(sorry if this question was answered already, i did scroll up a little bit, but got discouraged by the number of posts)
i started putting a serious effort into reading about 4 weeks ago, with my first light novel. had a timeout because i got ill, but i’m now 120 pages in, and it’s going reasonably well. i’ve been doing reasonably well with reading at least a bit every day, but i’m kind of looking for a space where i can talk about my experience with reading. so i hope there will be a summer challenge!
You got this! I also second these threads as a great place to talk about what you’re reading. I feel like I’d bog down the JoJo thread, but if I’m just talking about what I read the night before here, it feels very natural.
It’s cool that Amazon points expire together and not individually (and a year after last credit) because I keep forgetting about them. CDJapan points I at least remember to apply, though I don’t know if I’ve let any expire…
I read ch 4-6 and the 描き下ろし of ＳとＮ, finishing the volume! The two of them almost have a moment in Natori’s room, until the twins burst in to greet Kazu-nii and Setoguchi switches gears in 0.1 seconds, practically giving Natori whiplash lmao
While out, Natori happens to spot Setoguchi with who he assumes to be his girlfriend and gets pissed, and he doesn’t care to examine exactly why. When he finally realizes he has feelings for him, it surprises him like a smack to the face, though I think his friend Kaji at least suspected. Setoguchi confesses anew, and though he expects Natori to say yes this time, when he does, he’s still overcome to the point of bursting into tears. Anyway, I think I like 星だけが知ってる better, but this one’s cute, too.
Some vocab of note:
寝覚めが悪い (ねざめがわるい) [expression] to have an uneasy conscience
ぶっ飛ぶ (ぶっとぶ) [バ五, intransitive] to lack common sense
粘り勝ち (ねばりがち) [noun] hard-fought win; winning through perseverance
カンスト [noun, する verb] hitting the maximum value of a numeric counter (in a video game). Abbreviation of カウンターストップ.
Yesterday I started and finished Happiness vol.3. This manga is so sparse on words, it doesn’t even feel like an achievement. Even when they do speak, half of it is just them repeating each other’s names. The story is now (since the end of vol.2) entering light horror territory, but it’s developing way too slowly for me. It has been interesting enough, but I don’t think I’m invested enough to buy the rest of the volumes, especially given how little reading I’d be getting out of them.
So now if I somehow manage to also finish Spy X Family before June is out, I can start the summer challenge with a clean(ish) slate!
Thank you both for the input! I guess since there is some unexplainable slightly creepy feeling, it will have to qualify at a stretch. I was going to read it anyway, after all! And I had a look at the horror award winners yesterday, but since there’s a lot of horror that creeps me out too much, I didn’t dare try out any of them in the end. (on the other hand, 夜市 was among the winners, and it wasn’t creepy in the slightest)
Of course! What I meant was that because I haven’t read much yet, the sample I have is too small to draw useful results from. I too choose based on content/author, but I’ve made some allowances for book club picks, reading books that I wouldn’t otherwise have chosen.
Bookwalker doesn’t label 夜カフェ as a light novel either, so I guess I really haven’t read any. It’s labeled 児童文学 though…
I don’t mind schoolchildren as such. They were very well done in 告白 for example. I do mind a little when the main theme of the book are ordinary worries of adolescence (see Takagi and 夜カフェ). They are cute and all, but it wasn’t my favourite time of life when I went through it, and I don’t see why I need to vicariously go over it again and again. The Japanese on the other hand seem to be fascinated by that age for some reason, judging from how many books and manga are centered around adolescence.
and I remembered a recent discussion about how 愛する can be used
Then I got distracted by this layout and how neat it is that the top panel blends in the spine, so you can look at it as either 1 panel or 2, and then how the direction of the driving directs how you’re supposed to read the pages.
Oh man… I like this shot a lot, there’s just something very intense about it. And モクマ’s serious mode for sure, for obvious reasons. Still definitely think people becoming feral like that is somehow tied to the experiments, but no idea of the specifics.
