Read All the Manga!

So, if you’re not following me over on YouTube, you won’t know that I’m currently “doing a thing!” I recently reached the 2000 subscriber milestone over on my channel, and to celebrate I decided to put together my most requested video: my manga collection video.

Instead of being able to fit it into 1 video though, because that’s impossible, I’ve split it into 11 parts. If you’re interested in checking it out, you can watch the series, here:

Thanks for watching! 😀

 

I share this collection with my sister. Check out her Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sassenachgaijin/

Note: description contains affiliate links

Help this hoarder afford to buy manga! I earn a small commission if you click the affiliate link below before purchasing your own manga at your favourite vendors.
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I Destroy Manga! My manga bullet journal (Oct 2019)

It’s true! I do destroy manga. But only manga that wanted to be destroyed. Because of my loooooong history collecting manga, I’ve amassed a somewhat large collection of damaged manga. And a few years ago, I realized I could do something interesting with these books, if I turned them into craft projects. There have been a few things I’ve made in the past, but lately I just use manga to create bullet journal spreads.

I’ve really come to enjoy making these pages, and then filling them in during my week. I’m surprised by how much more productive I have become.

However, next year I’m going to be moving out of the standard Leuchtturm1917 book that I’ve been using for my bujo, and into a new Hobonichi Cousin. It’s a book I’ve used in the past and enjoyed, but I did struggle to fill the pages much more than I do with the Leuchtturm1917. So, I’m not sure how my planning will turn out in 2020, but I’m interested to see where this new planner takes me.

What do you use to plan with (if anything)? Are you as big a stationery addict as I am?

*note: if you want to skip the talking part, start the video at 8:15

 

Help this hoarder afford to buy manga! I earn a small commission if you click the affiliate link below before purchasing your own manga at your favourite vendors.
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*Note: description contains affiliate links

October TBR | I’m doing #Victober

I was reviewing my reading goals for the year and discovered I only need to read 4 more novels to achieve the 20 novels I wanted to read this year… I won’t tell you I’m nearly 150 volumes of manga behind my manga-reading goal… and 90 volumes behind my comic book goal… but, I’m so close to reading enough novels! And, if I complete my October TBR, I’ll complete this goal! Isn’t completing goals amazing?!

I decided to participate in the #victober readathon. It’s a month-long readathon focusing on Victorian literature. I’ve picked a few Victorian books to read… plus, I’m adding in a few Victorian-set manga… and just one extra book that I wanted to read this month.

Check out my TBR on my YouTube:

Know of any manga with a Victorian setting? Recommend them below – If I happen to have them… or, the public library does… I’d love to add them to my TBR.

Book Review: The Day of the Triffids / by John Wyndham

triffids

The Day of the Triffids

by John Wyndham

978-0812967128

Modern Library Edition

256 pages

I didn’t like this.

That’s the only statement I really want to make. But, since this is supposed to be a blog, I’ll elaborate.

I finished reading the book last night, and it was such a slog to get through. I was so irritated once I hit about the half-way mark. And, the problem is… I don’t really know why. But, it could have been a bunch of things:

Was it the character’s actions? Was it the immediate response by men to suggest it was time to repopulate the earth… before they’d even made their escape? Was it the fact that all of the characters appeared to be white, upper class, stuff shirt, obnoxious, idiots? London is one of the most multi-cultural places in the world – I’d expect to see even a bit of that in the 1950s. Was it the bizarre instant “romance” that occurred? Was it the fact that years pass without anything at all changing? Was it the lack of “climax”? Was it the comparison of this catastrophe to the Biblical flood as a way to cleanse the earth of sin? I mean, then why did those people survive? Or was it the fact that the only woman who takes charge, is a misguided fool who fails miserably in her mission?

There were so many things that became more irritating as I read. I didn’t mind the writing – and I actually didn’t at all mind the narrator/main character, or his love interest. They were interesting and resourceful people. They seemed to have reasonable responses to things, and tried their best to survive in the situation. But, all of the other entitled people who did survive…and the plot that just went nowhere… just became so tedious.

Summary (from Amazon):

Bill Masen, bandages over his wounded eyes, misses the most spectacular meteorite shower England has ever seen. Removing his bandages the next morning, he finds masses of sightless people wandering the city. He soon meets Josella, another lucky person who has retained her sight, and together they leave the city, aware that the safe, familiar world they knew a mere twenty-four hours before is gone forever.

But to survive in this post-apocalyptic world, one must survive the Triffids, strange plants that years before began appearing all over the world. The Triffids can grow to over seven feet tall, pull their roots from the ground to walk, and kill a man with one quick lash of their poisonous stingers. With society in shambles, they are now poised to prey on humankind. Wyndham chillingly anticipates bio-warfare and mass destruction, fifty years before their realization, in this prescient account of Cold War paranoia. 

