Beginner Japanese Book Club // Currently Reading: FukaBoku // Next: Nichijou

I’ve put together a nomination already :wink: I counted the pages of text and it only has about 170 - my estimate is that it will take 16-17 weeks, which is on the long side but not unacceptable, I don’t think?

I was going to wait until we’d started One Week Friends to post it but sounds like I should just go go go!

page numbers
Chapter Pages
Chapter 1 20
Chapter 2 23.5
Chapter 3 23.5
Chapter 4 25
Chapter 5 21
Chapter 6 15.5
Chapter 7 21
Chapter 8 21.5

Total: 171

possible schedule
Week Chapter Pages
Week 1 Chapter 1 4
Week 2 Chapter 1 7
Week 3 Chapter 1 9
Week 4 Chapter 2 11
Week 5 Chapter 2 12.5
Week 6 Chapter 3 11
Week 7 Chapter 3 12.5
Week 8 Chapter 4 12
Week 9 Chapter 4 13
Week 10 Chapter 5 10
Week 11 Chapter 5 11
Week 12 Chapter 6 7
Week 13 Chapter 6 8.5
Week 14 Chapter 7 10
Week 15 Chapter 7 11
Week 16 Chapter 8 10
Week 17 Chapter 8 11.5

It’s a bit more than ten pages per week, but each page has fewer characters than 時をかける少女

3 Likes

I finished vol 1 today and it’s SOOO cute! I’ll whip up a recommendation as re-reading this with people will surely fill in any blanks

Ooh aren’t you good!

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More like impatient :joy: I tend to channel my excess excitement after voting and things like that into needlessly preparing things ahead of time :sweat_smile: it’s been sitting in OneNote for weeks…

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I’ve also been holding off on nominating things I’ve read that seemed appropriate difficulty-wise for the same reason, but maybe I should then :thinking: …or maybe I shouldn’t :thinking: or maybe I should :thinking: …or maybe I shouldn’t :thinking:

Can also second that bloom into you definitely is pretty easy

1 Like

For those who are impatient AND bookwalker addicts: There is a coin top-up for the book until Monday (15.) morning (Japan time).

It already looks super-cute :slight_smile: Glad to hear that the contents keeps up with the wrapping.

Another plus is that there is a FloFlo list for it (and it states that there are only 2570 words in the book, which is even less than Time Girl). But lots of the words seem to be written in Kana, which of course leads to the occasional misparse on FloFlo, as for example:

image

(For those who don’t know that word yet: I’d bet significant body parts on it being 灰皿 (はいざら) - ashtray)

3 Likes

Alright, at the risk of stealing @seanblue’s thunder…

霧のむこうのふしぎな町

(The Mysterious Town Beyond the Mist)

Summary

During the summer holidays, six-year-old Rina is sent on her own to stay in the village where her father stayed as a child. Getting off the train, the townspeople are only half convinced that her destination, the valley of mist, even exists. Following their uncertain directions she eventually finds her way, and her experiences over the summer with the eccentric residents help her to grow in confidence.

Winner of the 1974 Kodansha Award for New Writers of Children’s Literature.

Availability

Amazon JP | CDJapan | BookWalker | eBook Japan - click the white 試し読み button for a preview

Personal Opinion

This story apparently inspired elements of Spirited Away (the actual plot is totally different) so it might be interesting from that perspective, and it was well-received at the time of publication (admittedly a while ago!).

It’s aimed at children so might be light on kanji, but that’s hard to avoid and can actually improve your hiragana parsing ability. It also features some dialectal speech which you can see in the sample pages - this can make looking up vocab trickier, but is hopefully something we’d get used to quickly.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Interesting if minor link with Spirited Away
  • A full book that’s still short enough for this club
  • Cute illustrations!

Cons

  • It would be a longer pick; probably 16-17 weeks
  • Similar to most children’s books, it probably has light kanji usage
  • Some dialectal speech

Pictures

First Six Pages of Chapter One

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Just right
  • Challenging
  • Impossible, even with everyone’s help
  • I don’t know (please click this if you’re not voting seriously)

0 voters

6 Likes

That’s why I bought it in the first place :grin: it was one of the easiest books on FloFlo in terms of word count. The dialect does look annoying though…

If people do think it’s too long I’ll take the nomination down, and I’d be up for a standalone book club with others who are interested. I checked the text density and it’s on par with Zenitendou, so to keep within the 16-week range we’d have to read a bit more per week.

3 Likes

Yah that’s totally how I found out about it actually - browsing FloFlo for ‘easy’ things.

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Like what?

