Advanced Japanese Book Club // Now reading: 海辺のカフカ

it has a fancy ‘a’ in the title which automatically raises the difficulty level.

14 Likes

If it was passed by as too difficult in the intermediate club, it’s welcome here. Manga are as welcome as anybody? Do we do manga in book club around here? I’d be fine with it getting nominated.

2 Likes

It uses obscure vocabulary and kanji that required the author to add dictionary definitions in the margin. There’s also a lot of old Japanese (or at least the way modern people think old Japanese to sound like I guess). Expect some 朕 and some 汝.
Also dialects.

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Have you read 父の暦? I had trouble with the dialect in that sweat_smile

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Nope, I haven’t. I just read the preview, but there was no dialect yet. I expect that some would show up soon after, considering he is in 鳥取.

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本好きの下剋上

Summary

Japanese

ある日、地震による事故で死んでしまった本好きの女子大生・麗乃が、異世界の幼女・マインとして目覚める。

本を読みたい…
しかしこの世界には本が無かった!
(あるけど高価すぎて手に入らない。)
貧しい家の娘であるマインは、どうしても手に入れたい本のために決意!

「本がなければ、自分で作ればいい。」

本を作るには紙作りから、紙を作るには道具作りから、素材集めから…

病弱・虚弱で無理をするとすぐに倒れてしまう体で、目標のために邁進するマインの姿が本作の魅力。
そして徐々に彼女の行動が周囲の人たちに影響を与え、スケール感を増しながら展開される物語には引き込まれることうけあいです!

English

The story follows Motosu Urano, a book-loving post-secondary student and soon-to-be librarian who ends up crushed to death beneath a pile of books during an earthquake. With her dying breath, she wishes to be reincarnated in a world where she can read books forever. Urano awakens in the body of a weak, five-year-old girl named Myne in a world where books are scarce and only available to elites. Myne, retaining her memories from her previous life, decides to create and print her own books so that she can read again.

Availability

Amazon
Bookwalker Booklive

Personal Opinion

I do not know anything about this series, but the premise sounded interesting. Plus, it seems to be very popular in Japan, so that sounds like a good pick? Finally, @Kumirei wants to read it.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • The e-book was free for a while, so many of us probably grabbed it already.
  • Easy to read (according o reviews from native speakers) but long (according to the page numbers); sounds like the perfect opportunity to do a test run for the reading speed of the club.

Cons

  • Yet another isekai?!

Pictures

First Three Pages of the Prologue


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

13 Likes

Also, before I forget again, @JenK @arlo or any other mod, could you turn the first post into a wiki? Thank you :green_heart:!

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What would an advanced book club be without its Murakami proposal?

海辺のカフカ (上) (Kafka on the Shore)

Author: 村上 春樹

Summary

Japanese

「君はこれから世界でいちばんタフな15歳の少年になる」――15歳の誕生日がやってきたとき、僕は家を出て遠くの知らない街に行き、小さな図書館の片隅で暮らすようになった。家を出るときに父の書斎から持ちだしたのは、現金だけじゃない。古いライター、折り畳み式のナイフ、ポケット・ライト、濃いスカイブルーのレヴォのサングラス。小さいころの姉と僕が二人並んでうつった写真……。
(from amazon.co.jp)

English from Amazon.com

Here we meet a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who is on the run, and Nakata, an aging simpleton who is drawn to Kafka for reasons that he cannot fathom. As their paths converge, acclaimed author Haruki Murakami enfolds readers in a world where cats talk, fish fall from the sky, and spirits slip out of their bodies to make love or commit murder, in what is a truly remarkable journey.
(from amazon.com)

English from M.C. Strecher in Publishers Weekly

Surely the most confusing of all Murakami novels, this one has three protagonists, each from a different generation. All suffer from some terrible trauma that has led them, Pandora-like, to open the “Gateway Stone” and enter the “other world.” Two return as half-persons; Kafka, the youngest of the three, confronts the metaphysical forest labyrinth determined to become “the world’s strongest fifteen year-old boy.” Its principal message seems to be that, if we cannot change our fate, at least we can turn it to our advantage.

Length: 496 pages (上)
Category: Easy+Fast

Availability

Amazon
I could not find an ebook on Bookwalker.

