The Honya Taishou 本屋大賞 Reading Challenge

After the Akutagawa Prize Reading Challenge and the Naoki Prize Reading Challenge, I think it is time to look at the third big Japanese book prize, and that’s the 本屋大賞 or Japan Booksellers’ Award. Every year, the staff of bookstores across the country is encouraged to nominate their favorite books (up to 3 books per person). From these books, the 10 most often nominated books are selected. In a second round, the bookstore staff are required to read all those 10 books and rank the three they like best. These rankings then form the ranking of the 10 books.

I have decided to add all 10 books to the challenge for each year because I think that with this prize, the winner is not as clear-cut as for the other prizes, and the non-winning but most-liked nominations will still make good books.
There are even some winners of the Akutagawa or Naoki prize in here that did not win that year’s Honya Taishou. Also, the prize was only established in 2004 so there are not that many books in this challenge anyways.

Of course, the focus of the prize is a bit different as it doesn’t primarily look into the literary quality but instead into the popularity among bookstore clerks, and this can of course be turned around to produce a promotion machine for maybe somewhat unpopular books… I hope that this will get balanced out a bit by the (hopefully large) number of submitters.
Unfortunately I could not find any figures on how many people submitted their favorites in the first round, but I noticed that in 2021 the total sum of points given to all books was 2307.5 (with 3 points for the best-liked one, 2 points for the second one and 1.5 points for the third one) which indicates that 355 bookstore clerks participated in the second round. Which is not a huge number, but I think it is large enough to give a good picture across different people’s opinions.

Also, if you look at how the points are distributed across the winners in each year (on the Wikipedia page) you can see that the ratio of points between the first and the last book was more than 5:1 in some years (indicating a clear winner) while in other years it’s around 3:1 (so the books are much closer together in popularity) which is interesting in its own right.

To participate in the challenge, just read one or more books from the list and tick them off once you’re done :slight_smile: Also, feel free to comment, review etc. on the books in this thread. I intend this thread to be solely for individual check-in and tracking, so there will be no reading clubs. Of course it is great if you want to set up a thread to read one of those books, or if you want to nominate them in the book clubs, but this is beyond the scope of this thread.

Do you want to participate in the challenge?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

To keep the book polls short, I only included author and book title in Japanese. Please get further information about the author etc. from the English Wikipedia page or from the Japanese Wikipedia page. (These pages might also be more suitable if you want to browse the books in general or search for a specific one.)

Which of these books have you read so far?


  • 大賞『汝、星のごとく』 凪良ゆう
  • 2位『ラブカは静かに弓を持つ』 安壇美緒
  • 3位『光のとこにいてね』一穂ミチ
  • 4位『爆弾』 呉勝浩
  • 5位『月の立つ林で』 青山美智子
  • 6位『君のクイズ』 小川哲
  • 7位『方舟』 夕木春央
  • 8位『宙ごはん』 町田そのこ
  • 9位『川のほとりに立つ者は』 寺地はるな
  • 10位『#真相をお話しします』 結城真一郎
  • I’ve read none of these so far

0 voters


  • 大賞『同志少女よ、敵を撃て』 逢坂冬馬
  • 2位『赤と青とエスキース』 青山美智子
  • 3位『スモールワールズ』 一穂ミチ
  • 4位『正欲』 朝井リョウ
  • 5位『六人の嘘つきな大学生』 浅倉秋成
  • 6位『夜が明ける』 西加奈子
  • 7位『残月記』 小田雅久仁
  • 8位『硝子の塔の殺人』 知念実希人
  • 9位『黒牢城』 米澤穂信
  • 10位『星を掬う』 町田そのこ
  • I’ve read none of these so far

0 voters


  • 大賞『52ヘルツのクジラたち』町田 そのこ
  • 2位『お探し物は図書室まで』 青山 美智子
  • 3位『犬がいた季節』 伊吹 有喜
  • 4位『逆ソクラテス』 伊坂 幸太郎
  • 5位『自転しながら公転する』 山本 文緒
  • 6位『八月の銀の雪』 伊与原 新
  • 7位『滅びの前のシャングリラ』 凪良 ゆう
  • 8位『オルタネート』 加藤シゲアキ
  • 9位『推し、燃ゆ』 宇佐見りん
  • 10位『この本を盗む者は』 深緑 野分
  • I’ve read none of these so far

