January Wrap Up! | ’20

Wrap Up

Hi! Apparently me trying to change my posting schedule all of a sudden just made me not post. So… maybe I’ll try to slowly morph it instead. Two to three posts a week, posted sometime, that’s what I’ll go with for now until my brain adopts the new schedule, because right now I’ll get to work on Tuesday morning, when I wanted to post, and go shit, I forgot again. So we’ll get there, we’ll get there.

Anywas, I read 13 things this month: 11 manga, 1 kids book and 1 audio book. I’m also in a weird novel slump. This year’s been really weird so far. All sorts of stuff going on. I may or may not mention them here depending on how they turn out. Wah.

Books

If You Give a Pig the White House: A Parody for Adults

If You Give a Pig the White House by Faye Kanouse – This book I read because I was at my neighbor’s New Year’s party and they handed it to me and went ‘hey read this’. I don’t really read political books, parody or otherwise, so reading this was a bit outside my norm, but hey, it was a book and it was in front of me. It was alright. Some parts were funny, but it wasn’t like, amazing. So if you like this kinda stuff you’ll probably like it. If you don’t you probably won’t. – 3 stars

Bloodwitch (The Witchlands, #3)

Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard – I’ve been listening to this on audio since last month or so, and finally finished it up. I think this one is my favorite in the series so far – I really liked the character development arcs that this book had, and I really liked the political maneuvering from all factions. The stakes in this book went up and made the read more captivating. I’m very much awaiting the next one… which doesn’t even have a name yet, let alone a release date ;~; – 4.25 stars

Manga

Paradise Kiss: 20th Anniversary Edition

Paradise Kiss by Ai Yazawa – This here is the bind-up of the whole series, and it was like 800 something pages long. I bought and read this because back in high school, I had a friend obsessed with this series. It was her absolute faaavorite and she seemed to always been reading and rereading them. I remember  vaguely reading at least part of it then and only barely remembered the plot and characters. But I got it now because, well, I miss that friend. I lost contact with her after high school in 2008. She briefly joined facebook a while ago and added me, but then deleted it and I lost her again. So I saw this, thought of her, and couldn’t not get it. Melanie if you read this, I miss you pal. – 3.75 stars

Our Dining Table

Our Dining Table by Mita Ori – This was the cutest damned manga I’ve read in a long time. I picked it up on a whim, as I needed the 3rd in the ‘buy 2 get 3rd free’ deal that BN was hosting earlier this month. It’s a one shot, about the two dudes on the cover who share meals and fall in love. It’s so light, fluffy, and wholesome, but also gets into a few deeper topics. I thought it was really well done and really well paced for being a one shot, and it definitely surprised me how much I enjoyed it. And wouldn’t you know it got my first five star rating of the year – 5 stars

Otomen, Vol. 1 (Otomen, #1)

Otomen vols 1-9 by Aya Kanno – So far, I have mixed feelings about this one. I picked it up because it sounded interesting – it follows the dude on the cover, who puts up a front of who he really is. In public, he’s a stoic, masculine, stereotypically “manly” guy, but in secret he loves “girly” past times like sewing and baking and crafts and whatnot. And it’s a shojo romance, so obviously he falls for a girl that is basically ‘masculine’.

I guess where I’m stuck is I went into this hoping for a bit more of a deep dive into what it means to be masculine in feminine, what role society plays in those expectations, and why it’s ok if you don’t want to adhere to them. Because I’ve definitely read romance that takes on serious topics like that before. And it does do that…. a bit. Most of the time though, the manga uses the themes to create comedy instead. Which is also entertaining but I guess… not what I was wanting. I wanted, as said, more of a discussion of gender roles. I may still get that mind you, I haven’t finished the series yet, but so far, it’s basically fluffy and cute, and honestly totally off the rails goofy sometimes, but only kinda sorta touches on the deeper meaning of societal influence of gender roles.

It was also written ten or fifteen years ago so some of the concepts are dated, and some of the vocabulary and situations… didn’t age the best. So be warned, if you’re thinking about picking it up – 3.5 stars each

All You Need Is Kill

All You Need is Kill by Ryosuke Takeuchi – This was a really interesting read. If you’ve heard of the movie ‘Edge of Tomorrow’, that Tom Cruise Live, Die, Repeat movie, this is the source material of that. I’d watched the movie before, but honestly didn’t realize this was the source until I picked it up and started reading it. It follows the dude on the cover who gets caught in a time loop on his first day in battle against an alien invader, and with his death, the day resets again and again. If you don’t wanna read the manga, the movie is a rather solid adaption, though it definitely took some liberties concerning country of origin, characters, etc, but the overall plot is pretty similar. But really I suggest the manga. It really delves into it, and explores what’s happening, and the character’s psyche as he’s forced to die over and over. This was really, really good. – 4.5 stars


Other Stuff

  • My posting consistency has fallen by the wayside, I’m hoping to fix that in February
  • Life events have popped up and hopefully they’ll resolve here semi-quickly, so apologies for my silence, both in posting and it reading all your posts. I have a backlog and I’ll get there once I can.
  • I went to see Jim Gaffigan live this month, and that was tons of fun!

Reading Goals

  • Read 50 books – 13/50
  • Maintain a consistent posting schedule
    January – Fail
  • Keep track of reading statistics – In progress
  • Reduce physical TBR to 200 – 254

And that’s it! Happy reading!

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