4 Books That Everyone Used To Talk About

Some books spur on conversation. When they are released, not only is everyone reading them, but everyone is also talking about them. They are hot topics. They hit on something new and different. You want to see what all the fuss is about. Here are 4 of those books that at the time made it into many discussions.

4. 電車男 (Train Man)
Japanese Level: ☆☆☆☆

Densha Otoko

What do you do when save a beautiful woman from a drunk harasser on a train? Post about it on Internet forums and get advice on how to win her heart.

This is the allegedly true story of one man’s adventures in love. Awkward otaku, after his valiant and once in a life time rescue, decides he wants to use this chance to change his life. Having no experience with love or women, he seeks help on the infamous 2chan Internet forums.

His forum posts and conversations that spanned over 2 months were organized and turned into a compelling, modern, and very real story. With the advice of the Internet, and the support of hundreds all cheering him on, will he find what has always been out of reach to him?

3. 一リットルの涙 (A litre of tears)
Japanese Level: ☆☆

1 litoru no namida

Aya, a normal high school girl, has been diagnosed with a terrible disease. One that will slowly destroy her body and result in her ultimate death. Despite her imposed death sentence, she decides that she will live every day and will try to “survive” till the end.

Her endless struggles and emotional battles are chronicled in her diary, as she tries to find hope and the will to go on.

This true story taken from her diary will definitely leave you with a liter of tears. Powerful and memorable.

2. 夢を叶えるゾウ (Wish Granting Elephant)
Japanese Level: ☆☆☆

Yume wo kanaeru zou 2

Changing your life isn’t easy. Our main character, who can’t continue anything new for more than 3 days before giving up, is stuck. Stuck in a job he hates and a life he doesn’t want, where nothing moves forward, and his dreams are dead.

In comes the elephant god Ganesha to save the day! Speaking in Kansai dialect with a never ending supply of wise-cracking humor, supernatural being Ganesha decided to move in with our hopeless hero. In exchange for a place to stay, food, and the occasional video game, Ganesha provides his endless (but highly unconventional) wisdom so that life can change and get better.

A combination of a comedy, self-help book, and fiction, you will laugh, cry, and improve your life.

yume wo kanaeru zou 3

1. 美女と野球 (Beauty And Baseball)
Japanese Level: ☆☆☆

Beauty and baseball

Lily Franky likes two things. Beautiful women and baseball. And that’s what he talks about (well 99% women, 1% baseball).

A highly sarcastic, dirty sense of humor outlook on life, women and things we think about every day but don’t have the guts to tell other people. Not for those who get offended easily, as he takes on some very low brow subjects, but Lily knows how to explain what we’ve all been thinking.

Lily Franky, the author, is extremely talented. He’s also an illustrator, a big name actor and director. Seeing how his inner mind works in this collection of mini short essays is exploration into a strange, nonsensical and comedic genius.

Any books you’ve read that everyone used to talk about?

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Founder of Jalup. Spends most of his time absorbing and spreading thrilling information about learning Japanese.


4 Books That Everyone Used To Talk About — 7 Comments

  1. I’ve heard about the legend of Train Man! I’d like to read that one day.
    I’d heard about 1 litre of tears too, but never really knew what it was about. That sounds so sad. I think I’ll try to read it…get some Japanese practice, and a reminder that life is precious.

  2. 1Q84 got a lot of buzz in the US, and I think in Japan as well. Can’t say I’ve read it though, and I’d imagine it’s pretty difficult (sadly I can’t find a sample online).

    • Yes, for a while, no matter what Japanese bookstore you went to they would be lined up everywhere. I haven’t read it either but have heard good things.

      I also can’t seem to find a sample. It’s weird what the online bookstores decide to provide 試し読み for and what they don’t.

  3. 1リットル is two stars? Man, you’re making me feel bad about my Japanese, lol. I can read it, not without a lot of dictionary use, though. It feels like I’m gonna be an old lady by the time I get through the 250+ pages!

    (Seriously though, I feel like 2 stars is about right)

    I want to give it a shot, because I enjoyed the drama, as much as you can enjoy something with such subject matter. I’m expecting to bawl my eyes out for the second time.

    • I think the book level varies greatly since there is medical talk (which is higher than 2 stars). But I think for the most part it averages around 2.

      Good luck with it. It’ll be worth it when you complete it!

  4. I am so damn surprised no one mentioned Wish granting elephant. Damn that book was good. After reading that book I got hooked on reading in Japanese. Read all of his work, and went on to similar authors.

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