I feel like a total potato today, friends. My brain has officially shut-down and is ready to read some books, watch some anime and Stargate: Atlantis, as well to have family time with my parentals. There’s going to be good food, laughter, and much chillaxing all around. Do you ever have one of those days where your mind and your heart tell you, “Take the day off, you bum.”? ‘Cause that is what my Saturday is shaping up to be.
Before I jump into full Super Saiyan Potato mode, I wanted to share with you my current reads and the books that I plan on reading through this upcoming week, and possibly into next week. You will recognise one of these books as it’s been on my weekly TBR thingy for the past couple of posts (finally getting ready to finish it). Moreover, in an effort to keep things light and easy for myself with the last week and a half of April, I shall primarily be focusing on manga and comics.
Check out these books down below and let me know if you have read them or are interested in reviews for them when I’m done. I wish you all a fantastic rest of the weekend and shall see you again tomorrow for a brand-new Self-Care Sunday segment. Much love to you. ♥
Flower Net (Red Princess Mystery #1) by Lisa See
Flower Net is a mystery book about two murders—one of a prominent American youth and the second is that of a high-ranking Chinese prince, essentially—and how they are connected despite being thousands of miles apart. I was supposed to start this a week or so ago, but the last one-third of The Island of Sea Women took me longer to get through than I originally anticipated due to how heavy the content became. I needed to pace myself. As such, I didn’t begin Flower Net until a few days ago and I’m almost done with it already! I love it so much. It’s unlike anything else Lisa See has written, even the voice of the novel feels different than her usual stuff, but that’s not a bad thing by far. If anything, it showcases her versatility as an author, which I respect immensely.
A Natural History of Dragons (The Memoirs of Lady Trent #1) by Marie Brennan
A Natural History of Dragons is a fantasy novel that I’m buddy reading with Sir Besty. It’s essentially the memoir of a woman named Lady Trent as she shares how she became infatuated with dragons, and how that very special interest turned her into an adventurer and expert on these creatures when she least expected it. While it’s a tad bit slow and not quite what I had expected, I am still liking it a lot. The structure and descriptions definitely make it feel like the journal of a scientist. The technical talk is probably what makes it feel so sluggish at times. I’m curious to see how it shall end and if there is a lead into the next book at all. I’ve about 70 pages left in this one.
Territory of Light by Yūko Tsushima
Territory of Light is a novel by Osamu Dazai’s daughter and that was my number one reason for checking it out. People who’ve been following me for a while may have heard me gushing about Osamu Dazai, as he’s one of my favourite authors along with Ryūnosuke Akutagawa and Natsume Sōseki. This book follows a young woman who has recently separated from her husband along with her daughter, and how they try to start their lives anew. She must face everything she lost in order to figure out who she is as a person who must move forward. I’ve read the first chapter and, while you can see a bit of her father’s influence in her writing, the style and essence are very unique and separate from him. I’m loving this dearly and plan on buying my own copy the next time I’ve some money to spare.
Cloud of Sparrows (Samurai #1) by Takashi Matsuoka
Cloud of Sparrows is the first instalment in an #OwnVoices Japanese historical duology that begins in the year 1861. It follows a couple of Western people who have arrived in Japan with the hopes of fleeing their pasts, and a Japanese lord named Genji who believes that these foreigners will be the key to salvaging his future. I’ve been wanting to read this series for many years, but it’s a very difficult one to locate as it’s out-of-print. When I saw my library had it, I snagged both instalments. Even though it has super low ratings on GoodReads, I’m quite ecstatic to check it out. I’ve read snippets of it and I think the biggest issue most people probably had with it is how dated it can feel.
Satoko & Nada Volume 1 by Yupechika
Satoko and Nada is a slice-of-life manga series about a Japanese woman who goes to America for her studies and ends up becoming roommates with a Saudi Arabian Muslima, which leads them to formulate a friendship. I’ve never seen Muslims in Japanese manga…ever, so I cannot really express in words what seeing this series means to me as a person who born and raised in an Islamic household, and as someone who is also a Japanophile. What makes me even more enthralled by the serial is that the script adviser who worked with the mangaka is a Japanese Muslima herself. Colour me mind-blown! Seeing more steps towards inclusivity in the manga medium has been filling my intersectional soul with all sorts of glee.
Golden Kamuy Volumes 1-3 by Satoru Noda
Golden Kamuy is a seinen, historical, Japanese western manga series, with an excellent anime adaptation, about a guy who’s known as the Immortal Sugimoto. During the war he promises a dying comrade that he would take care of the guy’s family. After the war, he learns about a supremely large treasure that could help him keep this promise. The catch is that the map leading to this wondrous treasure is inked into the bodies of the convicts from a special prison that must be pieced together. Accompanied by an Ainu girl, Sugimoto goes on the hunt. I adored the first season of the anime. I am planning on catching up with season two during my break in-between semesters. However, in the meantime, I thought it’d be nice to start reading the source material.
Diary of a Tokyo Teen by Christine Mari Inzer
Diary of a Tokyo Teen is a non-fiction graphic novel by a Japanese-American woman who draws on her experiences to share some fun information about Japan. She explores Harajuku’s trendy fashion, the cuisine, what meeting Geisha is like in Kyoto, and much more. The author was born in Tokyo to a Japanese mother and an American father. She re-located to America in 2003, at the age of six. Then when she turned sixteen, she took a solo trip to her birthplace. The artwork really stood out to me when I initially came across it. I’m also curious to read about a diasporic individual as they return to a place that they are culturally connected to but haven’t interacted in ways that people residing in the country would have.