MUSING MONDAYS | #TomeTopple Update

Oh boy. I haven’t done one of these in ages.

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

How are you all doing? It’s a short work week for me because of the Thanksgiving holiday. I’m pretty much done with my Black Friday purchases — all I really need to do is to go back to Hot Topic for the Yuri!!! On Ice goodies that I want. I don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving personally. But if you do, have a wonderful time with friends, family, and food!

I’m having a slow start to Tome Topple Round 5. I’m reading The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson and I’m barely 120 pages in. I’m also listening to Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. It’s around 18 hours and I’m merely 4 hours in to it. I know I have until the 30th but without the convenience of a 500-page graphic novel/manga, I’m concerned that my final page count will not be as “impressive”. I know, I know… it’s all in my head. I shouldn’t be pressuring myself. I’m actually pretty excited for these two books because they both finish a trilogy. I’m enjoying both so very much anyway.

For this week’s random question: Do you like or dislike series books?

I mostly like them. I don’t really have an opinion. I like the challenge of reading a series, especially if it’s a good one. I like stand-alone books too. I went through a time when I was looking for good stand-alone recommendations … but I eventually fell back into reading series. I tell myself every year to finish more series and I think this year, I’ve been doing very well. I tried not to start as many; I usually get stuck after the 2nd book. As much as I would love to binge-read a series, I don’t have the longest attention span for that.

But yeah, I don’t mind series books. I have no problems DNF’ing a series if the first or second book didn’t impress me that much. I just hope authors don’t feel that they have to write their story stretched in a series for it to be good.

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#TomeTopple | ROUND 5 (11/17 through 11/30)

It’s that reading time again. Tome Topple Round 5 is upon us and I’m so excited!

Tome Topple Readathon is created by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. She also hosts the Top 5 Wednesday weekly tag. She’s one of the booktubers whose opinions I trust. I also go to her for SFF recommendations. The GoodReads group for this readathon can be found here. If you’re looking for recommendations, inspiration, and/or buddies to read with, go check out the group.

I figured I’d just repost that since I was about to say the very same things anyway. The only real “rule” is to read a book with 500 pages or more. This is the chance to tackle those daunting reads that are collecting dust on your shelves.

It’s going to be from 12AM of November 17 through 11:59PM of November 30, your time zone.

For me, that’s Pacific Time, if you want to play along. 🙂

Your pick will ultimately depend on the edition you’re reading from. Titles have different page numbers depending on which medium you’re patronizing. For example, I’m currently reading The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin. The paperback has 468 pages while the Kindle edition has 512. If you’re planning to read the Kindle edition, it counts for this readathon.

Short story collections don’t count, unfortunately. It’s easier to go through short stories than one dense novel – although I’m not very fond of short stories… they send me to slump hell. It’s okay if you’re reading a graphic novel omnibus or a collected works of manga.

Reading a 500plus-page book is okay. But if you want to challenge yourself:

  1. Read more than 1 tome.
  2. Read a graphic novel with more than 500 pages. (Trust me, this exists.)
  3. Read a tome that is part of a series.
  4. Buddy read a tome.
  5. Read an adult novel.
  6. Instagram challenges.

One book can count for multiple items. My main read is definitely going to be The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson, to finish off the Mistborn trilogy. I have the UK edition with 748 pages. For an audio book, I’m hoping to be able to borrow Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor (613 pages), the final book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. I was going to listen to this but Overdrive was able to get me The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson after such a long hold. You can read/listen to that one as well because it has 679 pages. If I can, I would like to finally get to Night Film by Marisha Pessl (602 pages) or continue with the Rot and Ruin series by Jonathan Maberry with Dust and Decay (519 pages).

I don’t have a graphic novel read… yet. I can always read those 3-in-1 manga omnibus for Fullmetal Alchemist or whatnot. I was looking at the Another: Omnibus by Yukito Ayatsuji that has 720 pages but the thing is, I already read the first volume separately. I’m not sure if that counts. Well, I can always reread that part.

Anyway, I had so much fun with the previous round. I learned not to put too much pressure on myself, that this TBR is merely a list of options. I’ll be happy to finish The Hero Of Ages and call it a day.