0 voters


  • 大賞『流浪の月』 凪良ゆう
  • 2位『ライオンのおやつ』 小川糸
  • 3位『線は、僕を描く』 砥上裕將
  • 4位『ノースライト』 横山秀夫
  • 5位『熱源』 川越宗一
  • 6位『medium霊媒探偵城塚翡翠』 相沢沙呼
  • 7位『夏物語』 川上未映子
  • 8位『ムゲンのi』 知念実希人
  • 9位『店長がバカすぎて』 早見和真
  • 10位『むかしむかしあるところに、死体がありました。』 青柳碧人
  • I’ve read none of these so far

0 voters


  • 大賞『そして、バトンは渡された』 瀬尾まいこ
  • 2位『ひと』 小野寺史宜
  • 3位『ベルリンは晴れているか』 深緑野分
  • 4位『熱帯』 森見登美彦
  • 5位『ある男』 平野啓一郎
  • 6位『さざなみのよる』 木皿泉
  • 7位『愛なき世界』 三浦しをん
  • 8位『ひとつむぎの手』 知念実希人
  • 9位『火のないところに煙は』 芦沢央
  • 10位『フーガはユーガ』 伊坂幸太郎
  • I’ve read none of these so far

0 voters


  • 大賞『かがみの孤城』 辻村深月
  • 2位『盤上の向日葵』 柚月裕子
  • 3位『屍人荘の殺人』 今村昌弘
  • 4位『たゆたえども沈まず』 原田マハ
  • 5位『AX アックス』 伊坂幸太郎
  • 6位『騙し絵の牙』 塩田武士
  • 7位『星の子』 今村夏子
  • 8位『崩れる脳を抱きしめて』 知念実希人
  • 9位『百貨の魔法』 村山早紀
  • 10位『キラキラ共和国』 小川糸
  • I’ve read none of these so far

0 voters


  • 大賞『蜜蜂と遠雷』 恩田陸
  • 2位『みかづき』 森絵都
  • 3位『罪の声』 塩田武士
  • 4位『ツバキ文具店』 小川糸
  • 5位『桜風堂ものがたり』 村山早紀
  • 6位『暗幕のゲルニカ』 原田マハ
  • 7位『i』 西加奈子
  • 8位『夜行』 森見登美彦
  • 9位『コンビニ人間』 村田沙耶香
  • 10位『コーヒーが冷めないうちに』 川口俊和
  • I’ve read none of these so far

0 voters


  • 大賞『羊と鋼の森』 宮下奈都
  • 2位『君の膵臓をたべたい』 住野よる
  • 3位『世界の果てのこどもたち』 中脇初枝
  • 4位『永い言い訳』 西川美和
  • 5位『朝が来る』 辻村深月
  • 6位『王とサーカス』 米澤穂信
  • 7位『戦場のコックたち』 深緑野分
  • 8位『流』 東山彰良
  • 9位『教団X』 中村文則
  • 10位『火花』 又吉直樹
  • I’ve read none of these so far

0 voters


  • 大賞『鹿の王』 上橋菜穂子
  • 2位『サラバ!』 西加奈子
  • 3位『ハケンアニメ!』 辻村深月
  • 4位『本屋さんのダイアナ』 柚木麻子
  • 5位『土漠の花』 月村了衛
  • 6位『怒り』 吉田修一
  • 7位『満願』 米澤穂信
  • 8位『キャプテンサンダーボルト』 阿部和重・伊坂幸太郎
  • 9位『アイネクライネナハトムジーク』 伊坂幸太郎
  • 10位『億男』 川村元気
  • I’ve read none of these so far

0 voters


  • 大賞『村上海賊の娘』 和田竜
  • 2位『昨夜のカレー、明日のパン』 木皿泉
  • 3位『島はぼくらと』 辻村深月
  • 4位『さようなら、オレンジ』 岩城けい
  • 5位『とっぴんぱらりの風太郎』 万城目学
  • 6位『教場』 長岡弘樹
  • 7位『ランチのアッコちゃん』 柚木麻子
  • 8位『想像ラジオ』 いとうせいこう
  • 9位『聖なる怠け者の冒険』 森見登美彦
  • 10位『去年の冬、きみと別れ』 中村文則
  • I’ve read none of these so far

