WRAP-UP | JANUARY 2018 + TBR?

2018 still sounds like a fake year! I hope your started off the year with a lot of love and happiness.

I read eight books. Unlike last year, I wasn’t pressuring myself to get a high number. I let myself read on my pace, not being too anal about splitting my time among anime and other stuff. I still watched a fair amount of anime – and anisong concerts – while being able to find time to read (sometimes, at the same time).

My Kobo Aura ONE is such a dream. I bring it with me every Friday because after work, I have quite a commute to Little Tokyo. I can also load up manga on that device if I was in the mood for quick reads. It’s so light! It doesn’t weigh down my purse and I can read in bed without my arm getting tired. I know, first world problems. And it has this huge screen that is a delight to read from.

To kick off my 2018 reading, here are the books I read in January:

TOTAL BOOKS READ: 8. Continue reading

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WRAP-UP | AUTUMN [9/22/17 through 12/21/17]

Check out my Summer wrap-up here. 

I know it’s late. Very late. It got away from me. The holidays were my time to destress where I, strangely enough, don’t panic and worry about gifts and decorations and stuff like that. I did do a lot of buying but mostly for myself. I don’t really get that many gifts and this time around, I was in the position to actually spoil myself a little bit. So I did that. My wallet wasn’t happy but I definitely was very happy.

I read 33 things in Autumn. Looking at my list, it’s mostly manga and a good chunk of audio books. It was in the Fall that I finally got Overdrive working for me and there was no turning back from there. I still am using Hoopla Digital but for more selections, I hope the my library has it on Overdrive.

I finished off 6 series: Girls und Panzer manga, The Graceling Realm trilogy by Kristin CashoreRing series by Koji SuzukiThe Remnant Chronicles trilogy by Mary E. PearsonDaughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor, and the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. All but the Ring series and The Graceling Realm were started in 2017. I started The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and The Broken Earth trilogy by NK Jemisin.

But looking at my list of 33 books, I don’t think I have a clear favorite. Nothing jumps up at me as a favorite. I did like all of them just okay, almost equally. It’s strange. I can’t explain it. Meh. I’m not the most critical reader. All I need is to enjoy the book for me to like it. So I guess that’s why I don’t have a favorite this season. I will try to at least try to mention some that stuck with me. Here goes…

  • Who am I kidding, I do have what you can call “favorites” – the manga originals of My Hero Academia and Haikyuu. I read up until the 3rd volumes for both and I love each and everyone of them. The anime adaptations are two of my favorites and I can’t believe how faithful they are to the source material manga. In fact, they’re even funnier.
  • I also enjoyed Birthday, especially the third short story in the collection, Happy Birthday.
  • Not really the books but Laini Taylor’s writing is definitely one of my new favorites.
  • Priest was a pleasant surprise. It was so sinfully good.
  • The Hero of Ages was a perfect way to end things. It was long, yes, but it needed to be that length to tie everything together.

And that’s about it. I’m definitely continuing on with all the series I started this season.

 

Also, I won’t pressure myself with numbers. I will still read my share of manga but I will not rely solely on that for numbers. I’m taking it one book at a time, or two if I’m listening to an audio book. 😉

WRAP-UP | DECEMBER 2017

We survived 2017! How is everybody? 🙂

I read 130 books last year. I mean, that’s the most I’ve ever read in a year. EVER. What’s the secret? Manga and graphic novels. Mostly manga for me. I would like to say audio books too, in a way, because it let me “read” on my commute or when I’m unable to read an actual book. But my consumption of manga was far more than how many audio books I read. Plus, they’re so much fun.

I managed to read 12 books this past December. Seven of them are manga (6) and graphic novel (1). Then two audio books. I feel that I did do a lot of reading but it was mostly 190-page manga so page count-wise, it wasn’t that much. I recently got a Kobo Aura ONE and guys, I’m in love. I used it to read manga but I think I’ll still go to my B&N Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook for that.

So here we are. The final wrap-up for 2017 to kick off 2018. XD

TOTAL BOOKS READ: 12.

