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Wow, as usual, I sucked at finding time to read books last year. There was so much I wanted to read and so little I actually did. I even read less manga than the year before, though still way more manga than novels.

Total manga: 82
Total books: 11

*headdesk*

More detailed breakdown + rambling )

In the coming year I want to concentrate on reading manga and books I have at home before buying anything new. In particular I want to finish reading Yu-Gi-Oh (I have no desire to read Yu-Gi-Oh R, so once I'm done with the main series, I'm good) and Zero (which requires rereading the first five or six volumes since it's been so long). I have all volumes of both, so it won't even require buying anything new to finish them. I also want to get current with some of the series I'm really behind on (Meitantei Conan, Tantei Gakuen Q, Prince of Tennis, and Reborn!). As for books, I want to read more Japanese books, especially since I have like three I've read part of and just need to finish.
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This book was interesting. I can't say I loved it, but I definitely enjoyed the stories and would read more by her. One thing that bothered me, though, was that they're all told in first person, all about different people, and yet all have the same, very odd/quirky voice to them. Which...would work fine if that were her narrative voice and she were writing in third person. Less so when I'm supposed to believe that every one of these people is this peculiar in exactly the same way.

One thing that greatly amused me, though, is that two of the stories are RPF! But, but! I thought only perverts and sickos on the internets wrote fiction about real people! One of the stories has Madeleine L'Engle as a character, as well as Madeleine L'Engle's (fictional) husband. And the husband has an affair! Maybe it's okay because Madeleine L'Engle is (recently) dead.
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I had vaguely known this was out, and I think even put it on my Amazon wishlist for Christmas, but then we were at the library the other day donating another batch of books, and I remembered to look for it and there it was! So yay for not having to spend money.

Of course I couldn't help but read it with the fact of his Alzheimer's diagnosis in the back of my mind. :( Pratchett is one of my top five favorite authors and I just love Discworld so, so much, and argh!

This was really good, though. I loved Going Postal as a one-off, and I'm thrilled that Moist von Lipwig has become a character with his own series (the next Discworld book is going to be about Moist, too). There was lots of Vetinari, but very little Vimes. That's okay, though. There are lots of Vimes books, and I love Moist almost as much as Vimes and Vetinari. I really love Adora Belle, too, and Gladys.

More with spoilers )

Other books I picked up at the library:

School's Out by Christophe Dufossé
What You Have Left by Will Allison
No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July

I have never heard of any of these people or these books, they just happened to catch my eye on the new books shelf. I shall report on them when/if I read them. Anyone familiar with any of them?

ETA: I finally remembered to change the title of my journal to a quote from the Simpsons last week. Duffman says "I'm just giving it to your wife. She is gonna be sore tomorrow." Perfect title and subtitle, Y/Y?
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I knew there was a reason McEwan was one of my favorite authors of all-time. I highly, highly recommend this book. It just blew me away.

This is a very short book, just 200 pages, and the bulk of the story takes place over just a few hours, with some flashbacks interspersed here and there. It's the story of Edward and Florence on their wedding night in 1963. It's about love and sex and marriage and the inability to communicate. Definitely a new favorite.

More spoilery review within! )
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It's taken me far longer than it should have to read this, as it's barely over 200 pages, but I've been busy and only reading a few pages here and there. I really liked it, though. [livejournal.com profile] rebness recommended it and I'd read and liked The Accidental last year, so I figured I ought to give it a try. While at the library, I saw another book by her, Like, which I am going to read next. I think I'm safe in putting Ali Smith on my favorite authors list now. :)

Anyway. Like The Accidental, this is rather...experimental. There were some parts I liked less than others because of that, but I do love her prose and really enjoyed the story.

spoilers )

Also, when reading this, I realised that the last three books I've read have been by queer authors (Chuck Palahniuk, Jackie Kay, and now Ali Smith). It wasn't at all by conscious choice, these just happened to be the books that interested me.