Oh yeah that reminds me, I’ve been thinking about the shot in the op of someone carrying ルーク away from a fire and I have a ~theory~: I think it’s アーロン, and I think he was saving him from the explosion at the lab. So yeah I think both of them were involved with the experiments somehow (probably as test subjects) until the explosion (maybe set so they could escape? maybe they were involved in the explosion somehow?) and ルーク ended up taken to an orphanage in whatever country he’s from for some reason and he just doesn’t remember any of it but アーロン does, and that’s how he ended up on the streets on his own (and also got all his beast traits maybe??). Idk アーロン reacted weirdly when ルーク first told him his name, like he knew him somehow, and maybe it’s because he saw the bracelets? Wherever they’re from, but I definitely think there’s stuff going on there. Quite possibly all of them are tied to the experiments in one way or another
Anyway more wild stuff from today; モクマ and チェズレイ made me sad again, モクマ… doesn’t value his life a whole ton, which… yeah. But there is history here, again possibly connected, possibly not, but things got serious:
And yeah there’s that There’s still so much I don’t know about either of their backstories, there’s been like nothing concrete and I’m so curious, there’s clearly a lot there.
Lately I’ve also been reading random stuff on pixiv just as kind of a low-energy kind of activity, and that’s been fun! I’m very much not looking anything up or worrying about precision with it, and I’m able to do it pretty comfortably as just a low-commitment fun thing which is cool. A change of pace from my typical nonsense
What I meant when I said “I actively research” is a bit different and not at all tied into content or author; I mainly choose books based on recommendation alone (by Japanese friends, blogs, webpages, or awards, mainly). This way I have all sorts of authors and all sorts of topics on my to-read list (and all sorts of difficulty levels, but that’s a different story )
Book clubs are of course separate from that (but as I propose a lot of books to the book clubs, I manage to get a bit of that into the clubs as well )
I rather think there are lots and lots of books that are aimed at teenagers? And as teenagers’ books (especially those aimed at younger ones) tend to have more straightforward themes and vocabulary, they tend to be easier to read and therefore more attractive to language learners. And once you entered that bubble, you’re caught in it
But really, if you look at books for adults, there are many without children in them (or at least where children are not the protagonists).
I ended up reading the rest of the series, and it turns into something quite different, but with some bits that were actually quite unpleasant. And definitely not kids’ stuff anymore! But apart from a couple of volumes, the pattern of only small amounts of speech does generally continue. I think I was glad I read it, but there were several points where I considered stopping.
You raise an interesting topic. In fact I wanted to make a thread about that at some point, but for some reason I haven’t (yet?). How do readers choose what to read next? Favourite authors and favourite genres are an obvious answer, recommendations and awards are another. I use all of those, but I feel like I may be missing out on a lot more worthwhile content that isn’t as prominently featured - the criteria for awards are not necessarily the same criteria I would use for evaluating a book, and the Japanese-reading community (outside of Japan) is small enough that the same recommendations go around again and again without a lot of new input. Amazon reviews and native sites about reading would be another way to choose books from a wider pool, but this again isn’t perfect. I’ve easily spent endless hours looking for what to read next, and even those endless hours are not always fruitful. And it doesn’t help that sometimes I’m in the mood to read something incredibly specific and have no way to look for it. Like now that I’ve been looking for “horror” recommendations. I think that what I mean may be a vaguely menacing atmosphere, a story that makes me feel vaguely trapped, a hint of something unexplainable just at the edge of one’s vision, a very vague, very abstract terror, while life continues as normal? I’ve used so many words, and it’s still not clear what I’m looking for, so how on earth would I go about finding something like that? I think there was a website at some point that tried to solve this with English language books, using keywords and associations based on mood and content, but when I tried it its database wasn’t large enough to be worthwhile, and I’ve now even forgotten what it was, if it even still exists.
There’s also the bookshop method: Pick a book from the shelf because the cover or the title caught your attention, read a random paragraph, decide to get it. I used to do it all the time in my paper book days. For some reason, it’s not as easy to do online? And I unfortunately have no way to visit a Japanese bookstore at the moment. Not to mention that I still haven’t quite decoded how Japanese book covers work. Some look too childish, or too pulpy, in my eyes, yet the actual books are anything but. I can usually more or less guess at the content and quality of an English book by the cover (with a large margin of error of course), not so with Japanese books so far.
TLDR: So many books, so little time, and choosing books is hard!
