Intermediate Japanese Book Club (Coming Soon: 地球星人)

In a moment of amusing coincidence, I got an e-mail from Amazon yesterday to let me know that the English version is currently on sale. :slightly_smiling_face:

I’d honestly peg it at Intermediate simply because so much of it relies on some extremely twisty puns. Or some… extremely twisty taking-things-absolutely-literally?

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Well, it’s… it’s by the same guy.

It actually looks more like BBC material to me… What do the others think?

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It’s definitely on par with other stuff from the beginner book club, especially recent picks. We could read it faster here, though. :woman_shrugging:

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then i’m going to leave it here as i just nominated nichijou there!

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I hope this is right - never done this before. :sweat_smile: Also I haven’t read this one, but I did buy it this past fall to put on my list.

小説 言の葉の庭

Summary

Japanese

(from Amazon)
雨の朝、高校生の孝雄と、謎めいた年上の女性・雪野は出会った。雨と緑に彩られた一夏を描く青春小説。劇場アニメーション『言の葉の庭』を、監督自ら小説化。アニメにはなかった人物やエピソードを多数織り込んだ。

English

On rainy mornings, Takao can never bring him-self to go to school-instead, he spends that time at the beautiful Shinjuku Gyoen gardens and finds a brief reprieve from everything else in his life among the trees and flowers. And on one of those mornings, he discovers a mysterious woman named Yukino in his haven, skipping work, and an unlikely friendship blooms between them. But though these two are the center of this story, they are far from the only ones trying to find their way in life.

From director Makoto Shinkai comes a deeper look at his award-winning 2013 film, The Garden of Words , full of additional scenes and perspectives to show a whole new side of the many characters who brought the film to life.

Availability

Amazon
eBook on BookWalker

Personal Opinion

I saw the Garden of Words movie from Makoto Shinkai and really liked it lol This novel is a deeper dive into the story and characters in the movie which sounds interesting. I also think the book actually came after the movie which is something I’ve never heard of before.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • A lot of positive reviews on Amazon.
  • Reviews on Amazon say the sentence structures are easy to read.

Cons

  • The story focuses on the lives of the characters so it’s not action-packed if that’s what people are looking for.

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chaper One

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

Difficulty Poll
  • 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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@Naphthalene‘s smell being mentioned in the second sentence :eyes:

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In the summary section, the Japanese version seems to be someone’s review of the book, which isn’t really a summary at all.

お恥ずかしいこと :see_no_evil:

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Ahh yup, pasted the wrong text! :ok_hand:t4: I’ve fixed it now.

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Seems the same as Sinkai’s 君の名は, and the text difficulty seems to be also around that. Actually I wanted to continue with this group of books, I mean 君の名は、言の葉の庭、天気の子 - they are kind of grouped together in my mind.
Well, more the reason to pick up this one :thinking:

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I’ve added the new nominations to the OP, and we’re now at 16 proposals, which is a great number!

Having said that, there’s still room for 4 more, so hurry up if you also want to nominate something :slight_smile:

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I’ve got two books I want to nominate. Just trying to decide whether to put them in Intermediate or Beginner.

Or whether me nominating books is a death knell for them…

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Which ones are they?

Would telling you be as harmful to their chances of being selected as an actual nomination? :stuck_out_tongue:

But seriously though, they’re ラーメン大好き小泉さん (leaning towards Beginner for this) and 山と食欲と私 (leaning towards Indermediate).

Hehe you do seem to like that genre :joy_cat:
I agree with your verdict in general (of which book club they should go in). I’d definitely put the first one in Beginner, and the other one is debatable, but given the lack of furigana, it sounds fine to me to have it in Intermediate (of course with a higher reading pace).

山と食欲と私

Mountains, Appetite, and Me

Summary

Japanese

27歳、会社員の日々野鮎美は、「山ガール」と呼ばれたくない自称単独登山女子。美味しい食材をリュックにつめて今日も一人山を登るのでした。欲張りウィンナー麺、雲上の楽園コーヒー、魅惑のブルスケッタ、炊きたてご飯のオイルサーディン丼等々。読むとお腹がすく&山に登りたくなる! WEBマンガサイト「くらげバンチ」で最速で100万アクセスを突破したアウトドア漫画の決定版誕生!

