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

I’d like to make a suggestion! Before I stumbled upon this book club, I was actually going to start reading Hyouka by Honobu Yonezawa. It’s the first volume of the Classics Club series. The synopsis is as follow:

Oreki Houtarou is a self-proclaimed “energy-saver”—that is, he refuses to actively waste energy doing things that aren’t necessary. Though he had no interest whatsoever in participating in any clubs upon entering Kamiyama High School, he was commanded by his older sister, Tomoe, to join the club she was once a part of, the Classics Club, as it was in danger of being abolished due to its nonexistent member count. Together with his old friends Fukube Satoshi and Ibara Mayaka, as well as with the elegantly ladylike and curiously inquisitive Chitanda Eru, the newly reformed Classics Club ends up finding themselves involved in all sorts of mystery-solving escapades. Houtarou quickly learns that life in the Classics Club, just as Tomoe had promised, would be an interesting one indeed. And so begins the “Classics Club Series”.

I started reading a bit of the beginning while waiting for the club to start and it wasn’t difficult at all. For reference, I’m aiming to take N2. It’s the same length as No.6 (224 pages) and it’s available on the Kindle. Also, not only was there an anime adaptation in 2012, there’s also a fan translation of the novel available online for those who would like some extra assistance with comprehension. Or it could be fun to try comparing some of the translation decisions against the original as a group…?

Just thought I’d toss in my two cents! Even if we don’t end up voting for it, I really enjoy mysteries so this is something I’m sure I’ll end up reading anyways, haha. (8

1 Like

@AnimeCanuck Yeah it’s okay, you can pitch your book next time. I’d hate for it to get picked and then we read it with out you.

@riccyjay Is NO.6 really that hard? I feel like I’m struggling with it just like I struggle with any book I attempt in Japanese. I want to say it’s as difficult as Kino’s Journey, but I’ve only read a few pages of each. I’d call the satori reader and the Tobira articles comfortable reading, and the other two are a struggle. But I don’t think it’s overly difficult. (again, have only read a few tho, does it get increasingly difficult?) Pokemon was hard though. The bad kids keep using obscure slang and dialect that was hard to look up. I had no idea what they were saying.

@bakugou I know this, I saw the first episode of the anime a while back. The mc is the the geek. I never finished it though. I’ll add your book to the list.

Yeah, same for me. It’s not too hard. In fact, it’s about the perfect difficulty. I can just about get the gist with no assistance, but there’s lots I can learn by checking properly on a second read through. However, from what I remember of the ‘what’s your ability’ poll earlier, you and I were in the higher range of levels.

In terms of it getting more difficult as it goes on: the language doesn’t really get any more difficult, but - like any book - if your understanding of previous scenes was imperfect, it can get a little more confusing when past events / characters are referred to. I think that’s why Kino’s Journey is often recommended since each chapter is pretty much a self contained story.

So, yeah, I’m happy to go for something of a similar difficulty, but probably not more difficult for now. I think I’ll probably vote for one of the two you suggested actually. Good link to the Jalup page with other books, by the way. Quite a few there I’d consider reading, too.

1 Like

FINALLY, IT’S TIME!!

I assume we can use the :open_book: symbols now?? :grin:

I’m ready to get my readin’ on

1 Like

I reckon I’d be having a much harder time without the Kindle dictionary.
Right now, I’m reading at a 20 sentences an hour speed.

2 Likes

Descriptions in order below

Beware that some them might be quite a bit more difficult than NO.6, some of the books level of difficulty is listed below, but the others are unknown.

  • ドアD (Door D)
  • 秋の牢獄 (Autumn Prison)
  • ネガティブハッピー・チェーンソーエッヂ(Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge)
  • アフターダーク(After dark)
  • Classics club
  • キノの旅
  • はたらく魔王さま
  • ほしのこえ
  • 魔女の宅急便
  • 君の名は
  • 怒り
  • クリムゾンの迷宮
  • やはり俺の青春ラブコメはまちがっている
  • 時をかける少女

0 voters


Title: ドアD (Door D)
Japanese Level: ☆☆

Synopsis: Yuna and her 7 university tennis club friends were kidnapped and woke up in an unknown room. With only one locked door, and water filling into the room fast, they must figure out a way to escape before they all drown.