Yes, it took quite a few turns already, in these three volumes. You think you know where the story is going, but then it surprises you again and again (not always pleasantly, but it’s that kind of story). I wouldn’t mind some spoilers on how it continues, if it’s okay with you.
Not sure how helpful this is for folks whose media experiences are very different from mine, but I’ve had absolutely no trouble finding things that I want to read. I have the opposite problem, actually .
If you’re interested in manga, the Bookwalker freebies thread is a great place to find stuff that might be of interest, and since it’s free, you can easily drop a series if it turns out not to be to your taste.
Other than that, I’ve also had some success searching in Japanese for recommendations. When I discovered the 大人絵本 medium, I searched the phrase in Japanese and then skimmed reviews (in Japanese) and chose a few books that looked interesting. The better your Japanese, the more luck you’ll have fine-tuning your searches and asking for more specific stuff, probably.
I also recommend following Japanese fans and/or content creators who are into your favorite genres on twitter. Most of my personal to-read list has come from following people in the Japanese pro wrestling community. I’ve seen wrestler autobiographies that I want to read, magazine interviews on topics related to wrestling and not, manga recommendations that look interesting, even a 大人絵本, haha. It’s the same way I find out about many cool books and such in English. If you find people that share your personal tastes, you’ll get loads of great recommendations that are much more likely to be books that you’ll enjoy.
So there are a few surprising turns in volume 4, but nothing that particularly shakes things up until near the end. Volume 5 focuses more on Gosho, and near the end is where things take a sudden leap with a major time skip. From here on, the characters are all essentially adults.
The focus of the story then moves away from Okazaki and Nora, actually for quite some time. Volumes 7 and 8 were my least favourite with some quite unpleasant scenes. Edit: the main thing being a major character being tortured. Also some flashbacks showing animal cruelty among other things. Actually not much in the way of sex scenes, except in vol 4.
Thanks! You’ve kept your spoilers very general (in case someone else considers taking a look) and I can say I’m intrigued… I assume, judging from what you said and some panels in the beginning, that there will be sex scenes, possibly weird ones, later on?
In order to stop derailing this thread, I made a thread on choosing new books to read here:
This sounds like the gothic genre to me (it isn’t all romances, although perhaps many are). So maybe with a potential english label for the genre, you can find recommendations? Although not sure how you’d get them in Japanese. Sorry.
I did exactly the same back in my paperback days (for English books). And I still did this a bit while browsing BookOff for manga (while I was in Japan).
I get more or less all my recommendations for books in Japanese from this forum. Across the REDC threads, the 多読 extensive reading thread, book club picks and nominations, and random recommendation threads, I feel like I’ve seen a pretty wide selection of books (across many genres and such).
As to how to choose what to read next, when it comes to Japanese books I’m limited by my current knowledge. So I pick among the easiest ones I own (mostly), and I’m waiting with the more difficult ones. I also read slow enough that I don’t have to choose new books and such so often. And I can always continue the series I’ve started.
When it comes to my reading in general. I’m at a bit of a loss too. But I tend to pick books from authors I’ve read and liked in the past. And for unknown authors, they tend to be recommendations from friends or from book bundles (like game bundles, you get a lot of books on a theme/genre from (mostly) different authors).
I found one of my favourite series – ビブリア古書堂の事件手帖 – like that. I was wandering through the bookshop in a random Japanese shopping mall and picked it up based on the cover (that, and books with a theme about books or bookshops are something I like).
Browsing Japanese books is definitely harder for me though – it requires more time and effort to scan titles, read back-of-book blurbs, flip through opening sections, and so on.
Yes, it’s possible. I had tried looking at the gothic genre before (not in Japanese), but it seemed to me that romance and religion was much more prevalent than I’d like. I’ll look into it again at some point.
Depending on when you did that last, you might find a lot more on the market (especially in the ebook market). The indie revolution have hit books (just like it hit music) from when the kindle came out. This means that most genres have expanded, as in books that wouldn’t have been published before because ideas like “gothic is only romance” are now getting published.
I can’t say if this has happened to gothics to be fair, because gothic is not my genre. But the possibility certainly exists, and I know it has happened to a lot of other genres. With new sub-genres coming into being every few months (previously I would have said new sub-genres seemed to come every day).
Being an author, I’m kinda plugged into what is happening in the publishing industry.