I don’t know. I’m just not sure what I’m supposed to make of this. I even went through the guided “book club” questions at the back of the book. And even, they were confusing as discussion points.

Despite how much I was irritated reading this, there were still a few things that I liked about the book. The writing was pretty good. It was easy to read, easy to follow, and easy to picture. I wouldn’t mind reading more of John Wyndham’s books, and I believe I was given another of this for my birthday the same year I was given this one. So, I’m glad to know it won’t go to waste.

I really liked considering the moral dilemma that the remaining sighted people had to face. What can be done to help these people? Or, should they be helped at all? What are the potential dangers in a society where food and supplies are in a limited quantity? These seemed like interesting discussions that the novel explored at some length.

I also liked (for the most part) how blindness was handled. While many of the blind characters were faceless, opinionless dependents… and maybe only good to breed more sighted children, in general the blind characters were written as resourceful, clever, and capable. And, their reactions were interesting. I wish to have seen more of them, or that more of the blind characters to become central fixtures in the novel.

So, while I didn’t like the book in general, I don’t think it was a bad book at all. Just not for me. I’m glad I read it, and I’ll definitely check out other Wyndham titles in the future. But, I also know I won’t be returning to this book any time soon.

Graphic Novel Review: Pumpkinheads / by Faith Erin Hicks and Rainbow Rowell

I’m back from a long hiatus. I was hoping to be consistently writing reviews on my blog, but… life. Let’s get back into this…shall we!?

pumpkin headsPumpkinheads

story by Rainbow Rowell

art by Faith Erin Hicks

published by First Second

224 pages

978-1626721623

superhero girl.jpg

I recently picked up “Pumpkinheads” from my public library. I was super excited to give this a read as I’m a long-term fan of Faith Erin Hick’s comics. I love her stories, and her art style. So, was thrilled to pick up her newest title. Even after reading this, my favourite is still her title, “The Adventures of Superhero Girl”. It’s just so relate-able, but also just silly fun. I love it a lot.

And, I was doubly intrigued to pick this up as the primary author of this work wasn’t Faith Erin Hicks, but popular YA author Rainbow Rowell.

fangirl

I will admit I have less experience reading Rowell’s books. I’ve only read her title “Fan Girl” which wasn’t a favourite. I liked the writing alright, but I just didn’t get along with her characters and the Harry Potter inspired fan fiction that the main character, Cath, spends most of the book writing. I’m one of those rare people who doesn’t like Harry Potter! Ack! I’m almost afraid to admit it because the series is so universally loved. But with elements or an obvious inspiration from a series that I am uninterested in, it pretty much tainted my reading experience. I’m still open to trying others of her works, I just haven’t made the time to do so yet.

I was so curious to see how these two authors would get along in a work. Personally, it’s one of the better prose-author-turned-comic book-author titles I’ve read…ever. Hicks and Rowell are a match made in heaven! Their storytelling style seems very much in-tune with each other, and I was so relieved to see this. I’ve been disappointed so many times when prose authors want to jump into comic book territory when it’s obvious they’ve never read a comic book before. I’m so happy that I didn’t get that impression here — either Rowell has been studying up on her comic books, or Hicks was given enough freedom to draw the story the way it needed to be told.

What it’s about:

(from amazon)

Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.

Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.

But this Halloween is different―Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.

Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if―instead of moping and the usual slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut―they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years . . .

What if their last shift was an adventure?

This was an adventure. A very bitter-sweet story (more sweet than bitter) about completely love-able teenagers trying to make the most of the time they have left together. While I’ve never been to a pumpkin patch, I can completely understand the sentiment of having a seasonal friend. When I was a child through my teen years I would go to summer camp, where I would spend a week every summer with the same group of friends. These were seasonal best friends that I didn’t talk to outside of summer camp. I still look back fondly on those days and wonder what some of those people are doing.

9781250312853(1)

Deja in particular was such a great character. She has a head on her shoulders, and seems to know exactly who she is — she exudes confidence. While she is certainly written more complex than this, but in her simplest form she is one of my favourite character types.

Overall, I loved this title.

However, when I’m reading comics that are aimed at children, I always evaluate them in terms of which of my small relatives I could recommend them to. I have several nieces and nephews of varying ages (between 7-15) and I just couldn’t decide who this best fit. I think this had to do with how young the writing feels while also featuring older students who are in their final year of high school. This is really my only complaint about the title.

Hicks’ art is geared toward younger readers, and Rowell’s writing is simple and clear which in prose creates an emotional depth to her stories. In comics though, where the pacing is much faster, it doesn’t have time to develop the emotional depth with this sort of minimalist plot. In turn it creates a too-simple story leading me to believe this is best suited to an 8 or 9 year old. But then, I can’t seem to see myself recommending this to my youngest niece either. I’d rather give this to her cousin, who is just starting high school… but her reading level is too high for this book… So, I’m left puzzled about the audience.

