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About embuhlee

I'm a computer science bioinformatics student with a degree in psychology. I want to poke at brains, I like reading books and I love drinking coffee

Monthly recs: graphic novels and manga

Monthly Recommendations Base(1)

Happy February. This month’s Monthly Recs Topic is graphic novels and mixed media. I’m gonna put manga into the category, too. And honestly this is gonna be mostly if not solely manga 😛


Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit by Motoro Mase

Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit, Volume 1 (Ikigami, #1)You should read this if you like psychological character studies or 1984.

I picked this one up on a whim and have since been morbidly fascinated. This is not a series for the feint of heart.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Dear Citizen:

Thank you for your loyalty. You’ve no doubt noticed that the world is a troubled place. People are apathetic, lazy, unmotivated. You’ve probably asked yourself

WHY ISN’T ANYTHING BEING DONE TO STOP THIS SYSTEMATIC DECLINE?

Rest assured that measures are being taken. Beginning immediately, we will randomly select a different citizen each day who will be killed within 24 hours of notification. We believe this will help remind all people how precious life is and how important it is to be a productive, active member of society.

Thank you for your continued attention and your cooperation and participation…

Congratulations! You have been randomly selected by the government…to DIE in 24 hours!

Demon Diary by Kara

Demon Diary, Volume 01You should read this if you like fluff

This is a super cute and funny story of a ding dong who has no idea what he’s doing who finds himself the leader of demons. His advisor, understandably, gets frustrated. Seriously this series is adorable.

Goodreads synopsis:

Raenef is the black sheep of the demon court, with minimal knowledge of magic and courtly etiquette. In order to help him claim his birthright as a demon lord, the demon masters send him the wise and noble teacher Eclipse to be his tutor. As Raenef and Eclipse begin their journey of discovery, they find that the bonds of friendship are stronger than the teacher/student relationship.

Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki

Rurouni Kenshin, Vol. 1: Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story (Rurouni Kenshin, #1)You should read this if you like historical fiction

This is one of my absolute favorite series ever, people. I love it.

Goodreads synopsis:

A hundred and fifty years ago in Kyoto, amid the flames of revolution, there arose a warrior, an assassin of such ferocious power he was given the title Hitokiri: Manslayer. With his bloodstained blade, Hitokiri Battosai helped close the turbulent Bakumatsu period and end the reign of the shoguns, slashing open the way toward the progressive Meiji Era.  Then he vanished, and with the flow of years became legend.

In the 11th year of Meiji, in the middle of Tokyo, the tale begins. Himura Kenshin, a humble rurouni, or wandering swordsman, comes to the aid of Kamiya Kaoru, a young woman struggling to defend her father’s school of swordsmanship against attacks by the infamous Hitokiri Battosai. But neither Kenshin nor Battosai are quite what they seem.

Priest by Min-Woo Hyung

Priest, Volume 1. Prelude for the DeceasedYou should read this if you like westerns or Constantine

This was a recent acquirement – I picked it up at a clearance sale on a whim, having heard nothing about it but feeling drawn to it because the first volume was actually bloody there. Do you know how rare that is at a clearance sale?!

It turned out to be fantastic 😀

Goodreads synopsis

In the frontier of the American West, a veil of evil threatens to engulf humanity. Servants of the fallen archangel Temozarela are paving the way for their dark lord’s resurrection. One man stands in the way of the apocalypse– Ivan Isaacs– a fallen priest who sold his soul to the devil Belial for the power to fight evil armed with a wicked blade and silver bullets. Ivan will give the heretics a baptism of blood in his pilgrimage for humanity’s redemption.


And that’s it! There are many, many more manga that I could throw up here, but these ones have stuck out the most and aside from Kenshin, I feel like I don’t talk about them enough. 😛

I feel like like these ones could be liked by many people. Happy reading!

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Posted by on 02/10/2018 in Books

 

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#NotAll Booktag

Book Tag

Hello! A tag today – I was tagged by The Orangutan Librarian back in December and my brain decided to put that information down into my subconscious for two months for some reason. So I’m posting today because it rose to the surface!


#notall cover changes – a cover change you liked

Shadow and Bone (Grisha Verse, #1)Shadow and Bone (Shadow and Bone, #1)

I mean, I like the original too… and props for them for waiting ’til the series was actually finished before doing a new cover.

#notall adaptations – an adaptation you love more than the book

The Hobbit

CALL ME A HEATHEN. DO IT.

