ライトノベル読書会 📚 Light Novel Book Club | Reading 後宮の烏

Hello all! It looks like there was some interest in starting an LN book club, and it’s been about a year since the mystery club got started, so now seems like a good time to start another one!

(I’m shamelessly stealing a lot of this first post from yours in the mystery club, @cat! Thanks!)

How it works:

  • People nominate books using the template below :point_down: :point_down:
  • At a set time after the previous book finishes (one or two weeks after, probably) we will hold a vote on the nominated books. There will be a week to vote.
  • Upon that poll closing, a new poll (and thread for the specific book) will open to vote upon cadence for reading the book (ex: 30 pages a week, 1 chapter a week, etc.)
  • A new thread for each week of the book club will be made to separate out spoilers and discussion into manageable chunks.
  • Books of all levels welcome for nomination (please do note that we are likely to have more participants if the LNs skew towards lower levels, so keep that in mind if you’re interested in a really high level one!)
  • Unless there’s an exception, we’ll probably only read the first volume of a series in order to keep things snappy.

Discussion ground rule suggestions

  • Spoilers behind spoiler tags
  • Always mention where you are in the book when discussing, ideally by chapter so people reading different versions have a clear point of reference.
  • Feel free to read ahead if it’s exciting! But please refrain from spoiling ahead of the appropriate week :slight_smile:
  • If you have a question about grammar, vocab, cultural things, etc - ask! That can be part of the discussion too and I’m sure some folks would be happy to help.

Template for nominations

**Book**: Put a Natively link here!
**Is there an ebook available?**: yes or no (buying options are visible on the Natively book page)
**Is there an audiobook available?**: yes or no (if so, please list where it is available, since that information isn't easily grabbable on Natively)
**Is there an all-furigana version available?**: yes or no (optional; if you know if there is one available, please link it here)
**(Optional) Is this book available in Korean?**: yes or no
[details="Summary - Japanese"]
you can copy/paste this from wherever you'd like. Please have it in a drop down like shown.
[/details]
[details="Summary - English"]
Optional! Check Anilist or similar site to see if they've got an English summary. If not, use a machine translator like DeepL or Google Translate.
[/details]
[details="Content warnings if known"]
You can't be expected to know all the content of a book you haven't read yet, but if you know it deals with specific heavy topics, or the author is known for doing so, please include it here.
[/details]
**Why are you nominating this book:** This section is also optional, but it's nice to know why someone else is interested in reading a book, and might sway others to vote for it!

Simply copy and paste the above text (not quote) into a reply to nominate!

:books: Nomination List - Click here! :bookmark:

:scroll: Official Natively List :fountain_pen:

Previous Clubs

Removed Nominations

Books with no votes get the :axe:! They can be renominated, but please allow at least 2 voting cycles before doing so.

Eligible for re-nomination after voting on book #4

Eligible for re-nomination after voting on book #5

Previous Polls

Previous book polls

9 Likes

Current Nominations
(Note: series status and # of volumes provided for the reader who may want to read past the club. We will likely only be reading volume 1 in this group.)

Number Cover Name/
Natively link
Nomination link Page Count Audiobook? Furigana ver? Country Series Status/# of Vols
1 By Pixels この素晴らしい世界に祝福を! | L29 link 280 :headphones: :x: :jp:
:kr:
Finished; 17 vols.
2 By Pixels 幻獣調査員 | L33?? link 284 :x: :x: :jp:
:kr:
Finished; 2 vols.
3 By Pixels 妖怪アパートの幽雅な日常1 | L30?? link 256 :x: :beginner: :jp: Finished; 10 vols.
4 By Pixels 博多豚骨ラーメンズ | L30?? link 312 :x: :x: :jp:
:kr:
Ongoing; 13 vols.
5 By Pixels ひげを剃る。そして女子高生を拾う。 | 27 link 324 :headphones: :x: :jp:
:kr:
Ongoing; 5 vols. + short stories
6 By Pixels NHKにようこ | 32 link 336 :x: :x: :jp:
:kr:
Finished; 1 vol.
7 By Pixels 美少年探偵団 きみだけに光かがやく暗黒星 講談社タイガ | L35 link 264 :x: :x: :jp:
:kr:
Finished; 11 vol.
8 By Pixels おおかみこどもの雨と雪 | 29 link 270 :x: :beginner: :jp: Finished; 1 vol.
9 By Pixels サマーウォーズ | L25?? link 351 :x: :x: :jp: Finished; 1 vol.
10 By Pixels 伯爵と妖精 あいつは優雅な大悪党 | L30 link 288 :x: :x: :jp:
:kr: (KR OOP)
Finished; 32 vol.
11 By Pixels キノの旅 link 248 :x: :beginner: :jp: Finished; 23 vol.
12 By Pixels 裏世界ピクニック 1 ふたりの怪異探検ファイル | L33 link 360 :headphones: :x: :jp:
:kr:
Ongoing; 8 vol.
7 Likes