9781626721623.IN04

So, in general I can’t tell you who I’d recommend this for, except that it’s completely adorable, and if you’d like to read an adorable Autumnal themed comic… you should pick this up.

I smiled the entire time.

I can’t wait to see what this duo will do next. But, could I recommend a younger protagonist in the next one? Will makes my Christmas shopping a lot easier!

 


Help this hoarder afford new manga! I earn a small commission if you click the affiliate link below before purchasing your own comics at your favourite vendors.

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I buy the manga… End of September Haul

I promise real blog posts are coming. I’m just warming up. Until then, please enjoy my YouTube content! 😀

 

Note: description contains affiliate links

Help this hoarder afford to buy manga! I earn a small commission if you click the affiliate link below before purchasing your own manga at your favourite vendors.
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Amazon.ca: https://amzn.to/2CUmgGj
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BOUJEE BOOKTUBER TAG | how I value books (and manga)

Check out my latest video.

 

Created by: ABookOlive https://youtu.be/lpbnPj0B9XU

I was tagged to do this by SuesBookNook https://youtu.be/HkLMWrPRBvw

The Boujee Booktuber Tag
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–THE QUESTIONS–
1. What is your average monthly budget for books?
2. What’s the most you’ve ever spent in a bookstore?
3. Are you willing to pay full price for a brand new release, or will you wait until you have a coupon or there’s a sale?
4. Would you rather buy one new book or several less expensive used copies?
5. What do you think is a reasonable price for a new hardback book? A paperback? An eBook?
6. Is a signed book worth more to you? How about a first edition?
7. What is your most valuable book (sentimental or actual value)?
8. Will you pay more for a cover or edition you like better?
9. What physical characteristics does a good quality book have?
10. If you won the lottery, what bookish things would you do with the money?
BONUS: Give us an image (actual or mental) of your dream home library!

 

Note: description contains affiliate links

Help this hoarder afford to buy manga! I earn a small commission if you click the affiliate link below before purchasing your own manga at your favourite vendors.
——————————————————
Rightstuf: https://bit.ly/2pW6bHX
Amazon.ca: https://amzn.to/2CUmgGj
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Book Haul… whoo

A colleague of mine discovered that there was a big book sale being held just a few minute drive from our office, so we decided to venture over after work one day this week. It was one of those big “library sale” type charity sales with tons of tables, thousands of books, and just about as many readers looking for a deal. Unfortunately I wasn’t savvy enough to remember to take pictures or video of the experience. But, I should at least be able to show you the spoils!

I went, of course, in hopes that I’d find some manga. I didn’t. That was disappointing. But, I did find 1 graphic novel:

“The Sculptor” by Scott McCleod. I hate to say that the only graphic novel I’ve read by this creator is still his non-fiction title about comic books and graphic novels “Understanding Comics”. I’ve been wanting to read anything else of his since… and that was probably over a decade ago. This is one I’ve heard great things about, and it was in perfect condition. Plus, I only paid about $2 for it which, frankly, is a steal! I couldn’t pass it up!

20190502_191741b

I’m participating in a graphic novel readathon, called PanelAThon, at the end of the month which this is a good candidate for. Although, now that I think about it… I might also have about 50 holds at the library for other graphic novels I’m currently interested in reading…

Did I mention that I’m in the mood to read right now?? This is a phenomena I haven’t experienced in a few years. I really don’t feel like doing anything else. I just want to read. I want to read everything. And, I want to read it all right now. I think this is the form that my mid-life crisis is going to be taking… I guess it could be worse!

I did get a handful of Japanese art and language books as well. They aren’t the most current books (At least the art books aren’t), but they are actually all really intriguing… at least, if you’re an art nerd like me.

I broke up a nice looking “Art of the World” series that had several books focusing on different cultures for this one on Japan. There’s quite a lot of colour plates in this book, and there seems to actually be a decent amount of text, so I’m hopeful to learn something new.

20190502_191748

“Japanese Art” and “Oriental Lacquer” both feature a lot of full colour plates, which is very gratifying. There’s a lot less text in the Lacquer book, and it focuses more generally on East Asia, particularly Chinese lacquer. I think if neither have enough good information in them, they’ll still be pretty nice to cut up and use in paper crafts…

The Japanese language book “Jazz Up Your Japanese with Onomatopoeia” by Hiroki Fukuda is actually a book I’ve been wanting to own, but I believe the last time I looked on amazon, it was out of print. This particular series of Kodansha language books are my absolute favourite English-to-Japanese language resources.

