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.

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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!

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)

Winter Book Challenge 2012

After taking the FBC off, I found myself missing checking in and challenging myself to read more books. Granted, that graphic novel and manga splurge was amazing! But it’s back to the challenges. I’m not trying to finish it, but I’m hoping to get quite a few done before it’s over.

I’m taking a much more relaxed approach to this challenge. Mainly just plugging in books I’ve been wanting to read.

5 points
*Scott Pilgrim vs. The World by Brian Lee O’Malley for a romance for Valentines Day
Nothing for a book with a winter word in the title (ice, snow, winter, cold, etc)
*The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman for a Newbery winner
Nation by Terry Pratchett for a Printz winner or honor book
Nothing for a play
*Ghost Story by Jim Butcher to reread one of your favorite books
*Dragonquest by Anne McCaffery for a book by an author who has died
*Geek Wisdom by Stephen H. Segal for a book by an author whose first and last names start with the same letter
*Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life by Brian Lee O’Malley for a book that fits any of the 10 or 15 pt categories
The White Dragon by Anne McCaffery for a book with an animal in the title (finished, but after the 301st)

10 points
*The Sandman: Endless Nights by Neil Gaiman for a collection of short stories
*The Sandman: The Dream Hunters by Neil Gaiman for a book with 4+ stars on GR
*Chobits Vol. 1 by CLAMP for a book published the year you graduated HS
*Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett for listen to an audiobook
A World Without Islam by Graham Fuller for a book by an author whose last name begins with J, F, or M
The Rights of the Reader by Daniel Pennac for a book not originally published in English
Dragonflight by Anne McCaffery for go to literature-map.com, enter your favorite author, read a book by an author who pops up
Nothing for a book with an African American main character or author
*Grave Sight Vol. 1 by Charlaine Harris to give an author a second chance (you didn’t like a book by that author earlier)
*Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg for a book you saw on a blog

15 points
Nothing for a book with one of the 7 deadly sins in the title
Dracula by Brahm Stoker for a book written before 1900
*Deadline by Mira Grant for a book about a disaster (natural or man-made)
Nothing for a western
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink for a book from Oprah’s book club
*Chobits Vol. 3 by CLAMP for a book that fits an unfinished category from a previous challenge
The Tar-Aiym Krang by Alan Dean Foster for a science fiction book
Nothing for read and discuss the Jan, Feb, or March NBC book
Star Trek Movie Memories by William Shatner for a book by a celebrity or politician
Nothing for a biography of a woman for Women’s History Month

25 points
Nothing for a “non-fiction” book about a paranormal subject
Nothing for any book from any of the Best American series
Nothing for a book with a dessert in the title or about a baker/bakery and then bake something yummy and share with the board via picture
Nothing for a book about a medical mystery (fiction or non-fiction)
Nothing for two books in different genres by the same author. Post about which book/genre you liked better, why, and whether you would consider reading additional books by the same author in the other genre

Series: Return to Labyrinth

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The Goblin King has kept a watchful eye on Toby: His minions secretly guiding and protecting the child… Legions of goblins work behind the scenes to ensure that Toby has whatever his heart desires… Preparing him for the day when he will return to the Labyrinth and take his rightful place beside Jareth as the heir to the Goblin Kingdom… That day has come……but no one has told Toby.

Review:
My hubby and I are both huge Jim Henson fans. So when we saw that there was a manga series called Return to Labyrinth we had to pick it up. It is wonderful! It really does feel like they picked up years later and kept going. Of course not having do deal with budgets for the creatures and the special effects helps a lot. But the plot is wonderful and has lots of twists and turns. Just like the Labyrinth! There are 4 volumes in all and I can’t wait to read the last one. I think Jim would be proud of it and happy to see that Labyrinth still lives on!

You remind me of the babe…..

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Return to Labyrinth Vols. 1-3 by Jake T. Forbes
Rating: 4 stars

Series: Love Hina

Synopsis from Goodreads:

When Keitaro Urashima fails his entrance exams to get into Tokyo University for the second time, he’s officially an unemployed and uneducated slacker. To make things worse, his parents have kicked him out of his house. Fortunately, his grandmother owns the fabulous Hinata Lodge and has agreed to take Keitaro in as caretaker. What he doesn’t know is that the lodge is actually a girl’s dorm and he’s the only guy around! Most guys would kill to live with five sexy ladies, but if Keitaro’s not careful, this job will kill him.

