New Semester High!

This is going to be a great semester! It started on Monday, but the two classes I’m taking meet on Wednesdays, so today was really the first day of class for me. I am feeling so good for so many reasons.

First, my students. I’m in an interesting classroom that has four tables for my students to sit at. It’s great because they’re already grouped up, which facilitates discussion so much easier. They don’t have to move their seats into groups and then back once they’re done discussing. They also have really great answers to my questions. Granted, today was the first day we discussed anything, but it was a great first day. I have a feeling this semester is going to be fun.

Second, my classes. I’m taking International Popular Culture and Superhero Comics & Critical Theory. I have been looking forward to taking these classes. International Popular Culture is a required class for the degree, so I’ve known it was coming. Superhero Comics is a class I have been vibrating with excitement over as soon as it was hinted at being taught! It’s a Comic Studies class! My thesis is Deaf Studies meets Comic Studies! I finally get a class that directly speaks to my thesis. It helps that the professor is on my thesis committee…for that reason, actually. He is the Comic Studies person of the department. We have a long list of graphic novels we are going to be reading in addition to almost as many articles. Tonight, he told us to just relax and enjoy reading the comics. He also said we should feel free to reference other comics as we see appropriate. We were basically going over the syllabus, but it felt like we were at a convention panel, not graduate class! It is going to be so much fun!!!!

But, before that I had International PopC. I knew I would enjoy this class. I’ve known what I’m going to write about for the final paper for a while now. But I honestly did not expect that we would be talking about so many theories that I can use in my thesis! It is going to be a good semester for my thesis. Which is great because I’m going to need all the help I can get to finish it on time!

Anyway, the last reason I am feeling so good…I’m not broke anymore! I have been lining up bill payments, getting books ordered for classes, ordering a ton of tea, and generally relaxing about money. It’s so nice to not panic about it. And I am really looking forward to that tea getting here. I have a bunch of blends that I put together but I haven’t had the money to order and test out yet. So many of those got ordered. I am looking forward to tasting them all and knowing that they’re good. I could go on about tea forever, so I’ll save it for another post.

But at least I’m off to a great start! Bring on the semester!

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Read shelf: April

I was just a little busy this past month.

Akira Vol. 1 by Katsuhiro Otomo
Maggie Without a Clue by Kasey Michaels
Undecorate: The No-Rules Approach to Interior Design by Christiane Lemieux
The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Brain Droppings by George Carlin
X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga by Chris Claremont
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Princess Jellyfish, Vol. 10 by Akiki Higashimura
Napalm and Silly Putty by George Carlin
More Napalm and Silly Putty by George Carlin
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman
The Red Tent by Anita Diamanat
When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? by George Carlin

15 books! That’s one book every two days! I have not read that many books in one month since I started keeping track. Possibly ever. Well, at least since I started reading chapter books.

Weesh!

Weesh Year 1: Free Wishes!  Insert Licorice HereWeesh Year 2: I Don't Know What This Is But There's a Monkey on the CoverWeesh Year 3: Red Riding Hood Conquers the WorldWeesh Year 4: Love...Exciting and ew

Weesh is a webcomic written by Dan Hess. It’s a webcomic for all ages. And it really is for all ages. It’s about three siblings and Weesh who lives in their home. It hasn’t been made clear exactly what Weesh is. But I can say this much: Weesh is a small green being with long ears, an interesting tail, and eats black licorice so he can grant wishes. The wishes aren’t permanent, but they can get extreme. Only children can see Weesh, but there have been times that’s not entirely the case. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but you should go start reading Weesh for yourselves.

I bought the books from the author when he was at OhayoCon recently. But he does have them all available at the store on his site for the same price. The books contain all the strips, and some of them even have exclusive stories just in the books. It’s worth the low cost and it supports the author.

If you enjoy the active imaginations of kids, you’ll love this series.

Busy Bookworm

Despite classes starting again this month, I managed to get ten books read! Of course, it helps that I don’t have books to read for class this time. I’ll give a quick rundown and a few are going to get full posts. I want to get back in the habit of posting about books I’m loving. I’m also giving the WBC (Winter Book Challenge on The Nest Book Club) a go again. It is getting me to read books I’ve been meaning to, which is great.

Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher (audiobook)
Small Favor by Jim Butcher (Kindle)
Buffy Season 9: Freefall by Joss Whedon
Godchild Vol. 6 by Kaori Yuki
Cold Days by Jim Butcher (library)
Weesh: Free Wishes! Insert Licorice Here by Dan Hess
Weesh: I Don’t Know What This Is But There’s a Monkey on the Cover by Dan Hess
Weesh: Red Riding Hood Conquers the World by Dan Hess
Weesh: Love…Exciting and ew. by Dan Hess
Princess Jellyfish Vol. 0 by Akiko Higashimura

I just picked up more books from the library today, so hopefully this trend will keep going. Also, I’ve still got a lot of manga here that I haven’t gotten to yet.

A look back at April, May, and June

Yeah. Somehow I forgot to post this for three months! I guess I was so focused on getting the SBC done that I totally forgot. Well, it’s done now and I’m not even trying with the SuBC. I’m personally going to keep track of what would fit where, but I doubt I’m going to bother with the challenges again. No matter how hard I try I just can’t get it finished. So I’m simply going to read for me and enjoy myself.

Anyway, here’s my book breakdown for the past three months:
April
Barefoot Gen, Vol. 4: Out of the Ashes by Keiji Nakazawa
The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey
Ranma 1/2 Vol. 1 by Rumiko Takahashi
Peach Fuzz Vol. 2 by Cibos & Hodges
Legends of the Dark Crystal, Vol. 1 by Barbara Randall Kesel
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour by Brian Lee O’Malley
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

May
Feed by Mira Grant
Wide Awake by David Levithan
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
And Another Thing… by Eoin Colfer
Deadline by Mira Grant

June
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi
The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon
Blackout by Mira Grant
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein
Barefoot Gen, Vol. 5: The Never-Ending War by Keiji Nakazawa
Barefoot Gen, Vol. 6: Writing the Truth by Keiji Nakazawa
Barefoot Gen, Vol. 7: Bones into Dust by Keiji Nakazawa

Now I get to sit back and read whatever I want at whatever speed I want. Yay!

Finished! Embroideries

Synopsis from Goodreads:

From the best-selling author of Persepolis comes this gloriously entertaining and enlightening look into the sex lives of Iranian women. Embroideries gathers together Marjane’s tough-talking grandmother, stoic mother, glamorous and eccentric aunt and their friends and neighbors for an afternoon of tea drinking and talking. Naturally, the subject turns to love, sex and the vagaries of men.

As the afternoon progresses, these vibrant women share their secrets, their regrets and their often outrageous stories about, among other things, how to fake one’s virginity, how to escape an arranged marriage, how to enjoy the miracles of plastic surgery and how to delight in being a mistress. By turns revealing and hilarious, these are stories about the lengths to which some women will go to find a man, keep a man or, most importantly, keep up appearances.

Full of surprises, this introduction to the private lives of some fascinating women, whose life stories and lovers and will strike us as at once deeply familiar and profoundly different from our own, is sure to bring smiles of recognition to the faces of women everywhere–and to teach us all a thing or two.

Review:
That was just awesome. I had a hard time putting it down to work on dinner. It took about an hour overall to read it. It was exactly like a BS session among the girls. The stories, the jokes. The guy trying to come in and being thrown out. Just wonderful!

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Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi
Rating: 5 stars

Finished! The Complete Persepolis

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Here, in one volume: Marjane Satrapi’s best-selling, internationally acclaimed memoir-in-comic-strips.

Persepolis is the story of Satrapi’s unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming–both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland. It is the chronicle of a girlhood and adolescence at once outrageous and familiar, a young life entwined with the history of her country yet filled with the universal trials and joys of growing up.

Edgy, searingly observant, and candid, often heartbreaking but threaded throughout with raw humor and hard-earned wisdom–Persepolis is a stunning work from one of the most highly regarded, singularly talented graphic artists at work today.

Review:
Simply reading the introduction sucked me in completely. The purpose of this book is to show everyone what her country was and what it is. Not what everyone has been shown and told. I had no idea what Iran was and is like. I’ve never assumed to guessed. But wow. To have gone through so much in such a short amount of time. It really is amazing.

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The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Rating: 5 stars

A look back at the year so far

I am so far behind in writing about everything I’ve read this year. Well, not everything, but a lot of it. I’ve been busy but… well, I’ll let the list speak for itself.

