Booktubers, book awards, and general book discussion

Many of us have been using book review videos for our listening practice, and this inevitably leads to discussions about books rather than about listening, which tend to be off-topic in the Listen Every Day Challenge thread. So we thought it best to give books and book reviews a home of their own.

Feel free to recommend booktubers, post book review videos, discuss books (spoiler-free please), ask for book recommendations, or anything else book-related here!


Good topic. Have a question for everybody! I know it’s not exactly booktube but at least adjacent ^^.

I really enjoyed watching a lot when he was still uploading stuff. But he has basically become AWOL in recent years.

Does anyone have a good recommendation for a “booktuber” that specializes in manga and maybe has a similar style to him?


Thanks to @rodan and the amazing Bookwalker Freebies thread, I found out there’s a promotion currently on Bookwalker (who would have thought), with lots of novels from Kodansha at 99 yen. Among them, 眼球堂の殺人 was already on my list (who knows where I first heard it), so I thought I’d watch a video about it first. Turns out this was Masaki’s very first video ever, and he introduces us to his favourite book :rofl:

Looking at the 99 yen novels, I also found 邪魔 potentially interesting, but I can’t find much info about it. There seem to be few reviewers compared to other books. And I’m also looking at 怪奇小説集, because ghost stories and Shusaku Endo. :thinking:


Thank you for setting up the new thread, @omk3 !

Only mods can do that, but I‘m not sure whether it’s worth the hassle…


kind of a meme but still a book review nonetheless


from the other thread ^

I meant that more in it’s hard to believe someone would like all the nominees. Looking at the ones I’ve read:

couldn’t stand:



really enjoyed:

currently reading:
三体 (er, well, I will get back to it anyways)

Those are vastly different books represented there. Sci-fi, fantasy, police procedurals, young adult, serious lit, chicken-soup-for-the-soul type stuff, romance, etc. Wildly different writing styles, wildly different intended audiences. I’ve said it before but it’s the grab bag of prizes so anyone loving all of them feels weird to me.


I admit I still understand little of what he’s saying, but it seemed to me that he hadn’t even read all nominees, and basically was just describing them (admittedly in a positive way)? He was very enthusiastic about 汝、星のごとく in that other video of the best novels from 2022 though.

This is the video we were originally referring to, by the way, for anyone who hasn’t followed the previous discussion:


Fully admit I got bored and didn’t finish the video :sweat_smile: knowing he didn’t read them all and enthuse over them is a relief though. Might finish it later, undecided :thinking: I’m finding I actually prefer single book review videos.


Started watching the video, and yes, in the beginning he says that he looked at the nominees and discovered that he had read quite a bunch of them (i.e. not all).

Then I watched his review of the book in question. He said he loved it, it’s easily readable (I think I heard that somewhere else already :thinking:), the two main characters are likeable :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:, they go through some difficulties :scream: and grow a lot :muscle:.
Geeez. Okay.

And then my headspace was used up because he talks so fast, and while I can understand a lot (well except when he reads the summaries :sweat_smile:) I can not yet listen to that speed for a long time.

Interestingly, I noticed that our toast-hating Naoki winner is once again part of the lineup! The book is the one with the red and blue circle(?) pattern on it.


Yes, I had already noticed that one on a random ほんタメ video where they visit a bookshop, and the cover just stood out to me and I looked it up. It’s 君のクイズ and it’s a mystery taking place in/around a quiz show? Sounds potentially fun.


Today I watched the very prestigious ほんタメ awards :joy:

These guys are fun to watch now that I’m starting to actually understand some of what they’re talking about.

Each of the presenters chose their three favourite books of the latter half of 2022. She is more a general fiction type, he is a mystery fan. So 方舟 made yet another appearance in a best of 2022 list. There was also a new Ogawa: 掌に眠る舞台. But I was more intrigued by カラスは言った for the simple reason that it features a crow. Looking at my check list, there are at least two other crows there:
image, image
and two miscellaneous birds:
image, image
Anyway, I didn’t even understand what カラスは言った ( “Quoth the Raven”?) was about - there are few reviews online, it’s only been released a few months ago. I thought the name of the author ( 渡辺優) rang a bell, but looking at her other books I haven’t seen any of them before, so I must be mistaken.
But one of her other books features a jellyfish!


