My answer won’t be very helpful to you, but I thought I’d still say that I’ve read two of her books in English translation, many years ago. The first one was the Diving Pool, and while I remember no details at all, I remember liking it so much that I had to seek other books by her. I read the Housekeeper and the Professor next, which I also liked, but it was very different in tone. I may not have read her in her native language (yet) but I do recommend her as an author.
Thanks! The book club was actually one of the reasons I bought the book, as I was not yet confident in reading something totally on my own. I certainly will read the threads!
Oooh that’s interesting! I came across a webpage that recommended the “10 must-read Japanese books ever” or something when I started venturing into thinking about reading Japanese books (of course they talked about the English translations, but I was of course interested in the Japanese originals), and it also mentioned the Diving Pool, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out its Japanese title, so I thought that it’s maybe a short story collection that only appeared in English in this form? Do you know more about this?
When I read my first novel last summer I thought I was going to learn words as I went…Reader, I did not learn the words as I went. There were too many of them.
I read from paper books and look up words in the takoboto app on my phone, and then add Every Single Word I Do Not Know to one of my lists. I have a huge long list of general words and then some specific lists for animals, plants, things to do with the body and food. Every couple of months I export these lists into my flashcards app (I use Flashcard Deluxe rather than Anki) and then slowly learn a few more as and when I have the time.
When the general list is exported into my flashcards I whizz through and put all the words where I know the kanji already into a ‘quick wins’ list for when I’m feeling lazy and the rest got stuck into the big long pile of ‘words I will learn one day’ that I try to learn a few of each week.
I’ve been surprised how often I’ll remember the context where I first saw a word when I come to learn it, so I think there’s more memory-making involved in this process than it may seem at first.
Day 2 - Calendar
Read the 7th chapter of 夜カフェ today and it was so fun? Well, it was about cooking, of course it was fun. Somehow I like to learn vocabs about cooking and ingredients and so one. True with English and true with Japanese as well.
Anyways, I always give the whole chapter a quick read before I “decipher” it. Though it starts to actually feel more like reading very slowly. So I “deciphered” only 4 pages then I got distracted by the movie ジョゼと虎と魚たち. I don’t regret it though. It was a nice watch.
It seems you’re right, the book is a collection of three novellas, and this exact collection doesn’t seem to exist in Japanese. ダイヴィング・プール seems to be included in 冷めない紅茶, and the other two stories, 妊娠カレンダー and ドミトリイ, in 妊娠カレンダー.
I read this weeks BBC assignment of 夜カフェ today, which was 9 pages of text.
It took me a long time, but mostly because I’m still getting used to reading vertically, and having a lot of text, since I’ve only really read manga before this.
There were a few instances of me looking up words that were written in kana because I thought I didn’t know them, and then realizing I did know them once I saw the kanji. So I started typing some of the kana-heavy sentences into a google doc when I was having trouble with them so that my IME would automatically convert some of the kana to kanji.
It wasn’t really any faster than looking it up on jisho - but it felt a bit less frustrating than looking it up and then being cross with myself for not recognising it from the kana.
Finished the story I started yesterday and was a bit surprised by the ending, until you know, I actually read the title of the story 耳なし芳一, and then I felt a fool.
Could have figured out what would happen pretty early if I actually read the title before reading the story.
Well, one more story in this booklet. That I will read tomorrow (or start at least).
I read the prologue and first section of chapter 1 of 三毛猫ホームズの推理 (0-5%)
. So far it’s very pleasantly funny! I would like to read more today as I’m enjoying it but my ‘reading in Japanese’ energy runs down way faster when I’m just starting a new thing and getting used to the authors style/vocab etc and I can tell I’m getting to the point when my brain is like ‘stop making me work so hard already!’. Will maybe read a bit more すべてがｆになる before bed as I’m far enough through that now for it to be a pretty comfy read.
Aww, thanks so much for this So lovely of you.
Day 2 / Calendar
Today I read and translated the ABBC book club’s 5th week material. This was 25 pages worth, and I got through in 50 minutes or so, so about 2 minutes a page, whic I think is acceptable when translating alongside the reading. My biggest issue sofar it seems is my almost ADHD-esque attention span
・Honzuki no Gekokujou 9 (77% → 84%)
Reached the epilogue already I get surprised every time. The second short story (which is after the epilogue) is of a situation that happened earlier in the book, just from a different POV. Finally some questions are being answered. I’d read more, but it is getting late.
Favorite word of the day: 報連相
which is a contraction of 報告・連絡・相談 and means “reporting, contacting and consultation”.
Hmm, I’ll think about it. I would like to read it. Hope it’s within my ability when I get to it but I dunno anything beyond the premise. Though I’m too taken by my many whims in what I choose, that I think if it didn’t win I probably wouldn’t stick around for whatever got chosen instead, and I feel weird being like “I’ll join the club if you pick this exact book I want” haha.
Thanks, I appreciate knowing that too! I think I’ll definitely make an effort at some point… though there’s such a pile to get to.
I’m still super pleased to hear about you making your way through that! Great job!
Today, in Summer Pockets… I made it to ~5100 characters, ~415 lines, and stopped because I’m sleepy, haha. Read a little slower but not terribly. I got woken up by noises several times last night so it’s pretty understandable. If I get the chance I might read a little extra later tonight, because I’m very into what’s happening. At least when Ao isn’t bearing the brunt of various kinda immature sexual jokes and references (I had avoided her at first because that’s entirely how she’s introduced)… the game basically dumps most of those impulses onto this one character’s route, but everything else happening around her is interesting and draped in beautiful imagery, so it evens out I guess.
