What are you reading today?

Another thing that is strange is that I can’t grade it either, even now that I added it again. I looked at all gradings and I am not in there. Searching my own grading list yields nothing either. Yet, the site says I can’t grade it.
@brandon are the gradings somehow just hidden? Maybe adding the book (again?) broke things even more?

Edit: maybe I should have posted that in the product thread.

To stay on topic, yesterday I read another third of the bookstore/coffee shop book.

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What’s your take on it so far? For me it was a book where I was weirdly unsure of my opinion on it…

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Small update from me: there’s a manga series I’d read around half of some time ago, レバダン・希望の花 1巻 (冬水社・いち*ラキコミックス) | L29, and I picked the first book back up last night since I had an itch to re-read it, and maybe finish the whole series this time. I just wrapped up the first book and wrote some thoughts on it in my review, and wanted to share it with everyone:

Here’s a cherry-picked quote from the review to generate interest:

レバダン・希望の花 is, in a nutshell, a work of historical fiction set in the present day centered around the conflict between the Protestant Church and supporters of an Eastern mystic.

Be warned for those interested that the art’s pretty dang rough; there’s no getting around that. But it’s a series that I (so far) recommend!


I’m almost done, and I’m still unsure as well :joy: I guess it’s because nothing has been quite established yet. Plus, there wasn’t much of a pattern so far (so I can’t quite see where the author is going with that)


I can see that… the anime is already massively wordy too! Shamiko, you truly are a great demon to be vanquished…!

What did you end of thinking of 幻想古書店で珈琲を | L31, @Naphthalene?


Not much else than what I said. It’s only 200 pages and a bit, split into 3 chapters that were quite different in tone. That being said, it seems to be going into a coherent direction. (minor spoilers) It starts with some supernatural elements but mostly regular stuff, then more magic, and by the end one of the supporting characters is casually dropping that he is studying demonology on the side.
Same for the interactions between the characters. Sometimes it feels like the author is dropping hints it could be BL, then reveals that one character was previously in love with a woman (he could be bi/pan, but what are the odds in fiction), but then maybe BL again?
The main character is pretty bland too. That’s literally a plot point, though, so it’s better than usual… but that’s still not very engaging.
I feel like something might come out of this, but, again, it was too short to develop anything. Maybe I need to just keep going, but I really feel like it at the moment.
The writing itself was okay, but I just read some books with great writing like 推し、燃ゆ, so it really doesn’t feel like much in comparison. I guess I would have been more impressed if I had read this book after a period of reading garbage light novels :joy:


Mmm. I found myself wondering if there was a subgenre I was unaware of involving BL that deliberately stays purely subtext…


I think that’s called queer baiting. :sweat_smile:


I thought it was called “bad writing”, but yours is a bit more descriptive :laughing:

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It’s not usually a symptom of poor writing, afaik, unless the author’s particularly clueless about the level of bromance they’re writing. Usually seems to feel like an active choice not to commit, at least to me.


Yeah I agree. In terms of yuri-baiting (which is probably similar for BL), this is common in Manga Time Kirara series. Nearly every series has the obligatory female character who clearly likes another female character, but it’s rarely stated explicitly. I assume that’s because romance isn’t the point of the series, but they think the teasing/flirting plays well with their audience.

(Of course, one series I was reading recently did seemingly have an actual confession, but it was a volume-ending cliffhanger. So I won’t know if it’s legit or just more bait until the next volume comes out.)


I don’t think queerbaiting as a negative concept exists in Japan but I think that writing BL or GL puts you in a niche that most authors don’t want to be in. Even if you have a really good story that has nothing to do with BL, as soon as you put a gay love story in, it’s BL. But you can still hint at stuff.
Japan isn’t big on PDA, so subtext is maybe all they need to be satisfied (and let doujinshi do the rest :rofl: ) but Japan is also still more conservative than some other countries, so by keeping it as hints only, they keep the audience as broad as possible. :thinking: So yes, in our understanding it’s queerbaiting but I don’t think it’s done as maliciously as here. (Looking at you Supernatural :eyes: )


Finished 僕の愛したジークフリーデ 第2部 失われし王女の物語 | L33 - very solid ending, and overall I think a good take on the sort of pulp-fantasy that’s popular in LNs at the moment. While there’s a lot of action and fighting, it’s the interpersonal issues that the characters actually need to resolve, rather than power-levels-bullshit. Deffo not great literature, and not the sort of fantasy that has deeply compelling ideas/premise driving it - still a very nice story and far above most of what’s being published in the space.

Started reading 再就職先は宇宙海賊 | L22?? - started off with a big infodump on how humanity found an alien technology dump and how that changed the political situation. It picked up a bit briefly with some showing-not-telling, but it’s back to telling at the moment. Compared to the light novels I’ve been reading lately, it feels very dense - not super-difficult necessarily (though definitely green territory), but there’s no whitespace on the page and it’s mostly description. Hopefully it picks up because it’s not really exciting me to read more at the moment, though the setup seems interesting.


I noticed it varies a bit by medium too. There was a movie I watched (三角の窓 something something) which I remember being like, “hmm, homoerotic subtext” and then picking up the manga wanting to see if the story went further and going, “oh, not subtext. Just homoerotic.”

I guess it’s still not explicitly BL (iirc there’s no kissing and no stated relationship) but some of the physical scenes are wildly suggestive.

I wondered if they toned it down for the movie to make it more broadly appealing.


I can’t tell if のんのんびより (1) | L22 is still way above my level or if it’s the absolutely awful way the manga swaps between text sizes that is really throwing me off. Though the kids do seem to talk a) in inaka-ben, even moreso than in ふらいんぐうぃっち 1 | L19 , and b) just generally seem more chatty? Still, it’s definitely easier than Bocchi.

/edit not sure why the second link isn’t converting.

/edit also not sure how to get rid of the reply link … this software is weird

@Naphthalene So given your progress with the coffee/book novel, how would you compare it to Biburia? I feel like I only want to pick one book themed series at a time and I’m probably leaning to Biburia at the moment!


Just finished chapter 11 of 青い鳥文庫ができるまで, which puts me past the halfway point. (There are 24 chapters in all, but the page count per chapter runs shorter in the second half.) Is it just me, or is nonfiction an 青い鳥 specialty? I don’t recall seeing much if any from みらい or つばさ.

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I enjoyed ビブリア a lot more. They are similar in terms of difficulty. So I would go with ビブリア in your case :slight_smile:


I just realised Non Non Biyori has a wanikani bookclub… started by @seanblue, no less. This should help out given the amount of dialect (and the oddly difficult formatting of the manga).