Trumpet

Sep. 16th, 2007 12:22 am
torachan: a happy cartoon guy with the text "it's like a blast of happy up my ass" (blast of happy in my ass)
I finished reading Trumpet by Jackie Kay tonight. I only started it a couple of days ago, and for me that's quick. Usually I don't spend much time reading, as it takes away from whatever else I'm doing, so I'll read a bit in line at the post office or a chapter when I eat lunch or whatever. But I could hardly stand to put this down (though I did several times and for long periods, simply because I really don't have the time to just sit there and read).

It's an excellent book. Great story. Brilliant writing. I'm keen to read her other books now, but the library doesn't have them. Maybe I'll put them on my Christmas list.

Rambling )

I just love this book so, so much.
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Okay, three weeks after I started it, I finally finished Chuck Palahniuk's new book, Rant. Um, WOW. How is it possible that he just keeps getting better and better and more incredibly fucking AWESOME?

Spoilers, natch )

I like all his books so much, it's hard to rank them, but I think this is up there in the top three.
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Finished it!

31-epilogue )

Okay, now I'm gonna try and go back and read everyone else's reactions. If you posted about the book and want to be nice and leave me a link, that would be great. If I'd been thinking I would have bookmarked the posts as they came across my flist, but...
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Almost to the end! I'm pretty tired, though, so I think I'm going to take a nap before finishing it up.

21-30 )
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Okay, I lied about saving all my comments for the end. Here's the first ten chapters.

1-10 )
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This evening I finished the first of the Kindaichi novels I got. Well, it's actually the third in the series, but they don't need to be read chronologically, and I chose this one because it's a smaller format than the others and I had thought I might be taking it somewhere and need to put it in my pocket (the concert, maybe, but I ended up not taking a book).

Anyway! This was really good. The author of the books is the same as the manga (the manga has a separate author and artist anyway) and the story was just as compelling as the manga. In fact, I zipped through it (all 350 pages) in just two or three days, which is really quickly for me, considering I usually don't have much time for reading these days. But I really didn't want to put it down.

One thing I found interesting was that I don't think this could be successfully translated into English. Spoiler )

I found it interesting that he made use of the inherent ambiguity of Japanese this way.

Also of note was the fact that this was written in 1996 but was all about the internet. Wow. Internet has come a long way in eleven years, especially in Japan! The dated-ness didn't detract from the story at all, though.

For my own reference, links to the other five novels:

#4 鬼火島殺人事件
#5 上海魚人伝説殺人事件
#6 雷祭殺人事件
#7 殺戮のディープブルー上巻/殺戮のディープブルー下巻
#8 邪宗館殺人事件

In other news, Bruce got his ticket and is coming back Sunday morning. His sister is driving up to Huntington on Saturday for her 20th high school reunion, so he can just go back to Indy with her that night and she can drive him to the airport Sunday morning. And he was able to use his parents' credit card to buy the ticket, so we don't even have to worry about getting paid back or anything, thankfully.
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No, not my girlfriend. I haven't got one. This is a book, based on a website (sort of).

I don't know how I found out about this book, except that it was through the wonders of Amazon. I was looking at one book, and it recommended me this one, or something of the sort. And this one looked good, and it was on the cheap, so I bought it.

Anyway, it's a very funny book. The website is just this guy writing down humorous stories about arguments he's had with his girlfriend, but the book is an actual novel with fictionalised versions of them. It reads like your typical wacky Brit comedy. My mom would probably love it, actually. I should give it to her.

Anyway (again), I started reading this um, on the plane back from Indiana, actually, which was at Thanksgiving. Then when I got home, I set it aside and read other stuff, like manga and fanfic, and only just picked it up again a couple of days ago, for reasons I can't quite remember.

Obviously the fact that I put it down for several months means it wasn't hugely compelling. Well, that was true around the beginning (I think I'd read about a third of it at the time), but once I picked it up again, it picked up as well and I was hooked. In typical wacky comedy fashion, the closer it got to the end, the more horrible things were happening all at once, and I didn't really want to put it down.

