WRAP-UP | MARCH 2017

It’s finally Spring and the weather in Southern California is going insane. One day, we get 80s and then 60s the next. The day would start with a very humid mid-50s only to go up to 80s by midday and then 60s at night. It’s tricky dressing up every morning for work; either you’re stuck in the heat and humidity in a sweater or chilly in short sleeves.

But it did bring (the illusion) of longer days. It would be 8PM and there’s still light in the sky. “Longer” days meant I can do more thing before my body clock starts winding down and I turn into an anime binge monster. Then I guess that is so. 🙂

I made a Spring TBR and since then, I’ve been very conscious about which books to read next. I’m trying not to pressure myself too much though. The reason why I never really did TBRs is because I refer to it a lot and I self-destruct when I don’t feel like reading any of them and end up just quitting, which then leads to a slump. We don’t want that. Right now, I think I made a doable list and I hope to get to the majority of them. In fact, I already read a few titles off of that already.

Last month, I read 3 books that are over 600 pages. And I’ve accepted that manga will always be in the mix not just as filler for my GoodReads goal. I genuinely enjoy it so expect a good chunk of my monthly wrap-up to include a bunch of manga.

TOTAL BOOKS READ: 12.

  • Black Butler, Volumes 4-6 by Yana Toboso. It’s the Indian Butler and Book of Circus arcs. As you know, the 2nd season of the anime is an original story and does not exist in the manga. Thank goodness for that. These two are my favorite arcs and I love the manga versions just as much as I do the anime. I gave Volume 4 a 4-star rating while Volumes 5 and 6 both got 5 stars. Soma, Agni, and Joker (especially his Japanese voice actor, Mamoru Miyano) are all so close to my heart.
  • A Conjuring of Light by VE Schwab. All the feelz. This was a fitting conclusion to the trilogy. Everyone found closure. A part of me doesn’t want anything else from this story. I mean, a lot of other books release novella collections, graphic novel continuations, POVs from other characters, etc. I sort of don’t want that for this ‘verse. But another part of me wants a graphic novel version of this. I loved it. Five stars, as if that was any question.
  • Orange, Volumes 4 & 5 by Ichigo Takano. As I am still and will always be Team Suwa, I finally finished this gorgeous piece of a manga. I find myself re-reading certain parts as I would rewatch certain episodes of the anime. This was just beautiful. That’s all. Five stars for both.
  • The 6th Extinction by James Rollins. Audio book but still counting the pages. I didn’t enjoy this as much as other James Rollins work. I’ve read and listened to the other Sigma Force novels and I know their general formula. But this one didn’t hook me all that much. I mean, I still followed the story enough but I realized that I wasn’t really listening as closely. I got lost a couple of times. But I did listen to this pretty quickly. I might re-read this in the future. 3/5 stars.
  • Battle Royale by Koushun Takami. Holy shit. That should be enough for a review for this masterpiece. Oh boy, and you thought The Hunger Games was brutal with the idea of killing children. Add to that the explicit explanation on how the children are killed. Yup, this does not hold back. I would definitely read this again. 5/5 bloody stars.
  • A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro. After the blood and gore, I needed something light and fun. This was definitely that. It was a bit confusing but it did what it said it would. I breezed through this quickly. A light read indeed. 3/5 stars.
  • Barakamon Volume 2 by Satsuki Yoshino. I save this series for those times when I’m in between books and I just want a distraction. I know I will like this; I love Naru and the gang. 4/5 stars.
  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber. I’m calling this the biggest letdown of 2017. I don’t understand why this was so hyped up to begin with. No, I know. It’s the reference to The Night Circus. Effective but dang, you set yourself up for failure, dear book. This was not good. I’m debating whether to do a full review on this but there are other amazing reviews on GoodReads that basically say what I want to say and then some. While I did get over the writing “style”, Scarlett was just impossible. 1/5 star.
  • Train Man by Nakano Hitori. After that not-so favorable reading experience, I wanted a pick-me-up. This book literally arrived the night before I read it and finished it inside of 24 hours. Having read two Japanese fiction books this month means I’m back on track with my “one Japanese fiction a month” sort of goal for this year. I absolutely loved this little gem. This is told in forum postings in a channel called 2-chan. Sort of 4-chan and reddit, if you’re into that. BANZAI FOR THE GEEKS! It’s a cute story about a shy geek guy and how he meets this girl that seems like out of his league. I love it. Go read it. 5/5 stars.

STATS:

  • 4142 pages – counting audio books as if I read the physical books
  • 1 audio book – ~14 hours

As for my book-buying… I did so well this month! I didn’t buy anything from the Book Outlet sale. Actually, I filled a cart but when I looked through it again I realized that I have no dire need for any of those titles. So I guess that’s an improvement? I felt like this with makeup last year. I would look at makeup but there would be no urge to buy it. I still love books (and makeup) but I think I’ve controlled my urges now. 😉

(Or so I tell myself LMAO.)

I bought three signed books last month. Two of them, I already previously had unsigned. But hey, whatever. 😄

  • The Magicians by Lev Grossman – Book Alley, Pasadena. It was a random Thursday where I had to go somewhere after work but I didn’t have a book on me. I’ve always wanted to read this despite the not-so favorable reviews.
  • Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino – Book Alley, Pasadena. Signed. I already had this in paperback but I just had to get the signed copy of this.
  • Train Man by Nakano Hitori – Barnes & Noble. I needed a copy of this book. I needed a couple of dollars more for free shipping. Read. Loved.
  • A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi – Barnes & Noble. I pre-ordered this so I also got the free novella, Death & Night.
  • Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter – Goodwill. I remember wanting this book because of the cover and it’s about Russia. Other than that, I don’t know anything. It’s a short book. I hope to get to this eventually.
  • The Young Elites by Marie Lu – AbeBooks. Signed. Now all three of my Young Elites trilogy books are signed copies.
  • A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro – I finally gave in and bought the signed copy from Target.

This was the best reading month for me so far this year. I enjoyed a good chunk of what I read and wanted pretty much everything that I hauled. Let’s keep this up!

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