Beginner Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: シャドーハウス

Of the ones I have read I can highly recommend Kiki and Mysterious Town Beyond the Mist. I think they are both slightly easier than 時をかける少女.

君の名は could also work especially if you have watched the movie since you already have a basis, though it could also be a pitfal of relying to much in previous knowledge. As for Harry Potter I can’t say much since I have only read have of the first book in Japanese.

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Have you looked at the current book club pick 夜カフェ? It just started yesterday, and this way you can get input from your tutor as well as from the other club members :smiley:

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@Shadowlauch Maybe I’ll just buy them all and put them in order of easiest to hardest and read them in order.

@NicoleRauch I look into how quickly I could get it.

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Talking of picture books, while it is not necessarily easier to read, it is harder to lose track than text-only.

I wonder a little if anyone is interested in non-fiction? For example, this one - 講談社 学習まんが 日本の歴史(全20巻) 無料試し読み版 - 実用 講談社:電子書籍試し読み無料 - BOOK☆WALKER -

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Edit: This nomination was moved up to the intermediate book club: Link

Archive

Spy x Family

image

Summary

In order to maintain the state of peace between the rival nations of Westalis and Ostania, a Westalis agent codenamed “Twilight” is tasked with spying on Donovan Desmond, the leader of an extremist political party within Ostania. However, due to Desmond being notoriously reclusive, the only way Twilight can get close to him is to enroll a child in the same private school as Desmond’s son and pose as their father. To accomplish this, he creates the alias of Loid Forger, adopts a young orphan girl named Anya, and marries a woman named Yor Briar, to create the image of a happy family. However, Yor is in fact a professional assassin, with neither her nor Loid being aware of each other’s true identities. Both of them are also unaware that Anya can read minds, and knows their true professions. Despite these unknown factors, Loid must learn to play the role of the perfect father and husband in order to carry out his mission. (wikipedia)

Availability

Physical: Amazon | CD Japan
Digital: Kindle | Bookwalker

Personal Opinion

This has been blowing up all over the internet because of the anime that is currently airing. It is honestly super hillarious, esepcially the daughter Anya has some of the best reaction faces in any manga I have read.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Popular so hopefully a lot of participants
  • Has an anime so one could read/watch both (to get that sweet listening practice)
  • Furigana
  • Funny & interesting story

Cons

  • Pretty hard according to learn natively it is level 30 so just below Death note
  • Also pretty dense

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One


Additional Pages

Bookwalker preview: https://viewer.bookwalker.jp/03/19/viewer.html?cid=f21b74ef-1857-48d4-90b3-0b9600b92d5d

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I am kind of the fence if this manga fits this club or if it should be moved up to the intermediate book club I would love to hear your guys’s opinion.

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The first chapter especially is quite hard to read through, it is denser than death note here. The grammar itself is a bit easier, but you’re dealing with a cold war setting which reflects back in the vocabulary. Anya parts are considerably easier to read. Series finds a better balance later on, it’s mostly the set up that will be tough.

Based on the response of death note, I would consider it better fitted in intermediate club. That said with the popularity of the series and the anime, I reckon a larger audience is interested in reading it.

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I’m sorry, can we just ignore the official romanisation and collectively agree to call him “Lloyd”? Because that spelling hurts. :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, I feel like I’ve seen this nomination somewhere before…

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I agree with the others…and especially having done part of death note… this one should get bumped to Intermediate bookclub IMO.

Hm. From the previews, it seems like it fits in fine here for me, especially if it balances out after the inital set-up, but if it were to end up in a higher club, I wouldn’t be opposed. Odds are good I’ll follow it wherever it ends up, regardless! :grin:

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To be honest I did not even read it just blindly copied it from Wikipedia.

Do you know where? I looked at this and the intermediate club and could not find it.


Looking at the feedback and the Natively score (as the only way to get some kind of data on this) I will be moving this up to the intermediate book club.

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I have no idea.

Maybe it’s just deja vu…

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Just in time hehe! I will start the next Intermediate Club poll probably next week or so.

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My opinion was based on me having read 7 volumes of the series in Japanese. I was already familiar with it before as I followed it in English, even then the first chapter took me by surprise when I started reading it in Japanese. I couldn’t answer the poll fairly because what weighs higher the experience back then or where I’m at right now.

If it gets picked it might be good to split the first chapter in 2 or 3 parts. I typically read a chapter of manga per day, but that’s the only one I broke up in two because my brain was fried. Made Death Note look breezy in comparison, although I find it hard to say which one is actually harder. They’re really in same ballgame. I think it’s good to know that when the series is settled you get a better picture of an average chapter. Often times both the author and reader need time to find its identity.

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Looks like first volume free on BookWalker currently.

Edit - see below, seems like it’s not the full volume.

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I have read 1 1/2 volumes so far but reflecting on it and especially looking back at Death Note I think it is a good idea to tune down the difficulty a bit for this club. That is why we have different book club levels! And obviously the lines between different clubs will always be blurry because when we make a decision on what club to use we always work with very liitle information.

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Unfortunately that’s not the full volume; as you can see the page count is only 74 pages while the regular volume is 219 pages.
But there is the Golden Week sale going on currently which gives you a good discount in coins, so it would be worthwhile to grab it now anyways if you’re interested.

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Hello! Moving this recommendation from the intermediate club to here! Hopefully here is a better fit! :blush:

5分後に笑えるどんでん返し

Summary

Japanese

(From BookWalker) 5分で脱力、5分で笑える。5分で読める“5分シリーズ”からお届けする、クスッとできるどんでん返し。 小説投稿サイト「エブリスタ」に投稿された20000作超の短編から厳選した、『5分後に笑えるどんでん返し』。 意外すぎるオチに驚く珠玉の掌編15本。

English

(Quick google translate and a little editing)
Weakness in 5 minutes and laughter in 5 minutes. An unexpected twist from the “5-minute series” that can be read in 5 minutes. Carefully selected from over 20,000 short stories posted on the novel posting site "Everystar”. Fifteen short stories that are have a surprising ending.

Availability

Amazon Japan (tankobon and ebook)
BookWalker (ebook)

Personal Opinion

I’ve recently seen these kinds of short story books a lot in Japan. They are very popular with children. Definitely think it would be fun and interesting reading practice. The short stories also makes it easier to consume.
This book’s stories also seem to be selected from a novel publishing site, which is interesting.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Recently these 5分後 type of books have been very popular in Japan.
  • Many short stories from different authors, so possibly a little variety for everyone and easy to digest.
  • Not very long (about 200 something pages) (may be a con to some)
  • If people enjoy this read, they can continue other 5分後 books.

Cons

  • Not all the kanji have furigana (can be a pro for some)
  • Some may prefer one continuous story instead of many short ones

Pictures

Pictures

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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At a quick glance the lack of furigana was off putting but they’re mostly common kanji, so it didn’t look too bad.

Do you know,if they’re all different reading styles or the same author?

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I’ve only read the first story so far, and I felt the same way about the furigana in the beginning. But like you said, mainly common ones that repeat so it wasn’t too bad!

And it looks like there are three stories by one author, but the rest are mainly all different authors.

1 Like