#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.

#comicbooksunday | Readathon

It’s been a while since I participated in a readathon. And with the long weekend coming up, this is the perfect time to do it!

I recently watched Julie from Pages and Pens unbox this month’s OwlCrate and while I don’t personally subscribe to any book boxes, I love watching them. She happened to mention a 24-hour readathon happening over the weekend hosted by Elliot Brooks and ThatBookie. It’s the Comic Book Readathon. (Click for Facebook group.)

It’s going to be on Sunday, May 28th. All day.

The title might say “comic book” but I will be reading manga. I’ve seen other announcement videos call it “graphic novel readathon” and they did say we can read manga as well. As you know, I am a manga girl. I much prefer reading right to left than left to right. And they’re very easy reads. I could go through 4-5 volumes in one sitting. But I don’t always do that. I feel a bit guilty when I do because it feels like I’m merely padding my GoodReads goal. I have so many unread books but here I am reading 120-page volumes that are mostly pictures.

However, I really do enjoy it. Maybe not as much as I love anime but it’s up there. It’s the only time when I don’t mind reading the source material after watching it on screen – and vice-versa. So here are my picks for this readathon:

  • A Silent Voice by Yoshitoki Ooima. Volumes 4-7. I want to finish this series. It’s beautiful. Not Orange level but beautiful.
  • Uzumaki by Junji Ito. I have the whole omnibus! I may be picking up another one this Friday. I also am very interested in reading Tomie.
  • Battle Royale: Angels’ Border by Koushun Takami. I’m not 100% on this but I have it on hand and I absolutely love Battle Royale. 

Again, May 28th, Sunday, 24 hours. Use the hashtag #comicbooksunday if you’re participating through Twitter and/or Instagram. Do share your TBRs below. I’m always open to new-to-me titles. 🙂

WRAP-UP | SEPTEMBER 2016 + #2RAT

LE NOUVEL

September was my birth month so a book buying ban was out of the question. I hauled a good amount of books last month, mostly building a collection and acquiring books that I really wanted to have. These are titles which I am 100% sure that I’ll get to some time in the coming days, weeks, months. Not years. 😉 I will be having a separate post about my birthday book haul so stay tuned for that.

However, September was such a rough month. I think the only good day was my birthday. Yup, that was it. And oh, my ramen days; those were great too. I didn’t really do much reading. I mean, it was still 8 books but half of them are graphic novels, one is a book with less than 200 pages, one is a novella, and two “full” books – one I liked and one sent me to a slump that affected everything.

As you can see, I still have Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson as currently reading. It’s taking so long to make a dent on that book not because it’s bad. No, quite the contrary. I’m loving it. But the format that I have it on is not my favorite. It’s a mass market paperback. Yeah, I know… but that’s what I have. I’m halfway done but I had to put it down for a bit to participate in a readathon. Really, it was just an excuse to read something else because if I force through Mistborn, I may very well send myself into another slump.

TOTAL BOOKS READ: 8

  • Saga Volumes 2, 3, and 4 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. This series is spoiling me for every graphic novel out there. It’s so good, laugh out loud funny. I mean, King Robot?! WTF was that?! Although, I do want to see more of Hazel’s parents and their struggles raising her and being married to each other. The other storylines are interesting too but these two are my OTP. 5/5 stars for all three.
  • Audition by Ryu Murakami. This is not for the faint-hearted. Authors with the same last name do not write the same stuff, jsyk. This is one of my favorite horror movies. I later found out that it’s a book. I have to say the book terrified me a whole lot more. 5/5 stars.
  • Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch. Sigh. The author said she may have started the draft for this book at age 12… and it showed. I loved everything about it except the writing. It was so child-like and simplistic that it was kind of hard to read. The main character was tough yet inconsistent. The one thing that it did so well was the love triangle but the writing was just so painful. I have the 2nd book but I’m unsure if I want to go through that again. 3/5 stars.
  • Sex Criminals, Vol. 1 by Matt Fraction. Time stops when the two main characters have sex so they use that ability to rob a bank and save a library. Sounds neat. However, I got bored. Not continuing with this series. 3/5 stars.
  • Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide by JK Rowling. I was in tears when I finished reading this and I read this in public. THIS is what we needed. NOT that “continuation” stuff written by someone not named JK Rowling. It touched all the right feelz and really, it was what every Potterhead needed. 5/5 stars.
  • Street of Eternal Happiness: Big City Dreams Along a Shanghai Road by Rob Schmitz. I reviewed this for the Blogging for Books campaign. It’s non-fiction and I’m pretty picky with my non-fiction. I loved this book. I was outside my comfort zone but I’m glad I came across it. 4/5 stars.

