November Manga Issue Haul

I came across a pretty cool auction on eBay that was selling 80s manga in single issues. None of the series are complete (by any means), but it was fun seeing all of these titles. I definitely will be picking up more single issue manga in the future (if I can find it!).

#Diverseathon the TBR

The #Diverseathon is a read-a-thon that runs from Jan 22-29 (Sunday to Sunday). It’s basic focus is to read “Diverse” books. That is, to read books whose authors or characters belong to a marginalized or disenfranchised group. Of course many books may be written by or include characters that belong into these groups, but this particular read-a-thon tries to focus on titles belonging to #ownvoices (titles about characters by someone who identifies as that marginalized group).

I do think that it’s important to read diversely: If only to give you compassion in your interactions with other people, and to give you a broader world view. These are things I’m always interested in developing in myself (And I hope you are too).

Obviously, I have decided to participate. And, as this read-a-thon is about stretching your perspectives and reading tastes… I don’t think manga will qualify for me.  I mean, I read ALL the manga without bias of creators or content… well, some bias, but certainly not regarding “Diversity”… I hope.

This read-a-thon also works really well with one of my 2017 reading goals. And that is to read titles by Indigenous authors from Canada. Or, authors of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit descent from Canadian lands.

The Canadian government has made it a priority to recognize the atrocities that were exacted on the Indigenous population of Canada through the recent passing of the ‘Truth and Reconciliation Act’. This is an important step for Canada that I hope a lot of Canadians will also want to be involved. And, is the reason why I’ve made reading Indigenous authors part of my resolutions for this year.

I’ve placed holds/requests on all of these books at my local library, so hopefully they will arrive before the read-a-thon next week. As far as I can tell, these are all #ownvoices graphic novels from Indigenous Peoples in Canada. I won’t be joining with the “group-read”.

My current TBR looks like this:

  • Red : A Haida Manga by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas
  • Ak Skim Aan : Hunter and Niisoo (not depicted above) by Marshall Leigh George
  • A Blanket of Butterflies by Richard van Camp
  • Moonshot : the Indigenous Comics Collection, volume 1 edited by Hope Nicholson
  • Outside Circle : the Graphic Novel by Patti Laboucane-Benson
  • Sugarfalls : a Residential School Story by David Alexander Robertson

If you’re also interested in participating, find out more information:

My 2017 Reading Goals!

I have an ambitious goal of reading 750 books in the year 2017! Yes, that’s right, 750!

Now, that might seem crazy, but let’s just say my best reading year ever was 1420 books… Does that bring you comfort, or do I seem even a bit more crazy?

 

The Plan:

  • Read 750 books. A book is anything with an ISBN, or anything written in sequence contained between 2 covers. I will count 10 page novellas, or 2000 page omnibus as 1 book.
    • 50% have to be first time reads. I’m a furious re-reader. And if I don’t push myself to read new things, I could spend the year only re-reading.
    • 24+ must be prose (anything that doesn’t use sequential graphics to tell the story). Might include poetry or non-fiction works as well.
    • 12+ must be graphic novels from other countries. This includes Korea even though the form is very similar in Korea to Japan.

I have some additional criteria that I’m going to attempt to read. First of all, I’m creating a TBR jar. So that every month I am going to pick out 4 things that I have to read:

  • A classic novel/manga duo. I’ve chosen 12 books that I think will pair with manga and make the dual-reading experience more interesting.
  • A long(ish) manga series that I own most of, but have read less than 50% of. I’ve chosen 12 series that aren’t high priority reads for me. Because I know I wouldn’t normally pick them up to read, I want to make them a higher priority.
  • A work by Osamu Tezuka. I have a lot of Tezuka in my collection. Many of the titles I’ve read, but more I haven’t. It would be a shame as a manga hoarder to let the god of manga down by only owning his books.
  • A work that I haven’t read before from a specific bookshelf. This may seem cryptic, but I am going to number my bookshelves, and put the numbers into the TBR jar. Every month I will draw a number and read a book/series that I haven’t read before off of the corresponding shelf. I suspect there’s at least something on every shelf that I haven’t read yet.  If I’ve read everything on the shelf, I’ll read the title that I haven’t read in the longest time.

I also have some quarterly goals:

  • I have chosen 4 authors that I want to get to know better. I’m going to focus 3 months on reading all of the works that I own, and possibly purchasing the works that are available and reading them in each quarter of the year.

 

I have lots more reading goals and other types of personal goals for 2017. I like to make goals, and find that the beginning of the year is the best time to decide what you want to do with your time.

I know what I’ll be doing with my time… How about you? Any reading goals for 2017?

We Were There, vol 1-16 / Yuuki Obata

We Were There, Vol. 1We Were There, Vol. 1 by Yuuki Obata

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this series because I’d been recommended it so often, and also because I own the series, and I owe it to my money to read the manga I buy.

Unfortunately it’s not the series I had hoped it could be. Every time you were left with a hanging question about where the story would go, I predicted the outcome. It was NEVER the outcome I’d hoped for. The outcome was always convenient. Always expected. And never profound.

The characters are weak. I think this is the overall problem I have with the series. Not weak in character, but just weak characters. They weren’t developed enough — and their relationship wasn’t believable enough for me to buy into it. Actually I was thinking their relationship was more toxic than romantic, there were moments where I thought the author was aware of it too — but if she was, she certainly didn’t do anything about it!

The story itself is fine, if a little slow and predictable. The art in it is suitable (if occasionally inconsistent).

There was a surprise thrown into this series that made the beginning worth reading. It comes at the middle of the series, around volume 11. High school is over. Yano is gone. And, Nanami hasn’t seen him in 5 years.

It’s from this point onward that the series gets interesting. And it’s at this point onward that you get SOME of the much desired character development. I’m not going to say it’s a lot — and I’m not going to say it isn’t completely predictable, but I will say that you do start to have some feelings for Yano and Nanami as characters.

Unfortunately these feelings didn’t come soon enough. I’m a person who is normally easily moved. I felt stone cold-hearted reading to the end.

But, do I recommend this series?!

Maybe. I would say try the series. If you don’t buy into the characters relationship right at the beginning it’s probably not worth reading until the end. But, if you completely get behind Yano and Nanami’s relationship (if their love moves you), this will probably be one of the best shoujo dramas you’ll ever read!

It all boils down to the characters…

View all my reviews

Me & My Manga

I answer viewer questions about me & manga!

Things like:

  • What’s your favourite genre?
  • What do you think about omnibus releases?
  • How many series do you read at a time?

Enjoy!