Let me know if you’re participating in this readathon. If so, what’s your TBR? 🙂

#GetGraphic | Readathon Wrap-up

Armstrong plush from Wee Bit O’Freak @ Etsy

I’m still reeling over how amazing Bitterblue is and its audio book. I finished it today and oh my goodness, it was a perfect decision to listen to it. I tried reading it a few years ago but the name “Death” pronounced so as to rhyme with teeth was throwing me off. I’ll be listening to Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor next. I’ve just started with Origin by Dan Brown. I couldn’t pick anything up until I got that book. XD

But my #GetGraphic readathon participation was a success. I was able to cross out all 6 challenges and 2 Instagram challenges. I still haven’t read Maus by Art Spiegelman though. Sorry, I got my hands on the first volume of My Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi and that was that. I didn’t even get to Kuroko no Basuke or Black Butler. Sure, I could’ve read more but we also got our wonderful Kiseki Box and we’re working our way through Samurai Flamenco. There’s only so much time in a day!

So what did I read? I read five things.

  • The Creeps by Fran Krause. I got a free copy from Blogging for Books just in time for the readathon. It’s a book of 2-4 comic panels about what scares people. It can be real-life worries, ghosts, actual creepy things, and/or superficial craziness. It was cute.
  • Barakamon Volumes 3 and 4 by Satsuki Yoshino. This satisfies “reading two installments from the same series”. I could read so much more but my manga-reading limit is 2 in one sitting. 😉
  • Gyo by Junji Ito. This is my 300-page read. And wow… it’s so good! I like this more than I did Tomie. It’s about rotting fish with mechanical legs that excrete a very bad smell. Pair that with Junji Ito’s art style, gimme!
  • My Hero Academia Volume 1 by Kohei Horikoshi. This is a new-to-me series.  And I can count this as a friend recommendation since I see this all over. I loved the anime. And I think I’m going to love the manga as well.

All the manga counts to “black and white art”. Overall, I read 1122 pages. Suh-weet. I can’t wait to see my final page count for this month.

(I also got some volumes of Haikyuu during the readathon weekend. I got too excited so I decided not to read them yet. I might blow another paycheck on all the volumes that are currently out in English. Those Nendoroids are bad enough. LMAO.)

#GetGraphic | Readathon + TBR (10/6 through 10/8)

I haven’t been reading many manga (or any kind of sequential art) these past two months. I usually pad my numbers with manga. After all, a lot of them are long series with many volumes. I have quite a few that I have to catch up with and a lot that I want to start. What better way to finally get to those than a dedicated readathon!

Like my previous comic book/graphic novel readathon, I’m going to exclusively read manga. It’s just my preferred medium for sequential art. And besides, it messes me up when I read a graphic novel… I’m so used to reading right to left.

I first heard about the #GetGraphic readathon from Adriana from Perpetual Pages. There are others hosts and also a twitter page. Click the image on the left and follow for updates and sprints. There are six main challenges and five Instagram/social media challenges leading up to the actual readathon.

It’s going to be from 5PM of October 6 through 11:59PM of October 8, your time zone.

A chill weekend. It’s doable, right? And besides, it usually takes me about 30 minutes to get through a standard manga volume. This way, I won’t feel too guilty padding my GoodReads numbers with very short reads. Hey, it’s to satisfy a readathon. It so counts!

And what’s a readathon without challenges? I’ll be mentioning some titles as both a possible TBR and recommendations. Really, any comic, manga, and/or graphic novel counts. But here are the challenges:

  1. Read from a new-to-you series
  2.  Read two installments from the same series
  3. Read a work over 300 pages
  4. Read a work with black and white art
  5. Read a work picked out by a friend
  6. Read at least five things

Like with other readathons, one book can cover multiple challenges. Most of my choices will have black and white art. I’m planning to read a new-to-me series that is finished with 30 volumes. That is also a recommendation from a friend – although she recommended the anime more than the manga.

Here’s my list of titles that I’m interested in… and some that I’ve already read and recommend (yeah, think of me as your friend, see #5 lol):

  • Orange by Ichigo Takano – I will never stop singing its praises. This comes in a 2-volume collection that is well over 300 pages. Just read it. Fall in love with it.
  • Kuroko no Basuke by Tadatoshi Fujimaki – After falling head over heels obsessed with sports anime such as Yuri!!! On Ice, Free!, and Haikyu!! (exclamation points FTW), I want to check out another one. I’m also planning to watch the anime but with 75 episodes… lemme finish my queue first. (But that seiyuu cast list is a dream.)
  • Maus by Art Spiegelman – wow, not a manga but I have both volumes and it’s been sitting on my shelf for years. This time is as good as any.
  • Gyo by Junji Ito – This is going to be my 300-page read. I loved Uzumaki (read it for the previous comic readathon), read Tomie for Tome Toppleand now this.
  • Black Butler by Yana Toboso – I need to catch up! I think I’m on Volume 12 already.
  • Barakamon by Satsuki Yoshino – I love the anime but I’ve only read 2 volumes. Catch up!
  • sweetness and lightning by Gido Amagakure – If I can get my hands on the latest volumes translated to English. I love this series. In fact, I’m writing a Yuri On Ice AU loosely based off of it!

