Tadoku Tuesday: What I’m reading in October 2017

I have quite a lot of novels and manga to read, but remembering where I am with each one is tricky. I’m going to write a post every month about what I’m reading, as I always have several books on the go at the same time and read little bits as and when I can – hopefully, this will encourage me to actually get to the end of the books I’m reading! You might find something to try reading yourself.

There are 3 things (2 novels, 1 manga) that I am currently reading:

「フリーター、 家を買う。」 by 有川浩

This novel is about a young man called Seiji who has been flitting from job to job since he graduated from uni and left his first job after 3 months. When his mother is diagnosed with depression, he decides to try and turn his life around with the aim of buying a house that his mother can live in away from the stressors contributing to his mother’s condition. I’m not even halfway through this so far but I’m really enjoying it. There are quite a lot of words that I could look up (I am taking the tadoku approach) but for the most part, I can make sense of the text, helped by the fact that there is a fair amount of dialogue. I enjoy reading coming of age stories and this sort of falls into this category. It also covers a lot of interesting topics such as depression, Japanese company culture and ‘freeters’ (people who make a living from a series of part-time jobs).

If I had to guess the language level of this, I would put this as JLPT N2 level in terms of grammar and maybe a bit higher in terms of kanji used. I am aware there is a drama adaptation starring one of the members of Arashi, but I haven’t got around to watching it yet.

「1リットルの涙」 by 木藤亜也

This is the true story of Aya Kito, who was diagnosed with a degenerative disease at the age of 15. She kept a diary and used this to document her personal experiences as long as she could and later died at age 25. Her diary was then published as a book, which also was adapted into a film as well as a drama starring Erika Sawajiri.

This is not the easiest read because of the subject matter, but it is a very compelling story. Aya goes through a variety of emotions as she realises the growing impact of her condition. I am about a third of the way through the book so far, but what I am struck by is how she shows a great deal of emotional strength despite what is happening to her at such a young age (where I am currently she is still only 15/16 years old).

In terms of language level, I guess this book is probably JLPT N3 level. There is a film as well as a drama version starring Erika Sawajiri.

「夢色パティシエール」 by 松本夏実

With the other 2 books above on the go, I needed something a bit more lighthearted to read. 14-year-old Ichigo Amano gains a place at the prestigious St Marie Academy on the merit of her extraordinary palette but has no experience in baking. Will she manage to catch up with her classmates and realise her dream of becoming a patisserie chef?

I will most likely do a separate post on this manga as I have found it a pretty easy read so far and has furigana over the kanji, which I think makes it readable for JLPT N4 learners. There is an anime version that can be found on Youtube which will give you an idea of what to expect, but I would say it is pretty typical of shoujo manga.

What are you reading at the moment (in Japanese or otherwise)? Do you have any recommendations for me? Let me know in the comments 🙂

0 thoughts on “Tadoku Tuesday: What I’m reading in October 2017”

  1. How come you read three at the same time? How long does it take on average to finish a book ? So you’re participating in octobers tadoku contest? Btw I recommend dokushometer.

    1. There is no special reason, I just always end up reading more than one book at a time even in English! How long it takes me really depends on how easy the book is as well as how much reading time I can do each day. With simple manga I can read a volume in about an hour, and with novels it probably takes me about a week or two to finish them if I read every day. I did sign up to dokushometer a while back, I should really start to use it more often – thank you for the reminder 🙂

  2. Here’s mine

    My last super page turner was he book about North Korea which was originally written in Korean. Since it’s no longer in print and I live in america Amazon Japan was the only viable choice since the Korean version is ridiculous expensive and it’s easier for me to read in Japanese

    I can understand reading 2 at a time or 3 if you added on the third book when you are almost done with one of the two books which happened to be recently. I also read in English so I like to read at most 2 books in a given language. As of now my to read list for English books is longer than my tbr list for Japanese books but I’m sure that could easily change.