  • The Hero of Ages by Brandon SandersonI read this for Tome Topple Round 5 but was unable to finish it on time. Goodness gracious, this book. THIS TRILOGY. It’s everything I want in a high fantasy in-between a YA and adult reads. The ending destroyed me. FIVE stars! Favorite!
  • Haikyuu! by Haruichi FurudateI read 4 Haikyuu volumes this month. I got carried away a bit. I love this anime so much, then the stage play, and now, the manga too. I love the original art style. I can’t wait to see my lovely Ennoshita’s chapters. Right now, it’s just by Asahi vs Date Tech timeline… my absolute favorite arc!
    • Volume 2: The View from the Top – 5 stars.
    • Volume 3: Go, Team Karasuno – 5 stars. Nishinoya is my rock star!
    • Volume 4: Rivals! – 4 stars. Kenma is life.
    • Volume 5: Inter-High Begins! – 5 stars. GO GO LET’S GO LET’S GO DATE-KO!
  • Unsub by Meg Gardiner. I received an ARC of the 2nd book in the series. So I decided to read this. This has been on my radar since it came out because… ever the Criminal Minds fan, I’ll try anything with “unsub” on the title. But this ended up being just okay and quite generic. It was quite predictable and everyone made rather shallow decisions. 3 stars. Audio.
  • The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin. I finally got to this. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I admit, I had no idea what was going on for majority of the book. It was like a bunch of random stories one after the other. But it all came together nicely in the end. There was something poetic in the whole thing and it was beautiful. On to the next book in the series. 4 stars.
  • Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. This was sort of misleading. It wasn’t really about Scarlet after all. It was still about Cinder. (I don’t know anything about the Lunar Chronicles prior to starting the series.) I wasn’t the biggest fan of Scarlet but I’m going to add Wolf to my list of bruised, battered, and brooding male characters. I’m waiting on my audio book hold on Cress… or I might just go ahead and read it. 3 stars. Audio.
  • Saga Volume 8 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. I love that this is available on Hoopla right away with no holds and waitlists. This was actually cute. Hazel’s growing up and their ragtag family is still on this journey, adventure… quest. Old characters make an appearance and it was very chill compared to other volumes. But it was mainly cute. 4 stars.
  • Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente. I had the most trouble with this book. This is based on Russian lore and I thought I would just gobble this up. I didn’t. I enjoyed it but it was a slog to read. The writing was good but I felt that there are parts where it was trying hard to be lyrical, whimsical, to make it seem like it’s a fairytale. I don’t think I fully got it though. 3 stars.
  • My Hero Academia, Volume 4 by Kohei Horikoshi. It’s the UA Sports Festival! It’s as fun as the anime. 5 stars.
  • Sweetness and Lightning Volume 6 by Gido Amagakure. I still wish they’d continue the anime adaptation. This is getting so much cuter! 5 stars.

STATS:

  • 3732 pages
  • 6 manga, 2 audio books

I only bought TWO BOOKS in December. I didn’t receive any as gifts. Since finishing the Mistborn trilogy, I had to continue with the next series. I bought The Alloy of Law from Book Depository. I will get all future Brandon Sanderson books from Book Depository. XD

The other book was a signed copy of The Demon Crown by one of my auto-read authors, James Rollins. I usually read Sigma Force novel on audio but this time, I couldn’t pass up a signed copy.

 


I have a target of 4 posts this week in total. One post a day until Friday. I have tomorrow’s Top 5 Wednesday topic (Reading Resolutions), my reading challenge for this year, and my long overdue fall wrap-up on the way. I hope I can do it!

Have an awesome 2018!

End of the Year Survey 2017

I debated whether to wait for the actual end of the year before doing this but I figured I won’t be able to finish that many books between now and the 31st. I’m currently almost done with Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente. I see myself squeezing in a few more manga volumes to round up my final number to, hopefully, 130 but I will only be continuing series I’m already reading. On the audiobook side, I borrowed All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka but haven’t even started it. I actually got an hour into A Long Way to A Small and Angry Planet by Becky Chambers but it failed to keep my attention for longer than 5 seconds. I guess that’s one of those books that you have to actually read.

I think I did well with my Better World Books Reading Challenge. Basically, it was fitting in books I already read vs reading those titles that I chose at the beginning of the year. So it’s a fail in that aspect but still, I’ll give myself that. I may do something like this again just for a guide or inspiration to broaden my interests.

My consumption of manga and audio books were definitely more than last year. I mean, I read (as of this posting) 126 books (including Deathless). Twenty-six of those are audio books and fifty-nine are manga or graphic novels. That leaves 41 novels/books. Not bad considering I did read some big books this year. I’ve grown to love my library apps, Hoopla Digital and Overdrive a lot. They are an awesome source of audio content. In my 20some years, this is the most I’ve gotten use out of a library. XD

Overall, 2017 was a crazy reading year. See you on the other side!

Once again, thanks to Perpetual Page Turner Jamie for this tag.


2017 READING STATS

Number Of Books You Read: 126 (as of 12/29)
Number of Re-Reads: (I did read Jane Eyre this year but in manga form.)
Genre You Read The Most From: manga (format) and fantasy.