That looks like a lot but trust me, it will go by fast. A lot of manga are not wordy… except maybe Black Butler. I also want to read My Hero Academia and Haikyu but I couldn’t find them on my library apps. Oh well. Eventually.

Let me know if you’re participating. What’s your #GetGraphic TBR?

#TomeTopple Round 4 | Readathon Wrap-up

I would have you know that I did absolutely ZERO reading over the weekend. Instead, I binge watched Haikyu!! I polished off half the season 1, all of season 2, and almost half of season 3. I have no regrets… other than why haven’t I watched it sooner. I’m such a sucker for good sports anime and this is definitely one of them. My seiyuu otaku self is the happiest it has been. I love my some voice actors.

But I did finish my main goals for Tome Topple Round 4. There were 4 books in my TBR, 2 priority reads and 2 backups. My priority titles satisfied 4 of the 5 challenges. I skipped “Buddy Reading a Tome” because I just don’t buddy read. I don’t like it and I don’t have time for it, realistically.

I completed 5 out of the 14 Instagram challenges. I could’ve done more but my Instagram account is not specifically a Bookstagram so I didn’t want 5 posts in a row to be about books. And some categories either didn’t apply to me or didn’t appeal to me at all. But I did have fun finding creative ways to take pictures of my books with the most minimal preparation and props.

My bookmark for the whole weekend said — “I like BIG BOOKS and I cannot lie” — which I thought was appropriate for the readathon. I quite prefer those bookmarks with the tassel on top. I tried those magnetic bookmarks I didn’t like the way the closed book looked with a large bump on top. The magnetic bookmark was just too big.

But I digress.

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson was my first read of the fortnight. I read it both as a book and as an ebook. I had to go out of the house during that first weekend and I did realize that I read slightly faster on my Kindle. My copy of the book, albeit pretty, acts like a mass market paperback. And it’s huge so I didn’t want to risk breaking the spine.

Needless to say, I loved it. I loved the many twists, the political intrigue, the war planning… and the characters! I love them all. This is marketed as an adult fantasy fiction but it is so easy to read and it’s so much fun. The Mistborn trilogy is a very good gateway to adult fantasy if you’re coming from YA. I had so much fun with this. I even was dream casting the characters with anime characters instead of real-life people. There was no way I’m giving this less than 5 out of 5 stars.

At 781 pages, this is my longest read to date. The Final Empire is my 1st read of 2017. And by the looks of things, The Hero of Ages could close out the year. This satisfies 2 challenges: “Read a tome that is part of a series” and “Read an adult novel”.

My next read was Tomie by Junji Ito. This is the deluxe collection where all the chapters are collected into a 752-page tome. I finished this in a few hours. I loved Uzumaki and I had high hopes for this. But I wasn’t all that impressed. I did give it 4 stars but I’m kind of leaning towards a 3 to 3.5 to be honest. While the premise was good, it became a bit repetitive as it went on. I was thinking that if I didn’t consume this in one go, I would have a better experience with it.

It’s a story about a girl named Tomie who is so beautiful, she enchants every male that lays eyes on her so much that they are driven to kill and and cut her to pieces. Those pieces then grow and become more Tomie and then spread the “virus” to the rest of Japan. You can imagine how many times that main story line can be recycled before it becomes redundant. The art style is pretty creepy; that much you can expect from Junji Ito. I still prefer Uzumaki but Tomie isn’t so bad.

This satisfies two more challenges: “Read a graphic novel” and “Read more than 1 tome”. If I call it right here, then I read 1533 pages between two books.

But I started reading another book on the final days of the readathon. A Court of Wings & Ruin by Sarah J. Maas. I figured this was an easier read than Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab. I clocked in about 172 pages by August 17th. I wasn’t forcing to finish it but at least I was able to get 25% of the way through.

With that, it brings my total to 1705 pages across 2.25 books. Not bad for my first showing!

I don’t have a TBR for the next round yet but I’m definitely taking part as well. I learned a lot of things during this readathon. It might have “readathon” in name – such as a marathon, a race to accomplish something. But Tome Topple is not about finishing as many books as possible. A 700-page book can have you reading the whole two weeks. Reading 200 pages in one sitting means nothing if you’re reading a 1200-page tome. Reading a big book does take time.

