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

Alright, nothing happened to the poll in more than a day (and we reached the same number of participants as last time), so I’m declaring the voting to be over.

Luckily the tie got reduced to two entries: 本陣殺人事件 and 薬屋ひとりごと. :tada:

Also, this time around all books scored enough interest to stay in the proposals list, and the endangered books get reset :blush:

Now, what to do about the two winners? Both books are in the 400-page range, so at first sight there is no way to read one of them as a short entry (i.e. in less than 8 weeks) to have the other one follow up immediately.
So the standard way of resolving this tie would be a tie-breaker voting.

BUT :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

本陣殺人事件 (i.e. the book I linked on Amazon and Bookwalker) actually consists of 3 stories. The first one (本陣殺人事件) is a bit less than 200 pages, the other two are ~75 and ~130 pages, guessing from the ebook.
So we could say that we’ll just read the first story of the book, which would qualify as a short entry if we go at about 30 pages/week or a bit less (given some people cautioned about potentially difficult vocabulary in later parts) and immediately read 薬屋ひとりごと afterwards.
This way we could check out the 本陣 author’s writing style and maybe decide later to read the other two stories as a spin-off, or put them back into the next poll, or drop the book for good, or something else :wink:

What do you all think?

  • I want to read one book in its entirety - bring on the tie breaker poll!
  • I’d like to read just the 本陣 signature story + the full 薬屋
  • I’m fine with either option
  • I have another idea (please explain)

0 voters

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I would like to request multiple choice. :eyes:

For clarity, I went with the split option now, but I’d be fine with a tie breaker or just reading both books in full as well.

I don’t have a strong opinion on this.

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Hm, ah, I thought I had them all covered :grin: But you’re right, you can’t select “I have another idea” and also one of the other options. My bad!

For reading both books in full: I was trying to find a solution that stays within the given ruleset first :sweat_smile: Because both books together would probably take around 6 months or a little bit more, which is… a very long time :thinking:
Therefore it’s not my favourite option tbh (for the sake of the book club). But if any of you feel strongly in favor of it, then please comment here, and we can see about it.

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I mean, I’m not very interested in reading the detective story, so me voting for the second option in the poll just to secure that the book I’m interested in will be read next… Yeah, I’m not gonna do that.

I have other book clubs to catch up on too, so I’m fine with whatever the outcome will be :slight_smile:

Edit: Unless, you know, I completely misunderstood what a “tie breaker” means :joy:

“Tie breaker” = another poll with only those two books as options, and one vote per person.

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But will we read both or will we go back to the usual poll with all the books after reading the book that won the tie breaker?

I presume the loser… uh, the runner-up of the tie breaker will go back into the bucket for the next regular vote.

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Thanks for explaining @Belthazar - that’s exactly what I had in mind. Sorry @Redglare for not explaining properly from the start!

So if you’re only interested in one of the books, the tie-breaker poll will give you all-or-nothing, while the split option will definitely give you your preferred choice, together with a bit of waiting time (while the other choice is being read).
If that information changes your opinion, please feel free to adapt the poll ofc :blush:

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Cool! Thanks for confirming.

I was just feeling weird about being able to decide how a book is going to be read, while having no intentions of reading said book. All in order to secure my preferred choice. I don’t feel comfortable doing that, so I’m not going to change my vote :caught_durtling:

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I read the whole of that edition of 本陣殺人事件, and personally I would say it would be best to treat the titular story as it’s own thing.

That’s nothing against the other stories (I liked 車井戸はなぜ軋る quite a bit), but they definitely aren’t the star of the show, and they felt more like padding to fill out an edition than a super intentional collection. I wouldn’t have expected all editions to have the same back-up stories (although I looked around a little and didn’t find one with different ones so maybe I’m wrong about that).

One aspect that makes me say that is I remember, I’m pretty sure, both stories referencing the events in 獄門島. Not in a spoiler-y way, thankfully, but it was a little annoying to hear about a story I hadn’t read in a back-up to a story I was reading because it was first in a series. Having read 獄門島 now, it’s definitely 2nd chronology (and I believe writing) -wise, so that reinforces 車井戸はなぜ軋る and 黒猫亭事件 as being relatively unimportant back-ups: 本陣殺人事件 and 獄門島 are the critical first two cases that establish Kindaichi’s fame, 車井戸はなぜ軋る and 黒猫亭事件 are just some cases that happened at some point after that.

And I mean, detective stories don’t really need to be super strictly ordered, and the stories themselves are still fun, but combined with the difficulty being maybe harder than the poll score lets on, I think it’s a good reason to just do the main story and leave the other ones in the collection as exercises for the reader outside of the main schedule.

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Thank you for your assessment! That sounds pretty plausible from a marketing perspective as well (why put two famous stories into one book when splitting them up can double the selling numbers).
I think I‘ll leave the poll open for a bit longer to see what the others think.

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That, plus 獄門島 is a full-on 350 pages without any back-ups, so Yokomizo didn’t make it easy for them to figure out a grouping in the first place :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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I’ve changed my vote to “bring on the tie breaker poll!” but that doesn’t mean I necessarily want to read 本陣 in its entirety. Now I feel like even “just” 200 pages at a medium pace + a normal book is quite a lot. I think I’d rather pick one book and have a new poll afterwards. The other book might get picked then, or it might not, because we may have a new awesome proposal or the group might be feeling differently at that time :slight_smile:

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But now it looks like we have a tie for the poll to decide whether to have a tie breaking poll…

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I‘ve taken the liberty to hold back my vote, in order to be able to resolve those issues just in case :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

But I‘m fully expecting some more people to vote…

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I changed to “I’m fine with either option” as I wouldn’t actually be (re)reading 本陣. The only thing I feel mildly strongly about is the thing about treating it as the story rather than the collection.

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I’m mostly interested in the titular story and have no interest in 薬屋ひとりごと so I don’t really know what to vote for :grimacing:

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I changed my vote too, to 本陣 story plus 薬屋. :grin:

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The poll has become very quiet, and so I decided to take this as the final result! Which means, we will first read 本陣 (the titular story), followed by 薬屋のひとりごと :tada:

I hope that those who voted for a different opinion still enjoy the reading - or the break, if they decide to skip one of the books.

I will set up the home thread for 本陣 together with a schedule proposal next week or so.
@Naphthalene Are you ready to run the 薬屋のひとりごと club after that? It will probably start end of February / early March depending on the 本陣 schedule.

Looking forward to seeing you all in the reading clubs :blush:

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Oh and by the way, 本陣殺人事件 is currently discounted (as in “pay less”, not as cashback) on Bookwalker (and maybe elsewhere as well?) until Dec 2nd!

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