(DeepL) Chiaki Wato is, by her own admission, a shy, reserved girl. She had hoped to make her debut in junior high school, but a cold forced her to take the first day off, and she became a rookie in the club she went home with. She is not much of a reader, but by chance, a handsome classmate, Soroku Honda, who looks like he has 100 friends, invites her to join the reading club and become an assistant detective…? Why am I an assistant detective just because Soroku Honda is the Japanese name of Sherlock Holmes, Holmes’ assistant is Watson, and my name is “Watoto”? With zero friends, Watoto’s life as a junior high school student is about to begin!
None I’m aware of.
Reason(s) for nominating: The combination 読書 (reading) and 探偵 (detective) themes sounds fun, and the Sherlock Holmes play on words in the description cracked me up This series also shares an author with ふしぎ古書店1 福の神はじめました | L23, which I found very fun and engaging for a children’s book.
There was a candy shop. The shop seems to be hidden from the shopping street, as if it is clinging to the wall of an alleyway. However, a colourful array of sweets can be seen in front of the shop. Mayumi tilted her head. Was there ever a candy shop there? I’ve been down this road hundreds of times, but I’ve never seen a shop like that… That candy shop was the dividing line between happiness and unhappiness. (DeepL)
Reason(s) for nominating: This is the first volume of a popular series containing short stories, which sounds like it should be a relatively easy read, especially as the stories follow a similar formula. It was read over on WK a few years ago, so there’s already a vocabulary list and the weekly threads for reference. An audiobook being available is another plus!
5 short fairy tales for children written by 新美 南吉 (Niimi Nankichi):
手袋を買いに (Buying Mittens): When a cold winter comes to the forest, a little fox awakens one morning to the magic of a first snow-fall. His romp in the snow is cut short, however, when his cold, wet paws turn peony colored. What he needs, his mother decides, are some woolen mittens the size of his little paws. And so begins an overnight journey into the village where humans live…
ごん狐 (Gon, the Little Fox): Gon, a mischievous little fox, loves to cause trouble… but one day realizes that one of his pranks had gone a bit too far.
花のき村と盗人たち (Hananoki Village and the Thieves)
でんでんむしのかなしみ (The Sorrow of the Snail)
Reason(s) for nominating: A while ago I stumbled upon ごん狐, which turned out to be the first story that I read in Japanese that I liked so much that I gave it 5/5 stars on Natively. Despite being a fairy tale for children, neither the writing style nor the content felt childish to me at all.
Since then I’ve been wanting to read other stories by 新美 南吉. And because I’m also a sucker for cute art, this book that collects ごん狐 and four other of his short stories seems like a perfect choice for me!
Kyon, your typical high school student, has long given up his belief in the supernatural. However, upon meeting Haruhi Suzumiya, he quickly finds out that it is the supernatural that she is interested in; aliens, time travelers and espers among other things. When Haruhi laments about the lack of intriguing clubs around school, Kyon inspires Haruhi to form her own club. As a result, the SOS Brigade is formed, a club which specializes in all that is the supernatural.
Might contain hard words although the words have been changed in the Tsubasa Bunko edition for making it easier to read
Reason(s) for nominating: I always wanted to read the original material, but it feels a bit daunting at my level, so I think this would be a nice way to test the waters and an entry point.
DeepL because I’m lazy:
Satoru is lured by a mysterious black cat and wanders out of his schoolyard into a world inhabited only by children. Soon, Satoru and his friends are battling the dragon that rules this world. In a series of unpredictable developments, the children search for "the most certain thing. This is an epic adventure drama.
Reason(s) for nominating: it’s been in my TBR forever so I’m hoping to find ways to promote this to myself lol
The level range is more of a guideline than a rule, since not all books have been graded (enough) to have an accurate Natively level. However the purpose of the club is to read easier material than the kinds of books being read in other book clubs, since quite a few people have mentioned being unable to participate due to the language difficulty being too high.
Ultimately I’m leaving it up to the individual’s discretion - if there’s a book you’re interested in that isn’t on Natively / has a temporary grading / is graded above L26, I’d suggest looking at a preview if there’s one available to gauge the language level. If it’s too difficult, it might be more suited to another book club.
I’m not a part of this club, but just wanted to say…
There are a lot of unrestricted level clubs going on right now. This (along with the beginner LN club) are really the only ones that have any sort of guideline around level. I was hoping that there would be some beginner clubs formed on Natively and I was excited this one was forming.
Like you say, I think a lot of people are unable to participate in other clubs, so I think it’d be ok to disallow books outside the level range unless there’s strong reason to think the current level isn’t accurate.
Feel free to ignore all this, but I couldn’t help but comment
@brandon I think Haruhi book got refused back in the day, because there was the normal edition, and the editions handling is not in. Do you think there’s any chance to put that in, since some wording has been changed to lower the level and is not just adding furigana to it?
(I submitted a formal request, but not sure how that’s handled once it got a refusal)
Once upon a time, two countries who shared a border wouldn’t stop squabbling over petty issues. Their spats eventually escalated into war… over an incident involving dog poop. Finally, the gods declared that both nations had to call a truce. The most beautiful girl in the Gold Kingdom would marry the smartest man in the Water Kingdom, paving the way to a new era of peace! When Sarah, a princess from the Gold Kingdom, meets a charming man named Naranbayar from the Water Kingdom, they decide to do what it takes to stop more pointless conflict between their countries—by pretending to be in love. Will their plan work? And what if real romantic feelings blossom between them?
Reason(s) for nominating: Really want to read this book, like prev nomination it’s also in my TBR lol