There’s a lever that opens the door. But it only holds the door open while pulled. One person will have to remain.

And this is just the start. Through a series of death trap rooms, and chances of survival slim, each other’s humanity will be tested. Will the group make it out alive? Will anyone make it out alive? And what awaits upon getting through the final door?

First Page

Why it might be a good choice:

  • It sounds interesting, it’s a psychological Thriller. What more you can ask for, am I right?

  • It has a Kindle version

  • And apparently easy Japanese

  • 絶望

Why it might not be a good choice:
“A lot of 山田悠介 (Yamada Yuusuke)’s works get highly criticized online because his ideas can seem a bit outrageous and his writing is way too simple. The fact that his works sell so much despite this negative criticism just fuels even stronger criticism” - the guy who wrote the article describing the book

Source


Title: 秋の牢獄 (Autumn Prison)
Japanese Level: ☆☆

Synopsis: We all have thought at one point what it would be like to live the same day over and over again. The possibilities, the ramifications, the fear, Bill Murray… Ai has just stepped into that world. She has entered into repeats of a fine Autumn day. Every day resets at exactly 11:30PM, where she wakes up the same day.

It doesn’t take Ai much time to give up hope, as she sits in utter loneliness on a bench at her university. The bench she’s sat at for the past 25 repeats in a row.

Until something new happens. Ryuichi approaches her and tells her to come with him to a meeting place in the park. There he introduces himself and others to her. They are “Replayers,” and she is not alone. A group of 20+ Replayers gather every day at the park, to share in the experience. Some have been replaying for only a few days. Others have been there for hundreds.

Replayers start disappearing. It could just be that they decided to leave the group, but the appearance of a wandering white figure, referred to them as the “White Nobleman” starts to trouble them. All the Replayers have seen his appearance as he wanders around the city. His mysterious, ghost like figure is only visible to them.

What is his identity, and is he behind these possible disappearances? More importantly though, is there any way out of this repetitive cycle?

Why it might be a good choice:

  • Again, It sounds interesting

  • It has a Kindle version

  • And apparently easy Japanese

  • Short read (128 pages)

Why it might not be a good choice:

  • Not sure, but :+1:t4:

Source


Title: ネガティブハッピー・チェーンソーエッヂ Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge

Synopsis: This is by the same author as Welcome to the NHK and seems to contain some similar themes. However, it has a Kindle edition and is aimed at a youth audience so ought not to feature some of the more questionable content some people were worried about.

Story is about a high school boy who is riding home on his bike one day and comes across a girl fighting a man wielding a chainsaw. From what I can understand this is not really explained and is more a representation of the boy’s desire to find someone to ‘save’. The two team up and form a bond while the girl continues her nightly fights.

Why it would be a good choice:
[Pretty much the same reasons as Welcome to the NHK (see above)]
Adapted into a live action movie we could watch for comprehension
Youth novel so shouldn’t be overly difficult
Has Kindle edition

Why it might not be a good choice:
Stupid title
Total unknown - I have no more knowledge about this than what’s written on Amazon


Title: アフターダーク After Dark

Synopsis: Murakami’s shortest and probably easiest to read work. Set over the course of a single night and the first (I believe) of his novels not to be written from a first-person 僕 perspective, this centres on two sisters - one asleep in a mysterious room and viewed through a camera, the other out and about in Tokyo where she encounters various unusual characters including a jazz musician and a love hotel manager.

Why it might be a good choice:
Chance to read Japan’s most famous contemporary novelist in the original
Set in Tokyo so good look at a real Japanese location
Set in the real world
Short, one volume novel
Metaphysical aspect should create good discussion
I suspect several people may have read it in English, which will aid comprehension

Why it might not be a good choice:
Some people just don’t like Murakami
Tendency to blur line between dream and reality may be confusing
Lacks ‘excitment’


Title: Classics Club

Synopsis: Oreki Houtarou is a self-proclaimed “energy-saver”—that is, he refuses to actively waste energy doing things that aren’t necessary. Though he had no interest whatsoever in participating in any clubs upon entering Kamiyama High School, he was commanded by his older sister, Tomoe, to join the club she was once a part of, the Classics Club, as it was in danger of being abolished due to its nonexistent member count. Together with his old friends Fukube Satoshi and Ibara Mayaka, as well as with the elegantly ladylike and curiously inquisitive Chitanda Eru, the newly reformed Classics Club ends up finding themselves involved in all sorts of mystery-solving escapades. Houtarou quickly learns that life in the Classics Club, just as Tomoe had promised, would be an interesting one indeed. And so begins the “Classics Club Series”.