0 voters


  • 大賞『海賊とよばれた男』 百田尚樹
  • 2位『64』 横山秀夫
  • 3位『楽園のカンヴァス』 原田マハ
  • 4位『きみはいい子』 中脇初枝
  • 5位『ふくわらい』 西加奈子
  • 6位『晴天の迷いクジラ』 窪美澄
  • 7位『ソロモンの偽証』 宮部みゆき
  • 8位『世界から猫が消えたなら』 川村元気
  • 9位『百年法』 山田宗樹
  • 10位『屍者の帝国』 伊藤計劃、円城塔
  • 11位『光圀伝』 冲方丁
  • I’ve read none of these so far

0 voters


  • 大賞『舟を編む』 三浦しをん
  • 2位『ジェノサイド』 高野和明
  • 3位『ピエタ』 大島真寿美
  • 4位『くちびるに歌を』 中田永一
  • 5位『人質の朗読会』 小川洋子
  • 6位『ユリゴコロ』 沼田まほかる
  • 7位『誰かが足りない』 宮下奈都
  • 8位『ビブリア古書堂の事件手帖 ―栞子さんと奇妙な客人たち』 三上延
  • 9位『偉大なる、しゅららぼん』 万城目学
  • 10位『プリズム』 百田尚樹
  • I’ve read none of these so far

0 voters


  • 大賞『謎解きはディナーのあとで』 東川篤哉
  • 2位『ふがいない僕は空を見た』 窪美澄
  • 3位『ペンギン・ハイウェイ』 森見登美彦
  • 4位『錨を上げよ』 百田尚樹
  • 5位『シューマンの指』 奥泉光
  • 6位『叫びと祈り』 梓崎優
  • 7位『悪の教典』 貴志祐介
  • 8位『神様のカルテ2』 夏川草介
  • 9位『キケン』 有川浩
  • 10位『ストーリー・セラー』 有川浩
  • I’ve read none of these so far

0 voters


  • 大賞『天地明察』 冲方丁
  • 2位『神様のカルテ』 夏川草介
  • 3位『横道世之介』 吉田修一
  • 4位『神去なあなあ日常』 三浦しをん
  • 5位『猫を抱いて象と泳ぐ』 小川洋子
  • 6位『ヘヴン』 川上未映子
  • 7位『船に乗れ!』 藤谷治
  • 8位『植物図鑑』 有川浩
  • 9位『新参者』 東野圭吾
  • 10位『1Q84』 村上春樹
  • I’ve read none of these so far

0 voters


  • 大賞『告白』湊かなえ
  • 2位『のぼうの城』和田竜
  • 3位『ジョーカー・ゲーム』柳広司
  • 4位『テンペスト(上下)』池上永一
  • 5位『ボックス!』百田尚樹
  • 6位『新世界より(上下)』貴志祐介
  • 7位『出星前夜』飯嶋和一
  • 8位『悼む人』天童荒太
  • 9位『流星の絆』東野圭吾
  • 10位『モダンタイムス』伊坂幸太郎
  • I’ve read none of these so far

0 voters


  • 大賞『ゴールデンスランバー』 伊坂幸太郎
  • 2位『サクリファイス』 近藤史恵
  • 3位『有頂天家族』 森見登美彦
  • 4位『悪人』 吉田修一
  • 5位『映画篇』 金城一紀
  • 6位『八日目の蝉』 角田光代
  • 7位『赤朽葉家の伝説』 桜庭一樹
  • 8位『鹿男あをによし』 万城目学
  • 9位『私の男』 桜庭一樹
  • 10位『カシオペアの丘で』 重松清
  • I’ve read none of these so far

0 voters


  • 大賞『一瞬の風になれ』 佐藤 多佳子
  • 2位『夜は短し歩けよ乙女』 森見 登美彦
  • 3位『風が強く吹いている』 三浦 しをん
  • 4位『終末のフール』 伊坂 幸太郎
  • 5位『図書館戦争』 有川 浩
  • 6位『鴨川ホルモー』 万城目 学
  • 7位『ミーナの行進』 小川 洋子
  • 8位『陰日向に咲く』 劇団ひとり
  • 9位『失われた町』 三崎 亜記
  • 10位『名もなき毒』 宮部 みゆき
  • I’ve read none of these so far

