Beginner Japanese Book Club // Coming Soon: The Way of the Househusband

Thanks for the pointer! I took the liberty to update the title (if anybody would prefer a different text, please speak up! I did not include the next book on purpose as the titles are both really long…).

You need to be a Regular in order to be able to update thread titles.

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Is this part not editable by non-Regulars?

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Maybe I should ask someone who isn’t a Regular :laughing:

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It’s not :slight_smile:

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Nah, this is one of the Regular superpowers :woman_shrugging:

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Hey I just want to let everyone know that the Murata Book Club is starting our next pick next week. For those who aren’t aware, Sayaka Murata is the author of the immensely popular コンビニ人間 (Convenience Store Woman), which you’ve likely heard of here on the forums or elsewhere. Murata’s uniquely direct, no-frills style makes her an excellent author for learners who are starting to read novels or who are looking to transition from a BBC to IBC pace. I really hope to see some folks from the BBC come give it a go! And as always the people reading along are immensely helpful.

If you want to join but aren’t sure whether you could get your copy on time, feel free to vote in the start-date poll if you’d prefer to delay an extra week.

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Just a quick heads-up and reminder that we are starting our next pick on Saturday:

小川未明童話集・Ogawa Mimei: Collection of Children’s Stories

The book consists of a lot of short children’s stories (of which we will read a select handful). We’ll start off with a very short story (5 pages only) and slowly increase our stamina by moving to longer stories (up to ~10 pages per week). If you have never tried to read a non-manga book, maybe this is your chance! You can even try it out without any financial investment as all the stories are available for free on Aozora as well. I’m looking forward to seeing you in the club :slight_smile:

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Hey, guys. It’s been a long time since I’ve been active here. I’ll be joining you all in reading Ogawa Mimei’s stories starting tomorrow so I wanted to say “hi”. It’s my first book club so I’m a bit nervous whether I’ll be able to keep up. I’ll do my best though. I’m looking forward to reading together with you all!

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Is there a discord server for the book club?

The Discord server is only for book clubs that do weekly read aloud sessions. General book club discussion occurs here on the forums.

Mmm I’ve read your post but didn’t see in the list a mention of a Discord server for any of them.

Do you happen to know of a club that has a discord server for read aloud sessions?
or even a link?
:slight_smile:

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I didn’t include the link on there originally because WaniKani discouraged sharing links to outside platforms. They’ve relaxed that rule, so I probably should add a link to the master list at this point.

I don’t have a link on hand right now, but I’ll get one for you later if no one else does.

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No outside links rule is abit…
I would very much appreaciate it if you find a link and let me know :smiley: I think It might be better for me to get the pronounciation right while learning new words from books ( without going into Forvo every sec)

Yeah, I didn’t mean outside links in general, but rather outside chat platforms. There was an incident once related to private messages on these forums, so they disabled the private messaging feature. But they didn’t want people to just post all their Discord usernames and servers and simply shift the problem to another platform, so they discouraged that (to an extent) as well. But I think they realized they were being overly strict, which is why they’re more accepting of these outside discussions on Discord now.

Here’s an invite:

I don’t know what level you’re aiming for, but it seems like the current book clubs actively reading aloud include:

  • Re: Zero (advanced, light novel)
  • コーヒーが冷めないうちに (intermediate, novel)
  • ふらいんぐうぃっち (beginner, manga)
  • 暁のヨナ (beginner, manga)
  • ハイキュー (beginner, manga)

But keep in mind that all of the ongoing ones are in the middle of their respective series, so it could be difficult to jump in. But if that doesn’t bother you, go for it!

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Wawawiwa , that still sounds abit harsh, atlist there’s something quite cool and nostalgic about having no PMs and using posts\replys only for communication., IZ GUT.

Wah, thank you so much for the link! I’l go through the しょしんしゃ and see if I can close the gap.

This is why they disappeared one day. I liked the private messages so it is sad that they removed them. I don’t know which incident it was but it mus have been awful to delete the private message

For people who wanted to try an intermediate level book, we are planning to read an award-winning best-seller かがみの孤城. The book is quite easy to read and could be a good transition from beginner to intermediate level. We are aiming to start sometime between September 25th and November 6th.

