WRAP-UP | NOVEMBER 2017 + Tome Topple Round 5

Can you believe it? It’s the final month of the year. My 2017 has been pretty chill with some really high highs from time to time. Reading-wise, I’m extremely satisfied. I can always do better but hey, I have so many other things on my plate and I want to do as well in those as I did in reading.

(I’m not going to go into the whole “reading fatigue” discussion. You do you. It’s perfectly okay to read 0 to 100000 books a year. We all have lives beyond the pages.)

November is almost like a cheat month for me. I still did okay but I pretty much binge read manga on the last three days of the month. I only read two physical books (one is a photo book even), three audio books, and five manga. Well, technically two books but I failed to finish The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson before the 30th thus it not counting for Tome Topple Round 5. However, I did reach 551 pages before I gave up so… it sorta-kinda counts? 😉 In my head it does. So yeah, I had it pretty easy. No pressure. Tome Topple was fun and it pushed me to focus on the audio book that I included in my TBR.

TOTAL BOOKS READ: 10.

  • Junji Ito’s Dissolving Classroom. I’m working my way through Junji Ito’s collected works and I think I only need to read two more to be caught up. This was creepy. It’s about a boy who is obsessed with the devil and his little sister who torments everyone around her. He goes around town after his sister then things started melting. Oh man, I liked this a lot. 4/5 stars.
  • Hole In the Sun by Viggo Mortensen. How do you even review a photo collection? I’m not smart enough for this. But hey, it’s Viggo Mortensen. I have a couple of his photo books (one is signed!) and they fascinate me. 3 stars.
  • The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson. What a ride! I enjoyed the audio book immensely because of the different narrators and the pace of the story lent itself nicely for that medium. It was kind of frustrating to piece together the events per POV though. Not the fault of the book; I think that was the point but it did hook me into listening more intently and continuously. 4 stars.
  • Birthday by Koji Suzuki. I finally read through the Ring series. I’m not the biggest fan of short story collections but I am a fan of the full novels in this series. I thought I was going to love Lemon Heart the most, Sadako’s origin story and the basis of Ring 0: Birthday film but I loved Happy Birthday, the companion continuation piece to Loop which was my least favorite of the 3 main novels. Coffin in the Sky which went with Spiral was good too. 4 stars.
  • The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson. I went straight to this book right after finishing the previous one in the series. I had to know what happens next! And oh man, the ANGST. I am definitely Team Kaden and with all things considered, I’m happy with his ending. I was prepared to dislike Rafe as much as I loathed Tamlin but he redeemed himself so much in the end. It was so beautiful and dark (har-har) and I loved it. 4 stars.
  • Haikyuu! Volume 1Hinata and Kageyama by Haruichi Furudate. Los Angeles Public Library heeded my call and acquired this for their OverDrive catalog. I loved the anime. Absolutely obsessed with the stage play. So I guess I should start reading the manga, right? And yes, I loved this to pieces too! 5 stars.
  • My Hero Academia Volumes 2 and 3 by Kohei Horikoshi. Nothing less than 5 stars for this awesome series. I am amazed at how faithful the anime is to the source material and everything about this series is amazing.
  • Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. Another finished trilogy on audio. I give the narrator 5 stars. Zuzana and Mik-mik, 5 stars. But the story itself, 4 stars. I don’t know, it kind of lost me in the end. Reminiscent to the ending of The Beauty of Darkness, actually but that one felt more effective to me. I had the same problem with the first book Daughter of Smoke and Bone where it lost me in the end. But Laini Taylor’s writing is like high-end rich chocolate paired with the finest wine and cheese. It’s so good!
  • sweetness & lightning, Volume 5 by Gido Amagakure. My wish is that they would continue the anime. I really do. The manga has so many funny and endearing storylines that I would LOVE to see with movement. 5 stars.

STATS:

  • 3068 pages
  • 5 manga, 3 audio books

I bought five books this month. Then I won 2 GoodReads giveaways. And these books, I really, really wanted. I was even excited for one of my prize books.

  • A Slow Death: 83 Days of Radiation Sickness – (Better World Books) I’ve wanted this book for such a long time. It’s out of print so I never found it for less than $10. I saw it for $14, with a coupon on top of it so I now finally have it.
  • The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State by Nadia Murad – It’s been a while since I won a book from the GoodReads Giveaways.
  • Two A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab special limited editions – (BN.com) I got both the regular release and the Barnes and Noble exclusive, as pictured above. Signed, of course.
  • Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor – (BN.com) I listened to this on audio, loved it, got myself a copy.
  • The Name of the Wind (10th anniversary edition) by Patrick Rothfuss – (BN.com) GORGEOUS. I was looking for a non-mass market paperback and found this.
  • Into the Black Nowhere by Meg Gardiner – Another GoodReads win. I was interested in the first book in the series, Unsub but never got around to picking that up. Until I won this. Now, I’m listening to Unsub on audio.

I am looking forward to finishing The Hero of Ages tonight. That is… if I don’t get distracted by Gundam Build Fighters Try and/or my rerun of Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel on PC. My brother and I bought a Microsoft Surface Pro just so we can play the new edition with the extra voiced lines.

Yes, we love Nihon Falcom that much.

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