Yo, ho, ho, ho and a gaggle o’ books!
Okay, I’ll stop now…
Good morning to all y’all bibliophiles and otaku neko! Today is officially the half-way mark for the Bout of Books Readathon that I have participating in this past week, so I thought it would be fun to share my progress so far with all the books I’ve finished reading and the ones I’m currently trying to tackle. I must confess that when the readathon began, I felt a slight bit of anxiety because a small reading slump had started sliding into my brain. But now that three days have passed, and I’ve managed to finish some shit, I think Bout of Books was exactly what the book dragon within me needed to rejuvenate my reading!
Since I plan on doing full reviews for most of these books, I’m going to keep this post sweet and simple by sharing the title, author, genre, and whether I think you should check it out or pass on it. I’ll also make sure to mention which ones you can expect reviews for next week. 😊
Naruto Volume 5: The Challengers by Masashi Kishimoto
- Shōnen, Action-Adventure, Manga
- The translation still isn’t the greatest, but not a bad volume overall. Introduction to a shit ton of new characters, most of them unlikable. But the exams that the kiddoes are partaking in has some fascinating dynamics to it that I enjoyed. Looking forward to seeing who’ll pass, or live, through them.
Fruits Basket Collector’s Edition Volume 8 by Natsuki Takaya
- Shōjo, Slice-of-Life, Supernatural, Manga
- We learn about Yuki’s past, which was quite heartfelt. The gradual building of interpersonal relations and the focus of emotions that surpass the simple notion of romance are so fucking brilliant in this manga; it’s got me utterly hooked. If you haven’t read this series, then I highly recommend you get off your ass and do so because it’s phenomenal!
A Place Called Hiroshima by Betty Jean Lifton & Eikoh Hosoe (Photographer)
- Non-Fiction, Photographic Journal, World War II
- A full review for this book shall be up next week on Monday!
- If you are interested in history, specifically Japanese history, and the dropping of the A-Bomb on Hiroshima, then I do recommend this book. However, I feel compelled to mention that it is a wholly emotionally and graphic title that exposes the reader to the brutal and real face of war, and the very reason why nuclear weapons should be abolished.
Modern Japanese Society, 1868-1994 by Ann Waswo
- Non-Fiction, History, Cultural—Japan
- A full review of this book shall be up next Wednesday!
- A wonderfully accessible yet intelligent recount of the Meiji Restoration and Japan’s evolution as a society that was kick-started as a result of the Restoration. Book covers some amazing parts of Japanese history with succinct details and unbiased explanations that make it easy, even for non-Japanese Studies scholars, to understand. Should be a companion to every Japanese history class(es).
Ms Ice Sandwich by Mieko Kawakami
- Japanese Fiction Literature, Novella
- A full review for this book shall be up next week on Tuesday!
- This was a strange little novella that packed a hell of a lot of themes in it, which kind of blew my mind because it’s only 92 pages. I have two major complaints. Firstly, the meshing of American and British English creates a frustratingly disjointed reading experience and shows lazy translation. Second, the narrator tends to go on tangents that can feel slightly tedious or boring at times. Aside from that, if you want to read a bittersweet coming-of-age tale about first loves, (among other stuff) and one that is a quick and fast read, then check it out.
And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich
- Young Adult Horror, Psychological Thriller
- A full review of this book shall be up next on Thursday!
- Awkward prose and format of the narrative can be sensationally off-putting for many folks, but if you can get passed it, then you are in for one hell of a mind-fuck! Supremely fucking psychological and creates excellent ambiance. This book scared the bones out of me. It does slow down some midway through, but that finale makes everything worth it.
The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa
- Japanese Fiction Literature
- Told from the perspective as a cat—a lovely homage to Sōseki’s I Am a Cat—it follows the kitty, Nana, and how he came to be the companion of a man named Satoru, and the journey they embark on to visit Satoru’s friends.
- 25% completed.
The Blade of the Immortal Omnibus Volume III by Hiroaki Samura
- Seinen, Chanbara, Supernatural, Manga
- Follows an immortal warrior as he joins a young girl on a quest for vengeance for the brutal slaughtering of her family.
- 30% completed.
Hello Mr. Bones & Goodbye Mr. Rat by Patrick McCabe
- Irish Supernatural Literature, Short Stories
- The book contains two stories. The first one revolves around two damaged people who find love in the midst of their pain. But then the weather changes, their fates take a terrible turn. The second story is about a girl from Indiana who takes her dead boyfriend’s ashes back to his rural hometown in Ireland, all the while being watched by his spirit.
- 10% completed.
For someone who was about to slump it up, I am shocked and grateful for the reading progress I’ve made thus far! My goal for today and the following three days is to finish all of my current reads and (hopefully) to knock down a tenth book! Wish me luck, I’m going to need it… and lots of coffee.