Currently Reading: 博士の愛した数式
Sample pages are available in the nomination post.
Start: Sept 19th, 2020
Next Pick: 君の名は
Sample pages are available in the nomination post.
Start: Feb 13th, 2021
The club has a Discord server, which is sometimes used for voice chats / read-along sessions. See specific book threads for current activity.
Links to Discussion Threads
Book 1 | No. 6
Book 2 | Autumn Prison
Book 3 | An Unexpected Conclusion in 5 Minutes: Red Nightmares
Book 4 | The Devil is a Part-Timer!
Book 5 | Kino’s Journey
Book 6 | Convenience Store Woman
Book 7 | The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Book 8 | キッチン (Kitchen)
Book 9 | 氷菓 (Hyouka)
Book 10 | 夜市 (Night Market)
Book 11 | 聖☆おにいさん (Saint Young Men)
Welcome to our Japanese book club! In this club we choose a Japanese book, read it together, and discuss what we've read. It could be meaningful discussion on the content, questions about vocabulary and grammar that confuse us, or just motivating each other to keep moving.
We’d love it if you joined the club! All you have to do is buy the next book lined up, read along with the schedule and join in the discussion!
How to Propose Books
Courtesy of fl0rm and the beginner book club (adapted for this club).
Nominate something you are ready to read
- This is a big cooperative group, but there’s always a minority keeping things active. If your pick wins, there’ll be some expectation that you contribute throughout.
- If you can’t read your own sample pages (at least mostly) you may not be able to judge the difficulty effectively, and won’t be able to help others much.
- Furigana does not imply something is easy (or vice versa); it’s just one factor contributing to difficulty.
Books nominated must not be longer than 350 pages
- Our reading pace means this is the longest we could tackle within a reasonable timeframe.
- A book of short stories can be longer: we will only pick select stories.
Do not nominate anything clearly NSFW
- This can be hard to judge without reading the book, but if you’d associate the work with fanservice or gore, even if just by reputation, please don’t suggest it for this group.
Try to pick something reasonably well-known
- This will increase the reader pool as more people will be interested / already have a copy.
- People will be more able to re-sell or pass along their copy after reading.
- Popular works often have more accessible language.
- Some participants may have already read it, and themes are probably broadly understood, making it easier for members to help each other and for readers to draw inferences from context.
Books that fail to score at least 20% on the last three round of voting will get automatically removed.
- This approach ensures that the list remains reasonably small and dynamic.
- You may nominate a removed book again, but please think about it before hand. Do you think there’s reasonable interest for that nomination?
Taken directly from the beginner book club.
Copy this template into a new post when proposing a book/manga.
For page samples, you can either take photos of your own copy (try to make the three additional pages ‘representative’ if possible), grab photos from the internet, or use previews from e.g. Amazon, BookWalker, EBookJapan. Make sure the text is legible!
# Insert Title Here
Add Japanese summary here.
Add English summary here.
Insert link to book on amazon.co.jp here.
Insert link(s) to eBook here, or mention if an eBook is not available.
## Personal Opinion
Insert why you think this book would be good to read, personally and for the book club here.
### Pros and Cons for the Book Club
* Insert pros here.
* Insert cons here.
[details=“First Three Pages of Chapter One”]
Insert images here (can be photos from you or the internet, or from ebook previews).
Insert a few more images here - try to make them representative.
## Difficulty Poll
How much effort would you need to read this book?
[poll type=regular public=true]
* No effort at all
* Minimal effort
* Moderate effort
* Significant effort
* So much effort my head might explode
* I don’t know
The nomination posts linked under each entry will give you further information, including sample pages.
Mitsuha, a high school girl living in a rural town deep in the mountains, has a dream that she is a boy living an unfamiliar life in Tokyo. Taki, a high school boy living in Tokyo, dreams that he is a girl living in the mountains. As they realize they are changing places, their encounter sets the cogs of fate into motion. Written by director Makoto Shinkai, this work has become a global phenomenon!
Difficulty: [3.21 | 28 votes]
Who am I? My name is Boogiepop…
There is an urban legend that children tell about a shinigami that can release people from the pain they are suffering. This “Angel of Death” has a name–Boogiepop. And the legends are true. Boogiepop is real. When a rash of disappearances involving female students breaks out at Shinyo Academy, the police and faculty assume they just have a bunch of runaways on their hands. Yet Nagi Kirima knows better. Something mysterious and foul is afoot. Is it Boogiepop or something even more sinister…?
Difficulty: [3.00 | 15 votes]
One day, the supervisor in charge of watching over Earth was taking care of a distortion, when they made a mistake that caused Kaoru Nagase to lose her physical body. Not only that, but reincarnating her into a different, less culturally-advanced world is the only thing they can offer to do for her.
Not one to take this turn of events sitting down, Kaoru makes a demand: the power to create potions at any time she pleases, with whatever effect she wants it to have—and it doesn’t stop there either. She asks for a magical Item Box, the ability to understand and speak every language, and the same body she had back when she was a fifteen-year-old girl.
