Intermediate Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: セーラー服と機関銃 // Next: 変な家

Looking forward to joining this one! よろしくお願いいたします。 :blush:

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Yo, that would be awesome. Your help is more than welcome. I’ll be picking up the book on Kindle. I’ll try to start figuring everything out this coming weekend.

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In the book we’re currently reading we ended up with 20 pages because there are a lot of empty pages and the text density is a bit lower than in some earlier picks.

I think the Kindle loc numbers are a decent indication of density? Or just counting the number of characters on a physical page. I download the Kindle version, strip it into plain text and then look up the character count.

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Hello! This is my first time posting on the WaniKani forums. I joined specifically for the book clubs! I’m in a Discord book club for コンビニ人間 and I like it so much I keep reading the weekly pages the first day of the week haha.

I checked out the advanced book club as well but this next book seems more interesting to me so I think I’ll join. Looking forward to it!

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Like @Phryne said, it depends on the book at hand. We read a few rather “episodic” books who seem to have less text per page and also more fluff like their own chapter page and stuff, so to balance that out, we increased the pages per week a little bit.
In order to double-check the amount of text there is per page (on average) I usually look at the Amazon page number vs. the Bookwalker “standardized page” count. For おばちゃん the ratio is that one physical page contains slightly less than 80% of the text of one “standardized page”, while for 君へ it’s slightly more than 90%, which is what we usually see in other “novel-style” books as well. So I would rather lean towards the 15 pages with that one. But if it is unavoidable, I think going to 17-18 for some weeks should not be an issue.

I usually determine the factor between the total number of locations (or in my case it would be ebook pages) and the number of physical pages as given by Amazon. With that I go back and forth. It’s not perfect as it doesn’t properly account for (almost) blank pages and such, but I found it to work sufficiently well. (I’d say I used this for 95% of the bookclubs I ran, so there’s that.)
And once the home thread is up, you can ask for page numbers from people who own a physical copy, to double-check.

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The next pick of the IBC is already decided, but the Mystery Book Club over at Natively is currently having a poll to decide their next pick. If you’re in a mood for a mystery, why not come over and vote?

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Oi. The home thread for 僕が愛したすべての君へ is up. Please let me know if I made any mistakes.

@seanblue, let me know when you have the schedule ready and I’ll update the post.

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Haven’t looked at IBC posts in ages…

Just bought this book randomly at a con’s flea market a few weeks ago for 1,5 euros.

Now I find out it’s the next read of the club; this must be some kind of sign :sweat_smile:.

Had no idea what it was, but it was pretty much the only novel left there in Japanese (generally not many either).

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The other day I noticed that we just finished our 20th book with this club :tada: To celebrate this and to continue the tradition that @Naphthalene started, here is the

Book Club Pick Celebration Poll!

This poll celebration covers the books #11 to #20 (they were selected in poll #10 to #16).

Which books have you read (either with the club or on your own)?

  • 聖☆おにいさん
  • 博士の愛した数式
  • 君の名は
  • コーヒーが冷めないうちに
  • ヨコハマ買い出し紀行
  • 地球星人
  • 佐賀のがばいばあちゃん
  • Spy x Family
  • TUGUMI
  • おばちゃんたちのいるところ

0 voters

What’s your favorite book of the list? (Regardless of whether you read it with the club or not)

  • 聖☆おにいさん
  • 博士の愛した数式
  • 君の名は
  • コーヒーが冷めないうちに
  • ヨコハマ買い出し紀行
  • 地球星人
  • 佐賀のがばいばあちゃん
  • Spy x Family
  • TUGUMI
  • おばちゃんたちのいるところ

0 voters

Conversely, what’s your least favorite book of the list? (Regardless of whether you read it with the club or not)

  • 聖☆おにいさん
  • 博士の愛した数式
  • 君の名は
  • コーヒーが冷めないうちに
  • ヨコハマ買い出し紀行
  • 地球星人
  • 佐賀のがばいばあちゃん
  • Spy x Family
  • TUGUMI
  • おばちゃんたちのいるところ

0 voters

Feel free to also comment on what you think of the organization, what you’d change, which book was the easiest/hardest, etc.

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The Beginner Book Club is currently holding a vote on what to read next. If you are interested in reading something a bit easier head over there and vote!

