Bunpro Book club (Advanced)

Hi everyone!

This is the welcome thread for users that want to join in Advanced level book clubs. Information about levels, past, present and future titles can be found here, along with links to various resources.

If you’re thinking about joining this reading community. Please have a look through this post, and then say hi to everyone! We’d love to have you join!

Focus of Club

To reiterate, this post is for the ADVANCED group. To participate in this group it is assumed that you would have a strong understanding of the N1 grammar, strong vocabulary, and be used to reading Japanese native material. Note that this level has no upper limit for difficulty, so it may prove quite challenging for those that are still studying the N1 grammar if you are not used to actual reading. If you’re not sure what level you’re at, have a go at reading one of the free samples available online for any of the books that we have read in this level in the past.

It is the goal of this club to act as an inclusive community where we all help each other make strides in being able to understand native content. It feels good when all of your hard study has paid off! Let’s share that joy together and support each other’s successes.

Please note - As this is a book club, there may be a need for you to purchase the books. I will do my best to provide several links to several different websites where they can be legally purchased, but it will be your individual responsibility to procure them. If you would like free material to be used, feel free to suggest something! :blush:

Making Suggestions

Before making suggestions, please refer to our official rules for book clubs. Answers to many general questions can be found there. After reading the rules, please feel free to make suggestions by posting here! (Nothing NSFW :face_with_monocle:)

Reading Log

Past books.

Nobody here yet. May we pray that with the passage of time this list becomes long and is studied archeologically as a testament to the coming together of human kind.

Book club thread - スター・ウォーズ discussion (Advanced) (Starting Monday, 1st of April, 2024)
Purchase link - スター・ウォーズ エピソード4:新たなる希望, Volume 4, (Novel)

Future books.

Nobody here yet. We may occasionally choose to have a reservation system for books where we book something in for reading at a set date in the future. In those cases, the titles and dates set for reading will be recorded here.


This is a list of books that we have not read yet, but that have been suggested. They will likely all appear in future polls.


All active polls will be displayed here. Please vote for the books you would like to read!

To keep the voting process manageable, no further suggestions will be accepted after a poll has been started. If you would like to suggest something else while a poll is currently running, please be aware that it will need to wait for the next round of voting.

Previous polls.

March, 2024. Winner - スター・ウォーズ エピソード4:新たなる希望, Volume 4, (Novel)


(Nothing here right now. Check back again once we are close to finishing the current book)

We hope that you all enjoy participating in the book club with us! Feel free to ask any questions here that you cannot find the answers to anywhere else. Whenever you find yourself reading this, I hope that you are having a great day :partying_face:.


Feel free to participate in more than one level if any of you would like to! I will be participating in all levels.


In! My to-read list is quite long so I will have a good think about what might be of interest to lots of people and post some suggestions at some point. For the beginner and intermediate ones I may post suggestions based on things I have already read if people can’t come up with any but happy to just go with the flow for those ones. Looking forward to it - thanks for setting it up!


Looking forward to seeing some of your suggestions mate! I’ll probably chuck in a suggestion or two as well.


Bit of a longer book but Log Horizon might be a decent one. I think it is probably more advanced based on the vocabulary than on advanced grammar though.


Depending on what’s chosen I’ll join this one too :+1:.


Non-fiction suggestions:

Fiction suggestions:

I tried to have a little variation to give some choice; some of these are much harder than others and the genres and styles vary a bit. Though as there are currently so few takers for this specific book club I am very happy for the selection to not be any of these or to be something on the easier side of hard so that some of the upper-end intermediate readers could be encouraged to join. I have tried to include some quite popular books but I am open to mega popular books as well if that is what it takes to get people to join. Or…we go the other way and choose particularly difficult texts for intensive reading? I don’t mind either way.

From what I have seen of bookclubs on discord and the wanikani forums the pace is normally slow enough that people can keep up so since I think (so far) everyone at this level is also taking part in at least one other level perhaps the pace for this level could be set to something relatively slow to, again, encourage more intermediates to take that next step? Again, I don’t mind either way.

Also happy to expand on any of my suggestions if you have questions about any of them. I will cut down to one non-fic and one fiction suggestion for the vote but am leaving this longer list here so perhaps people can get some inspiration. Looking forward to seeing suggestions from others as well!


So far, the one that seems the most interesting (at least out of the Science Fiction list, which is a genre I prefer) when reading the samples is “After Dark”. I wouldn’t mind reading the Star Wars book Asher is currently on either, if that’s an option. I like Star Wars.


Fiction suggestions:

Will leave a little blurb for each of these as I read the samples :sweat_smile:
@CursedKitsune I am only reading the samples of each of them. So correct me if any of my evaluations are off.


The Star Wars books are actually quite a fun read. I finished them all ages ago but would but up for another go! They’re probably on the lower end of difficulty, but still within the advanced range for sure.


My vote goes for Star Wars, since I prefer easier but fun, rather than harder yet boring. But that’s just me, of course. Do you have a link for them?


I’m in as well! Can’t think of anything to suggest right away but I’ll post if something comes to mind before the poll.




Thank you! :pray:

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BTW, @Asher have you read Episode IV A New Hope? I think I’d prefer reading the OG trilogy, so that would be my top pick so far. I’m assuming it’s around the same level.

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I’m in! I don’t know if my level will be enough but I want to try it. I am currently reading 街とその不確かな壁 Not sure if it is the appropriate level but even if the level checks out, I’d imagine it would be too long for the club.

I may vote for this one. I want to read non-fiction, never read a book lenght non-fiction in Japanese before.


Yep, read them all. They’re all around the same level :ok_hand:. I’ll put A New Hope in the suggestions poll.


All accurate as far as I know (I have also only perused the samples except for 14歳からの哲学入門 where I have read the first chapter on Nietzsche already. Thank you for putting that together, much appreciated.

I’ll put forward that one actually and 不毛地帯 for my two actual nominations for the poll. The philosophy one is on the easier side from what I have read so far (although some thinking is needed, especially if you aren’t already familiar with the philosophies discussed, but that isn’t necessarily related to the difficulty of the Japanese). 不毛地帯 is actually a massive story that was a serial in a newspaper in the 70s(?), I think. Doesn’t seem mega hard but also does not seem to be a walk in the park, the same as any other “serious” novel.

As far as sci-fi goes, the Japanese edition of “The Three Body Problem” was recently re-released(?) and is being heavily promoted in bookshops currently. I was also suggested 虐殺器官 like a year ago by a student but it was way too hard for me at the time. Probably doable for me now though. I do like Star Wars and Asher could probably provide expert commentary on a Star Wars novel it seems (lol) so that would also be fine by me if that’s the way the wind blows.

I kind of avoided listing pre-war stuff as I am aware it can be harder for basically no other reason than being older and, even for me who is someone who interested that kind of thing, it can feel a bit like “why am I torturing myself over vocabulary that I currently have no practical use for” sometimes. Having said that, if anyone wants to read a classic then I am also down for that kind of thing.


I think once you’re at the N1 or above N1 level. This statement is very… very true. I still often pick up books that I feel like I am not really getting much from, but the real reason isn’t because I don’t understand the words on the page, it’s because I don’t understand the subject and concepts in general, even in English.

It’s really easy to beat yourself up and be like ‘why don’t I get this’, when the reality is that it is a very academic topic that assumes you already have a background in that field.

Grammar isn’t too bad but this book definitely does not pull any punches on the kanji or vocabulary. Looks really interesting!


I am in!

言語の本質 has been my current read, and I have been wanting to start something new.