Caturday Reads: Portal Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery Comics, & Japanese Nonfiction

Happy Saturday, Chums! I cannot express how relieved I am that the weekend is here. This week has been a strange one for me and I am so beyond ready to hit “Reset” on my outdated console, so to speak. This shall also be one of the last weekends I’ll have to just chill as the physical therapy for my cardiovascular system is getting taken up a notch starting Monday. I’m smiling as much as I am sobbing.

The weekend plans beyond the huffing-and-puffing that comes from doing homework (I’m taking a lot of low-impact fitness classes…) shall revolve around reading books, playing video game demos for a couple of my most-anticipated releases for 2021, and then scheduling up blog posts for the upcoming week. Additionally, I’m hoping to try out a cooking experiment. In the effort to try more things this year, I want to do one cooking experiment shindig per month! If it turns out well, I may drop the recipe/dish here on the blog for anyone interested.

Anyhoo, bibliophile-wise I shall be reading the latest instalment in an adult portal fantasy series I’ve been thoroughly enjoying over the last few years, some sword and sorcery comics, and a Japanese nonfiction novel. Last year I read one nonfiction book per month and it was an excellent way for me to get more acclimated with the genre and serious subjects I otherwise don’t get enough time to dive into. Although January is gone, I’m going to try to do the same thing this year starting here in Feb!

As per the usual, if one sees something to fit their fancy, clicking the titles shall lead to respective GoodReads pages for more information.

Across the Green Grass Fields (Wayward Children #6) by Seanan McGuire

This is the sixth instalment in McGuire’s adult portal fantasy series and follows a young girl who gets transported to a magical world with centaurs and unicorns where she learns that not all forms of heroism are as straightforward or simple as they appear to be.

While I’m not a fan of most of the stuff the author has written, this extremely Queer-diverse and neurodivergent series has a very special place in my heart due to its incredible representations of OCD, asexual, and trans identities, to name a very few of the many. Across the Green Grass Fields is actually one of my most-anticipated releases for 2021 (the book came out in January) and I’m stoked to check it out finally.

Rat Queens Volumes 5 to 7 by Kurtis J. Weibe and various artists

This sword and sorcery comic series revolves around an animated group of young ladies who have their fare share of dysfunctional baggage; best friends who go questing together and are known as the Rat Queens to all who encounter them.

I was introduced to this series by a friend of mine that read and adored the first two volumes. After having heard many other wonderful things about it from across the book community for the last few years, I figured it was probably high-time for me to pick it up. I, too, thoroughly enjoyed the initial two trade paperbacks, so much so that I checked out the rest of the available volumes for the series via my local library. These three are all I have left to read in order to get caught up. The eight volume hits shelves in April 2021.

Night in the American Village: Women in the Shadow of the U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa by Akemi Johnson

A Japanese nonfiction book that takes a contemplative and intricate look at the legacy of World War II and how these bases have been a fraught issue in Japan for decades—with tensions exacerbated by the quite often precarious relationship between islanders and the military. The journalist, Akemi Johnson, examines the enduring wounds of the US-Japanese history surrounding the cultural and sexual politics of the American military empire following the brutal rape of a 12-ear-old-girl by three American servicemen in the 1990s.

While the subject matter is rather heavy and intense, I also feel it’s an extremely vital one, more so given the recent controversy of the intended expansion of American bases in Okinawa. The bases and American forces should’ve removed themselves from the island when the American occupation ended in 1951, yet here we are, seventy years later with their presence more apparent and volatile than ever. In order to properly understand the modern-day issues and conflicts at hand, I wanted to obtain better knowledge of its history and the long-term impact that has led the two nations to such a devastating position.

In addition to reading these books, I shall be checking out the gaming demos for Little Nightmares II and Hidden Deep, both of which I cannot wait to test out! I’m planning on doing a first impressions for the former title in a week or so, so if that is something you’re curious about, please keep your eyes peeled for it!

Anyhoo, with that, I wish you all a gentle and lovely weekend ahead. I shall leave behind charming photos of my best boat boi and the love of my life, Sir Kheb who is absolutely not named after a planet from Stargate SG-1. Until next time, happy reading and happy gaming!

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3 thoughts on “Caturday Reads: Portal Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery Comics, & Japanese Nonfiction

  1. I recently caught up on all the current books in the Wayward Children series and it has surprised me with the variety of mental and LGBTQIA representations and the overall writing. Even though most of the series is about a kids and teens I appreciate the adult prose style.

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  2. Given China’s resurgence, I think the government in Tokyo wants those American forces nearby. Senkaku islands? We’ve been getting closer to Taiwan lately and I understand the Philippines are inviting the US back as well.

    Maybe, in an ironic twist of fate, we’ll end up being Vietnam’s protector as well.

    This could develop into Cold War part 2.

    Liked by 1 person

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