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

Oh, I’ve been gone a little while. It’s good to see an advanced book club finally off the ground. I’ll try to join in too! :smile: Do you guys know how long physical books are taking to ship from Japan to the US nowadays? I’ll give the e-book a try if shipping will take too long.

*Edit: Amazon says it’ll take 1-2 weeks, so I should be good.

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I would be up for a read aloud session, at least to try! … Though I have found that my time zone often means I don’t match up with enough people.

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I said that jokingly, mostly because we had this exchange:

So I kinda assumed you would not be interested. If you want to take care of that book club, though, I think we can just request the mods to transfer ownership of the book home thread to you, or I can just make the OP a wiki so you can edit it, and you can take it from here.

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Well, it’s fine for others in the U.S. and in Europe. Just not Australia/Japan. This just means you have to be the one to plan it so it fits around your time zone. :slight_smile:


Should we start moving all this conversation to the book’s home thread?

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I’m in third place, though. That cannot stand, obviously.
Just to be clear, I am joking

Nice! The more the merrier! (I am honestly a bit worried about participation, considering what we get in the intermediate book club… but maybe everyone left at the end of a usual run would belong here as well? There’s only one way to find out).

I guess we’ll need to have one of those polls…

Oh! That would make sense, yes.

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Oh no, I am very grateful that I don’t have any actual responsibilities! My comment wasn’t serious, I was just playing along

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Yeah, I’m hoping that the participation is high enough. I’ve been just reading by myself because the intermediate club is too slow pace for me, so I’d like to see this reading club stick around.

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Did this actually start yesterday? Was just considering this series and was poking around to see if anybody had read it.

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Yep, just started yesterday! So far it’s pretty easy too!

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I’m starting today! I have a week off from today, so I can crack on with it.

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Also I can’t find the reading schedule… Can someone add it to the main post? :slight_smile:

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

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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:

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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): https://bookwalker.jp/dec5e13d9b-5c28-4031-af43-1008cbbe71dd/ (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

here: https://bookwalker.jp/dee4e8a343-1f92-4c2b-b5b9-47bacb3d1c3d/
(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:)

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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.

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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:

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化物語(上)

Author : 西尾 維新
Illustrations: VOFAN

Summary

Japanese

阿良々木暦を目がけて空から降ってきた女の子・戦場ヶ原ひたぎには、およそ体重と呼べるようなものが、全くと言っていいほど、なかった――!?

image

English

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

Availability

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

Pros

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

Cons

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

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

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I went and nominated it! :smiley:

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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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