Current Book: we’re on hiatus for a bit, but will be looking for new nominations soon!
Start Date: June 3rd 2018 - old pick!
(placeholder till next book is picked)
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!
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.
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
Insert summary from Amazon/Wikipedia/MyAnimeList/wherever here.
Insert link to book on amazon.co.jp here.
Insert link(s) to ebook here, or mention if an ebook is not available.
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.
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.
How much effort would you need to read this book?
[poll type=regular public=true]
- No effort at all
- Minimal effort
- Just right
- Impossible, even with everyone’s help
- I don’t know (please click this if you’re not voting seriously)
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.
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:
The club has a Discord sever (only used for occasional voice chats) here.
(NOTE: no activity since the middle of 2018)
Book Selection Polls
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.
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|
|赤い悪夢 (5分後に意外な結末)||☆☆||An anthology of short stories that are in the horror/mystery/SF genre. They are generaly suppose to take 5 minutes to read for a native Japanese person. This is the blurb from Amazon Japan: SF、ホラー、ミステリー。くすっと笑える話、ぞっとする話、感動する話。ページにして数ページ、5分程度の時間で読めて、最後に「あっと驚くドンデン返し」。そんなショートショートを集めたアンソロジー。、朝読にも最適な一冊||Post||Amazon|
|☆☆||Yuna and her 7 university tennis club friends were kidnapped and woke up in an unknown room. With only one locked door, and water filling into the room fast, they must figure out a way to escape before they all drown.
There’s a lever that opens the door. But it only holds the door open while pulled. One person will have to remain.
And this is just the start. Through a series of death trap rooms, and chances of survival slim, each other’s humanity will be tested. Will the group make it out alive? Will anyone make it out alive? And what awaits upon getting through the final door?
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||-|
|キノの旅||-||Kino wanders around the world on the back of Hermes, an unusual, anthropomorphic motorcycle, and discovers that the world’s imperfections hold its true beauty.||Post||Amazon|
|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|
|君の名は||-||Mitsuha, a high school girl living in a small town in the mountains, has a dream that she’s a boy living in Tokyo. Taki, a high school boy in Tokyo, dreams he’s a girl living in a quaint little mountain town. Sharing bodies, relationships, and lives, the two become inextricably interwoven–but are any connections truly inseverable in the grand tapestry of fate?
Written by director MAKOTO SHINKAI during the production of the film by the same title, your name. is in turns funny, heartwarming, and heart-wrenching as it follows the struggles of two young people determined to hold on to one another.
|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!
Detailed Book Purchasing Advice
Before you buy, here’s a little tip on book types:
- 単行本 (たんこうぼん) means “stand-alone book”. They can be either hardcover or paperback, denoted by ハードカバー or ソフトカバー respectively. They’re slightly larger than their 文庫本 brothers.
- 文庫本 (ぶんこぼん) are small-format paperback books, cheap but usually well-bound.
The Devil is a Part-Timer has a Bunkobon and a Kindle version.