#notall tropes – a trope you’ll never tire of seeing

I think I need to go with orangutan’s post and go with ‘bad’ characters that  have a soft spot. They’re neato

Image result for vegetaImage result for sesshomaru

I feel like they would secretly love getting a hug.

#notall instalove – you instaloved this instacouple

…is it bad that I can’t think of one?

#notall love triangles – an example of love triangle done well

Rurouni Kenshin, Vol. 1: Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story (Rurouni Kenshin, #1)

I think the one in here is handled rather decently – this is not a romance manga by any means, so I think that’s why. All the character’s feelings are believable, and it doesn’t take the focus of the story at any point anyways. Gosh I need to reread this.

#notall parents – bookish parents that, you know, PARENT!

I feel like this is going to a be rather prominent answer

#notall villains – a villain you love

Siege and Storm (Grisha Verse, #2)

The Darkling, man. Be still my beating heart.

#notall chosen ones – a chosen one you can get behind

The Black Prism (Lightbringer, #1)

Going with Kip. And this is to say, that I’ve only read the first three books – there are two yet that I haven’t read. He might not be the chosen one, but don’t tell me that.

#notall hyped books – a book that lived up to the acclaim

The Martian

Love it

#notall *insert favourite genre* – a book you’re not keen on from your favourite genre

The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2)

2 stars, man. This fantasy was no beuno.

#notall *insert least favourite genre* – a book you liked from a genre you don’t often read

The Giver (The Giver, #1)

Not typically a fan of middle grade. But! This one is pretty swell.


And that’s it! Happy reading!

 
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Posted by on 02/07/2018 in Book Tag, Books, Uncategorized

 

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February Currently Reading | 18

Currently Reading

Hello! This is what I’m currently reading!

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson – This is one of the books on my 10 in 2018 list and it’s Sanderson’s first book ever. I’ve been told that if I want to enjoy this one I need to read it before his other ones? I think? Either way, I’m listening to the Graphic Audio of this and it’s a lot like listening to cuts scenes of a video game. It’s rather neat and I’m enjoying it so far!

The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E Pearson – I’m buddy reading this one with Ace and another friend of ours – so far, I’m rather digging it. I feel like this is one of those series that gets better with each book. It definitely didn’t fall victim to second-book-itis, and it’s looking like the third will be just as strong if not stronger than the second!

House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski – I’ve been reading this one for over a month and I’m barely 100 pages into it. Honestly this has been a difficult read for me, but at the same time, I’m absolutely fascinated with it. I think because I’m still in the section that’s full pages and loaded with footnotes, that it’s taking me a while. Some weird stuff has already started happening but the writing itself hasn’t gone weird yet. Nearly there!

Golden Fool by Robin Hobb – I say this every time I pick up a Hobb book (this is my eighth now) but reading her books is like going home. I’ve only read the prologue so far, but I’m already enjoying it. It’s like rereading Harry Potter for me, even though this is my first read-through of the series. I love Hobb’s books, man. Zezee and I are buddy-reading this one, as we have been for five or six books now. It’s so much fun! 😀


And that’s it! I’m hoping to finish House of Leaves in particular this month. The others will likely take me a bit longer. Wish me luck!

 

 

 
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Posted by on 02/04/2018 in Books, Currently Reading, TBR

 

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January Wrap Up | 18

Wrap Up

Hello! Happy February! I don’t know about you guys, but January went both super fast and super slow for me. It was a weird dichotomy, man.

This year, I’m going to change my wrap ups a little bit. They’re going to be more goal-oriented, looking at how I’m doing on my new year’s resolutions. They’ll still talk about the books I read, but they’re going to do more than just list them and be done with it now. I’ll have the sections divided out so it should be easy for you to skip the sections that don’t interest you!


Books

We are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby

We Are Never Meeting In Real LifeThis was a rather entertaining read – my first purchase and my first read of 2018. It was the first book I bought after my ban was lifted. I was in Connecticut visit a friend right after Christmas and we went to this little bookshop – I decided I wanted a souvenir book that was a bit different than what I normally read, and this was it! I ended up rather enjoying it.

This is a nonfiction memoir type book, and the author is rather amusing. The way she writes and thinks about things had me going back and forth between feeling like I’d get along perfectly with her and not get along with her at all. It was great, reading a new perspective. 😀 I wrote a full spoiler-free blabber on it, in case you’re interested.

