Manga could be “tough” for this book club, because we’d likely read it so fast that it would be hard to justify the cost of buying it (for me at least).
Not likely for me. It would have to be a topic I’m really interested in to bother with something like that. The only non-fiction topic I can think of that I’d be interested in reading would be finance/economics. But at that point I might as well also read about a cute wolf girl as a bonus. Obviously referring to Spice and Wolf.
That might be the challenge. In my mind it was more akin grhe lines of things you might find in the Sunday supplement - art, design, food etc. That said I’d live to be able to read the business section at some point so I’d be up for some finance and economics; coming from a very low base on the vocabulary, though.
The pacing hasn’t been a problem for me, however due to life circumstances, I haven’t been reading for the past couple weeks. I intend to catch up this week, though. That way I can be more active in the discussion threads.
Keiko Furukura had always been considered a strange child, and her parents
always worried how she would get on in the real world, so when she takes on a
job in a convenience store while at university, they are delighted for her. For
her part, in the convenience store she finds a predictable world mandated by
the store manual, which dictates how the workers should act and what they
should say, and she copies her coworkers’ style of dress and speech patterns so
that she can play the part of a normal person. However, eighteen years later,
at age 36, she is still in the same job, has never had a boyfriend, and has
only few friends. She feels comfortable in her life, but is aware that she is
not living up to society’s expectations and causing her family to worry about
her. When a similarly alienated but cynical and bitter young man comes to work
in the store, he will upset Keiko’s contented stasis.
Nagisa Yamada is a bored teenager who finds everyday life extremely unappealing – thus she plans on joining a Military School as soon as possible.
A strange new student named Umino Mokuzu, who claims to be a mermaid, transfers into Nagisa’s school and, much to our heroine’s bewilderment, soon begins to follow her around incessantly.
Initially, an annoyed and discomfited Nagisa strives to avoid any encounters with Mokuzu. But she soon begins to comprehend the pain and sadness concealed beneath this strange girl’s cheerful and carefree demeanour.
I stumbled across this light novel by stumbling across its manga adaption, actually. The manga was fantastic, had really great story arc and amazing character development and exploration.
As for why in the book club, I felt like it was very different from a lot of the other nominations already there (at least the ones I’ve caught up on), so it would make for an interested addition. It’s a dark psychological thriller. It’s a very good conversation starter to say the least, and would make for good discussion material outside of Japanese.
I never did any research as to whether the manga followed its source material, so I can’t say much about what’s going to be in the book, but the author is also wrote the manga, so I have high hopes.
If I assume they are quite similar, I should mention that there are potentially triggering scenes in there. I found it was done very tastefully, but it does deal with quite heavy topics, such as (if you don’t care, don’t read this, since it might count as spoilers) child abuse and severe violence.
I wasn’t sure if this is okay as a nomination because of the above paragraph, but I figured I’d post it anyway and if not, it can be taken down or no one will vote for it, which is also fine.
Pros and Cons for the Book Club
Quite short (about 200 pages)
Very different from Kino (variety)
Makes you think and gets you emotionally invested
Good character study
Potentially triggering with a bit of gore (very necessary for plot and not overdone though)
This nomination is a super rush-job since I didn’t realise the poll would close soon xD
I’ve yet to add some more sample pages, so I’ll do that in a second.
Also, I’ve mentioned this in the nomination, there’s some quite heavy subjects in there and I wasn’t sure if that’s appropriate for this book club or if it’s too much. If someone could give me a guideline (if there is any) that would be fab. Or if anyone’s read it (or the manga adaption) that would be even more helpful (though I don’t know how likely that is).
Also also, do I have to add it to the OP or do anything else with it now?
(Sorry I’m a total noob and have no idea how the world works >.<)
It’s… basically just an illustrated mini guidebook of shops in Tokyo which have cats.
Can’t go wrong with cats.
Honestly, I spotted this on the Japanese new releases shelf in my local Kinokuniya, and my eye was drawm by the smug-looking cat on the cover, and when I had a flip through, it looked like quite a bit of fun. It’s not a chunky book - only 143 pages including fore- and afterwords - and it’s not massively wordy - lots o’ hand-drawn illustrations, but I thought it might make for a nice palate cleanser between heavier books.
It’s neatly divided into roughly six-page sections, with the approximate pattern being two pages of introductory text, a double-page-spread with a floor plan of the shop being discussed, and two pages of drawings of the cats getting up to antics.
(In all honesty, I feel it might fall into the gap between the Beginner and Intermediate groups a little bit, but hey, not every book has to be an epic novel…)
Pros and Cons for the Book Club
Easily divides into chunks
After the first paragraph in each section, text appears hand-written (there’s enough variation that I don’t think it’s a handwriting-style font) which gives us practice at reading handwritten words.
Cats, on every single page
Light and refreshing
It’s a guidebook about actual shops in real-life Tokyo, so it might help people find places they’d like to visit that they otherwise may not have encountered.
Handwriting poses its own challenge
Perhaps may not tax peoples’ Japanese skills too hard. @seanblue may even turn up his nose at it.