Book recommendations for JLPT N3-N2 level

Hey there,

Would love to hear your book recommendations for JLPT N3-N2 level. Real life based to limited fantasy topics are all welcome.

I’ve passed the JLPT N3 and just missed N2 due to kanji, so I joined WaniKani (and forgot to do it for 2 weeks… big mistake). Only level 15 with 950 reviews, but slowly reducing the reviews while doing small batch new lesson such.


かがみの孤城 might be a good fit. It uses relatively simple, everyday language most of the time. The main characters are all middle school age (plus occasional parents, teachers, etc. show up). There are fantasy elements, but they are mostly there to create the desired setting. The fantasy aspects are often ignored (in favor of focusing on the characters and their interactions with one another) to the point that sometimes you might forget there was even a fantasy premise to begin with (I considered that a good aspect of the book by the way).

We actually just finished reading this as part of a book club, and overall people had a positive opinion of the book. Though keep in mind that it is on the longer side (like 550 pages), which could make it a bit tough depending on your existing reading experience. While the book club conversation drops off later on, discussion early on could help you if you’re having any trouble. And of course, you can always post and ask questions since many of us are still around and happy to help.


Thank you, I’ll check it out.

How does everyone access the book? Kindle or physical book? Looked it up on amazon and it seems to be selling for ~$45 right now new and $28 used. Does that sound about right?

I don’t have much novel/ book reading experience. Heavy on the speaking/ listening.

You can get it on CDJapan for example, they have two editions of the book (one edition with around 500 pages and the other one split into two books in a smaller “bunko” form) for around $11-13 + shipping, but they ship from Japan so that might be a problem for some people depending on customs/shipping time.


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Buying it on Kindle (or other digital) is nice because then there is (usually) a built-in dictionary for easy lookups. Particularly with a physical kindle e-reader this is very convenient.

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I like reading digitally on BookWalker. They have an app where you can access your purchases.

Regarding levels: you could check Natively, the site has lots of books ranked by difficulty level, with comparisons to other books, reviews, etc.
Or maybe have a look at past picks from the Intermediate Book Club here on the WaniKani forum? コンビニ人間 comes to mind as a pretty popular pick. :slight_smile:


any book with 小学館 on the back will be sufficient. You can maybe do 中学館 but that’ll be pretty challenging.