I will note that while some popular LNs have already had reading clubs over on WaniKani, I would encourage everyone to nominate them here regardless if they’d like to read them. This is a different userbase (despite a good amount of overlap, granted), and people will have fresh questions and want to be able to read in the moment with everyone else.

I’d say we probably want to leave nominations open until we have, say 15-20 to start out with? Until then or nominations dry up, perhaps. I figure it won’t be too difficult to get a bunch of nominations, given how popular LNs are.

Please let me know if there’s any other helpful information you’d like added to the home post!

6 Likes

Book:

Is there an ebook available?: :o:
Is there an audiobook available?: :o:
Is there an all-furigana version available?: :small_red_triangle: (Different pacing in some areas)

Summary - Japanese

とある女子大生が転生したのは、識字率が低くて本が少ない世界の兵士の娘。いくら読みたくても周りに本なんてあるはずない。本がないならどうする?作ってしまえばいいじゃない!目指すは図書館司書!本に囲まれて生きるため、本を作るところから始めよう!緻密な世界観と多くの魅力的なキャラクターで大人気を集める本作が待望の書籍化!本好きのための、本好きに捧ぐ、ビブリア・ファンタジー!

Summary - English (DeepL)

A college girl is reincarnated as the daughter of a soldier in a world with low literacy rates and few books. No matter how much she wants to read, there are no books around. If there are no books, what are you going to do? Why don’t you just make them? Her aim is to become a librarian! To live surrounded by books, start by making books! The long-awaited book version of this work, which is very popular for its detailed world view and many fascinating characters! A Biblia fantasy for book lovers, dedicated to book lovers!

Content warnings if known

Not Known

Why are you nominating this book:

I’d love to have people reading along this and make me push forward on reading it. There’s already a WK book club, but it’s been going for a while and is kinda hard for me to enter, specially in a community I haven’t participated in a long time.

The Audiobook has great quality and is available in Audible overseas, not just Japan.

8 Likes

Book:

Is there an ebook available?: yes
Is there an audiobook available?: yes, the Amazon.com and Amazon.jp links both have it
Is there an all-furigana version available?: no

Summary - Japanese

青春は残酷だ!?ひねくれ男の妄言ラブコメ

–青春は嘘で欺瞞だ。リア充爆発しろ!
ひねくれ者故に友達も彼女もいない高校生・八幡が生活指導の先生に連れてこられたのは、学園一の美少女・雪乃が所属する「奉仕部」だったーー。
さえない僕がひょんなことから美少女と出会ったはずなのに、どうしてもラブコメにならない残念どころか間違いだらけの青春模様が繰り広げられる。
俺の青春、どうしてこうなった?

『僕は友達が少ない』の平坂読氏も(twitterのつぶやきを)注目する期待の新鋭、『あやかしがたり』で第3回小学館ライトノベル大賞、ガガガ部門大賞受賞の渡航(わたり・わたる)が残念系ラブコメに参戦!?

Summary - English

Hachiman Hikigaya, a student in Soubu High School, is a cynical loner due to his traumatic past experiences in his social life. This eventually led to him developing a set of “dead fish eyes” and a twisted personality similar to that of a petty criminal. Believing that the concept of youth is a lie made up by youngsters who face their failures in denial, he turns in an essay that criticizes this exact mentality of youths. Irritated by the submission, his homeroom teacher, Shizuka Hiratsuka, forces him to join the Volunteer Service Club—a club that assists students to solve their problems in life, hoping that helping other people would change his personality.