Personal Opinion

I’ve read 1Q84 (in German, though) and loved it, so I’m up for more from this author.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Famous and modern author
  • Author’s books are generally well-received

Cons

  • It’s Murakami, so one should expect a fair share of weird sex scenes and other craze. That might not be for everybody.
  • It’s only the first part (the second part is slightly longer with 528 pages), so we’re in for a long ride in case we plan to read both.

Pictures

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

7 Likes

Ooh, you did it! I was going to eventually. Thank you :pray:t2:

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騎士団長殺し 第1部

Author : 村上 春樹

This is the first two parts of a four part series. The book is quiet a bit easier at the start. So would be nice to ease into the writers style first. (Will add some additional pictures later).

The first two books are 507 pages long. If it seems a bit long, we could consider just doing the first book (the second link below)

Summary

Japanese

『1Q84』から7年――、
待ちかねた書き下ろし本格長編

その年の五月から翌年の初めにかけて、私は狭い谷間の入り口近くの、山の上に住んでいた。夏には谷の奥の方でひっきりなしに雨が降ったが、谷の外側はだいたい晴れていた……それは孤独で静謐な日々であるはずだった。騎士団長が顕れるまでは。

English

The epic new novel from the internationally acclaimed and best-selling author of 1Q84

In Killing Commendatore, a thirty-something portrait painter in Tokyo is abandoned by his wife and finds himself holed up in the mountain home of a famous artist, Tomohiko Amada. When he discovers a previously unseen painting in the attic, he unintentionally opens a circle of mysterious circumstances. To close it, he must complete a journey that involves a mysterious ringing bell, a two-foot-high physical manifestation of an Idea, a dapper businessman who lives across the valley, a precocious thirteen-year-old girl, a Nazi assassination attempt during World War II in Vienna, a pit in the woods behind the artist’s home, and an underworld haunted by Double Metaphors. A tour de force of love and loneliness, war and art—as well as a loving homage to The Great GatsbyKilling Commendatore is a stunning work of imagination from one of our greatest writers.

Availability

Personal Opinion

I started it a few months ago. Seemed good, but I had to many books on the go. However, I would like to read it. So I will nominate it for the book club.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Seemed interesting when I first picked it up. Good reviews. Other books from this author are good.

Cons

  • If it is like his other books, there many be some weirdness.

Pictures


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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

5 Likes

Is this more of a general question or a nomination? For the question, my personal opinion is the more the merrier :slight_smile:

For a nomination, could you please use the template that is linked in the OP, so that they all get the same layout and information? Thanks!

Also, I checked the amazon link and that seems to be a differently-cut book as there seem to be 4 books: 第一部 上、第一部 下、第二部 上、第二部 下 but they have different covers than yours. So yours seems to be the full 第一部, i.e. first two together? Also, how many parts are there, and is it already fully published or still an ongoing work? Would be great if you knew more about this and could add it to your proposal.

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Sorry, didn’t realise that there are quite a few versions (Edited the link)!
I’m not sure how to do the drop-down arrow or things like that.
Will try to figure it out. :slight_smile:

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Hey, ä is a perfectly normal letter and part of the alphabet!

å on the other hand…

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If you copy the template, it’s all there already (it’s the “details” stuff in square brackets). You can also create it yourself if you click on the cogwheel in the message editor and select “Hide details”.

(Annoyingly, if you copy the template, you need to remove the leading spaces for it to work :frowning: If anybody has an idea how to provide the template without this annoyance…)

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Wishing my Japanese was a bazillion times better so I could read these awesome books. One day… Looking forward to following along with the Advanced Book Club’s adventures.

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Success (possibly!)

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Looks good to me! :tada:

If you could add some information along these lines (at least if you could mention that there are more parts that follow this book), that would be appreciated!

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He sure likes 圏点! Maybe I just haven’t read enough, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen them used so frequently (granted those pages are a small sample of the whole book).

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No suggestion from me, just making an appearance to show interest in the new club :izakaya_lantern:

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So much activity! :smiley:

I like this one, I think it’s quite beautiful. :heart:

The summary sounds super interesting and I already added it to my long standing shopping cart on amazon of physical only books (:sob:), but the sample pages are very hard to read. It’d be great if you could share some pictures at larger scale. I looked but sadly there’s no sample pages on amazon either. :frowning:

5 Likes