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Doing a cross shout out from the Natively forums for the Mystery Book club which is now voting. The poll will auto close on April 10th 0:00 UTC.
Most of the books would be appropriate for the Intermediate or Advanced book clubs, although our pacing usually matches the ABC more. Always happy to have new members join and speculating on whodunnit and howdunnit is lots of fun :female_detective:

I’ll shout this out in the ABC as well, sorry for those of you in both threads!

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Hey, I noticed that the next book is starting in about 2 months, and was wondering around which time does the poll for the book choice usually happen? I’ve been considering taking the leap from Beginner’s book club to the Intermediate book club, so I’m asking mainly out of curiosity :slight_smile:

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Hey and welcome to the Intermediate Club :blush:

You joined at a good time actually - the current book will end on June 16th, and thus the new pick will start on June 24th (after a 1-week break between clubs). We usually poll around 6 weeks before the new pick’s club starts, so my plan is to start the poll on May 8th or 9th.

Speaking of which, if anybody wants to propose a new book for the club, please feel free to do so (at any time, but especially starting now)! The submission template is in the OP. We have 5 free spots at the moment, so first come first poll :grin:

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I was originally hesitant a bit, but I’ll shoot my shot

かぐや様は告らせたい〜天才たちの恋愛頭脳戦~ (Kaguya-sama: Love is War)

Author: Aka Akasaka
Page count: 214
Natively: L30

Summary

Copied from amazon, the English one isn’t a translation of the Japanese one sadly.

Japanese

「恋愛は告白した方が負けなのである!」 家柄も人柄も良し!! 将来を期待された秀才が集う秀知院学園!! その生徒会で出会った、副会長・四宮かぐやと会長・白銀御行は互いに惹かれているはずだが…何もないまま半年が経過!! プライドが高く素直になれない2人は、面倒臭いことに、“如何に相手に告白させるか”ばかりを考えるようになってしまった!? 恋愛は成就するまでが楽しい!! 新感覚“頭脳戦”ラブコメ、開戦!!

English

Two geniuses. Two brains. Two hearts. One battle. Who will confess their love first…?!

As leaders of their prestigious academy’s student council, Kaguya and Miyuki are the elite of the elite! But it’s lonely at the top… Luckily for them, they’ve fallen in love! There’s just one problem—they both have too much pride to admit it. And so begins the daily scheming to get the object of their affection to confess their romantic feelings first…

Availability

Currently some of these are free to read until early may
Ebook B-W: Amazon, Bookwalker
Ebook Color: Amazon, Bookwalker
Paperback: Amazon, CD Japan

Personal Opinion

I’m a sucker for romance and Kaguya-sama is one of the best, if not the best romantic show airing right now as an anime. The manga mostly follows the same exact plot with some additional stories that weren’t animated. It’s fun, sometimes a bit over the top, but that’s part of the enjoyment. It’s also quite funny.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Heavy use of (even uncommon) kanji, so you can challenge your reading ability
  • Mostly disjointed stories, so you can pick up and put down the manga quite easily
  • As of November of 2022, the series is finished, so you get an actual ending if you continue reading
  • Decent (though not at all perfect) ebook quality

Cons

  • Heavy use of kanji without any furigana, making lookups a bit of a chore sometimes
  • Mostly dijointed stories in the first volume, you don’t get a very strong overarching plot
  • The series is finishes, so besides the offshoots, you won’t get any more content ever if you finish it
  • Has quite a bit of handwritten (or at least handwritten-like) text outside of bubbles

Pictures

Screenshotted from the amazon web reader, because I’m lazy, so quality isn’t representative

First Three Pages of Chapter One



Additional Pages (from a bit later in the first chapter)



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

7 Likes

I think it’d depend on translation if this is intermediate or advanced, but anyone interested in a Japanese version of Dracula Daily?

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あん (Eng: Sweet Bean Paste)

Cover

An
an2

Author: Durian Sukegawa ( [ドリアン助川)
Page count: 195-238 (Amazon, bookwalker and natively all give a different page count…)
Natively: Level 29

Summary

Japanese

誰にも生まれてきた意味がある。 どら焼き店の軒先から始まる、限りなく優しい魂の物語 線路沿いから一本路地を抜けたところにある小さなどら焼き店。 千太郎が日がな一日鉄板に向かう店先に、バイトの求人をみてやってきたのは70歳を過ぎた手の不自由な女性・吉井徳江だった。 徳江のつくる「あん」の旨さに舌をまく千太郎は、彼女を雇い、店は繁盛しはじめるのだが……。 偏見のなかに人生を閉じ込められた徳江、生きる気力を失いかけていた千太郎、ふたりはそれぞれに新しい人生に向かって歩き始める――。 生命の不思議な美しさに息をのむラストシーン、いつまでも胸を去らない魂の物語.