Using her newfound powers, Kaoru has to try and make a stable life for herself in a whole new world!
Difficulty: [3.55 | 11 votes]
All You Need Is Kill
There’s one thing worse than dying. It’s coming back to do it again and again… When the alien Gitai invade, Keiji Kiriya is just one of many raw recruits shoved into a suit of battle armor and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, only to find himself reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. On the 158th iteration though, he sees something different, something out of place: the female soldier known as the Bitch of War. Is the Bitch the key to Keiji’s escape, or to his final death? (from goodreads.com)
Difficulty: [3.31 | 13 votes]
The novelist Kano who lives in Abashiri, Hokkaido, loves his cute sister Aya, but when Aya got a job at a trading company, she started living alone in Yubari. However, when it was discovered that her fiance Okutsu had an affair, Aya committed suicide by jumping off of a building. The elder brother who vowed to revenge on Okutsu invites Okutsu to Abashiri and kills him. On the way to Yubari to hide the body of Okutsu in the car and build an alibi, Kano causes a traffic accident.
From here the story splits into two ⇒
A: The murder is revealed through the traffic accident
B: The murder is not revealed through the traffic accident
… and how about Kano’s fate?
When two parallel worlds are combined into one, the impact becomes clear.
Difficulty: [2.50 | 10 votes]
Aya Kitō was diagnosed with a disease called spinocerebellar degeneration when she was 15 years old. The disease causes the person to lose control over their body, but because the person can retain all mental ability the disease acts as a prison. So in the end she cannot eat, walk or talk.
Through family, medical examinations and rehabilitations, and finally succumbing to the disease, Aya must cope with the disease and live on with life until her death at the age of 25. (from Wikipedia)
Difficulty: [2.4 | 10 votes]
もやしもん - Tales of Agriculture
Sawaki and his friend Kei turn up as first years at Tokyo Agricultural College. Sawaki is the second son of a mould started culture business supplying Koji to, among other businesses, his friend Kei’s family sake brewers. Sawaki has a secret power in that he can both see and talk to microbes as specially the friendly Aspergilus Orizae (koji) from his family home who hitch a ride to university on the miso his family sends. Sawaki and Kei join a seminar group on fermentation lead by professor Itsuki and Grad Student Hasegawa* and the fun ensues.
Difficulty: [2.89 | 9 votes]
乳と卵 - Breasts and Eggs
Breasts & Eggs paints a portrait of contemporary womanhood in Japan and recounts the intimate journeys of three women as they confront oppressive mores and their own uncertainties on the road to finding peace and futures they can truly call their own.
It tells the story of three women: the thirty-year-old Natsu, her older sister, Makiko, and Makiko’s daughter, Midoriko. Makiko has traveled to Tokyo in search of an affordable breast enhancement procedure. She is accompanied by Midoriko, who has recently grown silent, finding herself unable to voice the vague yet overwhelming pressures associated with growing up. Her silence proves a catalyst for each woman to confront her fears and frustrations.
On another hot summer’s day ten years later, Natsu, on a journey back to her native city, struggles with her own indeterminate identity as she confronts anxieties about growing old alone and childless.
(from this review of an English version)
Difficulty: [3.13 | 8 votes]
(Disclaimer: this is [Ditto’s] own translation [of the Japanese summary], mostly done while very tired. There could be mistakes. Also not completely literal)
The “strange psychedelic” Saiketei Riko is, as her name suggests, known as a famous eccentric at her high school and head of the “strange love club”, a club for people with unusual love. What has caught her attention is the rumoured cool boy Kamiuchi Juujin who starts wanting to die as spring comes. Riko guesses that Juujin’s actions are related to strange love and takes an interest in him, but…
Difficulty: [2.5 | 10 votes]
(Spoilers edited out of the Wikipedia summary)
Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō is set in a peaceful, post-cataclysmic world where mankind is in decline after an environmental disaster. Sea levels have risen significantly, inundating coastal cities such as Yokohama, Mount Fuji erupted in living memory, and climate change has occurred. With the seasons being less pronounced, the winters are milder and the summer isn’t scorching anymore. The reduced human population has reverted to a simpler life, and the reader is told this is the twilight of the human age.
Alpha Hatsuseno is an android (“robot person”) who runs an out-of-the-way coffee shop, Café Alpha, on the lonely coast of the Miura Peninsula of Japan. Most chapters of Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō are self-contained slice-of-life episodes depicting Alpha in daily activities, either alone, with customers, or on occasional trips through the countryside or into Yokohama for supplies (whence the “shopping log” of the title came).
Difficulty: [1.87 | 15 votes]
Why are we doing this…?
When Haruhiro came to, he was in the darkness. Not knowing why was he here, or where “here” even was. With him were others who also remembered little more than their own names. What they found when they came out of the underground was a world that was “just like a game.” In order to survive, Haruhiro forms a party with others in the same situation as him, learns skills, and takes his first steps forward into the world of Grimgar as a trainee volunteer soldier.