Pros:
It’s the same length as No.6 (224 pages) and it’s available on the Kindle. Also, not only was there an anime adaptation in 2012, there’s also a fan translation of the novel available online for those who would like some extra assistance with comprehension.


Previous books:

キノの旅

Kino wanders around the world on the back of Hermes, her unusual, anthropomorphic motorcycle, and discovers that the world’s imperfections hold its true beauty.

はたらく魔王さま

Do you want fries with your hellfire?

Being soundly thrashed by the hero Emilia, the Devil King and his general beat a hasty retreat to a parallel universe…only to land smack in the middle of bustling, modern-day Tokyo! Lacking the magic necessary to return home, the two are forced to assume human identities and live average human lives until they can find a better solution. And to make ends meet, Satan finds gainful employment at a nearby fast food joint! With his devilish mind set on working his way up the management food chain, what will become of his thirst for conquest?!

ほしのこえ

In this timeless, interstellar love story, the power of love must conquer the distance of outer space. Rated for teens.

魔女の宅急便

Kiki is a resourceful, spunky girl who follows her maternal tradition to be a witch. She possesses only one gift of witchcraft – the power to fly. Like all young witches, she sets out at age 12 to find a town of her own. With her ever-present companion Jiji – a cynical and faithful black cat – Kiki departs on her broomstick and arrives at a big town near the ocean. Though nervous at first, she soon sets up a business delivering packages.

Kiki meets all kinds of people and has many adventures. She befriends the thief who stole her broomstick and saves the town’s traditional New Year’s marathon with some courageous and timely flying.

Throughout, Kiki’s confidence and self-awareness grows as she learns to value her unique talents. And with Kiki’s help, the townspeople realize that everyone has some magic that gives them their own special character and vitality.

This is a charming and delightful tale that is reminiscent of children’s favorites The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy and Astrid Lindgren’s Adventures of Pippi Longstocking. Black and white line drawings sprinkled throughout reveal the humor and warmth in everything Kiki does.

君の名は

Mitsuha, a high school girl living in a small town in the mountains, has a dream that she’s a boy living in Tokyo. Taki, a high school boy in Tokyo, dreams he’s a girl living in a quaint little mountain town. Sharing bodies, relationships, and lives, the two become inextricably interwoven–but are any connections truly inseverable in the grand tapestry of fate?

Written by director MAKOTO SHINKAI during the production of the film by the same title, your name. is in turns funny, heartwarming, and heart-wrenching as it follows the struggles of two young people determined to hold on to one another.

怒り

A grisly unsolved murder links three seemingly unrelated people in three different Japanese cities.

クリムゾンの迷宮

From a rising new star of horror comes a killer read that will make you lose track of time and reality. The Crimson Labyrinth is a wicked satire on extremist reality TV in the tradition of The Running Man-if that indeed is what it is. Welcome to THE MARS LABYRINTH where things aren’t what they seem. Welcome to the world of Kishi, where the plot is as gnarly as the humor is twisted.
When an unemployed former math major wakes up one day, he wonders if he’s somehow ended up on the red planet. The good-looking young woman with aid-she says her name is Ai and that she draws erotic comics for a living-seems to have no clue either as to their whereabouts. Their only leads are cryptic instructions beamed to a portable device. Has the game begun?
There is no reset button, no saving and no continue-make the wrong move and it’s really GAME OVER. In the cruel world of THE MARS LABYRINTH, mercy and compassion are only for the weak or the very, very strong. The stakes are nothing less than your life-and apparently a lot of money.
If you’re a fan of Lost or Battle Royale, don’t miss this one

やはり俺の青春ラブコメはまちがっている

Hachiman Hikigaya is a cynic. “Youth” is a crock, he believes–a sucker’s game, an illusion woven from failure and hypocrisy. But when he turns in an essay for a school assignment espousing this view, he’s sentenced to work in the Service Club, an organization dedicated to helping students with problems in their lives! How will Hachiman the Cynic cope with a job that requires–gasp!–optimism?

