5 Books I Will Never Read | T5W

This week’s T5W is sure to ruffle some feathers. The question is to list 5 books you will never read for any particular reason. This could be a book that you don’t think you’ll like, a book you’ve been spoiled for or, even a book that promotes ideas you don’t agree with…  There are as many reasons not to read a book as there are to read a book.

But, even with all of these reasons, I can’t say with confidence that I’ll never read any particular book. I can say however, that at this time, there are a number of titles that I really really don’t want to read; and that it will take a lot of convincing to change my mind.

So, here’s my top 5 lists of the most popular books I really really don’t want to read… Let the negativity begin!

 


1.Harry Potter (all the sequels) / by J.K. Rowling

harry-potteroriginal

Now, before you organize a lynching… just know that Harry Potter came out the summer I had graduated from high school. I was essentially a “non-reader” at the time and the thought of reading children’s literature was particularly repulsive.

I don’t have that childhood nostalgia that most fans can claim.

Also, I don’t hate Harry Potter, I’m just not interested in reading it.

I’ve read the first novel after prodding from a friend/Potter-head who claimed it was essential to my education. I’ve also seen the movies. Again, at the request of yet another friend/Potter-head.

That was enough.

No, I’m still NOT interested.

I think it’s just a natural aversion to anything that’s popular. I don’t care about Harry Potter. I agree the series has done great things — it’s raised an entire generation of readers, but I just wasn’t one of them.

 

2. 50 Shades of Grey / By E. L. James

fifty_2354583b

I try not to be too influenced by people. But, I’ve just not heard anything good about this. Not. One. Thing. And, I can’t imagine that everyone I know hating a series would translate into me loving it.

 

3. The Hunger Games / By Suzanne Collins

hunger_games_trilogy

I’ve been told to read this series many times. Adding to the claim that the controversial element of children killing each other is an apparently new concept in YA literature. (It’s not, by the way!)

By the time this came out, the concept was already old-hat. Particularly if you were already a fan of the Battle Royale Franchise.

Why would I read something when there’s obviously already something far superior in the market? (I’m assuming)

 

4.  Lord of the Rings / By J. R. R. Tolkien

LOTR01

Another popular and beloved series. I was aware of Tolkien back in the early 1990s when I was given an animated version of The Hobbit for a birthday present. As a 10 year old, I hated that movie. No, I really really hated it.

When we studied The Hobbit in 7th grade English I remember miming hanging myself during class. A bit obnoxious…but, you know…everyone’s obnoxious in grade 7. Right?!

I have since learned that it’s not just Tolkien that I don’t care for. It’s actually high fantasy in general that I have the aversion to. And since Tolkien is the basis for much of the genre…

I don’t get it. And, frankly, I don’t want to.

 

5.  The Book Thief / by Markus Zusak

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This title is the one I’m least familiar with. I’ve only been aware of it since I started watching Booktube videos about a year ago. And, on Booktube it is well loved. But, despite the wide love of this title it sounds like a somewhat ‘serious’ (i.e. not a comedy) title set during the 2nd world war. I like to read serious titles, and I don’t mind books set during war… but, serious titles set during a recent named war are an automatic red-flag for me.

I didn’t live that particular war (obviously). But, I haven’t forgotten it. Not when I’ve been witness to what experiencing the war did to some of my favourite relatives. I don’t need any extra reminders of the serious-nature of war.

 


This post was written in response to T5W (Top 5 Wednesday). T5W is a group on Goodreads that hosts weekly book list memes. Interested in joining?  Click here.

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The Secret Sakura Shares / by Akira Hagio

The Secret Sakura SharesThe Secret Sakura Shares by Akira Hagio

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The title begins quickly, and ends quickly. It’s textbook shoujo scenarios and tropes, arranged neatly between two covers. The only thing missing was “the indirect kiss”/sharing a drink. Which oddly, made me a little sad. I like that scenario!

Unfortunately, there is no character development. There is no story development. And, there is definitely little if no tension or conflict.

