Looking for novels

Looking for some novels or any other kind of books to read. Trying to challenge myself without completely getting discouraged. Preferably near my WK level so probably end up reading something aimed at elementary or possibly JH. A little challenge is fine. I’m living in Japan and near a bookoff so I should be able to find most recommendations. What do you guys like to read? Any recommendations? Just no manga please…
I’m looking into yomi.ai but not sure if I’m using it right or not.


Hi there!

I haven’t read it myself yet (busy with making Yomi.ai into your reading paradise), however I heard good things about「キッチン」by 吉本ばなな .

Hope you’re getting some good novels before the country is going into lockdown as well.

Be safe.


Here are some short stories from Aozora that I’m planning to eventually read:
(I found them on floflo.moe)


Not sure whether they’re above or below your level but they’re worth looking at.


You should check out some of the picks of past book clubs! Depending on your grammar level, maybe you’ll find something in the Beginner Book Club? Also you have the added support of past threads where chapters are discussed and lots of questions already answered.

There is a re-read coming up in June for Kiki‘s Delivery Service, too:


I’ll give it a shot! I know many of the books are manga though so I didn’t browser it too deeply. But I’ll take a look. Sounds good!

My very first novel was キノの旅 when I was around level 8, and I still think it’s the easiest a light novel can get. It has some weird gun-related vocabulary but otherwise the sentence structures are very simple. It has a lot of furigana so words are easy to look up.

My second novel was うちの魔女しりませんか? which has some fantasy vocabulary but very straightforward narrative style.

If you are fine with fantasy vocab, この素晴らしい世界に祝福を! and ゼロの使い魔 are both very easy ones.

I didn’t finish reading it but 俺の妹がこんなに可愛いわけがない seemed to have a very simple everyday vocab.

If you are familiar with informal language and slangs, 安達としまむら isn’t too hard.

氷菓 isn’t very hard either, but might be a little bit denser than the others in sentence structure.


Are light novels basically manga? I stay away from manga mainly because they don’t interest me but also because manga notoriously uses slangs you’ll never use in real life. Just wondering if it’s similar. I’ll look up your suggestions though.

氷菓 seems interesting.

No, they are novels, not manga. Some of them might have a few illustrations here and there but everything else is text.

Of course, most fiction works have uncommon vocabulary depending of the setting, but it isn’t exclusive to light novels. “Normal” books have uncommon vocabulary you might never use in real life too. There’s still a lot of basic vocabulary to learn from them, not to mention sentence structures and grammar. It’s still natural language written by a native, except not as dense as other novels, so they might be more suitable for a language beginner.

Not all manga have slangs like that either. If you look for more real life focused themes, you will find more natural language use as well.


That’s the book currently read by the intermediate book club (i.e. people who should be at N3+ level). Many of us are finding it pretty hard actually. There’s a bit of conversation about that in the home thread and this week’s thread:

As the name implies, they are “light”, so mostly entertainment that should not make the reader think too much (pulp, basically). Demanding on the series, the writing style will be closer to an actual novel (e.g. 氷菓) or a manga (e.g. Sword Art Online).


I’ll give light novels a shot then. 氷菓 sounds difficult but it can’t be much harder than Lord of the Rings (a book I’ve been floundering through).

Thanks for all the suggestions!

1 Like

Hi Erek, I really really like ボッコちゃん from 新一.
It’s a collection of around 50 short storys. I would say most of them are for children, but some for adults as well.
The storys are from 5 pages up to 10 (perhaps ^^) and my version also has some pictures/drawings.

I very much enjoy キノの旅 as well; it’s a terrific place to start!

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.