0 voters


  • 大賞『東京タワー オカンとボクと、 時々、オトン』 リリー・フランキー
  • 2位『サウスバウンド』 奥田 英朗
  • 3位『死神の精度』 伊坂 幸太郎
  • 4位『容疑者Xの献身』 東野 圭吾
  • 5位『その日のまえに』 重松 清
  • 6位『ナラタージュ』 島本 理生
  • 7位『告白』 町田康
  • 8位『ベルカ、吠えないのか?』 古川日出男
  • 9位『県庁の星』 桂望実
  • 10位『さくら』 西加奈子
  • 11位『魔王』 伊坂幸太郎
  • I’ve read none of these so far

0 voters


  • 大賞『夜のピクニック』 恩田 陸
  • 2位『明日の記憶』 荻原 浩
  • 3位『家守綺譚』 梨木 香歩
  • 4位『袋小路の男』 絲山 秋子
  • 5位『チルドレン』 伊坂 幸太郎
  • 6位『対岸の彼女』 角田 光代
  • 7位『犯人に告ぐ』 雫井 脩介
  • 8位『黄金旅風』 飯嶋 和一
  • 9位『私が語りはじめた彼は』 三浦 しをん
  • 10位『そのときは彼によろしく』 市川 拓司
  • I’ve read none of these so far

0 voters


  • 大賞『博士の愛した数式』 小川 洋子
  • 2位『クライマーズ・ハイ』 横山 秀夫
  • 3位『アヒルと鴨のコインロッカー』 伊坂 幸太郎
  • 4位『永遠の出口』 森 絵都
  • 5位『重力ピエロ』 伊坂 幸太郎
  • 6位『4TEEN』 石田 衣良
  • 7位『デッドエンドの思い出』 よしもと ばなな
  • 8位『終戦のローレライ』 福井 晴敏
  • 9位『陰摩羅鬼の瑕』 京極 夏彦
  • 10位『ららら科學の子』 矢作 俊彦
  • I’ve read none of these so far

0 voters


I kind of want to read this, not going to lie.

Thanks for creating yet another big challenge, haha. For this one I noticed I have a couple of the nominees (and winners) already, so I just need to read them now.

I was kind of surprised you didn’t mark コーヒーが冷めないうちに… Is that the one you stopped reading because you found it to be boring?

Some notes for myself…
After 神様のカルテ got 2nd place in 2010, it’s sequel made it to 8th place the next year. The first book must have been pretty good.
Some books by 小川洋子 and 三浦しをん I already wanted to read.
There’s too many books titled 告白.

For no reason at all I expected to have read a few more of these, haha.


Thanks for making this! I was able to tick 5 (kinda cheated for one but shhhh) and I have one more on my bookshelf and a few more I was already interested in.
Here are those I’ve read:

  • かがみの孤城 really liked it! starts a bit slow, but well made and great ending
  • コンビニ人間 one of the first books I’ve read in japanese, but everyone knows this one already
  • 海賊とよばれた男 this is the one I “cheated” for because I’ve only read part 1 of 2 (which can stand on its own). Really interesting historical novel but also a bit difficult and not necessarily the kind of book that sucks you in, and they’re fairly thick books too so not sure when I’ll get around to reading part 2. Also the author is a far right nationalist >_>
  • 容疑者Xの献身 look at that! a mystery novel that’s not a 密室
  • 夜のピクニック bit slow but well made high school slice of life, enjoyed it

:joy_cat: I must confess I had to ask Google as I could neither make heads nor tails from this string of katakana :woman_facepalming:
I actually like the summary, it sounds like a series of small heartwarming stories:

“Boring” is not exactly the right term (watched the movie and loved it!), it was more that I did not particularly like the author’s writing style. Reading for me is still a slow process, and I figured I’d prefer to put my energy into a book that I truly enjoy. Once I’m up to a reading speed where I can read it in a week or so, I will get back to it (if only to tick it off here :wink:).

Yeah, I also thought it’d be about time to read another one of her books. I was thinking of nominating 人質の朗読会 for the Intermediate Book Club, what do you think? Or is this maybe too heavy for the club?