STATS:

  • about 1614 pages
  • 5 physical books; 3 e-books
  • 4 graphic novels

September was a good book-buying month though. I went all out as a birthday gift to myself. I mainly got stuff that I really wanted as well as Japanese fiction books. I admit, it’s getting harder and harder to compose a Book Outlet or a Thrift Books order. I have so many books in my possession acquired since the start of the year, I think it’s about time I work through them.

Now for my Read-A-Theme Readathon wrap up. Round 2 is all about “Cozy Reads”. To be honest, I don’t think my pick was a “cozy” read. It was just a long read and I wanted a break from Mistborn. I felt like I wasn’t making progress on it. This readathon gave me the perfect reason to read something else… something that I really wanted to read. And besides, it was 90 degree weather over the weekend so it’s no way “cozy” at all. But I participated anyway.

I only have less than 100 pages to go. I could’ve finished this by 11:59PM last night but I went out to watch Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (that will not have a sequel, sorry Hollow City). If you’re a fan of the book, don’t get your hopes up. It was entertaining, the kids were cute but it wasn’t faithful to the book. I enjoyed it but ultimately, I’m not a fan of the movie. And worse, it made me think back to the book; how and why did I like it at the first place. Was it the novelty of having creepy pictures that were supposedly found at a flea market? I don’t know and I don’t like second guessing myself. All I know is I liked the book. This movie was magical but Tim Burton had too much fun with it.

So that’s it for September. I loved it and hated it. I hope October is going to be a better month for reading and everything else!

#2RAT | Cozy Reads

read-a-theme

How do you describe a “cozy” read? I am aware of the Cozy Mysteries and have read some when I was a kid… hiding out in the library during graduation rehearsals. Yep! Oh how many Mills & Boone and Cozy Mystery books did I go through before they found out what I was doing. XD

I had a blast with last month’s 2RAT topic which was “Quick Reads”. I did pretty well; 3.5 books. I eventually finished that point-5 read after the readathon. I had one more book that I hoped to read but I happened to choose such a heavy-hitting novel so I passed the rest of the weekend with graphic novels.

This month’s 2RAT starts September 30, Friday at 6PM and ends October 2, Sunday at 11:59PM wherever you are in the world. I happen to follow PST so hello to you from the West Coast. And the them is COZY READS, hence the first paragraph.

So… what are cozy reads really? From the announcement videos (Captured in Words, Sabine’s Book Nook), they define it as comfy reads for the fall season. Books that you read when you want to hunker down, wrapped in a blanket with no plans to move for a long time, mug of cocoa within arms reach.

*looks out window, checks thermometer*

It’s 34C/ 94F here in California. What “fall”?

Hey, we’re doing it anyway. I may substitute the tea with a trenta cup of black tea lemonade or a large Jamba Juice though. Even in colder months, I’m not a fan of drinking hot stuff when reading. I sometimes make tea and then forget about it until it’s all tepid and cold. Hee!

Anyway, when I think of cozy reads, I immediately think of long reads. Those 500+ pages tomes that suck you in and you find yourself lost in its pages. Metaphorically being wrapped in the world, blanket or no blanket. I’m already reading something like that, Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, but I’m merely halfway through it. Although, I am determined to finish it by the end of the month, it’ll overlap with the first hours of 2RAT… assuming I don’t get inspired and finish it today or tomorrow. I blame Trails of Cold Steel 2. And a reading slump… ish. Excuses.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I don’t do TBRs well. I’m a mood reader and even if I try to make a TBR, chances are I’ll read something that is not on that list. So I’m not 100% sure what book or books to read for this readathon but here are a couple that I have in mind. I’m only including books that I physically own. I have a 20+ book haul for this month – a huge chunk of that is my birthday book haul – on top of my other unreads so I have so many to choose from! If I don’t finish Mistborn by the start of 2RAT, I’ll put that down and then start with my pick of the weekend. I might just read one book this time around.

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I got a new edition. I’ve yet to read that one.
  • Another by Yukito Ayatsuji. It’s a Japanese horror thriller that was made into one of my favorite anime. Yeah, it’s not yet very Halloween-y but Japanese novels tend to completely envelop the reader into the book’s world.
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I’ve been wanting to read this for a while now. It’s not too long of a read so perfect for a weekend? We’ll see.

Which one should I go for? You tell me. Hopefully, I can get to any one of them. And hopefully, I make a dent on the remaining pages of my current read.

What’s on your October TBR? What books do you consider as “cozy” reads? Recommend me some titles!

