Intermediate Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: TUGUMI

Unfortunately not, that can only be done by the author of the thread (if they are a regular).

But we can call @Mods to the rescue :grin: Could you please turn the OP of the following thread into a wiki? 地球星人 🌏 Book Club ・ Starting Nov 27th! Thanks :slight_smile:

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Done! :ok_hand:

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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 :slight_smile:

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Just Because!

Summary

Japanese

高校三年の冬。残りわずかとなった高校生活。このまま、なんとなく卒業していくのだと誰もが思っていた。突然、彼が帰ってくるまでは。中学の頃に一度は遠くの街へと引っ越した同級生。季節外れの転校生との再会は、「なんとなく」で終わろうとしていた彼らの気持ちに、小さなスタートの合図を響かせた――。2017年10~12月に放映となるテレビアニメの原作小説。湘南を舞台にした青春群像劇を、アニメのシリーズ構成・脚本を手掛けた鴨志田一が執筆。- Bookwalker

English

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

Availability

Amazon JP
Bookwalker

Personal Opinion

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

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • The author likes to use a lot of place names, that can be confusing (could be a pro if you are called @Belthazar)

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One


Additional Pages

Bookwalker Preview

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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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to read a book with the Advanced Book Club?

Here is your chance of finding it out for real!
The Advanced Book Club is currently polling for their next pick, which will be read from January 1st, 2022.

Hop right on, and see you in the reading threads :slight_smile:

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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.

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笑顔のたえない職場です。

image

Summary

新人少女漫画家の双見奈々先生は、年上の女性担当編集者の佐藤 楓さんやアシスタントの間 瑞希さんに支えられながら、時々本人曰く職業病の激しい妄想を拗らせながら、今日もお仕事中! エンタメ業界を舞台にしたワーキングガールズコメディ、第1巻! (Bookwalker)

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!

Availability

Physical: Amazon | CDJapan
Digital: Kindle | Bookwalker

Personal Opinion

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!

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Funny
  • The volume can stand on its own
  • Good density

Cons

  • Manga industry terminology

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One


Additional Pages

Bookwalker preview

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • 1 - No effort at all
  • 2 - Minimal effort
  • 3 - Moderate effort
  • 4 - Substantial effort
  • 5 - So much effort my head might explode :exploding_head:
  • I don’t know

0 voters

I posted this nomination originally in the beginner book club but the results of the difficulty poll were very clearly indicating it being a bit to difficult.

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I just noticed that someone needs to change the title of this thread! Any regulars around?

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Ah, I should have noticed myself, thanks. Changed it.

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笑顔のたえない職場です volume 1 is free to own on Amazon and Bookwalker right now.

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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! :blush:

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I forgot to add my noinations to the main post, so we are up to 12!

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Oh, uh, I didn’t double check on recent nominations :woman_facepalming: Thanks for keeping track of them!

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Author: 小山田浩子 ( Hiroko Oyamada)

Summary

Japanese

仕事を辞め、夫の田舎に移り住んだ私は、暑い夏の日、見たこともない黒い獣を追って、土手に空いた胸の深さの穴に落ちた。甘いお香の匂いが漂う世羅さん、庭の水撒きに励む寡黙な義祖父に、義兄を名乗る見知らぬ男。出会う人々もどこか奇妙で、見慣れた日常は静かに異界の色を帯びる。芥川賞受賞の表題作に、農村の古民家で新生活を始めた友人夫婦との不思議な時を描く2編を収録。

English

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.

Availability

Amazon (paperback bunko and ebook)
Bookwalker (ebook)

Personal Opinion

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

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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

Pictures

First Four Pages

Additional Pages

Bookwalker preview

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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No.

No no no.

Absolutely not.

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I think it’s only a metaphor? :slight_smile:
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.

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I feel you possibly didn’t spot the connection I was trying to make. Have you, perchance, ever read The Enigma of Amigara Fault by Junji Ito? :slightly_smiling_face:

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I hadn’t, but I just looked it up :flushed:

holes really are prevalent, aren’t they

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Just looked at it and it’s scary

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The beginner book club is currently voting on what to read next.

If you are interested head over and participate in the vote :writing_hand:

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