However, Yukino Yukinoshita, the most beautiful girl in school, is surprisingly the sole member of the club and a loner, albeit colder and smarter than Hikigaya. Their club soon expands when Yui Yuigahama joins them after being helped with her plight, and they begin to accept more requests.

With his status quo as a recluse, Hikigaya attempts to solve problems in his own way, but his methods may prove to be a double-edged sword

Content warnings if known

No idea. Maybe someone else can comment, and I can add in

Why are you nominating this book: it was suggested in the original thread, and has an audio version, plus a very well known anime adaptation.

4 Likes

Book:

Is there an ebook available?: :o:
Is there an audiobook available?: :small_red_triangle: (Only Audible JP)
Is there an all-furigana version available?: :x:

Summary - Japanese

異世界で掘って伐って耕して! 自由気ままな農家生活!

闘病の末に命を落とした青年・火楽(ヒラク)は、
神様によって蘇生され、若返って異世界に転移した。
第二の人生、のんびり農業を楽しむために!

神様に授けられた『万能農具』を手に、自由気ままに異世界を切り拓く!
そこに天使や吸血鬼、エルフに竜まで現れて……。
あっという間に村になり、気付けば俺が村長に!?

Summary - English (DeepL)

Digging, logging and ploughing in a different world! A freewheeling farmer’s life!

Hiraku, a young man who lost his life after fighting an illness,
After losing his life in a fight against illness, he was revived by the gods, rejuvenated and transported to another world.
To enjoy his second life as a leisurely farmer!

With the ‘universal farming tools’ given to him by God in his hands, he freely explores another world at will!
There, angels, vampires, elves and even dragons appear. …
In the blink of an eye, it becomes a village and before you know it, I’m the village chief!

Content warnings if known

Specific vocabulary

Why are you nominating this book:

Relatively small chapters, written sort as a diary/narration from the protagonist, seems easy to follow, but has some oddly specific vocabulary sometimes. I feel like reading along a book club could ease a lot on the specific vocabulary.

The audiobook is not available outside Japan, and also the quality didn’t seem to be on par with other audiobooks I have listened.

2 Likes

Book:

Is there an ebook available?: :o:
Is there an audiobook available?: :small_red_triangle: (Only Audible JP, only up to Vol.4)
Is there an all-furigana version available?: :x:

Summary - Japanese

ゲームを愛する佐藤和真は女神を道連れに異世界転生。大冒険が始まる……と思いきや、衣食住を得るための労働が始まる。「安定」を手にしたい和真だが、女神が次々問題を起こし、ついには魔王軍に目をつけられ!?

Summary - English (DeepL)

Game-loving Kazuma Sato is reborn in another world with a goddess as his companion. His great adventure begins at …, but he begins to work to obtain food, clothing and shelter. Kazuma wants to have “stability”, but the goddess causes problems one after another, and finally the demon king’s army catches his attention!

Content warnings if known

Not Known

Why are you nominating this book:

I’ve read part in the way in English, but I’ve postponing finishing it as I want to go to the original material, as I fear I’m missing a lot in the “adaptation”.

The audiobook is not available outside Audible Japan, and only the first few volumes are available. Also it’s divided in parts, making it specially expensive. But the quality is very good.

4 Likes

Please disregard this. It was pointed out this isn’t actually an LN.

魔女の宅急便 1 (not a LN, disregard)

Book:
https://learnnatively.com/book/a93506cde2/
Is there an ebook available?: yes
Is there an audiobook available?: yes, it’s on the natively page
Is there an all-furigana version available?: no

Summary - Japanese

ひとり立ちするために初めての街にやってきた13歳の魔女キキが、新しい街で始めた商売宅急便屋さん。相棒の黒猫ジジと喜び哀しみをともにしながら街の人たちに受け入れられるようになるまでの1年を描く。

Summary - English

Half-witch Kiki never runs from a challenge. So when her thirteenth birthday arrives, she’s eager to follow a witch’s tradition: choose a new town to call home for one year.