WRAP-UP | AUGUST 2016 + #2RAT

LE NOUVEL

I thought July was a pretty awesome reading month for me even with all the conventions and events. I wondered how it would go if I didn’t have all that going on. How many more books could I add to my tally?

The answer to that, +3. I read a total of eight books this month. Granted one of them is less than 200 pages and two are graphic novels but hey, they still totally count, right? 😉 I tried not to marathon Saga by Brian K. Vaughan. I need to space it out for other months. Really, I need to explore the world of graphic novels more often.

TOTAL BOOKS READ: 8

  • Hollow City graphic novel by Ransom Riggs, illustrated by Cassandra Jean – I enjoyed this. This novel series lends itself well to visual storytelling, I realize that now. While I appreciate the “random” found photos included in the book, it’s another experience seeing the characters like that full time. 5/5 stars.
  • Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye – Reader, I may have to re-read Jane Eyre after all. It was good but I wasn’t impressed. Then again, I hold the original source material higher than Mt. Everest. 3/5 stars.
  • In the Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami – What a mindfuck. These kinds of things draw me into Japanese fiction. This is definitely one great example of that. But it is not for everyone. 4/5 stars.
  • The Captive Prince, Volume 1 by CS Pacat – I read somewhere that all three books in the trilogy reads like one whole book. Then why not just do that? 2/5 stars.
  • Chimera by Mira Grant – I finished another series! And I loved this one. I highly recommend it if you like “realistic” sci-fi set in a not too distant future. Hell, I would re-read this! 4/5 stars.
  • Saga, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples – Where… have… I… been? The first one was awesome. I can’t wait to get to the other ones! 5/5 stars.
  • Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes – Biggest disappointment of 2016 thus far. I unhauled it. 2/5 stars.
  • Piercing by Ryu Murakami – Yup, I think I’m becoming a fan of this man’s work. Also a very dark and twisted novel. I loved it, enjoyed it more than the one previously mentioned. 4/5 stars.

The last three books I finished in one weekend. I guess that’s why I’m slumping with my current read right now. Uh-oh. LOL.

STATS:

  • roughly 2427 pages
  • 5 physical books; 3 e-books
  • 1 completed series
  • 2 graphic novels

TOTAL BOOKS ACQUIRED: 12 

  • The Queen’s Poisoner by Jeff Wheeler – Amazon Kindle. I also got it on audiobook from Audible.
  • The Thief’s Daughter by Jeff Wheeler – Amazon Kindle.
  • The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski – Barnes & Noble, signed.
  • Hollow City graphic novel – Barnes & Noble.
  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown Goodwill, ARC (how many does one need lol).
  • Black Widow, Forever Red by Margaret Stohl – Goodwill, ARC.
  • Walk on Earth A Stranger by Rae Carson – Goodwill, ARC.
  • Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin – Goodwill, ARC.
  • Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith – Goodwill, I just wanted a hardcover edition to match my other one.
  • And I Darken by Kiersten White – Target, signed.
  • Audition by Ryu Murakami – Kinokuniya Los Angeles.
  • Piercing by Ryu Murakami – Kinokuniya Los Angeles.

But really, I’m cheating on this. I placed an order on Book Outlet later in August and it arrived yesterday, August 31. And I bought one more book from the One Dollar Bookstore that evening. BUT I’m not counting that here. That goes to September. Heh!

As for a September TBR… I’m joining my first ever READ-A-THON! The Read-A-Theme Read-A-Thon hosted by a couple of booktubers. I heard it from Sabine of Sabine’s Book Nook. Click on the link for the GoodReads group. Basically, every month they pick a theme and you read as many or as little as you want/can from that theme. This month is Quick Reads, books that are under 300 pages. It starts on September 2 at 6pm to September 4, 11:59pm from what ever time zone you follow. Haha, five of what I read in August could’ve easily counted.

Anyway, I’m planning to read Audition by Ryu Murakami, two volumes of Saga, and Hotel Iris by Yoko Ogawa. Yup, two graphic novels and two Japanese fiction novels. You can’t keep me away! I’m currently in the middle of Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch but I’m slumping a bit so I may need to take a break from that, even for just two days. It’ll be a long weekend after all. So yeah, my first readathon. And notice that there’s no set number of books to read. It’s more like an excuse to read a book that satisfies certain requirements. No pressure, no feelings of failure if you don’t reach that number of books. I think I’m going to like it.

As for a book-buying ban… er, not this month. I know I’ve been buying like crazy again but save the ban for next month. September is my birthday month. I don’t know what I’ll gift myself yet (actually, yes… I’m going to Long Beach Comic Con on my actual birthday) but books will definitely be a part of that package.

So here’s to a great September. Read a lot, laugh a lot, love a lot!