Lastly, I bought three, kind of, wild cards: “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck. I have read MOST of “East of Eden” and have been hoping to read more by this author. Actually, I had no idea that this book was as long as it is. It, like “The Sculptor” is in perfect condition. It doesn’t look like it’s been read, and it hasn’t yellowed at all, so I figured it would do alright on my shelves.

20190502_191743b

“The Cosy Tea Shop in the Castle” by Caroline Roberts is probably the most outside my wheelhouse in this haul. I just wanted something random, and silly… and the plot of this sounds like just that. A girl opens a tea shop in a castle which has a very grumpy owner/Lord… who she will sweeten up by the charm of her cupcakes (not a euphemism). Haha. I can’t even. It sounds so corny. I love it. I expect I’ll give it a quick read before it gets a new home.

The last is the most unique title “What We  See When We Read” by Peter Mendelsund. It is a mix of text and illustrations, and appears to be an examination of the reading experience. How do people read? What influences their experience reading? Why does someone see different things in books? If it’s as good as I hope, then it will be a fascinating experience. Sometimes these more “philosophical” examinations of experience are just a bunch of gibberish. I’m crossing my fingers for this one!

So, that’s it. It only cost me about $25 (Canadian), which is fantastic! Especially considering that May is often my most expensive month.

I’m actually expecting to go to another similar sale next week and am expecting many more comics. I’ve also got an order in at Book Outlet for more books…not manga.

20190502_191756b

I’m excited about all this new reading I’m going to be doing.

So, of course I can’t end this without a little question:

What is the last book (not manga) that you bought and are really excited to read?

Manga & Books Haul : End of December

I got books!

Not only did I get tons of books for Christmas (because my family knows what I like), I also bought quite a few unique titles at the end of 2018. Knowing how small my budget was going to be this year, and also getting a head start on my “1001 Comics Collecting Project“, I did decide to pick up some last minute titles before the year began. I don’t think I’ve been so excited about so many books in my hauls before:

  • Battle Royale / by Koushun Takami
  • Citizen 13660 / by Mine Okubo
  • Comics Versus Art / by Bart Beaty
  • Convenience Store Woman / by Sayaka Murata
  • Doing Time / by Kazuichi Hanawa
  • Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga / by Koji Aihara and Kentaro Takekuma
  • Fashion Forecasts / by Yumi Sakugawa
  • A History of Japanese Art: From Prehistory to the Taisho Period / by Noritake Tsuda
  • Megane Collection: The Bespectacled Gentlemen Collection, vol. 1-5 / by Shin Kawamaru
  • Megane Sensei + Kiss / by Shin Kawamaru
  • Nothing Whatsoever All Out in the Open / by Akiyo Kondo
  • RG Veda, volume 3 / by CLAMP
  • The Butler is King / by Nana Shiiba
  • The Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde / illustrated by Yuko Shimizu
  • The Guest Cat / by Takashi Hiraide
  • The Rig Veda / translated by Wendy Doniger
  • The Tale of Genji / by Murasaki Shikibu
  • VÉRITÉ / by various
  • Yokai Stories / by Zack Davisson and Eleanora D’Onofrio
  • バレエ・リュス / by 桜沢エリカ [Barei Ryusu / by Sakurazawa Erica]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019 Manga Reading & Collecting Project

In my goals I mentioned one of the ways I was going to construct my TBR over the year – and part of that was to include at least 1 book mentioned in the “1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die” book, edited by Paul Gravett.

1001 comicsNow, this book encompasses a lot more comics than it does manga, but it goes much further than your standard list of “comics to read” list by including over 150 books by Japanese authors (not all manga). Most of which are or have been available in English.

At the base level of my goals, the plan for this year is to read at least one book mentioned in it every month. But more than that, I want to be actively collecting and reading what I can until I reach the end of my project, even beyond 2019.

To pick what I will read over the year, I am using a TBR jar. Hopefully this will help me focus on the titles specifically for this project. I’m not only reading manga from this book, but it is certainly going to be front and center.

Picking what I buy will be a bit more difficult. I’ve already placed a rather embarrassing order through a number of online second hand vendors… partly because I knew my budget for this year was going to be quite a bit tighter. Going forward into 2019, I’m going to have to be more strategic in how and when I pick up the remaining titles. But, at least at this point I have a large collection to work from!

I do have a longish video up on YouTube about this project where I list:

  • All of the books I own completely, and have read
  • All of the books I own completely, and have started reading
  • All of the series I don’t own completely, but can begin reading some of
  • And, All of the series I don’t own completely, but can’t read any until I buy more

For some reason that just worked to divide the titles up that way! I didn’t include a list of titles that exist in English, but I have not collected yet.

If you want a complete list of the titles, I’d recommend picking the book up for yourself, or checking out Paul Gravett’s website: (http://www.paulgravett.com/1001_comics/index/). He provides a list, but you only get the text descriptions in the book.

I’m looking forward to a very good year of reading!