Now that’s a spelling for sure :exploding_head:
I watched the movie of 舟を編む and really liked it! The book is sitting on my shelf so maybe one day :wink:

:joy_cat: I was slightly confused by that as well. Such an attractive title!


Thank you for opening this thread! I really like this award because it hits the sweet spot between the somewhat elitist literary awards that are geared towords 純文学 and the popular awards that are more or less popularity contests between the most mainstream works. The manga equivalent of the Honya Taishō would be the Manga Taishō.

Meaning the nominees / winners will likely be very approachable, but without the crude sensationalism or audience catering found in many popular works.

I’ve read 5 of the titles so far (3 of the 大賞 winners):
鹿の王 (book 1)

I enjoyed all of them, かがみの孤城 being my favorite. (かがみの孤城 is also the title that scored the most points by far in the history of the award.)

I currently own the following books (will probably read them soon-ish):

And I’m interested in reading these (and probably a few more):
羊と鋼の森 (read another book by the author)
蜜蜂と遠雷 (read another book by the author)

I’ll definitely keep my eyes on the 2022 results and hope to read one or two of the winners.


Ah, so that’s what it was. This seems like a good thing no matter how fast you’re able to read imo.

Personally I think it’s fine - the more variety there is in the nominations, the better! We’re reading a ‘heavy’ piece with 地球星人 right now as well, so as long as everyone knows roughly what they’re voting for it should be okay. :thinking:

Is that the one that’s supposed to be quite difficult, or am I confusing it with another title?

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At this point we might want to ask @Myria :joy_cat:

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oh! Even I could tick off some boxes :eyes: :sparkles: Namely: 博士の愛した数式 and コンビニ人間

Am currently reading かがみの孤城, so will check off that one too, sooner or later ;3


Hmm, I wouldn’t call it difficult per se, the writing was pretty standard difficulty. But at several points there‘s talk about the fine details of definitions of words and terms, so it can get quite „technical“, in a way. The choice of words might have been a bit more eccentric compared to other books, if I recall correctly. Which is to be expected since it’s a book about creating and publishing a dictionary :slight_smile:


Ooh, I just realized I have read this in English. I kept thinking it would be interesting to revisit in Japanese at some point.

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Oooh, I managed to grab 10 of those! Most of those were random recommendations from the forums… I guess they weren’t so random after all.
In fact, 図書館戦争 is the only one that wasn’t recommended to me by the WK people one way or another :sweat_smile:
Ah, no, there’s also 1Q84, but it is on WK too, now.


You guys are literally more well read in japanese than I am in any language :confused:


Ooooh (かぜ)つよ agenda rise!! :joy: Reading this has been one of my goals really since I started learning Japanese, and lately I’ve been doing just that! I’m just under 100 pages in and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it so far. If you like narratives centered around characters and their relationships, or things with somewhat of a sports anime vibe set in college, or anything else of the sort, I’d definitely recommend it! The language hasn’t been particularly difficult aside from occasional specific metaphors and references, very manageable.

(Definitely can’t check off any boxes yet, but someday :eyes:)


One day I would like to be literate enough to read some of these titles… but I’ll just make it my goal for next year! I’ll be cheering on those of you taking on the challenge this year!


Apparently this year’s results will be published on April 6. You can find a list of the nominees on the official website:


Just stumbled upon news web easy NEWS WEB EASY|本屋の人たちが選ぶ本 今年は「同志少女よ、敵を撃て」 time to update?


Thanks for the info! Yeah I also saw an announcement yesterday, I was just waiting for the wikipedia page to get updated as it is very convenient for me to copy the data from there :grin: Will update in the next few days, promise!


OK I gave in and copied the winners from the original page. Happy reading :smiley:


@Ditto20 Thanks for reminding me :durtle_hello:


Huh; looks like I’ve read 6 out of the whole multiyear set of winners and nominations, 3 of which nobody else has read (or admitted to reading ;-)). That’s slightly more than I expected – I didn’t think my reading habits were going to line up with the award at all.

The three uniques are

謎解きはディナーのあとで – mystery solving by a rich-girl detective with the aid of her very rude butler. I liked this a lot and read volume 2 as well.

屍者の帝国 – sort of steampunky adventure with zombies.

鴨川ホルモー – not sure how to describe this one, but I liked it. Modern setting with a fantasy element.