The Seeking Recommendations Thread 📚

This is a thread for asking for book/manga recommendations.

Very often I find myself looking for a specific feel that there is no way to search for. But hopefully other readers recognize what I’m describing and will know what to recommend.

So describe what you’re after, and let the community help you out. :slight_smile:

This post is now a wiki. Feel free to add your request to the table for easy access.
Please add to the first line of the table so that the newest requests are always on top.
(If you found what you were looking for, please change the status to “Fulfilled”)

Look at the replies to the request posts for recommendations! :slight_smile:

Original Post Genre Media Short Description Status
Haya Any Novel Bromance (no bl) Open
Naphthalene Isekai Light Novel isekai with stats where the main character keeps leveling up quickly but no “male gaze” fan service Fulfilled
eagleflo Seinen, Slice of Life Manga adult characters living adult lives Fulfilled
omk3 Horror Novel creeping dread, a suffocating atmosphere of unknown danger Open
Naphthalene Romance? Any Character(s) go back and forth between genders Open

I’ll go first.
Right around this time of year, and until Halloween, I find myself in the mood for horror.

What I’m after, specifically, is a sense of creeping dread, a suffocating atmosphere of unknown danger.

I’m not after gore, although I don’t mind it. And I wouldn’t like it to veer too much into fantasy territory, although I understand there will probably be fantastical elements, especially as I’d prefer that the evil isn’t purely human (dangerous psychopaths are too real for me to enjoy).

One setting I find I enjoy a lot is a secluded village/island with a dark secret, and a newcomer completely unaware of what they landed into. But of course that’s too specific, and not at all necessary. :grin:

Things to avoid: Violence towards animals is a definite no. Violence towards innocent children is also best avoided, although I’m not as strict on that. No light novels, preferably.

Ideally I’d need it to be a quick and easy read, for the sole reason that I’m reading a few too many books at the same time already. But a slow burn is also fine, and as long as the book is engrossing, length and difficulty won’t really matter.


I’m learning Japanese to relax and destress from my job.

I’m looking for more manga with adult characters living adult lives. This spring I found スーパーの裏でヤニ吸うふたり, which has quickly become one of my all-time favorites. It has been excellent from language learning point, with lots of everyday vocabulary and mostly happening in the same setting. (Some could consider this repetitive but that’s a feature in my books, a built-in SRS when trying to learn how to read.) There is a very heavy focus on three characters and their interactions in particular, with more dialogue than in most other manga I’ve read.

Unfortunately, I’ve now read everything that has come out, and now it’s a waiting game for each new chapter. So, I’m looking for something similar. Keywords would likely be seinen, josei, slice-of-life, romcom?

While I am a big fan of speculative fiction, I’m already challenging myself with 風の谷のナウシカ with the WaniKani bookclub. It’s L35 on Natively and absolutely beyond my comfortable reading ability. Probably needless to say but I don’t mind lack of furigana, that’s one of the key drivers in my current kanji studies to be able to access this type of material that just doesn’t have them anymore as it’s aimed at grown-ups.


Not a book, but that reminds me of the video game Dredge (there’s a japanese localization too, I think). I would love to read that in book form.


This tends to be the kind of thing I carefully avoid in my reading, so take this rec with a pinch of salt :slight_smile:

魔女たちのたそがれ | L28 seemed to me kind of that feel, and it has a “newcomer in secluded community” setup. Akagawa Jirou is always a quick read, too. At seven years distance I’m afraid I can’t remember if it had any of your “things to avoid” in it. Akagawa’s style is generally not graphic, though.

The cover illustration for the edition on Natively is not what I would have picked for ホラー・サスペンス :slight_smile:


The closest thing to horror I’ve read is サマーサイダー | L28, and while it seems to fit some of your criteria (no gore; set in the 片田舎 where some mysterious things happened 7 years before and more weirdness happens when a newcomer arrives [lot of stuff with 7 and cicadas] [the newcomer also ain’t the MC though]; some supernatural elements but not fantasy; though rather than “a sense of creeping dread” it’s closer to “exudes a faint air of terror”), I’m not sure how well it fits what you’re looking for. (And I’m not actually sure if it’s a light novel or a regular novel. I’m not the best to tell. But the publisher’s apparently a general bunko label.)