時をかける少女

One of Tsutsui’s best-known and most popular works in his native Japan, The Girl Who Leapt through Time is the story of fifteen-year-old schoolgirl Kazuko, who accidentally discovers that she can leap back and forth in time. In her quest to uncover the identity of the mysterious figure that she believes to be responsible for her paranormal abilities, she’ll have to push the boundaries of space and time, and challenge the notions of dream and reality.

just got my book this morning so can someone change my icon please.

Can’t wait to start.

Do you want it as currently reading or just as has the book?

Currently reading please

@Caracal, Did you order from amazon.jp and use White Rabbit? Or were you able to use amazon.uk without issue?

Everyone else :
I’m in the US and it appears I can’t order direct, as I expected.

I just made my amazon.jp account. I’ve never ordered from them before. I can’t read well enough yet to participate in the book club (I can navigate around the site well enough but I’d be way too slow to keep up with you guys in the book), but I do want to order the book and read it on my own. Plus, I will likely begin ordering more things once I figure out the best way to go about it. And I’ll join the book club eventually when my reading skills improve a bit more!

I do want a physical copy (the whole point of this post) and not the ebook.

Tips anyone? I’ve read through a lot of the thread to see if this has already been explained in more detail but I didn’t find much. If it’s there, I apologize in advance and please point me to it. Thanks!

Can someone set my status in the OP to reading, please? Thank you.

1 Like

@Ryouki I used Amazon.jp with White Rabbit. While their service is really convenient for certain items that don’t ship internationally, they can be quite costly. After shipping and handling fees I ended up paying like $27 for a $5 book. When you search for the book on Amazon.jp, look on the left side and filter for items available for Amazon Global. It might be cheaper and faster.

Mine too? お願いします!

1 Like

I was just going off the link in the OP. It looks like it will cost me a total of $17 to use White Rabbit. I’m good with that as long as it arrives in a timely manner and in good condition.

Ok, just be aware that the initial price they give you is just to get the item to their distribution center. Once they have it, they will notify you on how you want it shipped to your country, which will be a separate cost on top of what you’ve already spent.

2 Likes

Awaaaaaaooh 秋の牢獄 sounds fun! Throwing my vote in for that, I’ve never read it :smiley: You might want to make the link to Poll 2 a little…bigger? Or bolder? I’m apparently blind because my eyes missed it and I had to hunt :joy:

bless the in-app dictionary. It helped me when I started reading novels so much haha

1 Like

Ah, good to know. Well, I guess I’ll give it a go and see. Thank you! That was very helpful. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Gotcha’, does that look better?

1 Like

Haha yes, thank you!

Search for posts with amazon and @ sirvorn (that will find you posts by Sirvorn). Sadly, I don’t have the specific post I’m thinking about bookmarked (I really should do that, next time I’m able to find it). Should be in the Campfire section or Archived Japanese Language section (posts from before the move to Discourse). She had some great walkthroughs about buying books from Amazon.co.jp, including one with even more steps to help me specifically when I was purchasing a set of light novels. Also, there’s an “English Language” option in the top right corner somewhere of the page so you can place your order in English. I was specifically looking for used books ( 中古品 ) because they are cheaper, from a 3rd Party Seller that Amazon Prime would fulfill. If you add that to the search, hopefully you’ll find the thread and help I’m talking about. Wish I remembered more about the specific steps, but it was over a year ago and I haven’t purchased anything else since.

EDIT: Not the exact thread or post I was talking about, but a lot of the information is in this thread too: https://community.wanikani.com/t/Buying-Books-Manga-Sets-etc-on-Amazon-JP/13211/5
However, it sounds like (from the bottom of the thread) that purchasing sets no longer counts as 1 Book for Global shipping (so no more 400円 for a set of 11 books)… @Ryouki @sirvorn please confirm if this sadness is really true? O.o