Brimming with confidence, Kiki flies to the seaside village of Koriko and expects that her powers will easily bring happiness to the townspeople. But gaining the trust of the locals is trickier than she expected. With her faithful, wise-cracking black cat, Jiji, by her side, Kiki forges new friendships and builds her inner strength, ultimately realizing that magic can be found in even the most ordinary places.

Blending fantasy with the charm of everyday life, this enchanting new translation will inspire both new readers and dedicated fans.

Content warnings if known

None

Why are you nominating this book: well known novel and film that’s accessible to earlier learners

2 Likes

Book:

Is there an ebook available?: yes
Is there an audiobook available?: No :cry:
Is there an all-furigana version available?: no

Summary - Japanese

≪プログレッシブ≫シリーズ、ついに刊行開始!!

キリトが≪黒の剣士≫となったエピソード『星なき夜のアリア』他全三編。アインクラッド攻略を第一層から描いていく≪プログレッシブ≫シリーズ、ついに刊行開始!!

Summary - English

There’s no way to beat this game. The only difference is when and where you die…"

One month has passed since Akihiko Kayaba’s deadly game began, and the body count continues to rise. Two thousand players are already dead.

Kirito and Asuna are two very different people, but they both desire to fight alone. Nonetheless, they find themselves drawn together to face challenges from both within and without. Given that the entire virtual world they now live in has been created as a deathtrap, the surviving players of Sword Art Online are starting to get desperate, and desperation makes them dangerous to loners like Kirito and Asuna. As it becomes clear that solitude equals suicide, will the two be able to overcome their differences to find the strength to believe in each other, and in doing so, survive?

Sword Art Online: Progressive is a new version of the Sword Art Online tale that starts at the beginning of Kirito and Asuna’s epic adventure—on the very first level of the deadly world of Aincrad!

Content warnings if known

Some passing mentions of suicide and despair amongst the general player base, iirc. Nothing more graphic than that though.

Why are you nominating this book: it’s a very fun retelling of the beginning of Sword Art Online. The dynamic between the two main characters is enjoyable, and there are interesting tensions and novelties between different groups and subcultures in the book. Progressive series in general feels a bit more accessible and interesting than the main SAO series. It’s a bit more lighthearted, and you get both Kirito and Asuna’s perspective, plus more exposure to a bit more of what’s going on with other background characters and groups. Also interesting musings about where the line between AI & humans in a fully VR game is.

4 Likes

You know, it occurs to me there’s potential for setting up some sort of watch-along anime club in conjunction with this one, given how a good number of the popular LNs we’re likely to see nominated will have an anime adaptation.

Not sure how it would all work; would people be interested in something like that?

1 Like

Probly better to start one new thing at a time. If the LN club gets going solidly, then might be worth revisiting. Also wouldn’t want people to feel pressured to do both, or like they’re missing out if they don’t do the anime. Might feel like to much time commitment.

Anime also introduces potential for spoilers, depending on the adaptation. Some things might be out of order, dropped, added, etc.

5 Likes

Yeah, you’re definitely right. :thinking: Something we’ll have to keep in mind for the future, potentially.

If this is strictly a light novel club then 魔女の宅急便 doesn’t count. Not that I care if you all read it, just wanted to mention.

5 Likes

Hmmm, I do like (some) light novels, but I have already read everything I would recommend :thinking:

Eh, I can just recommend stuff I enjoyed so much I would re-read them.

Book:

Is there an ebook available?: yes
Is there an audiobook available?: yes (on audible)
Is there an all-furigana version available?: no

Summary - Japanese

ティラナ・エクセディリカ。異世界から来た見習い騎士。常識不足、白皙の美少女。
ケイ・マトバ。サンテレサ市警の敏腕刑事。猫アレルギーの不器用な男。
超空間ゲートで異世界とつながった都市サンテレサで、二人に命じられた合同捜査。
ことあるごとに対立し、罵りあいながらも、マトバとティラナは
共通の敵を追っていく。次第に二人の間には、奇妙な信頼が芽生えていき……。
『ドラグネット・ミラージュ』(竹書房刊)が大幅改稿で完全復活!痛快無比のポリスアクション!

