Intermediate Japanese Book Club (Currently reading: コーヒーが冷めないうちに)

Can you put them all in separate posts following the new template? This will also let people vote on their difficulty.

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Is it bad that I’m most interested in the one about a grade-schooler?

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Sorry about that, can you link me the template? I’ll get it done in a minute, I’m about to go workout.

No It’s really cute XD

It was added to the first post :slight_smile:

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ゼロの使い魔

Summary

In Japanese:

Summary

「あんた誰?」――才人が目を覚ますと、可愛い女の子が才人を覗きこんでいた。見回すとあたりは見知らぬ場所で、魔法使いみたいな格好をしたやつらが、才人と女の子を取り囲んでいた。その女の子・ルイズが才人を使い魔として別の世界へ「召喚」したらしい。訳がわからず面くらう才人に、ルイズは契約だと言って、いきなりキスしてきた。俺のファーストキス! と怒る間もなく、手の甲にヘンな文字が浮かび、才人は使い魔にされてしまう。仕方なく、ルイズとともに暮らしながら、元の世界に戻る方法を探すことにした才人だが……。才人の使い魔生活コメディ!

In English(this is just copied from myanimelist, but I assume it will be somewhat representative of the book too):

Summary

Louise Françoise Le Blanc de La Vallière is a self-absorbed mage in a world of wands, cloaks, and royalty. Although she studies at Tristain Academy, a prestigious school for magicians, she has a major problem: Louise is unable to cast magic properly, earning her the nickname of “Louise the Zero” from her classmates.

When the first year students are required to perform a summoning ritual, Louise’s summoning results in a catastrophic explosion! Everyone deems this to be yet another failure, but when the smoke clears, a boy named Saito Hiraga appears. Now Louise’s familiar, Saito is treated as a slave, forced to clean her clothes and eat off the ground. But when an unfamiliar brand is found etched on Saito’s hand from the summoning ritual, it is believed to be the mark of a powerful familiar named Gandalfr.

Wild, adventurous, and explosive, Zero no Tsukaima follows Saito as he comes to terms with his new life and as Louise proves that there is more to her than her nickname suggests.

Availability

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.jp/ゼロの使い魔-MF文庫J-ヤマグチ-ノボル/dp/4040683021/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1547937016&sr=1-4&keywords=ゼロの使い魔

Ebooks: https://www.ebookjapan.jp/ebj/141413/
https://honto.jp/ebook/pd-series_B-MBJ-27811-1-161051X.html

Personal Opinion

I really like fantasy books, or at least books with some kind of fantastical/supernatural elements, and this seems like one of the easier ones I’ve found. It also doesn’t have a huge amount of vocab according to floflo, which might mean not as much to look up/learn… but to be honest, the reason I’m nominating this is mostly just that it seems like one of the least weird books I own.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Doesn’t seem to horribly difficult
  • Has a vocab list on floflo
  • Not too horribly long at 262 pages
  • Has some pictures and furigana for those who like those things

Cons

  • It being a fantasy book probably means some somewhat more uncommon vocab
  • Similarly, it may not appeal to everyone
  • What gets furigana and what doesn’t seems somewhat arbitrary at times

Pictures(the amazon preview also has some in case you can’t appreciate my amazing photography)

First Three Pages of Chapter One

Summary

Additional Pages

Summary

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

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That’s one of the least weird-seeming books I own that nobody else has mentioned wanting to nominate, but I’ll probably try to pick out and nominate one or two others that don’t seem too crazy(…I somehow always seem to end up buying really weird stuff). I obviously haven’t actually read it though, so I can’t promise it won’t be weird.

We also decided on a page limit of 350 pages so that we’re not spending too long on a single book.

I think that rules out three of the four books you wanted to nominate. Sorry. :expressionless:

What are some of the weirder stuff you own?

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Seriously! The book about a guy being summoned and enslaved as a familiar is the least weird thing you own?

I got Penguin Highway after seeing the movie. As Japanese books go, it’s a bit of a tome, to be honest. 365 pages. It does have images, mind.

What version do you have? I also got the book, but haven’t bothered reading it yet, mostly because of the length. Kinda wish I got the version without furigana though. :confused:

Tsubasa bunko. And yeah, the length (and the fact that it’s solid text) is a little bit overwhelming. 時をかける少女 is kinda the same…

The same how?

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Yeah, it’s like a third of the length. Unless you’re saying all books being solid text is the same…

130 pages in the Tsubasa Bunko version, to be specific

Anything with words is the same!

More what I mean is, I just seem to find a solid page of Japanese text hard to get into. In that regard, the main difference between Penguin Highway and Toki wo Kakeru is just that the former has more of it.

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Do you just not enjoy books in general (including in English)? Or is specifically the difficulty / mental processing needed to read a Japanese book?

So they’re the same in that they’re books :laughing:

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My own submission! (I plan to propose キノの旅 as well, but I’m still secretly hoping for a miracle in the beginner book club vote).

紅霞こうか後宮こうきゅう物語ものがたり

Summary

女性ながら最強の軍人として名を馳せていた小玉。だが、何の因果か、30歳を過ぎても独身だった彼女が皇后に選ばれ、女の嫉妬と欲望渦巻く後宮「紅霞宮」に入ることになり――!? 第二回ラノベ文芸賞金賞受賞作。

My dumb translation (still a better job than google translate): Shougyoku, even though she is a woman, is known for being the strongest warrior. However, for some reason, this woman who was still single in her thirties got chosen to become empress, and got to enter the “Palace of crimson mist” where women’s jealousy and hope swirls !? Received the second ラノベ文芸賞金賞 prize.

Note: 後宮 is the residence of the wife/wives of an emperor; I couldn’t work it in the translation.
Rereading that makes me cringe, anyway, so whatever. You are more than welcome to do a better job.

Availability

Here’s the actual book: https://www.amazon.co.jp/紅霞後宮物語-富士見L文庫-雪村花菜-ebook/dp/B00XIZN34O/
Also available as an ebook in there.

Personal Opinion

I’ve been recommend that book by a friend, and know nothing beyond the summary. The interplay between the different characters is supposed to be very interesting, plus, it’s nice to have a book with a (literally) strong woman as lead character. Since being a warrior doesn’t really help in the political game, I expect that she will have to start from pretty much the bottom rung, anyway.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • I’m told the dynamics/ political play are pretty interesting. There’s also a bunch of action that starts happening from volume 2, for those who are more into that.
  • Short! Story ends on page 266.

Cons

  • Fake historical setting. May make things a bit harder.
  • It’s a long series, with 11 volumes as of now.

Pictures

First three pages in one image: (from the ebook 立ち読み, checking how much it covered, I was surprised to see it was three whole pages)

FOR THE LIFE OF ME I CAN’T TAKE LEGIBLE PICTURES OF THE ACTUAL BOOK SEND HELP.

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

2 Likes