Review:
Love Hina is another manga series that I got into because of the anime. I watched a few episodes back in college and thought it looked interesting. Of course once I mentioned it, I started receiving the manga as presents and so have quite a bit of it (MangaFox filled in the rest).
This is such a fun series. Definitely a shojo, but guys might enjoy it as well. I can’t wait to watch the anime and see how they compare. The manga is so much fun and has a great plot that ends just wonderfully! I don’t want to spoil anything, because once you get through the first volume or two, you’re hooked!

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Love Hina Vols. 1-14 by Ken Akamatsu
Overall Rating: 4 stars

Series: Immortal Rain

Synopsis from Goodreads:

For centuries, the eternal Rain Jewlitt has escaped attacks from assassins and bounty hunters who want to uncover his timeless secret. One of his pursuers, the Grim Reaper Zol, lost his life while attempting to kill Rain. In the wake of Zol’s death, his 18-year-old granddaughter Machika vows to avenge her grandfather’s death and put an end to Rain’s immortality — but she soon realizes that the thin line between love and hate just might last forever …

Review:
I first read volume 1 of Immortal Rain when I saw it at the library. This being the library in my hometown, which isn’t very big (both the city and the library) and has an even smaller graphic novel/manga section. When I saw they had some manga that looked interesting, of course I picked it up. Over the years I’ve bought the first four volumes. It’s an interesting little tale that gets more and more interesting as it goes. In many ways it reminds me of Trigun (one of my favorites) with Rain unable to die, his refusal to kill anyone, and his very old feud with a former friend. Also having the short (sorry Meryl!), young female following him around doesn’t help either. But it’s an amazing and quite original story. Thanks to MangaFox I’ve been able to read father than what’s been published here. I’m thinking of finishing it up soon. It’s a great series.

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Immortal Rain Vols. 1-9 by Kaori Ozaki
Overall Rating: 4 stars

Series: Neon Genesis Evangelion: Angelic Days

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Imagine a Neon Genesis Evangelion where choosing the right girl is more important than saving the world! That’s the gist of Angelic Days – the hit manga that Eva fans have been waiting for! Based on a popular PC and Playstation 2 game released only in Japan, Angelic Days takes the angst-ridden Eva pilots and sets them in a lighter, brighter world.

Review:
This is a series inspired by Evangelion. Evidently it’s based on one of the dream sequences Shinji has in the last episode. I just thought it was an alternate universe type thing. Either way it’s good so far. The first four books deal with the kids and their friendships. The EVAs and the angels are more background in their lives. Sort of the opposite of the show.
The fifth book is about Shinji’s parents when they were in high school and how that later affects Shinji and his friends in the first three books. Evidently the sixth takes place after the fourth book. It’s back to focusing on the kids and how they’re coping with their roles as pilots as they get older. It’s an interesting series that I think makes a great contrast to the original.

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Neon Genesis Evangelion: Angelic Days Vols. 1-5 by Fumino Hayashi
Rating: 4 stars

Series: Neon Genesis Evangelion

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The U.S. graphic novel debut of the most controversial “giant robot” series ever produced! A handful of teenagers must pilot huge biomechanical robots — the Evangelion combat units — against monstrous “Angels” bent on destroying humanity.

Review:
A few years ago a friend gave me the DVD set for Neon Genesis Evangelion because he knew I liked anime and thought I would like it. It’s a wonderful series, and it was revolutionary in many ways when it began.

The manga series was started 8 months before the anime was set to start. They first saw it as a way to promote the anime, but it slowly fell behind. While the series has been done for years, the last volume of the manga has yet to be released. Despite it’s earlier start, it is based on the anime.

I haven’t watched the anime for a couple of years now, but what I remember of it, especially the end, is made much clearer in the manga. If you’ve seen the anime and the movies that follow it, you’ll understand this statement: If you’re interested in the series at all, read the manga first! At least don’t let yourself get ahead of the manga in the anime. Things really are clearer in the manga than the anime. I attribute that to the medium, mainly. There is so much more you can put into a picture than into animation. Also, you can easily go back and study a drawing rather than trying to go back and freeze a DVD.

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Neon Genesis Evangelion Vols. 1-12 by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Rating: 4 stars