Looking for book recommendations


As the title suggests, I am looking for book recommendations. Specifically, fiction books written in Japanese intended for a native Japanese audience.

EDIT: I lean towards crime/mystery, fantasy, and sci-fi. However, I have enjoyed books from most genres. If I find the story interesting, I like the book (vague I know…).

Thank you!

What kind of books do you like?

Ah, I lean towards crime/mystery, fantasy, and sci-fi. However, I have enjoyed books from most genres. If I find the story interesting, I like the book (vague I know…).

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Haruki Murakami is a Japanese author and his books are really popular their often translated into English as well.

Highly suggest Kafka on the shore and I’ve heard IQ84 is quite good.


I was going to recommend The Three-Body Problem, but I think that’s Chinese.

How about Battle Royale?

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If Meitantei Conan is your jam, there are novelizations of the movies available. They’re aimed at elementary school kids and have furigana, so they’re easy reads.

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While I don’t necessarily have specific recommendations, you might want to check out 小説家になろう, a website where japanese people post books they write for general consumption (including all kinds of genres, it’s not all 異世界).

You might have a look at the rankings for the genre you’re interested in to see what’s popular (and therefore hopefully good).


ゴシック and コップクラフト are two light novel series in the crime/mystery genre, and the latter could also be considered fantasy, I think. Check them out if you feel like it :v:

My personal favorite between these two is コップクラフト.

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I know you didn’t mention manga but I am currently (possibly unhealthily) obsessed with this manga about a cat - 俺、つしま。

Just wanted to spread the word because I think it’s amazing. :slight_smile: There are 2 volumes and it’s quite different from most manga I’ve read, imo.

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cracks knuckles (though I should say up front that I’ve only ever read these in English)

  • Fullmetal Alchemist / 鋼の錬金術師 by Hiromu Arakawa / 荒川 弘
  • The Guest Cat / 猫の客 by Takashi Hiraide / 平出 隆, this very charming and strangely melancholic story about a couple and how a wandering cat changes their lives
  • Haruki Murakami, as mentioned, though I go seriously up and down on him. Some of his books are great, some of his books I don’t like much, and others (even some of the ones I think are great!) I would hesitate to recommend without also including a hefty warning [?!]. From what I’ve read though, you’ve straightforwardly got Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World / 世界の終りとハードボイルド・ワンダーランド, Kafka on the Shore / 海辺のカフカ [?!], After Dark / アフターダーク, and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle / ねじまき鳥クロニクル . In the not so much pile (but possibly still worth checking out), you’ve got 1Q84 (which some people love, and left some people cold - my feelings on it veer up and down erratically across the book as a whole) [?!], Norwegian Wood / ノルウェイの森, Hear the Wind Sing / 風の歌を聴け (which is solid enough slice-of-lifey kinda stuff), and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage / 色彩を持たない多崎つくると、彼の巡礼の年 [?!]
  • In the Miso Soup / イン ザ・ミソスープ by Ryu Murakami / 村上 龍
  • Red Girls: The Legend of the Akakuchibas / 赤朽葉家の伝説 by Kazuki Sakaraba / 桜庭 一樹, this sort of sweeping social history of 20th Century Japan, interlaced with supernatural-type elements
  • Cells at Work! / はたらく細胞 by Akane Shimizu / 清水 茜, this adorable and occasionally absurdly violent manga about anthropomorphized cells in a city that represents the human body, going about their normal tasks of keeping it functioning (though now I think about it this would have pretty specialized vocab, wouldn’t it)
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The Guest Cat

Hey thanks for another intriguing sounding cat book!

Well, other than things already recommended, there’s 万能鑑定士Q. It’s interesting enough; I wouldn’t say it’s the best ever though. It’s a series, so it might get better in later volumes, not sure. In any case, it’s wordlist is available on floflo.moe (an SRS website for learning vocab from books), which is a plus.

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舟を編む (The Great Passage, a drama about a team of people making a new definitive dictionary of Japanese language. Available in english translation; also as anime and as live-action drama, with English subtitles). I’ve linked to Kindle edition at Amazon Japan; I prefer Kindle books because I can get them immediately (I live in USA), and because it’s so easy to look words up in the dictionary.

わたし、定時で帰ります (A workplace drama, set in a web development company; also available as a live-action drama series with English subtitles. See article about this drama in New York Times.) No English translation.

コンビニ人間 See Sayaka Murata’s Eerie “Convenience Store Woman” Is a Love Story Between a Misfit and a Store, in The New Yorker. Available in English translation.

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Also currently being read on these very forums as a book club.

For that matter, just check out all the book clubs. :slightly_smiling_face:


Well, the book club will be over in roughly 48 hours, so I feel “currently” is a bit misleading :joy:
That being said, it’s always possible to ask questions.


And it was very good, so I highly recommend reading コンビニ人間 even if the book club is done with it.


Thanks all!

Actually, that is one of the ones that I am reading at the moment!