Did I hate this title? No. Definitely not. Despite it’s faults it is still charming, and readable. It is a light, innocent and sweet romance with the quirky premise of a female student pretending to be the cat of a male student so that she will be taken care of after her family becomes destitute. Perfectly suited for tween-aged readers.

The biggest thing this title has going for it is that it is self-contained, which means it’s an inexpensive option if you like sickly-sweet teen romances.

If you’re a little older than a tween, but still want to read similar themes/scenarios I would recommend instead:
“Stepping on Roses / by Rinko Ueda” >> About a girl who marries a wealthy young business man to save her family. (for teen readers)
“Tramps Like Us / by Yayoi Ogawa” >> About a young woman who finds a stray boy and takes him in as her pet. (for adult readers)

View all my reviews

5 Manga I Must Read before 2017 | T5W

This week’s challenge is to list your top 5 books that you want to read before the end of the year. I have been sorely behind in my goodreads reading challenge. At this moment I am 6 books behind schedule — when I’m usually 30 ahead…Ugh!

I’m not too concerned with reading novels at this point. I’ve got a few tasks at work that are allowing for a lot of audio books… so, the numbers are taking care of themselves.

Right now, I really want to get back to reading manga.

 


1. Galaxy Express 999 / by Leiji Matsumoto

71P0Q841E5LI MUST read this space-opera manga series before the end of the year! This has been published in English since the late 90s — and it’s about time I finally get into it. I recently completed buying the manga volumes in preparation of L. Matsumoto’s newly translated series “Queen Emeraldas”. I just don’t think it would be right if I dove into that without reading this series first.

 

 

 


2. Vinland Saga / by Makoto Yukimura

51hFz0KS9bL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_ I can’t promise that I’ll buy the series before year end, but I do really want to read it. Plus, this is one series that I’ve probably been recommended the most often since starting my channel. I’ve been hesitant to pick it up because I actually find the quality of the publishing to be on the low-end for a hardcover book. And the cover illustration really doesn’t appeal to me. But, I did end up bringing the first volume to a doctor’s appointment — and those few chapters that I happened to get to preview were pretty great! I’m hooked. And, I can’t wait to read the rest!

 

 


3. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure / by Hirohiko Araki

51D0Qg+jXzL._SX336_BO1,204,203,200_ This, like the previous title is something I’ve been dragging my feet to read. The cover art, the title just is not appealing to me. I can’t help it. It feels circus-y. And I frankly, have never liked the circus.

I suspect that it’s not really about the circus. But, it’s just always been my impression. It doesn’t help that I’ve seen tons of videos of people saying how great the series is, without ever actually saying what it is about! What the heck is this about?

I guess I’m about to find out!

 


4. ALL the works by Inio Asano.

Inio Asano is a brilliant author and illustrator. And despite owning all of Asano’s works in English, I’ve regretfully only actually read 1 “what a wonderful world”. I’ve flipped through the others, but never sat down to actually read them.

I really would like to take a month and just plow through all 5 series. They’re short apart from Goodnight PunPun which is being released in several volumes. I should be able to get through these.

 


5. Naruto / by Masashi Kishimoto

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Yup. This epic finished publishing with 72 volumes + a 1-shot sequel at the end of 2015. I’ve only ever read the first half.

This was intentional, as there was a period in time when I just couldn’t buy manga. I’ve now caught up to the series, and can finally take the time and read through it. And, I know just the time I’m going to do it… (hint: it’s happening in October).

I’m a bit concerned that I won’t enjoy the read. It’s been a while since I read the early volumes of this series, so my tastes could have changed — plus, many fans are saying that the second half of the series basically sucks. I hope they’re wrong!

 


This post was written in response to T5W (Top 5 Wednesday). T5W is a group on Goodreads that hosts weekly book list memes. Interested in joining?  Click here.

5 Favourite First Sentences | T5W

Today’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is favourite first sentences. I really like this topic. Sometimes it only takes 1 sentence to make me interested in a book, or set the scene for the entire novel.

I’m generally a graphic novel reader, but first sentences rarely carry the weight in graphic works as they do prose works.