Lots of little observations I want to talk about in the actual reading! I came across another allegedly N1 grammar point in ずとも, “even without doing/being.” I believe there was another yesterday, too. A lot of these I’ve found pretty intuitive in context these days. By this point this game alone must have given me a pretty large chunk of N1 and N2 grammar first encounters.
It’s a very good feeling to get a joke in a foreign language, and having the main character wake up late and be greeted by “おそようございます” which I understood without batting an eye was wonderful. It’s a dumb joke but hey, I understood wordplay!
Today came with a reference to a butterfly, the “オーロラモルフォ.” I don’t have a lot to say about it; it was a very offhand reference, but wow they are quite pretty.
I don’t think I ever showed イナリ, IIRC? Well, everyone, meet イナリ. It seems like a running thing for Key visual novels to feature a cute animal companion, and I can’t complain about that.
Oh, also, at NicoleRauch’s suggestion, I joined the intermediate book club for 佐賀のがばいばあちゃん as my reading material on the side. So far so good with the prologue! Overall, given its vocabulary, I feel like Zoo may have been slightly harder? But we’ll see where this goes. It’s also hard to separate out the possibility of me just improving. I think I’m realizing I didn’t start off QUITE as beginner friendly as I intended (not to say Zoo is hard in a relative sense), which is just good news for what I’m able to handle, heh.
A family weekend today, so only a little time for reading; read 5 pages for かがみの孤城 🪞 Week 19
Or otherwise known as spinach
yeye sorry for the dad joke
I read the prologue and first chapter of 佐賀のがばいばあちゃん!
This is my first time joining a book club here! I wont go in-depth with the story, since anyone can read about that in the IBC thread, but just know it’s good so far
Today’s words and phrases:
• 冒頭 = (ぼうとう) Beginning, opening
• 切ない = (せつない) sad and painful
• とてつもない = Unreasonable, exorbitant
• 忘れ形見= (わすれがたみ) a momento, keepsake
• 犇く = (ひしめく) to jostle, throng
• まさに = exactly
Thank you! I was able to pick up the book from the library this afternoon so looking forward to diving in tonight!
Yay! Also I totally get where you’re coming from. I have had issues with grading things much easier than the majority of the userbase before, but I think I’ve mostly got a system worked out now that is at least consistent and aligns reasonably well with other users’ ratings:
- The “N2” level books, at the bottom (level 30 I think?) assume the reader should have a firm grasp on all N3 grammar, but not necessarily much N2 yet. As you move up through the N2 levels, that assumption changes. To me N3 is kinda ‘basic, everyday grammar’ with no/little poetic flair.
- I personally don’t rate a single area of vocab throughout a book as more difficult, but a wide variety of vocab I will. For example, 永遠のゼロ is alllllll war stuff, vocab I largely didn’t know, but that’s really all it is, it doesn’t go into other areas. So, I don’t count vocab as difficulty there. Likewise for a crime book, I don’t count words about murder, arrest, weapons, and so on towards difficulty although I might mention it in my written review. However, a crime book with lots of different, unique cases (ex: arson, fraud, murder, embezzling) which dramatically increases the scope of required vocab I will count towards difficulty.
- I also try to be cognizant of how old/unusual vocab is after basilsauce pointed out that I rated a short story with very, very old words as easy…because they were in my default J<>J dictionary. They are not in J<>E dictionaries however…
Final Fantasy VII
- 確実 = かくじつ certainty.
- 反乱 = はんらん insurrection, rebellion.
- 未練 = みれん lingering affection, attachment.
- 幼なじみ = おさななじみ childhood friend.
- 給水 = きゅうすい water supply. → 給水塔 = water tower.
- 標的 = ひょうてき target (of an attack).
- 注目 = ちゅうもく attention, notice.
- 未知 = みち not yet known.
Day two, followed a little bit more of the story but also read all of the menus and tutorials to understand a bit more of the game’s system. Second day that everything seems alright. There are unknown words frequently ish but not enough to overwhelm me at all, which is awesome and feels very nice. I think the level might be just right after all, but it’s still too early and I know I might struggle at times once the plot starts developing.
Also I would like to talk about the game, but damn I would hate to spoil it to anyone . I’m probably safe using summary boxes, but I’m still kinda hesitating ;-; . Do those show their content if anyone makes a search in the community?
Yes, in fact spoilered items will show in the search as well. Ex, from Axazel’s post under a summary box:
Oh well, that’s unfortunate . Thanks for testing!
I’ll try to find some safe ways to talk about it. Realistically, the chances of spoiling someone using the search box are probably very, very low, but it would still be awful if that happened to someone. The game is very old at this point and well, even if many people don’t consider them spoilers after a certain amount of time, I always try to protect others from them regardless because well, it might be a very old story, but it’s a new one for many.
I’m probably overthinking it but anyway . I will probably talk more about Breath of the Wild when I start it again, since that one has many more side quests and other activities I can freely talk about.
At risk of slightly going off topic of this thread, @KateTriesAgain the reason it’s graded at level 33 is because people have graded 容疑者Xの献身 as level 33 and it’s in the same series. However, if the volumes of that particular series are not tightly correlated in difficulty, do let me know! We can chat more in this thread.
(PS: Welcome to the site!)