Saw this in the BBC thread, so wanted to put it out there that I’m willing to run the 地球星人 club. I was planning on writing discussion questions anyway since I’ve read it before in English, and I enjoyed running the コンビニ人間 repeat club last year.
Also happy to not put in the extra work and just enjoy being along for the ride. Your call @Phryne !
I think that’s an excellent suggestion, especially since you were already going to contribute discussion questions. It makes it a lot easier if you make the threads as well, cause then you can post it all at the same time at your leisure.
I don’t mind helping out with a reading schedule, I’d just been holding off for the time being cause I’m waiting to see if the Kindle version might get priced down on Amazon
Could one of the regulars turn the 地球星人 home thread into a wiki?
If you ever wondered what to read once you finished the club’s weekly assignment, wonder no more! The Beginner Book Club is currently voting and you could participate to fill this annoying gap with some nice manga that’s being read at a slow pace
It is winter of their third year of high school, near the end of second semester, when students have very little time in high school left. Everyone is just waiting for graduation. Until Eita Izumi—their classmate in middle school who had moved far away—suddenly moves back home at a peculiar time. This reunites them, as if a go signal rang out to the feelings of the students who had just thought their high school life would end without fanfare. - Wikipedia
I watched the anime a while ago when it came out (2017) and recently discovered that the author who wrote the Bunny girl series also created the anime and the accompanying novel. I really enjoyed the Bunny girl series and since I was looking for a book that does not have a bazzillion sequels, I decided to give this a try. And I have to say it did not disappoint.
The meat of the story is centered around romance!
Pros and Cons for the Book Club
Has an anime adaptation that might be a good extra ressource (they are almost identical)
Easy to understand writing style
On the longer side (233) but since there is a lot of dialog it never felt to dense
A romance that does not have 200 sequels
The author likes to use a lot of place names, that can be confusing (could be a pro if you are called @Belthazar)
Here’s a reminder that our next pick, 地球星人, starts in 1 week! I’ve read it in English and rank it among the best books I’ve ever read. I know of at least a few others who share this opinion, so I strongly recommend giving it a shot.
Nana Futami, a rookie manga artist, is at work today with the support of her editor Kaede Sato and assistant Mizuki Hazama, sometimes suffering from what she calls her “occupational disease”! A working girls comedy set in the entertainment industry!
I had so much fun reading this. It is a great comedy that got a lot of laughs out of me without being overly silly. I would say it is a bit on the more difficult side of things esepcially because of all the manga/industry terminology that needs to be build up, but I felt like the density did not overwhelm!
Hey all, this is just a bit of an early heads-up: We will have our next poll in about a month’s time, and we only have 10 nominations so far, so if you come across an interesting book or manga that would fit the level of this club, please feel free to throw it in the ring!
Asa’s husband is transferring jobs, and his new office is located near his family’s home in the countryside. During an exceptionally hot summer, the young married couple move in, and Asa does her best to quickly adjust to their new rural lives, to their remoteness, to the constant presence of her in-laws and the incessant buzz of cicadas. While her husband is consumed with his job, Asa is left to explore her surroundings on her own: she makes trips to the supermarket, halfheartedly looks for work, and tries to find interesting ways of killing time. One day, while running an errand for her mother-in-law, she comes across a strange creature, follows it to the embankment of a river, and ends up falling into a hole–a hole that seems to have been made specifically for her. This is the first in a series of bizarre experiences that drive Asa deeper into the mysteries of this rural landscape filled with eccentric characters and unidentifiable creatures, leading her to question her role in this world, and eventually, her sanity.
I came across this book by accident, and was intrigued by the title and premise. It seems there is a constant air of mystery and foreboding mixed in with mundane everyday life in the countryside, and this combination appeals to me. Apparently there’s a dreamlike quality to it and a blurred line between what’s true and what’s fantasy, so I thought reading with others and being able to discuss everyone’s interpretations would be more fun than reading alone.
Pros and Cons for the Book Club
Quite short at 208 pages (pages are 160 according to Bookwalker, 137 according to Amazon for the ebook, 208 for the paperback…)
Won the Akutagawa prize
Available in English
The mix of realism and surrealism may not appeal to everyone. Going by some reviews, some readers didn’t “get it”.
Apparently there is more emphasis on atmosphere than plot.
There’s two more stories included in the book, about which I could find no info
I think it’s only a metaphor?
Not sure how claustrophobic it gets to be honest, possibly a lot.
According to this New York Times review of the English translation of the book, holes are very popular in Japanese literature as a whole (sorry for the pun):
She is part of a literary lineage, soon to find herself trapped with Abe’s character in the dunes, with Kenzaburo Oe’s in a pit, or with Haruki Murakami’s at the bottom of a well. There is also a dried-up well in Oyamada’s brief tale, a follow-up to her similarly enigmatic debut, “The Factory” but it’s only one of the many holes in this surreal and mesmerizing book.