What are you reading today?

Well if it’s similar to 時をかける少女, I would expect time leaps, not time travel, so I certainly wouldn’t expect 300 years in the future situations to happen! My biggest problem with 時をかける少女 was that pretty much nothing happened? So a longer 時をかける少女 would indeed be torture since it would just mean a longer book of nothing happening! A more developed story with time leaps could be fun though.

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One week (and a bit) later, I’ve successfully completed my game jam project and I’m getting back to reading! Started my 2-in-1 copy of 美しい村 | L30??風立ちぬ | L42 today. Just finished the 序曲 section of 美しい村 and then spent another 30 minutes reading the Wikipedia page and some blogs to make sure I actually understood what was going on :cold_sweat:. From that background reading though, I learned the book is split into the intro (which is a letter), one main section where things actually happen, and then the last two sections are supposed to be short stories about those events written by the protagonist, which sounds really cool. More on this story as it develops.

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So this isn’t a strictly “what I’m reading now” post, but I thought I’d be able to get some good eyes on it. So I was perusing a blog post, and in their Japanese literature section they mentioned this:

You’ve probably heard about how Japanese is so unique because it can omit subjects. Check out a masterful example of such an omission in the short story Hyakumonogatari in Kitamura Kaoru’s 1950 Toss Back.

Does anyone have any experience with this story/author? I love finding out about unique books/writing experiments (such as writing a novel without using the letter ‘e’).

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No but I’m interested :eyes: I love short stories

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Also haven’t heard it but interested. The book seems to be a collection of stories of all sorts, from mystery to horror to heartwarming. The author is, according to Wikipedia, a mystery writer first and foremost, and has won the 44th Mystery Writers of Japan Award and the 6th Honkaku Mystery Award. He even won the Naoki prize in 2009. I got excited and went looking for what to nominate for the mystery book club, but of course, none of his books seem to exist in ebook form. :slightly_frowning_face:

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I recently just moved into uni and picked up both 潮騒 | L45 and 仮面の告白 | L49?? from the school library on a whim. I knew going into the former of those two books that Mishima was probably not going to be the easiest author to read from, but hoo boy does he use some descriptively archaic words. I really am starting to grow fond of his prose and incredibly rich way of painting the landscape and vibe of 歌島 though.

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There is an audio file of this particular story here: https://kodansha.us/book/read-real-japanese-fiction/
It is part of the “Read Real Japanese Fiction - Short Stories by Contemporary Writers” collection by Kodansha. The audio accompanying the book is free to download.

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!

Can confirm, I’ve owned this book for years and you can tell have never opened it and the story is in there! Fantastic find, omk3!

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:joy: I have the version with the essays, and I can confirm I also have no idea what’s in there after the first essay.

I listened to Hyakumonogatari twice, but my listening is too bad to actually make sense of it. Since you’re lucky enough to have the printed text, could you maybe explain what “omit subjects” means? There are names, there are は and が aplenty, so what kind of omission are we talking about?

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Will do! Unless someone beats me to it, I’ll read through the story and report back! o7

Edit: Unrelated, but for those reading/wanting to read 薬屋のひとりごと 1 | L36, Amazon is currently having a half off sale for the first 11 volumes for Kindle! Volume 1 is on a special sale for only ¥99 as well. Where’s my Flesh&Blood sale Amazon

Guess this is a sign from above that I need to take 薬屋2 off the backburner and finally get back to it…

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I would say that more happens in time leap but I don’t think I can recommend it if you thought the original was that boring. :sweat_smile: Also, I was trying to imply that the time leaps in time leap aren’t quite the same as time leaps in toki.

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Last night I decided I wanted something to read before bed, and I have all these 赤川次郎 paperbacks sitting on my bookshelf which I bought because he’s generally easy to read, so I decided ‘why not?’ and grabbed one of those instead of an English book.

In typical 赤川次郎 fashion there appears to be tangled relationships, back stabbing, murder, and suicide. Well, to be fair, no murder yet. I just requested it to be added so no Natively link, but the title is 自殺行き往復切符 and broadly it seems to be about a teen girl who runs away from home to be with the boyfriend her parents disapprove of, writes a note saying they’re going to commit double suicide, but actually steals their money and is all ‘once we’re set up we’ll let them know we’re alive!’. The summary on the back of the book and the hints dropped so far all suggest she’s about to be backstabbed by her boyfriend and then the real story will start.

Honestly getting a lot of the same vibes as from パパの愛した悪女 | L26 but the writing in this one is a smidge more difficult maybe?

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I’m reading three books at the moment and the only one that I haven’t made much progress in is 天国はまだ遠く by 瀬尾まいこ so I’m going to focus on that today.

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Huh, that entire summary sounds almost exactly the same as another short book I read by him! あなた | L25 It’s also about “a teen girl who runs away from home to be with the boyfriend her parents disapprove of” and then also may or may not have been backstabbed by said boyfriend. Is he reusing the same stories or something? :laughing:

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I’m somehow not surprised :laughing: I feel like he must just grab plots points out of a bag and assemble his stories from there.

… This makes me want to make an 赤川次郎 bingo card

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I couldn't resist...

Apparently this site will shuffle it for you if you ‘play’: 赤川次郎 Bingo Card

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This is definitely going to be fun to fill out when I read ぼくが恋した吸血鬼 講談社ノベルス | L30?? next month! :eyes:
(and also for when I finally decide to sell my soul to 赤川 次郎 and read all of 吸血鬼はお年ごろシリーズ (series) | L26)

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Any Akagawa Jiro you’d recommend besides this series?

Well, あなた | L25 is the only thing I’ve read from him so far. It’s super easy and short. I think it’s okay but it does include the bingo card square of incest. I’m sure @cat can provide some better recommendations though.

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So I’ve read through 百物語, and I’m not entirely sure what the author of the blog post was referring to. :thinking: Pretty standard story all around, I thought: boy takes drunk girl home so she can recover, they tell spooky stories through the night. A pretty good October spooky pick, come to think.

But there was no word play I noticed; nothing that would be a shining example of weird things you can do with the language or anything.

Reading this does make me wish the author’s work was available digitally, though; I really enjoyed the short story.

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