[Seeking Nominations!] Absolute Beginners Book Club // Currently reading: Prefecture Stories

I heard about this from the Tofugu Podcast episode on yokai, where they speak with someone who has translated the series into English. Would highly recommend. From the sounds of it, Kitaro is a beloved and well-known character in Japan on the level of Doraemon.

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That guy (Zach Davisson) is amazing! He’s a university professor in California (I think) and he researches Yokai :exploding_head:
I was fortunate enough to be able to attend (through a number of amazing coincidences) a talk he gave in Sydney - very informative and entertaining.

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あしょんでよッ ~うちの犬ログ~ (Let’s Plaaay - Our Dog, Log)

Dog

Summary

Originally a series of short comics about observing everyday life with a dog that was originally published on pixiv. It was later put together into a full manga series.

Availability

Amazon (ebook and paperback)
Bookwalker (ebook)

Personal Opinion

I won’t be able to host this, so we’ll need a volunteer if this gets picked. But I saw a review on Natively, and from how accessible this manga is, it sounds like it would be a good fit for this club’s level. If you’re a dog lover, own a dog, are away from your dog, miss your dog dearly, love animals, or enjoy looking at cute pictures of animals being silly, then this would be a perfect feel good manga for you.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Not text heavy at all with only 153 pages so it’s a good pick after a more challenging read and can be read at a faster pace
  • Full furigana available
  • 10 volumes available and the set is currently on sale for 20% on Bookwalker until 03/31 if you see yourself wanting more cute doggie goodness.

Cons

  • Since the text is pretty limited it’s not really the best for learning per say.
  • There doesn’t seem to be a true plot that drives the story - mostly slice of life interaction between guy and his dog, so their might not be much to discuss beyond the cuteness of the dog.
  • The dog is the center point of interest in the manga so if you’re not very fond of dogs then this might not be interesting to you. :slightly_frowning_face:

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One


Additional Pages


Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Just right
  • Challenging
  • Impossible, even with everyone’s help
  • I don’t know (please click this if you’re not voting seriously)

0 voters

Edit: Forgot to mention that if you live in Japan and have downloaded Line Manga app, you can read the first 64 chapters for free (the first 2, anytime, and the remaining chapters you’re limited to accessing a chapter a day for free).

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Thanks for the Gegege nomination. It looks like the feedback is that people think it too challenging for this club. I suspect the text density is going to be the main thing that makes it too challenging for an ABBC read. Perhaps it is worth nominating it in the BBC instead?

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I had been thinking about that, actually. I honestly don’t think it’s more difficult than some other ABBC books in terms of grammar, and text density can be handled by breaking it into smaller chunks I suppose, but if the consensus is that it’s too difficult for this club I will be happy to move it. Should we maybe wait in case there are more votes on difficulty, or shall I move it now, do you think?

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10分で読めるこわい話 1年生

10pun

Summary
12 “scary” short stories, some are japanese traditional with things like yokai, others are from around the world (an american story with a train, Andersen’s red shoes…)

Aviability
Physical : amazon.jp ; verasia.fr
Digital : booklive.jp

Personnal opinion
I’ve choose this book because i need a theme a like to commit to read a child book without loosing interest. Already try a few of them but i’m beyond absolute begginer level so it will be good to have help. Each story have a number of page very different but i think it’s manageable to make a planning (1 page a day = 25 weeks).
If we choose this book i don’t think i can take care of the tread as i’m a complete newbie here.

Pros
*Short stories
*Yokai and other stuff (i you like that theme)
*Every Kanji got Furigana
*Little or big illustration on each page, it help a lot sometimes. Plus it’s a very different style for each one.

Cons
*Not enough Kanji

Images

Summary+ few pages






Difficulty level poll
How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Just right
  • Challenging
  • Impossible, even with everyone’s help
  • I don’t know (please click this if you’re not voting seriously)

0 voters

[I’ve made an error so if you have vote on the previous poll you can do it again on the new, and hopefully good one]

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I also took part in the poll and did put “It would be challenging”, however to me, this does not discredit the book for the book club tbh. I agree with @omk3 that it does not seem to be too different from other picks of this bookclub…

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There’s some discussion on another thread at present about how difficult it is judging the difficulty levels in these books! There’s also been a tendency towards the difficulty levels creeping up over time. I agree the individual panels are relatively straightforward grammar, but I can also see how people would be put off looking at those first few pages. Given that the below is the feedback so far - 10/10 voters grading as challenging - I suspect it’s the right thing to move it. Happy to wait longer and let others comment. I probably won’t add it to the upcoming poll for now. Thanks again for nominating it.

Screen Shot 2022-03-15 at 15.36.16

Hi @GwenMyo thanks for the nomination! We’ve read some of this series before and they definitely work well for ABBC. The fact they are broken into individual stories makes it easier for people to skip a story if they are behind, or even to jump in part way through the book club.

In the past people have tended to nominate the 2年生 version rather than the 1年生 version. This is because at first grade level there are so few kanji people actually found the text more difficult to read. Even at second grade level there were times where people found difficulty with words written in katakana only, where the lack of kanji made it difficult to distinguish between multiple potential meanings.

There is a 2nd grade version of this book (link below) - I wonder whether it might be better changing the nomination to this one? Have a look and see what you think - if you prefer the first grade version then feel free to leave the nomination as it is!

Book Live 2年生

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The first pages (and a few others) do look a little intimidating at first glance, I admit :sweat_smile:.
How do I remove the nomination? Delete the whole post or add a note next to the title that it’s moved?

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I think you can leave it there and add a note next to the title. :+1:t3:

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Thank you for the feedback

I think i will wait and see a little. Maybe change it later.

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That’s fine. :+1: Number one has the cooler cover anyway! And now I think about it, it was me that nominated a book with no kanji!

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Something seems to have gone wrong with the poll display. It’s showing as a pie chart rather than a bar chart so I can’t see how many votes for each option (we use the numbers to calculate the difficulty score). It’s also not showing who has voted which is helpful for others to see. I don’t know if it’s possible to change this now the poll has already been launched?

Also someone seems to have voted for more than one option! It should only allow one vote ideally.

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The numbers are displayed when you hover over the sections of the pie chart! But your other points are of course all valid, especially the single-choice-only nature of this poll.

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Sorry for the troubles, first time i do a poll here, i’ve try to look every option but clearly i just make a big mess and it’s no more possible to edit it.

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I think making a mistake with the poll is one of the rights of passage here. (At least, I know I messed up enough of them.)

image

You can’t edit a poll after short time from creation, but you can remove it and replace it with a new one. A few votes will be lost, but it may be the better plan overall.

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Done. And it seems to work.

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Yep me too! Thanks for the guide Chris.

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While this would definitely be challenging for me due to the sheer amount of text I am in love with the art and would definitely want to push myself if this ever did come up! But it probably is a bit too much for the ABBC.

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I’ll nominate it for the BBC when nominations open up there, so feel free to vote for it then :smiley:
The BBC hasn’t even started reading its next pick yet, so by the time the next poll comes around, I’m sure it will feel much easier to you!

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