3.5 stars

The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks

The Broken Eye (Lightbringer, #3)This was my favorite read of the month, and it was my longest – I’ve been reading this baby for almost a year now. I also wrote a full spoilery blabber on it detailing my full thoughts, but man, I loooooooved this book.

This is the third book in the lightbringer series, a fantasy series full of neat characters, humor, action, and a cool magic system. I’m just going to link the goodreads page to the first book, if you’d like to look into it. This has quickly become one of my favorite series, ever. It’s so great

5 stars

Descender vol 1: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen

Descender, Vol. 1: Tin StarsThis is a reread for me, in preparation for reading volume two, which I purchased recently. I loved it just as much this time as I did last time.

It follows a young boy robot who wakes up years after giant harvester robots have attacked the galaxy, and we follow him as he tries to find his human companion family amidst a world that is now hostile towards any form of AI. It’s really good, the art is beautiful, and I absolutely love it.

5 stars

.


Blog Activity

TFW: 2018 Reading Resolutions | Books I didn’t get to in ’17 | Forgettable books | Hidden gems

2018 related posts: Beat the Backlist 2018 | 10 in 2018 | Anticipated releases Jan-Jun

Tags: Me in book characters

Blabbers: We are never meeting in real life | The Broken Eye

Total: 10 posts


Neat Things

This section will be other things I did this month that I want to mention. It might be empty some months if I’ve been particularly boring.

I had two different health scares this month, both of which took the better part of the month to deal with, but they both turned out to be nothing! 😀 I’m healthy! I mention this because the stress from these kinda lends to the smaller than normal, for me, amount of books I read this month. I just couldn’t concentrate, man. But I’m healthy!

I went to see The Shape of Water with a friend, and so far it’s my favorite movie of the year. I mean, it’s only January, but hey, I loved that movie. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend it.

My mom turned 60. Which is a weird thing to think about. Buh, she needs to knock that off. No more aging, bad!


Reading Goals

  • Complete my Goodreads Challenge of 40 books: 3/40
  • Complete my 10 in 2018 list of books: 0/10
  • Keep book buying low (6-8 books/season):
    • January-March purchases: 2
    • April-June purchases:
    • July-September purchases:
    • October-December purchases:
  • Get my physical TBR down to 270 books: 302

 

FantasyBingo2017Template

Series I want to read this year | Cover love | Book and bookmark | First backlist read of 2018

 


Blog Goals

  • Post seasonal (not monthly) book hauls

Two books purchased so far, so I’m good here. 😀

  • Maintain a S-W-S posting schedule (with the occasional extra post if I’ve got neat things goin’ on)

I did this pretty well for most of the month, but I dropped out for about a week or so as my health issues took over my attention. -_- I’m hoping not to miss a single day this coming month, though.

  • Keep my To Do list of pending tags under five items at any one time

Currently it’s at zero! Caught up!

Done!

  • Write blabbers for at least 1/3 of the books I read

2 out of the 3 books I’ve read so far have gotten blabbers!


Personal Goals

  • Exercise two times per week

I was good with this one for a while, but with my health issues going on, it kinda fell off. Basically, my heart was acting up – palpitations, murmurs, etc. I didn’t want to stress it out more with exercise. But, as of Tuesday I’ve been deemed decent! So I want February’s wrap up to say ‘Yes I did this one!’ for this section.

  • Log all meals in MyFitnessPal

I hit my 800 day streak this week! I’ve been missing meals for the last couple days, but I can retroactively go back and log them, so I’m good here too when I do that.

  • Make a wedding/honeymoon scrapbook

Haven’t even started, homes.

  • Make a budget

See above!

  • Start saving for a house

See above!

  • Take care of my health as issues arise

This one I am on top of! 😀 Been to Dr’s for two issues and both were wrapped up within a few weeks.

  • Learn Python and R

Not yet!

  • Maintain a Duolingo streak

Currently at a 77 day streak!


And that’s it! I really like how this wrap up turned out – I like sharing a bit more than ‘I thought this book was great’ and I hope you found bits and pieces of it entertaining as well.

Happy reading!

 
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Posted by on 02/03/2018 in Books, Wrap-up

 

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Top 5 hidden gems in fantasy and sci-fi

Top 5 Wednesday

Guess what day it is! I’ve been having some health issues the past few weeks, so my posts have slowed down. But! As of now, I’m just waiting on test results, so I have a bit of time. 😀 So why not make a post.

Today’s topic is top five hidden gems in your favorite genre. And guess who’s miss fantasy pants with a sci-fi hat. And so there’s some level of what is considered hidden, I’m going to choose books with less than 12,000 reviews on goodreads. I’d say that’s pretty fair.

If you’d like to participate in TFW, you can do so here.


The Egg by Andy Weir

The Egg11768 ratings

Can you tell that I picked ‘12000’ so I could include this, hawhaw. I feel like while this is generally known in the sci-fi community (this is the same guy who wrote The Martian) it’s far less read. It’s a short story and honestly I don’t want to say anything else about it. I feel you should go into it blind.

This story I think Weir has actually posted up online, so a quick google should find it for you. It’s really good.

Ralph and the Pixie by G. S. Monks

1 rating

Hey, that rating is me! This story, when I first came across it about a decade ago, was published on fictionpress. I really liked it then, and a couple years ago I gave it a shout out on my blog. Appaaaaarently, the author had since published it into a book and his publicist found my mention! The author contacted me and sent me a copy in exchange for writing an amazon review, which I did. 😀 It was so neat! The story was something I read over and over when I was a teenager online and reading it as a physical copy was the most awesome thing. This is a portal fantasy following Ralph, a human, and Malina, a pixie, as they try to navigate both the human and fae worlds. I really enjoyed this one and think it deserves waaaaay more attention. Read it, people.

Immortal Rain by Kaori Ozaki

Immortal Rain, Vol. 11388 ratings

This is a neato fantasy that has the feel of Trigun, if you’ve ever read that. It follows a 14 year old girl as she sets off to hunt the bounty that her grandfather could never catch: a 624 year-old immortal known as The Methuselah. It’s super, super good.

 

 

The Demon Ororon by Mikuzi Hakase and Tomoko Kamimoto

The Demon Ororon, Vol. 1 (The Demon Ororon, #1)433 ratings

This is a short and sweet manga series following Ororon, the prince of demons and Chiaki, an impure angel. It has an interesting cast of characters and is a rather quick read for a manga – only four volumes. I feel like more people need to read this one – it’s just so lovely. 😀

 

The Deepgate Codex by Alan Campbell

Scar Night (Deepgate Codex, #1)Iron Angel (Deepgate Codex, #2)God of Clocks (Deepgate Codex, #3)

3513 ratings for the first book

Yep, highlighting a whole trilogy here – this is one of my favorite series of all time and I’m always talking about it. I really feel like more people need to read it. READ IT PLEASE. It follows a cast of characters, including a renegade angel, an angel boy, and a man with a ship tied to his back in a city suspended by chains over a seemingly endless abyss. It’s. So. Fantastic. It’s gritty, full of anti-heroes and gray characters, and it’s steampunk! It’s so fantastic, READ IT.


And that’s all for today! Happy reading!

 

 

 
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Posted by on 01/31/2018 in Books, Top 5 Wednesday

 

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Me in book characters tag

Book Tag

Hello! A tag today – I was tagged by the Orangutan Librarian, so thanks friendo! 😀

The Rules:

  1. Thank the creators of the tag (Us! Ash & Lo @ windowsill books)
  2. Thank whoever tagged you!
  3. List 5 book characters who you are most like and explain why.
  4. Tag your friends!

Hagrid from Harry Potter

Image result for hagrid gifHagrid and I have a lot of common – drinking, having unruly hair, trying to just in general be a merry person (moooost of the time). I feel like Hagrid and I would get along.

 

 

Sheska from Fullmetal Alchemist

This girl lives, breathes and eats books. She’s obsessed with them and is always in a tizzy. She’s me, people.

 

 

Ryuk from Death Note

I feel like I’m relating myself to character that have a bleak sense of humor, hawhawhaw.

 

 

 

Gollum from The Lord of the Rings

Image result for gollum gifMY COFFEE.

 

 

 

 

Haruko from FLCL

I feel like Haruko is always just tryin’ to have a good time, and I feel that on a spiritual level.

 

 

 

 

 

.


By the way, all of the above are books with movie/tv adaptations. All of the adaptions are wonderful I think, so if you haven’t seen or read any of them, go for it!

Happy reading!

 
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Posted by on 01/27/2018 in Book Tag, Books, Uncategorized

 

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The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks | Blabber

The Broken Eye (Lightbringer, #3)The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks
The Lightbringer series, Book 3
846 pages
Hardcover/audio book
Read Feb 16, 2017 – Jan 12, 2018
Spoilery blabber

This series just keeps getting better and better.