Summary - English (personal translation)

Tilana Exedilika, junior knight from another world. A fair skinned beautiful girl (note: she is 20, though, not sure if that’s still in the “girl” category, but fine I guess).
Kei Matoba, one of the finest detectives from the San Teresa Police Department. Has cat allergy and isn’t great socially.
The two of them have been ordered to cooperate on an investigation in the city of San Teresa, a city connected to another world through an interdimentional gate.
Even as they keep fighting about everything and insulting each other, they track their common enemy. In doing so, a strange sense of trust starts blossoming between them…
A complete rewriting and extension of “Dragnet Mirage”! A thrilling police action story!

Content warnings if known

That’s a “hardboiled” type of story. Expect violence and really skimpily dressed women (plus a lot of illegal stuff like drugs, gambling, prostitution, …).

Why are you nominating this book: I read the first book in the series about 6 months ago and I really loved it. I really like the concept of having a noir detective story that involves magic. In particular, I loved how the police has to deal with crimes that merge both. Also! Main characters are adults! With a relevant background that justify why they are head-and-shoulders above average people. I was thinking of reading volume 2 soon-ish, but reading the first volume again with the club could be a nice way to get back into it.

7 Likes

I would probably read this if it won :joy:

4 Likes

For some reason this cover never really did it for me, but the summary looks really interesting. :eyes:

Also, I’ve got a version 1.0 of the nomination list up; please let me know what I can add/change that would be helpful!

1 Like

That cover shouts Murata-sensei. He has a very identifiable style.

I think having on the list the size of the book in pages, number of volumes, completed/ongoing and level would be useful, but it might be too much information to fit in the table?

1 Like

Let me see what I can fit in; these tables are usually pretty good about squishing themselves, so I should be able to fit in a bit more, hopefully.

1 Like

Thinking about it some more, would it be helpful to have # of volumes and completed/ongoing? Especially since we’d probably only be reading the first volume.

Level I definitely agree; unfortunately Discourse’s auto-link title generator thingy is broken still, else I would’ve linked that. :\ I guess I’ll manually type in the level for now, and hopefully once it gets itself sorted I can replace stuff…

I’ve been looking through my own lists of books to nominate, and I have a feeling we might run into the “is this a light novel or a novel” question sooner rather than later (i.e. once I put up the nomination). Unless you guys want to hack out a formal system, we’ll have to have a certain degree of flexibility, I suppose.

There was one series I wanted to nominate because, based on my reading of other books in that series, it’s probably going to sit on the easier side, and I would love to see lower-level learners join in. But there’s no digital version. :\ Not a huge dealbreaker in the grand scheme of things, but it’s real hard to beat that convenience factor…

Book:

Is there an ebook available?: yes
Is there an audiobook available?: no
Is there an all-furigana version available?: no (took a peek at the preview, and there does seem to be quite a bit of furigana in the first chapter at least.)

Summary - Japanese

村を襲うも人は殺さない飛竜の真意とは。老人の巻きこまれた妖精猫の裁判の行方は。鋭い吠え声が響く村で娘達を食らう獣の正体とは――。独自の生態と超自然の力を持つ生き物、幻獣。謎多き存在である彼らと人の衝突が増えたため、国家は幻獣を調査し、時には駆除をする専門家を定めた。そのひとりである調査員のフェリは「人と幻獣の共存」を胸に、世界で唯一の幻獣書を完成させるため旅を続けている。これは、人と幻獣の関わりが生む、残酷で優しい幻想幻獣譚。

Summary - English

(DeepL)
What is the true intention of the flying dragon that attacks the village but does not kill people? What is the course of the trial of the fairy cat that the old man is involved in? What is the true nature of the beast that devours the daughters in the village with its sharp bark? Mythical beasts, creatures with unique ecology and supernatural powers. Because of the increasing number of conflicts between these mysterious beings and people, the state has appointed specialists to investigate and sometimes exterminate them. One of these experts, researcher Feri, is on a journey to complete the world’s only book on mythical beasts, with “the coexistence of humans and mythical beasts” in mind. This is a cruel and tender fantasy tale of the relationship between man and mythical beasts.

Content warnings if known

None known

Why are you nominating this book: I read the manga version (in English) way back and enjoyed it. I love fantasy, and the heroine has a cool rabbit monster sidekick.

1 Like