Beginner Japanese Book Club // Currently Reading: Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun

I never got around to do my proposals O_o
I’ll see if I can’t get it done right away!

Noticed Scary Stories is still active, so don’t have to re-propose that one =)
It’s my most wanted, seems to have easy enough language while using kanji with furigana instead of omitting and using kana only =P

I also love books.

I just don’t think I have what it takes at the moment to tackle such a task, the pages just look so intimidating, even if I understand most of it once I start reading. I guess it’s a problem of perspective.

I’m studying for N4 at the moment and, while it seems like it won’t be a problem, I tend to suffer from a lack of confidence, instead of believing in what I’ve been studying for years.

I would be overjoyed to one day be able to read 春木村上’s novels in Japanese, but I think it’s better to focus on what I can do right now, and work on it little by little, instead of perhaps losing motivation once I see how much I really lack if I tried to read a normal book. I seem to think that way, even if it’s sort of counterproductive when learning a new language, and I don’t really know how I got this far. :joy:

That’s why manga, where I get most of what’s going on and only miss specific grammar points or vocab, seems to me as the best option. Probably because it’s stand-alone compared to a book, but I guess you could see the book as chapters and work on that. I guess I could give it a try sometime.

I guess, to me, manga is reinforcement on what I already know and learn in class, and a book would be learning new things, or something like that?

I’ll try to hold myself accountable to that.

Also, /rant.

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Just to add to what Naphthalene said, the reason we’re voting on the next book before we’ve even started Natsume is that we won’t be reading Natsume for very long.

Ordinarily, we vote on a book, start reading it, and then vote on the next one while we’re reading (so that there’s enough time for people to order, as Nath explained).

In the last voting round though, we picked two at once because they were both quite short (non non biyori and natsume). We usually vote about six weeks before starting to read, and we’re planning to spend five weeks on Natsume, hence starting to vote on the next pick already.

did that make any sense oh my

Non non biyori, the current pick, will end on the 12th of October. The last week will just be reading the bonus chapters at the end though, so we’ll have finished the ‘proper’ chapters by the end of this week (Friday), as Nath said.

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日本昔ばなしアニメ絵本 18冊全巻セット - Japanese Fairy Tales - Set of 18 books

Summary
Classic Japanese Fairy Tales in a beautiful collection of 18 colorful books. Some of the most well known fairy tales from long long ago. Beautiful illustrations and stories as seen in the anime.

Availability
Amazon JP
No eBook to my knowledge.

Personal Opinion
Each book contains a separate Japanese Fairy Tale. These are the Classic Fairy Tales Japanese kids grow up with, and might be referenced or mirrored in other stories like we do with ours. So knowing them might both be interesting and have a value when reading other material.

This is a set of 18 books. They are easy enough that we could do one or two per week =)

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Interesting Japanese Culture
  • Easy language
  • Uses the Fairy Tale repetition at times, which helps with understanding and learning

Cons

  • Kana heavy, rather than Kanji with Furigana

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

.* I butchered the template somehow, couldn’t get it to work ^^; *

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The only difficulty I see in this book is that it’s mostly kana.

Also, that shelf. :heart_eyes:

PS: That さるかにばなし and other folk tales would’ve helped with some of the hints in the crossword thread. :stuck_out_tongue:

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** チーズスイートホーム - Chi’s Sweet Home**

Summary
Chi is a michievous newborn kitten who, while on a leisurely stroll with her family, finds herself lost. Seperated from the warmth and protection of her mother, feels distraught. Overcome with loneliness she breaks into tears in a large urban park meadow., when she is suddenly rescued by a young boy named Yohei and his mother. The kitty is then quickly and quietly whisked away into the warm and inviting Yamada family apartment…where pets are strictly not permitted.

Availability
Amazon JP
Kindle

Personal Opinion
It’s a very cute story with a good mix of slice of life. Some parts are very light, but the parents can have some text heavy areas. The cat and child has some specific speaking flaws, similar to Yotsuba, in a mostly predictable way so it is easy to understand what was meant. The adults with their correct language are the more text heavy.

This series is recommended on most lists for beginners of Japanese.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Slice of life
  • Easy language

Cons

  • The meowstakes the cat uses in language

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

.* I butchered the template somehow, couldn’t get it to work ^^; *

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Do you mean, meowstakes? :joy:

PS: Now I want to read this. I already have too much stuff to read. :sweat_smile:

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** ナルト - Naruto**

Summary Amazon.com:
“‘With a richly detailed background, complex, sympathetic characters, superb action and a main character who somehow balances tragedy with comedy, this is a series that delivers in every way. So strap on your leaf headband and join the oddest ninja in town. You won’t regret it. 4/5’ NEO magazine”

Availability
Amazon JP
Kindle

Personal Opinion
Though the story is told through Ninjas, it is still a story about people and getting through hardship. Naruto is a very lonely orphan with no friends and through their trials he grows as a person and finds his place, and becomes a beloved member of the society.

Naruto, being as popular as it is, might pull in new members to the book club (while others might have an aversion to it…)

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Uses a lot of kanji, all with furigana (no wall of kana)
  • Uses rude language, which means a good bit of plain speech

Cons

  • Manga specific terminology

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

.* I butchered the template somehow, couldn’t get it to work ^^; *

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Yeah, that’s what I was going for :wink:
*edits

It is literally that kind of mistakes he uses too =P
Same as Meowth from Team Rocket =)

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can’t you choose something else than manga ?
Reducing japanese to mangas is … a bit wrong in the way you see the japanese culture

There are books in the suggestions as well, feel free to vote on them when the voting starts =)

The mangas aren’t chosen for our view of the culture, but for it being an easier media for beginner due to less text and more images to help get an understanding.

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the topic is almost impossible to read ; too many posts … can’t there be a sum up of the books selected ?!

There is, in the first post =)
It is in a drop down menu, and doesn’t include the latest suggestions yet.

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No worries. I promise to read a book with you by January if one isn’t selected by the book club by then. :slight_smile:


From what I’ve seen in the Non Non Biyori threads, you seem to have a good grasp of the language. I think you’d do fine with one of the easier books, like 時をかける少女. It would take more time a week than a manga, so time could be an issue. But I think you could handle the difficulty if you push through the first few weeks.


@Toyger Please post the summaries in English. I want to make sure people don’t get intimidated by seeing a Japanese-only summary. I’ll update the template to indicate that English summaries should always be provided when possible.

Regarding the template not working, Discourse recently changed how formatted copying and pasting works, so it could be that. If so, pasting in plaintext could solve the problem. I’ll verify tonight.


@MacOneill I’ll update the first post tonight to include the new nominations.

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I never know how to judge this kind of thing, because on the one hand it seems super easy, and on the other hand there’s so much cat-corrupted language :sweat_smile:

It’s basically the same corruption as mangas with small children =P

Mhm, I suck at reading those too :grin: but it’s true that overall it’s easier. Maybe if it wins we can do an introductory session on cat-speak!

Just dropping in to say I would love to as well c:

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The intermediate book club will rise again 0:<
kinda? I guess?

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