TW Book Club: What We’re Reading This Month


Have you joined the Tokyo Weekender Book Club yet?

Come join us as we dive into (mostly) contemporary books that are either written by Japanese authors, are set in Japan, or have some sort of connection with Japan.

We read a new book every month! Previous reads include Sweet Bean PasteMs Ice Sandwich and The Travelling Cat Chronicles.

What We’re Reading Now (April 2020)

This month we’re reading Spark by Naoki Matayoshi and translated by Alison Watts. Initially known for his boke (air-headed) role in slapstick manzai comedy duo Peace, Matayoshi took the Japanese literary world by storm in 205 with his novel Hibana. The book received critical acclaim as well as commercial success. It received the Akutagawa Prize the same year it was released and made into a Netflix show in 2016. Now translated into English under title Spark, this thoughtful and humorous semi-autobiographical ale follows a young man’s aspirations and doubts as he pursues a career in comedy. Read our interview with the author here.

You can get your copy on Amazon or see if your local library carries it.

To join the discussion, join our group on Goodreads, send us a note on Twitter or tag us on Instagram. Use the hashtag #TWBookClub to make it easier for us to find you!

One final request: please use common sense if you’re sharing something that may be considered a spoiler. Tag it, include a warning, or try to work around it.

How it Works

The book club is completely free and online-based so you can join us from wherever you are in the world.

We’ll announce our next picks every season so you have time to decide whether you want to join us for the few books or not.

The Goodreads TW Book Club group will be our main gathering point. This is where we’ll ask discussion questions, exchange opinions, rant about characters and talk about whatever else is on our minds.

We hope you’ll share your thoughts with us via the TW Book Club group on, on Twitter, and on our Instagram. (Don’t forget to use the hashtag #TWBookClub so we can find you.) We can’t wait to hear from you!

Something else to be excited about: we also plan on organizing exclusive in-person meetups and Q&As with authors and translators in the future.



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