Intermediate Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: Spy x Family・Next: TUGUMI

Looking at my shelf for nominations possibilities I’m thinking:

青春ブタ野郎はバニーガール先輩の夢を見ない
砂糖菓子の弾丸は撃ちぬけない A Lollypop or A Bullet
人間失格 (probably a bit heavy)

Also interested in やはり俺の青春ラブコメはまちがっている, ようこそ実力至上主義の教室へ and 86―エイティシックス― I hear is really good.

Leaning a lot towards light novels, but I probably want to read Your Name and All You Need is Kill more, so I’m not sure I see reason to nominate more competition :eyes: (unless they win over some unfavourable ones).

EDIT: More of a joke but, how about an Isekai being reborn as a vending machine. (自動販売機に生まれ変わった俺は迷宮を彷徨う)[https://bookmeter.com/books/11066001]

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There’s actually already a discussion thread for this book:

(Not with a lot of posts in it, but still figured I could mention it exists)

Maybe I’ll also take a look at what I have to see if there’s anything interesting to nominate

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Interesting! Especially 人間失格 seems to be well-received. (But yeah, sounds heavy…)
But “A Lollipop or a Bullet” has already been nominated and got dropped due to lack of votes (see “Former Nominations” in the OP).

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To add to what @Ditto20 said, 青ブタ was previously nominated (it’s in the list of former nominations under its English title). It was dropped when the thread Ditto mentioned was created.

Re: nominating books even though there are other things you are interested in: it should not matter. Since people can vote on multiple books, it won’t reduce the chances of other books you are interested in… except if they gather more interest, in which case they were good nomination to begin with!

Re: 人間失格: books by 太宰 治 played a major role in the plot of the ビブリア古書堂の事件手帖 series, which I enjoyed a lot, so I was thinking of reading some of them… I guess that could be the occasion :stuck_out_tongue:

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YES! I need more 8man in my life

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Ahh, I now remember seeing that thread but completely forgot about it.

Sorry, I clearly should have done more research beforehand :smile:.

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It should be possible to renominate books even when they don’t get many votes the first time around. After all the competition changes, and so do the book club members.

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I think so too, but I would prefer if the timespan between dropping the nomination and re-adding it was not too short… (and I think in this case it was dropped before the last poll)

Which leads me to: @Naphthalene could you maybe add the date when you drop a nomination?

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It should be possible to give at least an approximation, yes.

I just noticed the edit and what.
But
What. :exploding_head:
I will at the very least need to check the preview of that book :rofl:

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Is it too soon to throw out a recommendation/nomination?

「容疑者Xの検診」東野圭吾
English title: The Devotion of Suspect X by Higashino Keigo

We’re looking for nominations right now in fact. Feel free to formally nominate that book using the template in the OP, as long as it meets the length requirements.

Isn’t that the third book in a series, though? The author looks interesting. Actually saw an interview with him in the newspaper not too long ago. Seems like he has quite a lot of international audience.

容疑者Xの献身

The Devotion of Suspect X

Summary

Japanese

運命の数式。命がけの純愛が生んだ犯罪。 東野圭吾作品読者人気ランキング第1位。累計220万部突破、直木賞受賞の大ベストセラー。 天才数学者でありながら不遇な日々を送っていた高校教師の石神は、一人娘の美里と暮らす隣人の花岡靖子に秘かな想いを寄せていた。 ある日、靖子の前夫・富樫が母娘の居場所を突き止めて訪ねてきた。金を無心し、暴力をふるう富樫を、靖子と美里は殺してしまう。 呆然とする二人を救うために、石神は完全犯罪を企てる。 だが皮肉にも、石神と帝都大学の同期であり、親友である物理学者の湯川学がその謎に挑むことになる。 ガリレオシリーズ初の長編。第134回直木賞受賞作。第6回本格ミステリ大賞受賞。2005年度の国内の主要ミステリランキング「本格ミステリ・ベスト10」「このミステリーがすごい! 」「週刊文春ミステリベスト10」すべてにおいて1位獲得、エドガー賞(MWA主催)候補作にもなった。

English

Yasuko lives a quiet life, working in a Tokyo bento shop, a good mother to her only child. But when her ex-husband appears at her door without warning one day, her comfortable world is shattered.

When Detective Kusanagi of the Tokyo Police tries to piece together the events of that day, he finds himself confronted by the most puzzling, mysterious circumstances he has ever investigated. Nothing quite makes sense, and it will take a genius to understand the genius behind this particular crime…

One of the biggest-selling Japanese thrillers ever, and the inspiration for a cult film, The Devotion of Suspect X is now being discovered across the world. Its blend of a page-turning story, evocative Tokyo setting and utterly surprising ending make it a must-read for anyone interested in international fiction.

Availability

Amazon link here.
eBook available.

Personal Opinion

This guy is one of the titans of Japanese mystery/crime fiction, and this is probably his best known book. Still, it’s not gruesome crime. This is from a review on Amazon.jp for the current selection, 「夜市」, and I think it applies well here too: ホラー系が苦手な方でも安心して読める作品です。

Come for the noir streets of Tokyo, the thrill of the chase, and a penetrating look, I think, into the Japanese psychology.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • A mature read
  • No super specialized vocabulary
  • English language version exists
  • Internationally popular
  • It has a movie
  • Realistic fiction

Cons

  • A bit on the longer side of the page limit
  • Realistic fiction

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One




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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Technically the third book? I know he has written this detective in other books, but it can be read stand-alone. Similar to Dan Brown’s books, if you’ve read any: technically they’re a series, but they are complete as independent reads.

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Hmmm… I guess this should read …の献身 ?

Also, I happen to own that book, and my copy says 394 pages, which I reckon is too long for the book club (we have a hard limit of 350 pages but a soft limit of rather 300 pages iirc)…

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Good catch, fixed. It peaks over the limit by a few pages. A worthy investment, though, if exceptions can be made.

I think this should be decided by everybody, because the thing is, if we stick with the usual intermediate club speed of 15 pages per week, this will give us 6 months’ worth of reading material, which might be a bit monotonous (especially for those who don’t like the book and just read it for the book club’s sake, or even for those who want to skip the book). That’s why we usually apply this length restriction, so that we get to read different material in relatively short succession to keep things lively.

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Oh golly, definitely wouldn’t spend 6 months on it. But, looking at the samples, I think it’s pretty easy reading for most people here. 15 pages a week would probably be a bit underkill. I think it would be pretty reasonably, after the first week or two (the beginning of a book is always hardest, right?), to move at a pace of ~40 pages a week. A ~9 week read, averaging 6 pages a day.

That said, I’m the new guy here. I’ll defer to you all. Merely, it’s a good book, and I think it’s well within the scope of an intermediate reading club.

edited for wrong math lol.
P.S. Really wanted to hop on for 「夜市」, just couldn’t get my hands on a copy in a timely fashion.

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Clearly the solution is to up the pace :eyes:

Not that I’m already behind in the current book or anything…

But honestly I feel like 15 pages a week could easily be increased a bit. This is the intermediate club afterall, and I often read that in one go.

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