Japanese Novel Review: この嘘がばれないうちに Before this Lie gets out by Kawaguchi Toshikazu (川口俊和)

So this isn’t really the book that I set out to read, but I am thankful for the library for having this author! I knew about this author from her more well known book, Before the Coffee gets Cold(コーヒーが冷めないうちに). But Before this Lie get Out(この嘘がばれないうちに) seemed to have a very similar concept of a collection of short interconnected stories related to time travel.
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Japanese Novel Review: 霧のむこうのふしぎな町 The Marvelous Village Veiled in Mist by Kashiwaba Sachiko (柏葉幸子)

One of the main reasons I picked up this novel was to show case Aoi Tori Bunko as a potential tool for language learners. While books for children are popular with language learners, I think this book is the perfect example to show that what is easy for kids is not always what is easy for adult language learners. I want to take the time to read a book from this publication to show what features might make great language tools and point out areas that might cause difficulties. Previous, I wrote in detail about Tsubasa Bunko here when I wrote a review for Wolf Children(おおかみこどもの雨と雪). There are many similarities between these two publications, but their difficulty levels are different.

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Japanese Novel Review: あひる The Duck by Natsuko Imamura (今村夏子)


I am excited to introduce another wonderful Imamura Natsuko novel to members of the Japanese Book Club Cafe! This time I read the novel Duck(あひる). Like all of the Imamura novels I have read so far, Duck(あひる) also showcases her talents for accessible storytelling with use of easy grammar and vocabulary. I picked this novel up at the local library, but it can be found at Kinokuniya for $8.99. I knew right away that this book was for me because it is my dream to get some ducks once I move back to Japan.

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Japanese Novel Review: そして、バトンは渡された And so the Baton was Passed by Seo Maiko (瀬尾まいこ)

I have been waiting forever to get And so the Baton was Passed(そして、バトンは渡された).  I love Seo Maiko and this is her most recent award winning novel.  It took a few years, but her novel finally came out in paper back and I got it at Chicago’s Kinokuniya for $12.99.  This novel is a great example of a typical Seo Maiko novel with elements of a warm writing style and themes of different shapes that a family can take.

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Japanese Novel Review: おおかみこどもの雨と雪 Wolf Children by Hosoda Mamoru (細田守)

I picked up Wolf Children(おおかみこどもの雨と雪) in a recent bulk order where I was trying to find a few books that might be appropriate for N3 level learners. I usually try to stay away from novelizations of anime as I didn’t really enjoy Your Name(君の名は). The book felt like a screen play with physical descriptions thrown in. I think that type of book would be useful to a lot of language learners, but it just wasn’t a good fit for me. But in this case, its a movie that I have seen a long time ago and am not really familiar with so I figured that it would be a good choice for me. I felt drawn to the fact that it was a kids book with an adult female lead. This novel was 696 yen at Amazon Jp.

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Japanese Novel Review: 神去なあなあ夜話 Night Tales from Kamusari by Miura Shion (三浦しをん)

I purchased this novel at Chicago’s Kinokuniya after reading and falling in love with its prequel, The Easy Life in Kamusari(神去なあなあ).  This novel, 神Night Tales from Kamusari(去なあなあ夜話) is written just like the title sounds.  Its been a year since the main character as moved, and he writes a diary secretly at night going over different things that have happen to him since the end of his internship year.

Finishing this novel has really put Miura Shion towards the top of my favorite authors list.  I really enjoy her writing style and her ability to get into niche worlds in each of her novels.

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Japanese Novel Review: 生きる僕ら We are Alive by Maha Harada (原田マハ)

This is a book review for the novel We are Alive(生きる僕ら) by Harada Maha(原田マハ).  I purchased this novel from Amazon.jp for 759 yen as a part of a bulk order late last year. Harada Maha is a very popular author in Japan and out of all of the books that she has written, this book stood out to me the most. I am obsessed with stories of people moving to the country side so I knew immediately that I had to buy this book.

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Japanese Novel Review: 星の王子様 Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I decided to read this novel after reading 君の膵臓をたべたい(review can be found here) as this story seemed to play a large role in story line especially at the end when Haruki is reading over Sakura’s diary. I have been looking into find more light reading as I found found many of the novels I have purchased recently to be enjoyable but heavy.  I found 星の王子様 on Aozora Bunko as a free illustrated e-book. While this is my first time using Aozora, I have heard of it before as anything free tends to become popular in the language learning community.

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Japanese Novel Review: 君の膵臓をたべたい I want to eat your Pancreas by Sumino Yoru (住野よる)

I purchased this novel from Chicago’s Kinokuniya store location for 11.99. I now have a car again and am super happy that I am able to go to Kinokuniya more often.  I’m just more excited about books when I can pick them out in person and it makes me happy to randomly spot a book that has been on my mind for a while. I was on the look out for some light reading and decided to pick up some books by Sumino Yoru as it seems like his books are popular in the language learning community. I have heard of I want to eat your Pancreas(君の膵臓をたべたい) but I was surprised to find that this book was a runner up for the 2016 Booksellers Award. That really peaked my interested and helped me to make the purchase. I also picked up a copy of Sumino’s Blue, Painful and Brittle(青くて痛くて脆い). Sumino’s novels tend to turn into many other forms of media such as movies, anime, and manga which can make these novels great language learning tools.

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Japanese Novel Review: 妊娠カレンダー The Pregnancy Diary by Ogawa Youko (小川洋子)

In 1990, Ogawa won a biannual literary award called the Akutagawa Prize (芥川龍之介賞) for this novel. The Akutagawa Prize is considered one of Japanese’s most prestigious and sought after literary awards. When picking this novel, I was a little bit intimated due to its award winning status. Usually when I pick books based off of awards, I tend to stick to the Bookseller’s award as it seems more accessible. It is true to some extent and this book will be a vocabulary tester as words are used in surreal ways to describe normal situations.

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