Many years ago, I read a few volumes of “Sing yesterday for me” (but not in Japanese, since I was really a beginner at the time) and I really liked it.

There’s also NANA―ナナ― 1 | L29 (at least early volumes)


Oh, one thing I’d love to find is a typical isekai with stats where the main character keeps leveling up quickly (stonks, line goes up) but no “male gaze” fan service. Male fan service is fine though. In fact, it’s even better if it’s BL (I’ll take TL or anything adjacent to those things as well).

The closest thing I know is 穏やか貴族の休暇のすすめ。 (series) | L31 which I do enjoy, but neither the stonks nor the BL go hard enough :confused:


Thanks! It looks like the first two volumes of イエスタデイをうたって are free on BookWalker for two more days… Let’s see if I can read these. :smiling_face:

Edit: also free for a few days on

Also interested in ナナ based on how many people seem to like it. I’ll give that a try as well.


Ooh, I really like the look of it! Too bad it’s a video game, I tend to lose interest in games way easier than I do in books.

No joke! Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland look more horror-ish than this. I’ll keep it in mind though - Akagawa Jirou has written a bit of everything, hasn’t he? I’d really like to explore more authors (I’ve read two of his already), but he’s definitely a safe bet for a quick read, that’s for sure.

Thanks, this does indeed seem to fit some of my criteria, but it looks like it focuses a little too much on romance, which isn’t really my thing at all. From the cover I’d say it’s a light novel, but I’m no expert either, and there’s no hard line dividing novels from light novels anyway. :slight_smile: (not to mention that we just established that covers can be extremely misleading)


Main caveat with ナナ is that the series is permanently unfinished due to the author’s health issues. There’s a lot of good storyline in there, but if having things tied off and finished by the author is important to you it might not be the manga for you.


(While I remember that the love triangle and romance aspect weren’t as big as I was expecting from the summary, actually I don’t remember just how important the romance was, and rereading what I wrote about it in the Read Every Day challenge ain’t helping. I think it was mainly in the background when there was any at all until like the last chapter, but, hm. Though, since it involves the main characters and that sort of thing does influence how they interact with each other…)

For future reference, how much romance is too much?


Obviously romance can’t be avoided, it’s a normal part of life. I just don’t like it being the main focus, because I really don’t care whether X will manage to be with Y, or who Z will choose to be with, that sort of thing. As an element (even a prominent one) in a novel about other things, it’s definitely fine. :slight_smile:


Got it. In Summer Cider, it is really just an element with the main focus still being on what happened that summer surrounding that teacher who died under mysterious circumstances. (But if the book doesn’t seem like your jam, that’s cool)


For comparison, this is the edition I have:


Thanks for clarifying. I’ll look at it more carefully then. :+1:

(Why does this remind me of the Odyssey? )
Probably a more fitting cover judging from the synopsis…


It does at least show a witch in the twilight :slight_smile:


Sadly that’s probably why I’ll never read it even though I love the anime. It’s a real shame.


This might work, if you like computer games. It’s fun and everyone is a working adult.

It doesn’t completely fit your requirement since it’s kind of a series of mystery short stories, but there is an overarching lovestory and a bit of mundane daily life is also there.

And this is about as SoL as it gets and it’s really cute, but the level might be too low for what you are looking for and it has furigana.


The closest to that I’ve read is this:

It’s creeping, it’s not entirely human, it’s not gory. That said, horror isn’t my genre of choice (hence the 3 star rating), so it might be too tame for you.

It’s a short story (~75 pages) so it’d be a quick read, and as an added bonus the kindle version is free.

It ended up level 28 on natively, but from what I remember it wasn’t actually that difficult. It’s been a while, I chose it on Halloween 4 years ago (:scream:) myself. :smiley: