be as efficient as possible. For example, I’m finding 本好き to be the perfect difficulty for me. It’s easy enough to read leisurely and enjoy almost every chapter, but it still has enough unknown words that I’m learning a lot.


That’s pretty much why I didn’t even make it past the first episode of the anime - it’s basically a textbook on economic theory disguised as a mediaeval fantasy story.


As a person with a degree in economics I thought the anime was very thrilling :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
It also ended on a cliffhanger, so I had to learn Japanese to read the novel series.


It took me a second to realize that it was supposed to be a negative.
That sounds fun!


Yeah, I liked the economics aspect of the anime!