English

Ayumi Hibino, a 27-year-old company employee, is a self-proclaimed solo mountaineer who doesn’t want to be called a “mountain girl”. Today, she packs her backpack with delicious ingredients and climbs the mountain alone. There are greedy wiener noodles, paradise coffee on the clouds, enchanting bruschetta, oil sardine rice bowl with freshly cooked rice, and more. Reading it will make you hungry & want to climb a mountain!

Availability

Amazon
BookWalker
Can also read chapters 1-3, and assorted later chapters, for free on the publisher’s website

Personal Opinion

Well, it’s that niche, ya know? Outdoor activities and yummy food. Laid-back camping without the laid-back… uh, or the camping. Wait, can I start again?

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Fun activities you can try at home!
  • Every chapter is precisely ten pages long, so there’s no need to worry about differing page counts from week to week.
  • There’s already twelve volumes out, so lots to get hooked on.

Cons

  • Dangerous to read while hungry.

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
  • Moderate effort
  • Significant effort
  • So much effort my head might explode
  • I don’t know

0 voters

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I just got a copy of 「おばちゃんたちのいるところ」, which I think might fit with this club, but I’m hoping to read 「容疑者Xの献身」 with the Advanced club, so going to hold off nominating until next time.

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Well, I’m moving this over from the advanced book club, as it’s way too easy to read for that club. It should be a perfect fit here.

くま クマ 熊 ベアー

Author : くまなの (Not their real name, I assume)

Summary

Japanese

引きこもりゲーマーのユナが、いつものようにファンタジーRPGゲームにログイン! すると、可愛いクマの装備を身につけて、自分が知らない森の中に!? 装備も変だし、レベルも1に戻ってるし、ゲームがバグった? それとも、まさかの異世界に来ちゃったの!? クマ装備はへんてこだけど、かなり強くて手放せない。冒険者ユナ、最恐クマっ娘として爆誕です!

English

(By the US publisher)
A dedicated gamer and antisocial shut-in downloads an update to her favorite fantasy RPG–only to find herself sucked into the game world for real. Reset to level one and equipped with only a cute bear onesie that grants her impressive abilities, Yuna sets out to explore her new reality–even though the fact that she can’t seem to take the bearsuit off gives her paws, er, pause!

Length : 306

Availability

Amazon
Bookwalker

Personal Opinion

This is the first volume in a popular series. I got interested in reading it when I noticed it was often in the top charts for light novels aimed at women. It was also one of the only book at the top of the chart that did not involve being reborn as an 悪役令嬢. Turns out it’s an 異世界 anyway, but fine. Additionally, it turns out that the US publisher is marketing it toward men instead, so I guess it would interest a wide public?
Edit: I have read the first three volumes now and it should be okay for everyone indeed.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Easy (for this club), so we can just go faster and enjoy not spending ages on a single book
  • Popular series

Cons

  • I’m sorry I only suggest 異世界s

Pictures/Sample

Bookwalker sample

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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18 nominations is a great amount for our next poll! I will start it in ~24 hours.

In the meantime: Everybody who proposed a book, please make sure that it appears in the list in the OP - I double-checked but you never know… :wink:

Also, everybody who is interested in participating in the polls: Please have a look at the nominations to get an impression, and please read the sample pages and rate their difficulty! I will indicate the difficulty in the poll to serve as a rough guidance.

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BTW I just noticed that the manga 山と食欲と私 is currently heavily discounted at Bookwalker (it’s only 100 yen until Jan 20th or so).

Also, it is a very short manga (only 132 pages) so we could establish a rule similar to the Beginner Book Club: If a short manga wins, we will read the second winner immediately afterwards. (I think we did this already with the Saint Young Men manga, but we never set it as a rule.) I will check the other nominations to see which ones might also be eligible for such a double-winner rule, and try to come up with a suitable definition for “short”.

Now if that doesn’t help push your nomination in the voting process, then I don’t know what does :joy_cat:
No, I’m not biased.

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