Here is my list of favourite first sentences:

1. Tale of Two Cities / by Charles Dickens

tale-of-two-cities

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

2.  Pride and Prejudice / by Jane Austen

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“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

3. Leo the African / by Amin Maalouf

Amin_Maalouf_Leo_Africanus

“I, Hasan the son of Muhammad the weigh-master, I, Jean-Leon de Medici, circumcised at the hand of a barber and baptized at the hand of a pope, I am now called the African, but I am not from Africa, nor from Europe, nor from Arabia. I am also called the Granadan, the Fassi, the Zayyati, but I come from no country, from no city, no tribe. I am the son of the road, my country is the caravan, my life the most unexpected of voyages.”

4. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland / by Lewis Carroll

alice wonderland

“Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice, ‘without pictures or conversation?’

5. A Christmas Carol / by Charles Dickens

the_annotated_christmas_carol

“Marley was dead, to begin with.”

 

 

This post was written in response to T5W (Top 5 Wednesday). T5W is a group on Goodreads that hosts weekly book list memes. Interested in joining?  Click here.

Academia Update

*Phew* It’s been quite a while since I actually just wrote a regular blog post. This is the first for this restructured blog.

And, the plan is that this won’t be the last.

One thing you might not know about me is that I’m a HUGE fan of academia. I love research — especially the process of research. This was a major problem for me when I completed my first undergrad; I often got lost in the research and would be late to hand in papers usually resulting in poor grades.

And, it’s because of these poor grades that I’m BACK at university trying to do a bit of upgrading before I apply for Grad School.

In the meantime, I’ve really fallen off of the academic wagon. It has been incredibly difficult to go back. To get into that mind set. To remember HOW to school. Did you know that it is much easier to write an essay after writing an outline? These are the things you forget after 10 years twiddling your thumbs.

So, now that I am back… I want to get REALLY back.

That means research.

And, the best thing (besides researching for my class assignments) is to research for my favourite past time, i.e. manga.

So, after that tedious introduction, what I really just wanted to say is that I hope to start doing self-guided academic studies on specific manga-related topics and writing about it here. Sometimes I’ll just discuss an article that I’ve read, and sometimes present my findings into a particular topic.

I’ve also planned to create annotate bibliographies that might aid anyone else who is interested in similar topics.

Hopefully this little project that I’ve decided to start won’t actually interfere with my actual academic progress… after all, I don’t want to complete yet ANOTHER undergrad.

The Tipping Point / by Naoki Urasawa (and others)

The Tipping PointThe Tipping Point by Naoki Urasawa

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a mixed bag for me, but that makes a lot of sense considering how many artists were involved in the creation of the work. I’m not going to go too into detail of each story, just that I enjoyed the art in about 80% of the stories… and I enjoyed the stories (or at least appreciated) the stories in about 40% of the works.

I didn’t do any research into this work before I bought it. None. So, I was a bit surprised to find that it wasn’t a single work by Naoki Urasawa. Unfortunately, his was not the strongest work in the compilation. So, I guess it’s good that there were other creators involved.

By far my favourite titles were:
Hanako’s Fart / Taiyo Matsumoto
The Awakening / Emmanuel LePage
The Child / Bastien Vives
Fish / Keiichi Koike

The production though, was very beautiful. Thick glossy pages. Large trim size.

It’s strange to me to read Japanese works in the English left to right orientation, but that’s the nature of compilations. I’m glad to see a work like this that takes creators from all over the world and puts them next to each other. I don’t know too many other publications that do the same.

View all my reviews

250 YouTube Subscribers Giveaway

So. I reached 250 subscribers on my YouTube channel a few weeks ago. To show my appreciation (or, you know, give away some of my doubles) I decided to host a giveaway.

Interested in entering my giveaway? Click on the video – which will take you to YouTube and comment on my video with the following:

  1. Which draw you want to enter #1, #2 or Both
  2. The best way for me to contact you online (in case you win)
  3. Add a comment about your favourite places/ways to get manga

There are more details about the contest, etc. on YouTube.