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

how fast is fast? if しべてがFになる wins I might give it ago since I already have it…

This book club usually targets 30-45 pages per week for the “fast” books.

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I was really hoping one of the books I wasn’t interested in would win. If I can’t keep up with the current book I don’t think I can keep up with this one either :see_no_evil:
I should stay in my own lane and stop trying to play with the advanced kids because I’m really not one of them :stuck_out_tongue:

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that’s a bit scary :cold_sweat:

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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).

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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.

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I was about to say that the Bookwalker link in this nomination post is broken, but seems like Bookwalker just stopped selling the book…?

image

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On the bright side, it has a list of characters with pronunciation

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11 weeks with one week per chapter makes a lot more sense!

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While that seems an attractive option - are the chapters of roughly equal length? If so, how long are they?

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1
4
44
93
135
181
225
266
309
352
386
444
468
469
Important pages

40
49
42
46
44
41
43
43
34
58
Lenghts
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

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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.

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:wink:

When the poll is closed, I will post the home thread and some schedule suggestions.

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Well, we have a winner. Next up is すべてがFになる!

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Ah that’s OK, I don’t feel like I’m missing out because I already saw the anime adaptation :laughing:

Although I wonder how that cringy English dialogue scene is presented in the original novel. I may be lurking in the discussion threads.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Summary

Japanese

娘の緑子を連れて大阪から上京してきた姉でホステスの巻子。巻子は豊胸手術を受けることに取りつかれている。緑子は言葉を発することを拒否し、ノートに言葉を書き連ねる。夏の三日間に展開される哀切なドラマは、身体と言葉の狂おしい交錯としての表現を極める。日本文学の風景を一夜にして変えてしまった傑作。

English

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)

Availability

amazon.co.jp
BookWalker

Personal Opinion

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

Pros

  • 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).

Cons

  • 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.)

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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