As a warning, those who don't like reading/watching people get embarrassed will want to stay away from this book, as that is pretty much The Point of much of the humor.

I do have one complaint, which is that Ursula, the girlfriend, is written in such a way that you (or I, at least) really can't understand what he sees in her at all. Pel is obnoxious sometimes, so some of her complaints you can sympathise with, but most of the time she's just completely bitchily insane.

I also didn't like the ending. I won't go into specifics as I don't want to be spoilery, but basically everything that's happened doesn't get resolved at all. Well, I guess I will go into specifics. So I'd better cut. ) Anyway, it was a bit irksome. Still, the whole thing was hilarious and I do recommend it.

It's kind of sad that this is only like the third book I've read all year so far and part of it was started last year. But those stacks of manga aren't going to read themselves, are they? No, they're not. Which is why FMA 16 is next up on my list.
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Nana 17

Spoilers, natch )

I have the first Nana movie on my hard drive somewhere. I should watch it.

D.Gray-Man "Reverse 1: Tabidachi no Clergyman"

I actually liked this book quite a lot. As I said the other day, there are three stories, Allen's, Kanda's, and Bak Chan's. The writing isn't wonderful, but mediocre writing doesn't bother me as much in Japanese as it does English.

Long, long, with some spoilers )

D.Gray-man

Apr. 24th, 2007 02:21 am
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Still in a D.Gray-man mood from reading the manga the other day, I started reading the D.Gray novel I picked up at Book Off recently. It's a quick read (I read about eighty pages in under an hour); these things aren't called light novels for nothing. There are three stories, one about Allen, one about Kanda, and one about Bak Chan, and I read the Allen one tonight. I see there's a second book out, too. I wonder if it has anything about Lavi. I can't say I'm particularly interested in Kanda or Bak (though I will read the rest of the book regardless).

I just realised something, though. I had noticed before that Hoshino Katsura, author of D.Gray-man, is a LotR fangirl, as two of the characters are Reever Wenham and Miranda Lotto. (Miranda doesn't particularly look like Miranda Otto to me, but Wenham does look similar to the way I often see him drawn in manga style.) Now I'm thinking she might be a Phantom Menace fangirl, too. Bak Chan sounds an awful lot like Bruck Chun, especially when you take into account that the character has white hair like Bruck (despite being Chinese, and thus not normally someone you'd expect to have white hair).

While writing up this post, I got distracted by looking up light novels on Wikipedia, and found a manga/light novel publishing company that's hiring, so I filled out their questionaire and sent it in.

I am kind of still addicted to the kaleidescope thing. It's really terrible. Oh, and here's a new time-waster I found in [livejournal.com profile] cindyjade's del.icio.us links: BSC Headquarters. The "about me" section says, "I am blogging my way through the Baby-sitters Club series that I loved growing up." The reviews of the books are hilarious and really make me wish I still had mine around.
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Ooh, I really liked this book a lot. Very highly recommended, even to those who don't normally read fiction, because it reads like non-fiction, only with zombies.

[livejournal.com profile] fabu had a post the other day about narrative framing, and this is definitely not a story that could have been told without that device, not on this scale. You could have individual people's stories, but not the whole "chronicle of the war all over the world" sort of thing he has going on.

Anyway, this was really neat. I loved reading about the various techniques they used to fight the zombies, how each country dealt with the threat, the various responses, etc. There were some things I wish had been different, mainly some sort of explanation about what started the zombies and how it worked. So even though it was really cool, I was still left a little dissatisfied with not knowing how it came about.

I would really like to write fanfic for this, though.
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This is the list of everything I've finished reading in 2007 (fic, manga, novels, and the occasional non-fiction); things I start reading, but don't finish, do not go on the list. What I read in 2006 can be found here.

... )

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