Pacing is key. No one is actually chasing you. Do not compare yourself to others participating with you. We all have different activities in life outside reading. Maybe you’re just unlucky that things went to shit during those two weeks and you couldn’t do as well as you hoped. Or maybe you’re not as fast a reader than the next person. THAT. IS. PERFECTLY. OKAY. If by the end of the readathon you’ve only read one book, pat yourself on the back. You did it! That’s one less tome, one less intimidating read on your TBR.

Although… it kind of sent me to a sort of slump. When I finished both priority books, I was so ready to read a trashy NA novel. But then I never got to it. I thought of pushing myself for one more book, thus ACOWAR but I was just a bit burnt out in the end that I did things other than reading. (Or maybe it’s Tomie‘s fault… Hmmm.) Now that I started ACOWAR, I’m stuck with it. I need to finish that before I can move on to other books. And so far, I’ve only completed 3 books this month. THREE. I might pad that number with manga. 😉

Overall, I enjoyed this readathon. I wasn’t able to participate in any sprints because I’m at work or asleep whenever they are on. By the time I get home and start reading, no one’s holding one. But I did answer Twitter questions as I saw them on my timeline. The hashtag #tometopple on social media was fun to check out too. Congrats to all the hosts and participants and see you all next round!

 

 

#TomeTopple | Readathon + Recommendations (8/4 through 8/17)

I’m finally doing it! I’ve been wanting to participate but the timing was never there. But it’s here now. I’m going to take part in the Tome Topple Readathon!

Tome Topple Readathon is created by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. She also hosts the Top 5 Wednesday weekly tag. She’s one of the booktubers whose opinions I trust. I also go to her for SFF recommendations. The GoodReads group for this readathon can be found here. If you’re looking for recommendations, inspiration, and/or buddies to read with, go check out the group.

This two-week readathon is simple: read a book with more than 500 pages. That’s it. You have 14 days to do it. Of course, there are challenges but all you really have to do is read a book with more than 500 pages. This is a chance to start/read/finish those intimidating bricks sitting on your shelf. This is the time to read them!

It’s going to be from 12AM of August 4 through 11:59PM of August 17, your time zone.

For me, that’s Pacific Time, if you want to play along. 🙂

Like I said, all you need to do is to read a 500plus-page book. Ooooor you can do these challenges:

  1. Read more than 1 tome.
  2. Read a graphic novel with more than 500 pages. (Trust me, this exists.)
  3. Read a tome that is part of a series.
  4. Buddy read a tome.
  5. Read an adult novel.
  6. Instagram challenges.

Continue reading

#comicbooksunday | Readathon Wrap-up

How was your long weekend? I spent it resting, reading, and did a little bit of shopping!

 

I had a pretty chill weekend. I needed that break and I made the most out of it. I read a good chunk of The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski and did well on the comic book readathon last Sunday.

I read a grand total of 5 books – a 655-page manga omnibus and 4 volumes of another manga to finish off that series. I was pretty pumped for this readathon. I love manga and I wanted an excuse to read a bunch of them without feeling guilty about “padding” my Goodreads goal. I think 600+ pages isn’t at all padding anymore, right?

I bought Uzumaki by Junji Ito a few weeks ago. I’ve always wanted to read his horror work. I’ve read his Cat Diary: Yon & Mu and loved it. It’s the combination of his scary art and hilarious situations that made the reading experience so much fun. But his horror work is definitely something else. I started reading this ten minutes into the midnight of the 28th and oh boy, I couldn’t sleep right away. After finishing it, I will never look at snails the same way again.

I have the Deluxe version of this manga series. It’s three volumes in one. And it’s absolutely brilliant. It’s scary, it’s thought-provoking; the art style is superb. It is about a town overrun by spirals. That’s all I can tell you. I’m looking forward to Junji Ito’s other work, Gyo and Tomie.

I also finished A Silent Voice by Yoshitoki Ooima. I read Volumes 4 to 7 for this readathon. Actually, I was ready to call it quits after Volumes 4 and 5. I was helping out my brother with his Anime Expo primer. But on that last hour of the 28th, I managed to squeeze in Volumes 6 and 7.

This manga hit all my feelz where it hurt the most. This is about a deaf girl bullied when she was in elementary school and how she reconnected with those same people five years later. Anyone who is emotionally and psychologically bullied can find themselves within the panels of this manga. You don’t have to be deaf or disabled to be bullied. And my biggest takeaway from all of that is people don’t really change. Much. If at all. While this manga did leave me feeling a bit bitter, I still loved it.

So that’s approximately 1400 pages in 24 hours! I average that in a whole month of reading. LOL. I can’t wait to do my monthly wrap-up in a few days.