My July Manga Haul

50 new volumes of manga from rightstuf. I ended up getting sucked into their Viz Media sale and filled in a bit of my collection with some older titles.


My Booktube-A-Thon Wrap-Up

So, I spent a week reading as much as I can. I was able to complete most of the challenges for the Booktube-A-Thon readathon that was created and hosted by Ariel Bissett.

The 2016 Reading Challenges:
1/ Read a book with yellow on the cover –> Banana Fish 1-3
2/ Read a book only after sunset –> FAIL!
3/ Read a book you discovered through booktube. –> Ody-C, Everything is Teeth and Lady Killer
4/ Read a book by one of your favourite authors. –> Emily Carr: Sister and I in Alaska
5/ Read a book that is older than you. –> The Heart of Thomas
6/ Read and watch a book-to-movie adaptation. –> Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (I only read 3/4, and I didn’t watch the movie but I still count it as a success)
7/ Read seven books. –> Yowamushi Pedal 1-2, Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac, and 1/2 of The Virginian

Pop Manga Coloring Book / Camilla d’Errico

Pop Manga Coloring Book: A Surreal Journey Through a Cute, Curious, Bizarre, and Beautiful WorldPop Manga Coloring Book: A Surreal Journey Through a Cute, Curious, Bizarre, and Beautiful World by Camilla d’Errico

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I would say that I would be interested in colouring about 75% of the pictures in this colouring book. Some of the images are so stunning. The children are so beautiful or cute, and the merging with animals is often so intriguing. Most pages include a highly detailed and somewhat surreal image of a young child placed in the center of the page with large white space as the background.

There are some unfortunate illustrations that were obviously copied from pencil drawings, or draft sketches. These are either not well realized as images, or just plain difficult to colour without the ability to erase line. The only way to move past this would be to use non-conventional colouring materials like acrylic paints. Whereas coloured pencils and crayon would be the preferred materials.

Camilla d’Errico’s style is more loose and sketchy, and for some images you can tell she’s tried to use the full space by adding backgrounds. Either strawberries, or geometric shapes. These are incredibly unfortunate as the art style or materials used are in competition of what she usually does. It is nice to have something in the background to colour, but d’Errico’s style is not one to fill the page. It would have been better to just do what she does rather than try to make it more “colouring-book”-like.

But, despite the problem with her backgrounds, and some poor choices, I would still say about 75% of the book is beautiful and I would be thrilled to spend time colouring in it. In an age when “adult” colouring books are all the rage, it’s nice to see something that fits somewhere between colouring for kids and the train-wreck that is most of adult colouring books who are trying to cash in on the craze.

This would be a great title for teens, or fans of Camilla d’Errico’s comic book series.

I received a digital copy from NetGalley for an honest review.

View all my reviews

My Booktube-a-thon TBR (all graphic novels)

I wasn’t even thinking about doing this readathon until about 10 minutes before I filmed this video. Now, a few days later, I feel pretty excited to start reading. I even have some “prose” fiction that I hope to read during times I don’t traditionally read “graphic” fiction. I’m feeling rather ambitious, but confident. I might not feel so confident by next Tuesday.

I hope you don’t think that I’m taking the easy way out by choosing only graphic novels for this Summer’s Booktube-a-thon challenges; because believe me I’m not. I’m choosing titles that I wasn’t planning on reading anytime soon, and I’m planning on reading as much of these titles as I possibly can. I don’t want to just read 7 books next week — I want to read 45!

  • One of the challenges of this readathon is to try and read 7 books in the week.
  • And, if Pride and Prejudice takes me about 3 hours to read, and I can read 6 volumes of manga in the same allotment of time.
  • Then, I need to read 6 X 7 (or 42) standard volumes of manga to complete the challenge.

Call me crazy, but I think I can do this!

5 Favourite Books Outside My Comfort Zone

It’s a bit late to do a T5W, especially to post it to youtube. So, you lucky few people will have the luck to read it here. Except it’s Saturday… and I’m writing it, not speaking it. Yup.

The topic for last Wednesday was “Top 5 Books outside your comfort zone” or, “outside your regular genre”. It’s obvious that my favourite “genre” is manga. Although whether manga should be considered a genre is another thing in itself.

Here are 5 favourite books from 5 alternate genres than comicbooks or graphic novels.


  1.  Klee Wyck by Emily Carr


You might not know this about me, but I studied art history in University. There’s something about Emily Carr that struck a chord with me. She’s definitely my favourite Canadian artist… and I might even say my favourite Canadian writer. Plus, the cartoons that she drew are a scream. This particular book of hers remind me so much of how I imagine my grandmother lived. Maybe Emily Carr just feels like family. But, at any rate, I love this book and recommend you give it a try.


2.  The Wheel on the School, by Meindert deJong


I can’t tell you how much I love this children’s book. It features a small Dutch fishing village and a group of students who want to get storks to come and nest there once more. So, they scour the village looking for something the stork’s could use to nest on.

This is beyond charming. Plus, it has the added bonus of the nostalgia due to being one of my mother’s favourite bedtime reads.


3.  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte


I do love a good gothic novel, and this is still the best I’ve read. The charm is in the injurious lead-up to the action. More than half of the book is taken up by developing Jane’s character through childhood. It’s the brilliance of this introduction that leads to such a rich story and romance. You know exactly how she’ll respond to everything before you’re told… and you know why she reacts the way she does. It’s personally some of the best writing I’ve ever read.


4.  Trickster’s Choice (and Trickster’s Queen) by Tamora Pierce


I didn’t actually get into YA novels until I was well into my 20s. But, of the titles I read, this is my favourite. It’s actually a duology (which apparently isn’t a real word) – which just means there are two books in the series.

This follows the daughter of the Lioness, Tamora Pierce’s famous gender-bending fan favourite heroine. Alianne takes on all of the traits of her parents, and thanks to her childhood and education is brilliant at the craft of spying. But, she is kidnapped by pirates and by design of the “Trickster god” is sold as a slave to a family who just happen to have ties to the royal line of the Copper Isles.

This is a brilliantly crafted and constructed novel. Every action explained, every secret revealed through a twist and turn of events. It keeps you guessing, but is still an intelligent and thoughtful read containing a considerable conversation about race relations and the impacts of slavery.


5. Popular Hits of the Showa Era by Ryu Murakami


A dark comedy about rivalling gangs. One consisting of obaasan, and the other of  hikkikomori. Basically middle aged aunties versus 20 year old male shut-ins. It’s weird and dark…but I can’t help but love it. Especially the one-upmanship that happens throughout.


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