I first read The Black Prism, book one in this series, a year ago – it made my top books of 2017 list, as did its sequel, The Blinding Knife. And while it took me nearly a year to read this one too, that didn’t mean I loved it any less. This series is one that I savor. I actually ended up restarting this book half way through, which is why it took me so long. I originally was reading a physical copy, but I missed the narrator’s interpretation: Simon Vance does a spectacular job narrating this audio book. He’s just fantastic. He hooked me onto following narrators, like, looking for books narrated by a person, and then listening to that book specifically for that voice. I looooove Simon Vance’s voice. So as I said, I savor this series while I read it. It’s just so delicious and wonderful and I wanna be in it forever.

My favorite thing about this series is the magic system and how it’s incorporated so very deeply into the economy, the government and the well-being of pretty much everyone. Being able to draft luxin is probably the most marketable and influential skill one could have – even if they were complete shit at everything else, being able to draft a bit of blue or a bit of red would feed them and likely their families as well. It’s just fascinating.

And my second favorite thing is the cast of characters. All of them, whether I love them or hate them, they’re good characters. Like Kip for instance – he went through a lot of character development in this book. He went from being somewhat unsure of himself but slowly getting there, to a leader of a group, smoochin’ girls and feeling sure of himself. Leading accidental revolutions! Killin’ people! Kip is a good egg.

john nobleAlso, Andross Guile is a right git, man. I love him. He’s such a bastard  I think what makes him so wonderfully awful is that in his mind, he thinks he’s doing what’s right. Like, his driving force behind his actions is the desire to see his country run in a way that would bring peace. And I mean, technically, it will, but like… that’s a lot of lives, man. He’s so intelligent, so manipulative, always one step ahead of basically everyone else. I love him, but I wanna through a brick at his head. Augh he’s just so great. I’ve totally fan-casted him too. John Noble, all the way. He’s definitely my Andross Guile. And I don’t know yet if his uh.. goals, become darker in book four, but from the events at the end of book three, I’m thinking they might. I think he’s the best kinda-noble-villain I’ve ever come across. Definitely Lawful Evil.

The other characters too, get a bit more screen time for us to get into their minds. Zymun even got a bit. I think, at the moment, he’s the only character who’s really underdeveloped. All I’m picking up from him so far is ‘chaotic evil just because’. I have yet to discern his motivations, so hopefully that’ll happen in book four, now with him as Prism Elect. He has to get more chapters from his POV right? Right? wah.

Liv as well, I kinda missed reading more from her POV. She didn’t get many chapters this time around but the ones she did get were rather satisfying. Obviously she’s been in rank with the color prince for the past what, two books? Finally, finally, she’s seen sense. Goodness. And now she has to go crawling back to the Chromeria in hopes that she can be forgiven. I know that if they don’t wanna forgive her, her dad would take her in in a heartbeat (her dad btw, is one of my favorite characters. He’s just such a hulking teddy bear cutie pie).

I’m predicting she’ll run into Kip’s group, they’ll do a bout of ‘can’t we trust her?’, she’ll do something to prove herself, and then all will be well. Watch, I predict it.

 

And then finally, we come to The Order of the Broken Eye, the group the whole book revolves around. This group is such a weird, mysterious thing. And Weeks definitely led me into a false sense of security concerning them. I thought, ‘Oh, they’re trying to infiltrate via Teia and doing assassinations via Murder Sharp (who is the weirdest guy by the way) but lol nope. Nope nope, the ending of the book absolutely blew me away man.

Best ending ever. We find out that Ironfist, one of my favorite characters, the one that everyone seems to trust implicitly, has been in on it the whole time. The whole time. And Grimwoody man. I was at work when I was listening to the end of the audiobook – I listen while I code.

And so I’m sitting there, working and listening, and this big plot twist drops. And I sit there and my fingers still on my keyboard and my eyes bug out. And in my otherwise silent room with my two coworkers, I basically yell, ‘OH NO WAY.’ And then I pause it, get up and take a lap around the building because I just couldn’t handle it, man. I needed to move! My brain was like WHAT IS GOING ON?!

I love those kinds of endings. They’re the best.

So yeah, I loved this book.

5/5 stars

 
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Posted by on 01/20/2018 in Books, Review

 

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