I recently bought しゅなの旅 and it looks beautiful. Has anyone here read it? What was the difficulty like?

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Yeah she’s not too clear. It sounds vaguely like it might be talking about social and/or emotional things through the story of the man and the crow? I tried to translate that section, as always, it’s a little rough:


she saw it by chance in a bookshop and said the cover stood out because they used a realistic picture of a crow

this author has been on hontame many times

she thought "oh, they have a new book?! " and had to buy it right away. it was a really interesting volume.

a guy glances out the window of his home and sees a crow

the crow suddenly says, “yokoyama-san, the number one forest line has burst. contact emergency services”

and the dude is like “a crow spoke?!” but then is like “but I’m not Yokoyama-san…”

and so it’s a really exciting start to the story

and from there the story of the man and the crow begins.

the things described in the book, compared to our world, are somehow deeply interesting (little unsure here if that’s exactly what she said)

they kind of make you go “I wonder…”

things that are totally unrelated to you
like people getting angry just reading the news
there are a lot of them (people like that?)
but depending on the person, their distance (from this) is really important
but what you think about things near to you is important
– this whole section above was a bit puzzling for me, hence the bad translation

right now the news is overflowing with stuff like what way is best to live

She says something like in this work there were a lot of things she found in herself (Im probably saying that weird)

but she was then like, “I wanted to read a book about these topics!” and this book pinpointed those for her.

reading this book left her feeling すっきり

I haven’t read it but looking on Natively it appears @Athakaspen has, so maybe they can share their thoughts (not sure how often they log in here, though, you may have luck asking on the Natively forums)

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I definitely can! Thanks for the heads up cat ^^

シュナの旅 is a very interesting book. It’s challenging language-wise, maybe one of the most complex manga around (though imo a bit easier than his other work 風の谷のナウシカ), and also just inherently confusing. A lot of crazy stuff happens, a lot of confusing symbolism pops up, and I was left asking “Miyazaki, are you OK?” several times while reading. The typesetting is also baffling, there’s text in green or red or white all the time and it’s often very hard to read (not helped by the fact I read it in Bunko form, it’s probably easier as an ebook). That said, if you like Miyazaki’s wild plots like Nausicaa or Princess Mononoke, there’s a lot of that energy to appreciate here. Because of the complexity, I think it would be a big challenge for an average WK Level 17 user, but I know nothing about the rest of your Japanese studies so maybe you’re up for it! If nothing else, it’s beautiful full-color Miyazaki art to look through. Hopefully that helps!


Thank you for the comments! Agreed that the typesetting is all over the place. I’m just getting started with manga so may hold off for a bit longer, but loved the idea of owning a precursor to Nausicaa. Also a redditor linked to the nhk radio version, so may listen to that in the meantime. Cheers!


No problem! If you like Nausicaa already, I think you’ll be able to appreciate this one more.

I listened to this after reading the book, and I still had some trouble understanding it at the time. The recording on Youtube had a lot of background static, and the audio balancing made it hard to hear in some parts. The music is very 80s though, which is fun!

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Thank you for the translation! I had caught everything (yay me) up to the point where the guy reacts to what the crow said, then lost it. And no wonder, even reading the translation, nothing is really clear. :joy:


I’ve read it, but a long while ago. Not very easy, but on the other hand the format means there’s less text than there would be in a normal non-illustrated book that size.

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For all the 恩田陸 fans out there, I’m here to inform you that


is currently up for grabs for 135 yen apiece at Bookwalker :blush:

I’m not exactly sure whether I will like the story or not, but I figured that at that price one can’t really make a mistake :sweat_smile:


I’ve been looking at it for days now, trying to decide whether to get it or not. The price is so low, especially with the coin back going on right now, judging from Eugenia I love her writing, and it is a Naoki prize winner. But do I really want to read two volumes about music? :thinking:

I guess I might, if it’s well written.