    By the way you can read a lot of stuff on kindles with Aozora bunko ( google search or read forums find out the authors or books/stories that will interest you) and torrents (ebook files are small) and the dictionary lookup function is awesome( it’s knows how to deconjugate)

  3. What I do is I take a picture of that page with my finger to that word or grammar or whatever. Later on depending on how much I loved it I look up the words using capture2text and rikaisama and google. Then I generate anki words for whichever words that I feel compelled to add via rikaisama because I love my McD format.

    As you know in English you don’t have to know every word on the page to understand the story…

    Right now I’m reading a physical book that is also readily available as an ebook ( aka easily downloadable and downloaded by me) so I use book darts to mark the line so I can look it up in the ebook that was converted to HTML using something novelformatter. If you have HTML you can use rikaichcan or rikaisma. So it is more efficient than me ocr-ing the text or typing stuff out and I love mass generating with rikaisama and excel because it’s so efficient compared to adding one by one and all this clicking

    I’m pretty sure that 100 liters of tears is easily illegally downloadable.

    1. You might even be able to find some website with the whole novel up just searching a sentence with quotes “” in google

      Just saying because it is popular and it’s much easier to look up words using rikaichan versus anything else really

      1. So I guess the kindle is the best option since it is pretty much rikaichan on an ereader screen. The kindle does save dictionary lookups and highlighted texts that you can easily transfer to your computer. I think if the kindle stuff was more prevalent when I started out reading Japanese novels I would’ve done that. I feel like the best tadoku is reading on a kindle and tapping to look up words ( it’s so easy and effortless) or parallel texts ( dual texts or whatever you call it) … I think just reading books in a foreign language without any help doesn’t do much and it sure kills my enjoyment … like imagine trying to learn Spanish just reading Spanish with no English translation… I don’t think you’d learn much.

  4. Before smartphones I handwrote out the phrase or sentence which I hated because I hate handwriting and it’s inefficient. I honestly thought I’d learn nothing from the book if I look up nothing and just tadoku’d… I had a lot of energy and time and paranoia at that time lol because I was upper intermediate . But now I think tadoku is fine and you’ll gain stuff from it as long as that’s not the only thing you do in Japanese… it’s best to do a variety of things. Of course you’ll learn way more looking up stuff vs nothing but at the same time pausing every five seconds to look up something or copy something while reading can kill your fun or motivation… you have to figure out what works for you. You could set up rules like don’t look up something until I see it 5 times etc etc . And of course you don’t have to use anki.

    Oh and if you don’t care you could highlight or underline or mark your book to look up later. For some reason I cant get myself to do this even though most of my Japanese books were one dollar since I got them from bookoff

    1. I agree, I was skeptical of tadoku at first but it is effective! Now I find that I really focus on the content of the book itself rather than worrying about the meaning of every word I do not know which is a lot more fun. Thanks for the tip – on my next trip to Japan I will raid BookOff for sure, I find writing notes helps me remember words a lot better

          1. MAybe check out cdjapan. If you sign up they give you 300 points from time to time. That’s equal to three dollars. I just think it’s make more sense to buy clothes instead of books if you actually go to Japan since the clothes gotta fit. The shipping charge from cdjapan isn’t too terrible for America

  5. Oh I know the 1st and 2nd, I’ve watched the drama ^^

    Since I watched the drama first, I would like to try reading the novel too. But I can’t read japanese so I guess I should be contented just by watch it hahaha.

    Anyway, may I introduce myself, I’m Ai. Nice to meet you ^^

    1. Hi Ai, nice to meet you! I am a big fan of jdramas so it tends to influence what I read haha. Apparently 1 litre of tears has been published in English but it seems to be rare…

  6. Oh, wow! I found it amazing that you can read and finish Japanese novel. I couldn’t even finish reading one except for the one that I have to read for uni.

    I litre of tears drama is already sad enough, I don’t think my heart could take it 😂

    1. Hi Rasya, thanks for your comment 🙂 I still find it difficult as I read in Japanese much more slowly compared to English. If I find a novel that really interests me then I can find to motivation to finish reading it!

      I started watching the drama but couldn’t finish for the same reason, the more I read the more my heart aches… I hope I can get to the end without crying too much >.<

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