The 恩田 陸 (Onda Riku) Book Club

Riku Onda is a prolific writer and has written books in several genres, mystery and horror included. She has been nominated for the Naoki Prize six times, and finally got it for 蜜蜂と遠雷 (Honey Bees and Distant Thunder) which also won the Japan Bookseller’s Award. She also won the 吉川英治文学新人賞 (Yoshikawa Eiji Prize for New Writers) for 夜のピクニック, the 日本推理作家協会賞 ( Mystery Writers of Japan Award) for ユージニア and the Yamamoto Shūgorō Prize for 中庭の出来事, among others.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who enjoys her writing, so I thought of making this club so we can occasionally read one of her books together. Since she has written so much, I don’t think I’ll list her whole bibliography here. Instead, we can nominate what we find of interest.

This club is still in the brainstorming phase. So let’s just start by talking about Riku Onda’s books, and how we could organize this.

Would you be interested in reading (more) Riku Onda with the club?

  • Yes, count me in!
  • Not really
  • Maybe
0 voters

Nomination template:

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

**Book**: Put a Natively link here!
**Genre**: provide genre if it's clearly stated (mystery/horror/sf/etc), otherwise "general fiction" is fine, or leave blank
**Length**:  number of pages, and number of volumes if applicable
**Is there an ebook available?**: yes or no (buying options are visible on the Natively book page)
[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! Chuck the above summary into DeepL, Google Translate, or the like. Or remove this section. 
[/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 optional, but it's nice to know why someone else is interested in reading a book, and might sway others to vote for it!

Nominations

  1. image
    蜜蜂と遠雷 上 | L30?? , nomination link
  2. image
    Q&A | L30?? , nomination link
  3. image
    ドミノ | L30?? , nomination link
  4. image
    六番目の小夜子 | L30?? , nomination link

Now reading:

3 Likes

Count me in! :grin:

Eugenia broke me out of my reading slump during Covid so I will always have fond memories for that reason. I am really open on what to read for this book club, I was surprised by what a smooth read she turned out to be in Japanese; since she can write on quite complex themes I somehow expected her language to match, but based on the current mystery club pick it’s actually fairly accessible.

3 Likes

I don’t think I have read anything by that author, yet. :thinking:

I might join depending on

a.) if I already have the book
b.) how many other BCs I am participating in (i.e. if I have time)

3 Likes

Have you read Eugenia in English or Japanese? The consensus of the club (over in the WK forums) was that the language wasn’t entirely straightforward (the multiple narrators that didn’t even introduce themselves didn’t help). The current mystery pick feels definitely easier in comparison. Personally, I loved the writing so much I couldn’t stop reading, so I didn’t even notice the difficulty. :slight_smile:

In my tsundoku I already have 月の裏側 | L30?? (learnnatively.com) and 蜜蜂と遠雷 上 | L30?? (learnnatively.com), but I’m open to anything.

3 Likes

after checking my tbr, this is the only one I own. So this is the only thing I could join. Doesn’t mean it has to be read right now, just if you ever get around to reading it, that’s the one I’d join. :sweat_smile:

3 Likes

I also happen to own the 蜜蜂 book already, and would be happy to read that at some point! (also for the WK Naoki reading challenge hehe). But I am also interested in other books if there is a sale for them :rofl:

3 Likes

There is currently a sale on Bookwalker for this one (until the 10nth):

Not sure exactly what it’s about, but it looks like a blend of mystery and fantasy?

4 Likes

I read it in English, so I could see that would be a more confusing read in Japanese compared to the current mystery club given all the different narratives and the inconsistency in the story!

2 Likes

Amazon.co.jp: 六番目の小夜子 : 恩田 陸: Japanese Books

This is her debut work, so it piqued my curiousity for that reason alone. I believe there’s also a tv adaptation but there are a few changes from the book to the drama.

2 Likes

The English translation has an explanation at the start of each chapter, detailing who is in the chapter. The Japanese version doesn’t have that at all. So sometimes we spent half the chapter puzzling about who was that chapter’s protag… :face_with_spiral_eyes:

4 Likes

Ahaha yes clearly the English translator was in a kind mood :laughing:

2 Likes

At least somebody dies, which is always an interesting feat :laughing:

Thanks for the rec, I’ve put it on my watch list but as it’s not urgent I will probably wait for a “proper” 50% sale :innocent:

3 Likes

I think for me it would depend on genre – I am a “nope” on horror – and also on how much else I’m trying to read at once and whether my to read pile seems small enough to justify another Amazon order :slight_smile:

8 Likes

I like her writing but reading multiple books by her each year doesn’t really appeal to me when I have so many other authors and books I’m excited about. :sweat_smile: I may join if I happen to already own the book, but I think for the most part I’d be sitting this one out.

6 Likes

From the reviews I read, her horror is of the mild, vague kind. I have no personal experience (yet) though.

It’s probably way too early to discuss frequency yet, but I agree that multiple books by the same author per year may be a little too often. I guess once or twice a year would be fine.

7 Likes

Like others I also acquired 蜜蜂と遠雷 on a sale, as well as 祝祭と予感 | L30?? which is collection of short story spin-offs of 蜜蜂と遠雷. I’d definitely be down for those! :slight_smile:

3 Likes

Ahhh, tempted onto a new-to-me forum by 恩田陸. :sweat_drops:

I read ユージニア for my first book of hers at the beginning of the year, and then a month or so later came across both 上 and 下 of 消滅 VANISHING POINT just sitting on the shelf at the library and couldn’t resist it. And right now I have 蜜蜂と遠雷 checked out. And I definitely have a few others already acquired…

So, while I’m also not looking to abandon all else for an 恩田-only lifestyle, I have a definite weakness for her writing and would like to experience it more.

10 Likes

If any of you buy from Bookwalker, several 恩田陸 books are currently on sale (and until September 14), 消滅 VANISHING POINT among them (at 408 and 188 yen for 上 and 下 respectively).

6 Likes

Is that a call to start the book club real soon now™? :grin: :grin:

2 Likes

That’s a good question, actually. I thought we should at least wait until the Mystery Club is done (since it’s a 恩田陸 book), but it’s not necessary. Thoughts?

When would you like the club to start, ideally?
  • The sooner the better!
  • In October
  • In November
  • In December
  • Next year is fine
0 voters
3 Likes