The Forgotten by Tony Lee
Ghost Story by Jim Butcher
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett
Grave Sight Vol. 1 by Charlaine Harris
Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Deadline by Mira Grant
Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life by Brian Lee O’Malley
Geek Wisdom by Stephen H. Segal
The Sandman: The Dream Hunters by Neil Gaiman
The Sandman: Endless Nights by Neil Gaiman
Chobits Vol. 1 by CLAMP
Chobits Vol. 2 by CLAMP
Otaku-No-Yen Season 1: As Seen on the Intrawebs by Richard & Sharon Townsend
Chobits Vol. 3 by CLAMP
Chobits Vol. 4 by CLAMP
Chobits Vol. 5 by CLAMP
Chobits Vol. 6 by CLAMP
Chobits Vol. 7 by CLAMP
Chobits Vol. 8 by CLAMP
Chrono Crusade Vol. 1 by Daisuke Moriyama
Chrono Crusade Vol. 2 by Daisuke Moriyama
Princess Jellyfish Vol. 1 by Akiko Higashimura
Princess Jellyfish Vol. 2 by Akiko Higashimura
Princess Jellyfish Vol. 3 by Akiko Higashimura
Princess Jellyfish Vol. 4 by Akiko Higashimura
Princess Jellyfish Vol. 5 by Akiko Higashimura
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World by Brian Lee O’Malley
Princess Jellyfish Vol. 6 by Akiko Higashimura
Princess Jellyfish Vol. 7 by Akiko Higashimura
Princess Jellyfish Vol. 8 by Akiko Higashimura
Barefoot Gen, Vol. 1: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima by Keiji Nakazawa
Barefoot Gen, Vol. 2: The Day After by Keiji Nakazawa
Barefoot Gen, Vol. 3: Life After the Bomb by Keiji Nakazawa
Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness by Brian Lee O’Malley
Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together by Brian Lee O’Malley
Scott Pilgrim vs. The Universe by Brian Lee O’Malley
The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffery (an omnibus of Dragonflight, Dragonquest, and The White Dragon)

As you can see, there are a few manga series in there that I need to post about. I’m almost done with the Scott Pilgrim series (one book left), so I’ll have that to write about too. I should probably just sit down with my laptop on Thursday and type my brains out. 🙂 Just because I’ve been reading madly, doesn’t mean I can’t share my thoughts on the books with all of you.

Spring Book Challenge 2012

The last of the 25 point challenges have been posted and I’m giving it a real try this time. I think I have a good chance at getting it finished this time! (+ indicates currently reading)

5 point tasks (done!)
*Peach Fuzz Vol. 2 by Lindsay Cibos and Jared Hodges for a book with an animal on the cover
*The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins for a book with 15,000+ ratings (not reviews) on GR
*In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan for a book from the Nestie created books you should read list
*Beloved by Toni Morrison for a book set in a place you’ve been
*Legends of the Dark Crystal, Vol. 1 by Barbara Randall Kesel for a book GR recommends for you

10 point tasks (done!)
*Catch-22 by Joseph Heller for a book from the 1001 books list
*Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi for an Alex Award winner
*Feed by Mira Grant for an old NBC monthly pick
*The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein for a book most people read in high school but you haven’t read
*Wide Awake by David Levithan for a book with a LGBT main character or author

15 point tasks
*The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan for the April, May, or June NBC pick
*The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon for an Edgar Award winner or nominee
His Dark Materials by Phillip J. Pullman for a 700+ page book
*Barefoot Gen, Vol. 4: Out of the Ashes by Keiji Nakazawa for a non-fiction history book
*Ranma 1/2 Vol. 1 by Rumiko Takahashi for a book that fits at least two of the other categories

25 point tasks (done!)
*Deadline by Mira Grant for a book that was nominated for the 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards
*Ready Player One by Ernest Cline for use Whichbook.net to choose a book
*And Another Thing… by Eoin Colfer for a book about which you keep saying “I’ll read that later.”
*Blackout by Mira Grant for something first published in 2012
*Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes for a book about someone with a special need (F or NF)

Finished! The Sandman: Endless Nights

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Featuring the popular characters from the award-winning Sandman series by Neil Caiman, The Sandman: Endless Nights reveals the legend of the Endless, a family of magical and mythical beings who exist and interact in the real world.
Born at the beginning of time, Destiny, Death, Dream, Desire, Despair, Delirium, and Destruction are seven brothers and sisters who each lord over their respective realms. In this highly imaginative book that boasts a diverse styles of breathtaking art, these seven peculiar and powerful siblings each reveal more about their true being as they star in their own tales of curiosity and wonder.
The Sandman: Endless Nights was the first comic graphic novel to be listed on the “NY Times Best-seller list.

Review:
That was a neat book. Seven separate stories, yet they’re all connected.

Death’s was really good. It took a bit to figure out what was going on. And just after I figured something out, it was confirmed. It made me love Death even more!

Desire’s was an interesting story. I love how strong and in control she is. I can see why Desire likes her.

Dream’s may be the best. I love that it takes place so long ago. And I love Sol. He is so cute. It was interesting to see some of the history between Dream and his siblings. And Delight is just too cute!

Despair was…disturbing. But it also was deep and beautiful.

Delirium…well it took quite a while to make sense. But it is Delirium after all.

Destruction’s was quite interesting. I like that he enjoys his younger sister’s company. And, for being Destruction, he can be quite gentle.

Destiny’s was such a beautiful, simple, deep piece that just adds to the mystery surrounding him.

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The Sandman: Endless Nights by Neil Gaiman
Rating: 5 stars
WBC: Read a collection of short stories.