Not knowing what awaits him… This is a tale of adventure born from the ashes.
Difficulty: [2.11 | 9 votes]
Difficulty: [2.67 | 6 votes]
Difficulty: [2.63 | 8 votes]
Difficulty: [2.33 | 9 votes]
Difficulty: [2 | 5 votes]
Difficulty: [2.44 | 9 votes]
Difficulty: [2.57 | 7 votes]
くま クマ 熊 ベアー
Difficulty: [2.5 | 10 votes]
Please see the Discussion Thread of the current book for direct purchasing links.
Two good options for purchasing physical books are:
The former has economy shipping options which are likely to be cheaper but slower. You can also check out the Amazon site for your home country, or might be able to find the book on Amazon US.
If you can’t find an online store that will ship to you, you can use a forwarding service like Tenso or White Rabbit Express to forward the package to you for a fee. Alternatively, you may be able to find the book at a local Japanese book store such as Kinokuniya; just google your area.
There are several places you may be able to purchase eBooks:
Book Selection Polls
|Poll 1||2017-07-12||23||No. 6 (conducted in the old thread)|
|Poll 2||2017-08-08||48||Autumn Prison|
|Poll 3||2017-10-31||26||Red Nightmares (An Unexpected Conclusion in 5 Minutes)|
|Poll 4||2018-02-27||18||The Devil is a Part-Timer|
|Poll 5||2019-01-25||60||Kino’s Journey (nomination)|
|Poll 6||2019-04-24||39||The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (nomination)
Convenience Store Woman (nomination)
|Poll 8||2019-11-22||27||氷菓 (nomination)|
|Poll 9||2020-04-01||24||Night Market (nomination)|
|Poll 10||2020-07-10||29||聖☆おにいさん (Nomination Post)
Favorite pick poll
Poll regarding the beginner-level book club - Result: Beginners’ Book Club formed
Poll regarding how many votes each person should get - Result: 5 votes
Poll regarding whether to read two books in parallel - Result: no!
Poll to decide how to break the tie on round 7 - Result: extra poll
Proposals that got turned into their own book clubs
|Name + Book Club link|
I Want to Eat Your Pancreas
Magical Girl Raising Project
Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny-Girl Senpai
If cats disappeared from the world
Smoothly Memorise with Manga and Repetition: The Hyakunin Isshu
空挺ドラゴンズ (Lack of interest; removed 07/2020)
最先端の日本酒ペアリング ー SAKE PAIRING (Lack of interest; removed 07/2020)
聖☆おにいさん – Saint Young Men (Picked 07/2020)
博士の愛した数式 - The Professor’s Beloved Equation (Picked 07/2020)
Night Market (Picked 04/2020)
Wolf Children Ame & Yuki (Lack of interest; removed 11/2019)
A lollipop or a bullet (Lack of interest; removed 11/2019)
Tokyo Cat Stroll (Lack of interest; removed 11/2019)
キッチン (Picked 08/2019)
(Manga) Made in Abyss (Lack of interest; removed 08/2019)
(Manga) Land of the Lustrous (Lack of interest; removed 08/2019)
The Familiar of Zero (Lack of interest; removed 08/2019)
紅霞後宮物語 (Lack of interest; removed 08/2019)
The Closet of Nightmares (Lack of interest; removed 08/2019)
Door D (Lack of interest; removed 08/2019)
One in Seven
|Seems to be a tale about a band of fraudsters / con artists planning an operation - with some double crossing intrigue going on between the members. Don’t know for sure about this book, but in general the author is known for having a comic style to his writing.||Post||Amazon|
Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge
|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.
|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.||Post||Amazon|
|Classics Club||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”.||Post||-|
|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.||Post||Amazon|
|怒り||A grisly unsolved murder links three seemingly unrelated people in three different Japanese cities.||Post||Amazon|
|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||Post||Amazon|
|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?||Post||Amazon|
Discussions about the story start at the end of each reading period, but other discussions (for example on the language or on the book club itself) can of course be performed at any time. Just make sure to use
[spoiler] tags for sentences that contain spoilers!
Early Book Club Members
はたらく魔王さま Member List
Red Nightmares Member List
Autumn Prison Member List
- : saiakuma
- Ell (lurking, will participate with next book and read the discussion of 秋の牢獄)
No. 6 Member List
- Caracal (slowly)
- GaijinInu641 (reading, but really slowly)
- Dimono (have the book but planning to just read at my own pace and read the discussion afterwards)
- AnimeCanuck (still working on grammar)
- DuncanDean (lurking, has ordered 秋の牢獄 for the next round)
- Kyayna (lurking, will participate with next book)
- Megbc (lurking, will participate with next book)
- NathaliRe (lurking, will participate with next book)
- Pydron (lurking, will participate with next book)
: Has book and is currently reading along.
: Has book but is not yet reading.
: Has ordered or will order / buy book.