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ささやくように恋を唄う (Whisper Me a Love Song)

Summary

高校入学初日、新入生のひまりは新入生歓迎会で演奏したバンドのボーカル・依(より)に、ひとめぼれという名の憧れを抱く。校舎で出逢った依にそのことを伝えるひまりだったが、まっすぐに気持ちを伝える彼女に、依はひとめぼれという名の恋心を抱いてしまい……お互い好きだけど、どこか微妙にすれ違う、ひとめぼれから始まる恋物語。(Bookwalker)

On the first day of entering high school, Himari Kino “falls” for her senior, Yori Asanagi, whom she watched singing with a band at the welcome party for new students. When Himari confesses her admiration to Yori, Yori misinterprets Himari’s feelings as romantic love. However, before Yori realizes, she comes to fall for Himari anyway, and promises to win her affections for real. (Wikipedia)

Availability

Bookwalker
Amazon

Personal Opinion

This is one of those manga that I could read in one go without getting fatigued. It is incredibly sweet (for some it might be to sweet) and has a good density for a beginner book club. The first volume tells one scene from 2 sides, which is a great way of reviewing your understanding of the situation. One downside might be that the first volume doesn’t end on a very satisfying note.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Good density
  • Great art
  • No dialects

Cons

  • (No furigana)

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One


Additional Pages

Bookwalker Preview

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • 1 - No effort at all
  • 2 - Minimal effort
  • 3 - Moderate effort
  • 4 - Substantial effort
  • 5 - So much effort my head might explode :exploding_head:
  • I don’t know

0 voters

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約束のネバーランド (The Promised Neverland)

Summary

From IMBD: When three gifted kids at an isolated idyllic orphanage discover the secret and sinister purpose they were raised for, they look for a way to escape from their evil caretaker and lead the other children in a risky escape plan. … No child is ever overlooked, especially since they are all adopted by the age of 12.

Personal: Three protagonists, Emma, Ray and Norman, have been friends their whole life in Grace Field House, an idyllic orphanage. They live there with their siblings and Mama Isabella - and while they may not share blood, they are family. When a sinister secret plagues the three eleven year olds, they put into motion an escape plan that may save their lives, their siblings’ lives, and the world.

Availability

Amazon JP
CD Japan
Rakuten Books (Kobo)
Bookwalker
Comic Pixiv

Personal Opinion

I stumbled across this series ironically while browsing Netflix. I started watching the anime, and then I just couldn’t stop. The series itself claims it’s more dark fantasy/thriller/science fiction, but it has a lot of slice of life which makes it a really easy read. The characters are all super unique with different personalities and traits, and they all have separate motives that give unique perspectives on the plot - which I don’t think multiple characters sometimes do in mangas. Likewise, there’s a two-season series anime which covers the manga pretty faithfully, a Japanese live-action movie (with a possible second but nothing confirmed) and a future Amazon studios American version.

While I really like the characters, the whole story is also really interesting and easy to read. I’ve already gone through the first three tankoban which hasn’t been too difficult of a read. It does have some elements of fantasy but most of the story is based on and around human children attempting to survive the issues given to them, and there’s not much (if any) real hard-to-understand fantasy words.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Furigana on almost all of the Kanji
  • Easy to read and follow
  • Currently really popular in Japan
  • Anime and movie that follows the manga pretty well
  • Physical and eBooks are about the same

Cons

  • Some fantasy-based words
  • You’ll get attached to the characters and cry
  • LOTS of katakana (which is great for practice?)
    ((all of the character names for the kiddos are in Katakana!))

Pictures

You can trial the whole first chapter here on Bookwalker JP
(I also apologize if these images are a bit blurry; I tried my best with getting them but the furigana is really easy to read in most cases beyond what I’m showing)

First Three Pages of Chapter One

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Additional Pages

The fantasy elements happen pretty early on (chapter 1) and this is the extent of what surrounds them. Pretty standard fantasy Japanese terms, imo! Also may be a spoiler about what to expect the kids deal with!

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Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • 1 - No effort at all
  • 2 - Minimal effort
  • 3 - Moderate effort
  • 4 - Substantial effort
  • 5 - So much effort my head might explode :exploding_head:
  • I don’t know

0 voters

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This is a series that often comes up as recommended when I’m buying manga from Kobo. Maybe not something I’d read on my own, but I would definitely join in if picked by the BBC.

It looks like the series recently ended, so there’s no worry about getting invested in a series only to have to wait for a new volume to release to continue reading.

One con I might add is, at least based on looking at just the several pages, there looks to be a lot of 熟字訓(じゅくじくん), furigana that matches the meaning of the kanji rather than the reading. Things like 勉強(テスト) for example. The reading gives all the information one needs for meaning, but if you don’t know the kanji and want to look it up, that makes it a little more difficult. (The vocabulary lists would help out with this, though!)

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I read the first volume a few years back, and this annoyed me a lot. Unlike Aria, which used this occasionally and subtly, I felt like The Promised Neverland used this way too much.

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