English

Sentaro has failed. He has a criminal record, drinks too much, and his dream of becoming a writer is just a distant memory. With only the blossoming of the cherry trees to mark the passing of time, he spends his days in a tiny confectionery shop selling dorayaki, a type of pancake filled with sweet bean paste.

But everything is about to change.

Into his life comes Tokue, an elderly woman with disfigured hands and a troubled past. Tokue makes the best sweet bean paste Sentaro has ever tasted. She begins to teach him her craft, but as their friendship flourishes, social pressures become impossible to escape and Tokue’s dark secret is revealed,
with devastating consequences.

Sweet Bean Paste is a moving novel about the burden of the past and the redemptive power of friendship. Translated into English for the first time, Durian Sukegawa’s beautiful prose is capturing hearts all over the world.

Availability

Amazon, Bookwalker, Verasia, CD Japan

Personal Opinion

I read the english version of the book a few years ago and fell in love with it. It’s a delicate story and I really like the interaction between the different characters, as well as the story of Tokue, one of the main characters of the book. It also gives you the insight into themes considered taboo in Japanese society (disease, disability), and I learned a lot from it.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Relatively short read, so probably not too exhausting
  • Relatively well known (considered an international bestseller). Plus, it has a movie
  • Interesting portrayal of ‘taboo’ themes (crime, disease, disability) but brings overall a positive message
  • Good character portrayal and interactions - specially between the two main characters, an elderly lady and a young man trying to turn his life around

Cons

  • Some people may be put off by the (taboo) themes. There is also mention of death.
  • No furigana (apart from lesser known kanji)

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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Reminder ping, might be time to get the voting going.

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Thanks for the ping! My current holiday tour is more demanding than I had expected, but today I should be able to get this poll going :hand_with_index_finger_and_thumb_crossed:

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Thank you all so much for your patience and kindness :bowing_woman:

Without further ado, here is

The Poll!!!

Have a look at the List of Proposed Books section in the first post for details on each book. Every book has a difficulty associated with it (based on book club members voting, thus subjective) out of 5, where 1 means “no effort at all” and 5 means “so much effort my head might explode”. The difficulty is annotated in the poll in square brackets after the book’s name, together with the book’s level on Natively (you can find the links to Natively for all books in the first post if you want to have a look at the gradings in detail).

Do not rely solely on difficulty or Natively level when making a choice. Please have a look at nomination posts if you haven’t already.

Expected reading pace: We aim to read books at ~15 pages per week (that number might vary a bit throughout, depending on the book’s breaks and chapters). For manga, depending on difficulty and chapter length, we will probably read one to several chapters per week. The pick’s exact reading schedule will be negotiated before the book club kicks off.

Short book rule: If the first place ist taken by a pick that will take us 6 weeks or less to read, we will read the one in second place directly after it, without running a poll in between. I haven’t checked in detail, but I’d assume that this basically applies in case one of the manga wins the poll.

Start of Book Club: We will start the next book on June 24th (after a one-week break).

Poll duration: The poll will be closed on 2023-05-19T10:00:00Z. You can choose up to 5 options.

  • きらきらひかる [2.67 / L33]
  • 日本人の知らない日本語 (Manga) [2.44 / L27]
  • 天気の子 [2.67 / L30]
  • ガイコツ書店員本田さん (Manga) [2.45 / L32??]
  • 穴 [2 / L37]
  • 人質の朗読会 [2.43 / L30??]
  • 死にたいけどトッポッキは食べたい [2.8 / L30??]
  • 嵐のピクニック [3 / L30??]
  • 推しの子 (Manga) [2.86 / L30]
  • 禎子の千羽鶴 [2.29 / L29]
  • 西の魔女が死んだ [2.29 / L27]
  • はたらく細胞 (Novel) [2 / L??]
  • パレード [2.67 / L34]
  • 掏摸 [2 / L30??]
  • 少年と犬 [2 / L30??]
  • かぐや様は告らせたい〜天才たちの恋愛頭脳戦~ (Kaguya-sama: Love is War) (Manga) [3.67 / L30]
  • あん (Eng: Sweet Bean Paste) [3.17 / L29]

0 voters

14 Likes

I didn’t realize this had even been nominated until I saw the poll. I bought it several months back after a booktuber I like talked about how great it is and it happened to be on sale :sweat_smile:

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