1 Like

やがて君になる and 不可解な僕のすべてを(and maybe Orange, I guess, but that wasn’t as interesting and slightly harder at parts, and more of a “typical” story, so I guess I have other reasons for not nominating that) are the two I’ve read that seem like they maybe would be at an apprioprate level for the beginner book club(that said, it’s not like I am a perfect judge of difficulty). Someone else already mentioned the first, so I’ll leave nominating that to them. I’m not really sure how interested people would be, but maybe I’ll go ahead and nominate the second one anyway(I figure more variety in the nominations won’t hurt. Worst thing that can happen is that people think it’s too hard or don’t like it and don’t vote for it :woman_shrugging: )

I’ve already read both though, but I figure it’s okay to nominate anyway(especially if I’ll reread it with the club)?

2 Likes

I didn’t think to check all the pictures, plus あとがき and all that. That’s definitely within reasonable range for the book club. I’ll leave my poll open for a bit since I’m curious.

Next book will be voted on sometime in late August I guess, so it’s not too far off to see if it wins. If it doesn’t I’ll just read it on my own or do a spin off, depending on my mood.

3 Likes

I only checked because I too was dismayed to realise it was technically over the limit :grin:

Personally I’m hoping we get another double win of a manga + book - we’ve spent a good proportion of the year reading books already, and though I’m much more interested in books myself they’re definitely a step above manga just in terms of volume.

5 Likes

If we really want this to happen, we could of course make it so, i.e. have one poll for a manga and one poll for a book, and then read both winners. Personally, I’m all in for a good balance of both. What do y’all think?

2 Likes

Only problem with that is if no one would have voted for a book at all. Since there are so few books nominated that’s always a possibility.

Ah, I see, or if only very few people voted for a book, so that we get a strong bias.
We could always add an option “I do not want to read any of the books” and the same for the mangas, to reflect that. The winner would need more votes than the same category’s “do not want” option.

We could always just pick the highest voted book :wink:
It got an equal third place with a 29%, next book had 14%.
*Really want to read Scary Lessons :stuck_out_tongue:
As you can see from my voting, lol! I voted for others, further down too.

2 Likes

I reckon it’s probably simplest to hold the vote as normal and see what happens, and then if a book doesn’t come first or second we can hold a follow-up poll to see if people would specifically like to select a book to follow that up.

If we definitely want another manga first to keep us from becoming too book-heavy, perhaps we could say that we will definitely be picking the most popular manga first, even if a book wins?

3 Likes

I guess I’ll go ahead and nominate this(here’s hoping I didn’t forget to include anything)

不可解な僕のすべてを

Summary

English(just my own translation of the amazon summary below, not completely literal):

Mogumo, a student who goes to school wearing a girl’s school uniform, is invited to work part time at a cafe one day. At first, mogumo is happy about getting to work while wearing a cute uniform, but after learning the that the cafe is a “otoko no ko” cafe…

Japanese:

女子の制服を着て学校に通う高校生、もぐもはある日、カフェのアルバイトに誘われる。
可愛い制服を着て働ける仕事に、最初は喜ぶもぐもだったが、このカフェが『男の娘カフェ』であることを知って…。

Availability

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.jp/不可解なぼくのすべてを-1-MeDu-COMICS-粉山カタ/dp/4814801521/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=不可解な僕のすべてを&qid=1562936141&s=gateway&sr=8-1
Cdjapan: http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/product/NEOBK-2324710?s_ssid=e43dec5d2884af51d
bookwalker: https://bookwalker.jp/de38ed782e-71ed-4846-ac06-8d0aec51fac7/
ebookjapan: https://ebookjapan.yahoo.co.jp/books/522566/A002104239/
Also available on kindle and as an ebook from cdjapan

Personal Opinion

I’ve personally already read the first volume, so my main reasons for nominating it are that it seemed to be at a difficulty level that felt similar to some previous book club picks to me, as well as that I personally liked it(enough to be up for rereading it if it gets chosen for the book club)

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • No furigana, could be good for practicing kanji.
  • First two chapters are currently available (legally) for free online (1 2)
  • Handles some of the topics it covers better than most other manga I’m aware of

Cons

  • No furigana except for names, meaning that looking up unknown vocab/kanji may take longer.
  • Some pages have somewhat large amounts of text(see first two additional sample pages)

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
  • Just right
  • Challenging
  • Impossible, even with everyone’s help
  • I don’t know (please click this if you’re not voting seriously)

0 voters

3 Likes

Has anyone here read 王様に恋した魔女? It seems like an interesting book, and all the kanji have furigana, (that I’ve seen)and aimed at elementary students. The grammar and vocab seemed doable to me so I was think about buying it, but wanted to know what other people though of it, since I’ve already got so many books to read :smile:

Haven’t read it myself, sorry. The cover looks beautiful though, which is what I normally base my book purchasing decisions on :wink: if you do read it please let us know how you find it!

@Ditto20 - what would be a reasonable English title for your nomination?