March & April Reading Wrap-Ups!

Good morning book dragons and otaku Saiyans! Today I will be sharing with you all the books that I read in March and April. As I was compiling my list of books read for the past month, I realised that I had not shared my March books due to the evil pneumonia monster, and I read some neat stuff during that month that I wanted to share with y’all.

Everything is categorised by genre and will list the title, author, subgenre, a brief synopsis and/or a link to the review, and my overall rating.

Enjoy! 😊


Asian Literature

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

  • #OwnVoices Korean Literature, Historical Fiction
  • This is a multigenerational story that starts with a young woman who, due to various circumstances, ends up marrying a kind Korean Christian pastor and moving to Osaka, Japan with the hopes of having a better life. However, life isn’t as glamourous or better as she expected. The book follows her, her children, and grandchildren.
  • You can check out my full review here.
  • 4.25 outta 5.

I Am a Cat by Natsume Sōseki

  • #OwnVoices Japanese Fiction Literature
  • The story revolves around a stray, unwanted cat in Japan who spends his days observing humans in their natural, everyday lives. The book is classic Sōseki in that it is an allegory for various parts of Japanese society and the Japanese mind, especially for the period.
  • If unfamiliar with Sōseki’s unique prose, the book can feel exhaustingly tedious and pointless.
  • Brilliant examination of human psychology and the shifting mentality of Japanese people circa World War II era; the transition from traditional to modern (i.e.: Western thinking).
  • Excellent allegories about selfishness, Japanese Buddhism, the inherent fear of life and death, and much more.
  • 4.25 outta 5.

 

The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

  • #OwnVoices Japanese Literature, Historical Fiction
  • The story is told in seven to eight sections and surrounds Japanese picture brides, or women who were married to men living in American during the early 20th century via photographs and then brought over to be their wives.
  • Understated yet poignant, revealing and penetrating with its authenticity and honesty.
  • Full review to come.
  • 5 outta 5.

In a Grove by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa

  • #OwnVoices Japanese Literature, Mystery, Short Story
  • Told from seven perspectives, the story tries to unravel the mystery of a samurai’s murder.
  • The short story is a succinct yet brilliant examination of humanity’s inability and unwillingness to share objective truth.
  • While vague and subtle in nature, Akutagawa reveals a part of human nature that is deeply thought-provoking and genuine.
  • The story was the basis behind Akira Kurosawa’s Rashōmon film, which was also originally a story by Akutagawa.
  • 4.25 outta 5.

Filipino Ghost Stories: Spine-Tingling Tales of Supernatural Encounters & Hauntings by Alex G. Paman

  • #OwnVoices Filipino Literature, Supernatural, Short Story Collection
  • This is a collection of short stories about ghosts and supernatural occurrences that have been shared through generations in the author’s family.
  • Traditionally such stories are passed down orally from generation to generation, usually as a means of embarking simple life lessons and ways to remember those who have long been gone.
  • Full review to come.
  • 3 outta 5.

 

British Literature

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

  • Fantasy, Mythology
  • This is an anthology of the Norse mythos written by Gaiman in his interpretation, which is inspired by the original Nordic works: The Prose Edda and The Poetic Edda.
  • You can check out my full review for it here.
  • 4.25 outta 5!

The Girl in the Ice (Detective Erika Foster #1) by Robert Bryndza

  • British-Slavic Literature, Crime Fiction
  • The book begins with the discovery of a dead body beneath the surface of a frozen lake in England. It is quickly proven that the woman discovered in ice is from a very prestigious family, making the case a high-profile scandal. Detective Erika Foster, who has returned to duty after a terrible loss, is called in on the case.
  • You can check out my full review for it here.
  • 3.25 outta 5.

