Caturday Reads: Action-Adventure, Psychological Thriller, & Boozy Seinen Manga

This past week my parents celebrated 37 years of marriage and another friend of mine celebrated 31 years together with the love of her life. It’s incredible how people find a way to make relationships work for such a long time. Usually, I’m pretty bitter about romance and the love thing, but when I see people like them, it gives me hope that maybe not everyone is a lost cause in the search for lifetime companionship (with regard to those who are wanting these things, that is). While I do hope that one day I’ll find my perfect partner in mischief and motivation, until then, I’m going to keep rooting for those who already have this stuff down like professionals.

As I contemplate future companionship shenanigans, let me welcome you into the weekend! With the new Uni semester looming around the corner, I’ve decided to spend the next two to three weeks doing nothing but reading and writing, as well as playing as many video games in my Steam library as possible. As soon as the ON switch for the semester hits, I know I’ll be out of fresh free-time. I am intimidated by it, but I’m also beyond thrilled to finally start this chapter. Let’s keep our fingers and paws crossed that I shall make it to the end this time instead of hitting an Intermission with life nonsense.

Because the goal is to indulge in as much reading as I can, I’ve expanded my SFF and cosy mystery reading exclusiveness for the year to include all adult fiction (I’m still not reading Young Adult next year, at the earliest, and straight romance isn’t my genre at all). I’ve also been continuing my manga madness, which has been really awesome, especially since I’m trying to read older serials that have been on my TBR for ages and ages, as well as influential early titles within the medium.

This weekend, my focus is on two manga serials, one psychological thriller, and an action-adventure canonical novel from one of my favourite video game franchises. In case if I somehow manage to finish all of these, then I have a couple of Asian literature books ready to go as well. As per usual, GoodReads/AniList links can be found via titles.

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Bartender Volumes 1 & 2 by Arakai Jō and Kenji Nagatomo (artist): A seinen, slice-of-life manga series that revolves around a world-renown bartender that has been called “The God of the Glass,” as he works temporarily in Japan to better understand its people and culture as it pertains to mixology.

I’ve read half the first volume so far and I absolutely love it. Not only do we get to learn about an array of alcoholic beverages and cocktails, but we also get little morsels of the variety of struggles that individuals go through, whether they are professional, romantic, familial, or something else. It’s comforting and very much epitomises the slice-of-life part of the genre. (I did watch the anime for this years ago but hadn’t realised that it was adapted from the manga, so naturally, I had to pick up the source material when I found out.)

City Hunter Volume 2 by Tsukasa Hōjō: A shōnen, action, detective comedy series that follows a dude named Ryō Saeba who works as a “sweeper.” He’s a cleaner-for-hire for that helps desperate people when they’re in a jam. He’s also a colossal goofball and dumbass with a weakness for pretty ladies.

I’ve read the first volume and it was amazing. I love the cheesiness of the humour that can only be found in 70s and 80s anime/manga titles, as well as the over-the-top action bits. I also love how much Saeba reminds me of a less aloof Roger Smith (The Big O). I’m looking forward to continuing with the manga so that once I’m finished, I can check out the full anime franchise.

False Witness by Karin Slaughter: A stand-alone psychological thriller novel about two estranged sisters that end up being brought back together when the worst secret of their childhood returns to haunt and hunt them in the worst ways possible.

I’m about halfway through this novel and it is so fucking intense. There’s also a humongous list of content warnings to keep an eye out for, especially as they pertain to heavy drug use, sexual violence, and sexual exploitation of a child. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who is sensitive to those specific triggers. Like most Slaughter novels, the cat-and-mouse hunt is very tight knit and impeccably suspenseful. While disconcerting and very disturbing, it shines a light on a lot of the societal issues that led to the circumstances that influenced the main characters’ bucket of Hell, and I find that exposition to be rather brilliant thus far. A full review will go live once I’m finished.

Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth by Christopher Golden: An action-adventure book that follows Nathan Drake when he’s called into New York City by his closest chum and mentor, Sully, after Sully receives news of his old friend’s—a world-famous archaeologist—death. Their investigation will take them around the globe as they uncover incredible labyrinths and the shocking secret that led to the archaeologist’s murder.

I’m only two chapters into this book, but it’s a super fun ride. The way it’s written is a perfect complement to the storytelling style that’s found in the Uncharted video games, along with Nate’s quick wit and commentary that always gets him into the avoidable trouble he constantly finds himself in. I’ll probably binge read this book to its finale later today.

That sums up my reading plans for the weekend. I’m oddly optimistic that I’ll blow through the vast majority of these by the end of tomorrow, considering that I haven’t done much of anything else the last few days except stay in bed and read and watch crime dramas.

I do plan on watching more anime this weekend as well, but I shall be taking a brief break from The Big O. There was an episode that involved a kitty being scientifically experimented on, and it left me gutted and devastated. It was such a traumatising experience for me that I need to put The Big O aside for a short while. I still plan on finishing it but cat deaths/torture/etc. are always a gargantuan trigger for me and this was definitely no exception. I may pick up a short 12-13 episode series to fill its void for a bit.

Anyhoo, I hope y’all have a kind weekend ahead. Please remember to stay hydrated if possible and try to stay indoors or in shaded places if you can, especially if you live on the West Coast in the States. Much love to you. Until next time, keep reading!

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7 thoughts on “Caturday Reads: Action-Adventure, Psychological Thriller, & Boozy Seinen Manga

  1. I watched the first couple episodes of the City Hunter anime, and I like it. It’s fun in the same way that the Rockford Files is.

  2. Sounds like a delicious weekends reading 😀 I find it interesting that I retreat to the same thing when I’m not doing well. Crime if it’s mental, although I tend more towards nature documentaries if it’s a physicall illness. I’ve been watching a lot of crime documentaries lately 😛

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