 

Science-Fiction & Fantasy

Boundary (Boundary #1) by Eric Flint & Ryk E. Spoor

  • Hard Science-Fiction, Space Exploration
  • It begins with a couple of young people stumbling upon an unusual rock. When the rock is handed over to scientists, a palaeontologist realises that it is a fossil. Through extensive testing and some scandalous theories, it is found that the fossils discovered do not belong to any creatures that existed on Earth. Instead, they are creatures from Mars; dinosaurs from deep space!
  • You can read my full review for this here.
  • 3 outta 5.

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1) by Martha Wells

  • Hard Science-Fiction
  • The book is about an android with murderous intentions that simply wants to discover who it is outside of being an android and gets the opportunity to do so when a mission on a distant planet ends up going terribly awry.
  • Full review to come.
  • 4.25 outta 5.

 

Young Adult

Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King #1) by Tricia Levenseller

  • High Fantasy, Romance
  • Alosa is after the pieces of a secret treasure map that will lead to an island with the largest wealth known to humans. To obtain one of the pieces, she allows herself to be captured by her enemies, so she can search their ships. What Alosa never expected was the effect that her enemies’ crew would come to have on her.
  • You can check out my full review for it here.
  • 4.5 outta 5.

Daughter of the Siren Queen (Daughter of the Pirate King #2) by Tricia Levenseller

 

Manga

Brave 10 Volumes 3-5 by Kairi Shimotsuki

  • Seinen, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
  • The story, while interesting, is crafted in a messy way with constant, irrelevant dialogue that is used to stretch out the length of the overall series.
  • Good action sequences.
  • Average plotline.
  • Some characters are cool, but most of them are rather unimpressive and mediocre.
  • 2.75 outta 5; 3 outta 5; 2.5 outta 5

Devils’ Line Volume 10 by Ryo Hanada

  • Seinen, Crime Fiction, Supernatural
  • Excellent development of Anzai and Tsukasa’s relationship.
  • More information regarding devil physiology, as well as the biological aspects of sexual intercourse between humans and devils are explored.
  • We learn about Anzai’s parents.
  • 5 outta 5.

 

Dreamin’ Sun Volume 6 by Ichigo Takano

  • Shōjo, Romance Comedy
  • Shimana and her love interest ping-pong back and forth quite a bit in the volume regarding a specific element, which becomes tedious and frustrating.
  • Not a lot of development occurs in the volume, making it feel pointless overall.
  • Excellent artwork.
  • Great minor characters.
  • 3 outta 5.

BTOOOM Volume 20 by Junya Inōe

  • Seinen, Psychological Thriller, Action
  • Just when I thought this series could not get more fucked up and twisted, it does; I love it.
  • Excellent, non-stop action and brutal violence.
  • Psychologically fucked up characters who help increase tension that is already tight.
  • Interesting duality of personas are developing with the main character.
  • Inching its way towards the ultimate conclusion.
  • 5 outta 5.
  • TRIGGERS: Graphic scene of forced rape between a couple by a third party. Graphic depictions of violence and death.

 

Naruto Volumes 1-3 by Masashi Kishimoto

  • Shōnen, Action-Adventure, Fantasy
  • The Western localisation and overall translation is absolutely horrid, causing a lot of the inherently Japanese cultural aspects that make Naruto such a phenomenal story to be lost entirely. The translation is also inconsistent throughout the three volumes, and flat out incorrect in some sections.
  • Naruto is annoying as a main character, but his overall personality and what he encapsulates in terms of ideology is interesting.
  • I like the depth of the world-building and the potential for how it will play to the narrative as a whole has me very interested to keep reading.
  • Flawed villains with genuine motives, which is totally my cup o’ chai.
  • 4 outta 5 for all three volumes.

 


Those are all the books that I read during March and April! I am very pleased with my April reading specifically as I read plenty of thought-provoking narratives that challenged me in intellectual ways that I utterly adored. It made me feel enlightened and helped open my mind to new things. 😊


Thank you for stopping by today! I wish you all a fabulous rest of the day. Until next time, happy reading and happy otakuing. 💙

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