BEST IN BOOKS

1. Best Book You Read In 2017? The Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson owned 2017. All of the books are amazing. Despite their lengths, I look forward to reading them.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? Let’s see… I was excited to finally see what the fuss is all about over The Grishaverse by Leigh Bardugo. Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling it from the first few pages of the first book. I did finish the trilogy only by the combined forces of Nikolai, Genya, and David. Mal and Alina actually made me dislike the trilogy even more.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  In a good way, New Adult! If ever I said in the past that I dislike NA, I take it back. I’m so fascinated by it. Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy changed my opinion on the genre. Then I read Priest by Sierra SimoneOh lawd! Now, I have a sizable collection of NA romance on my many e-readers just waiting to be enjoyed.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)? Japanese fiction in general. I’ve amassed quite a collection and read a good amount and I tend to love most of them. It has a different vibe from Western writing even though it is translated into English. I recommended the Ring series by Koji Suzuki to those who loved the movies but never knew they were originally books. Same with Keigo Higashino translated works.

5. Best series you started in 2017? Best Sequel of 2017? Best Series Ender of 2017? I finished quite a few series this year and wow, it’s an awesome feeling to cross those out finally. The best that I started is The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer with Cinder. Best sequel is a toss up between Spiral by Koji Suzuki, from the Ring series; and Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy, from Him. And the best ender has got to be The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2017? I want to say Brandon Sanderson but I started reading The Final Empire late December of last year. I say… Laini Taylor. The word to describe her writing is magical. Yes, it’s a bit purple prosey but it works with the theme of her books. At least with the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone? From the YA Contemporary genre, When It’s Real by Erin Watt. I listened to this on a whim and oh boy, I was hooked so much that there were times when I would stop typing (at work) so I can savor the story better.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year? Battle Royale by Koushun Takami. It’s The Hunger Games on steroids. And as an honorable mention, A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas. Totes serious.

9. Book You Read In 2017 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year? I should just come out and say that I’m not one for re-reads. Yeah, those days are behind me.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2017? The UK editions of the Mistborn trilogy. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

OCTOBER 2017 BOOK HAUL

In my October wrap-up post, I mentioned that I received 27 books in the month of October. That’s a huge haul for me. I bought only 6 books in September but then all the sales and the coupons started to come in.

Book Outlet had their Booktoberfest where I managed to get free shipping at $35.03. THREE CENTS! I had “15% off one item” coupons left and right from Barnes and Noble. I had two $5 Reading Rewards coupons from Thriftbooks expiring within a week of each other. I received a birthday coupon from Right Stuf Anime which I decided to spend on a manga. Even Better World Books had a juicy sale. So yeah, 27. Let’s do this.

BOOK OUTLET

  • A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis. I read this on audio book form and loved it so much, I want a physical copy.
  • Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress by Marissa Meyer. I went back and forth whether to get the boxed set of hardcovers that included Winter and Fairest but I have no interest in reading the novella and I kind of liked paperbacks (when I was shopping) so I went for these. I’ll be waiting for the final book to come out on paperback. I also listened to Cinder and loved it so much, I want a copy of it.
  • Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire. I have no idea what this is about but it was super cheap on Book Outlet and everyone is in a Seanan McGuire kick.
  • Max by Sarah Cohen-Scali. I’ve been eyeing this book since seeing it at a brick-and-mortar store some months ago.
  • Orange Volume 2 by Ichigo Takano. Yes, I’ve read the whole series but I went ahead and bought the collection.
  • The Burning World by Isaac Marion. The sequel to Warm Bodies. I would’ve gotten a signed copy but this was too good of a deal to pass up.

BARNES AND NOBLE

  • Gauntlet by Holly JenningsArena was a surprise hit for me. Since this is just a duology, I went ahead and bought the next one.
  • Origin by Dan Brown. A Robert Langdon fan will always purchase this on the day of release.
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban illustrated edition. Do I even need a reason?
  • Dissolving Classroom by Junji Ito. It’s about time I come clean that I sort of am collecting his works.
  • Umehara Fighting Gamers. Members of the fighting game community will get my drift.

BETTER WORLD BOOKS

  • Hole in the Sun by Viggo Mortensen. I may or may not be collecting his published work. 😉
  • The Informer by Akimitsu Takagi. BWB is the best place to get Japanese fiction for cheap. I saw this as a brick-and-mortar and found it super discounted on Better World Books.
  • Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. Hardcover. I have the paperback.
  • Rashomon and 17 Other Stories by Ryunosuka Akutagawa. Same story as The Informer. And I got the cover I want too!
  • The Hobbit illustrated by Michael Hague.am collecting all the pretty editions of The Hobbit. The cover that I got wasn’t in the best condition but inside is marvelous.

THRIFTBOOKS

  • Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente. I’ve always wanted a physical copy of this book.
  • Vibrator by Mari Akasaka. Good luck reading this in public. 😉
  • Orange Volume 1 by Ichigo Takano. Now I have the whole story.
  • All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. Another title that I’ve wanted for such a long time. I had no idea that it’s a short-ish book.
  • Kamikaze Girls by Novala Takemoto. This had been in and out of my shopping cart for literal years. It’s about time I bought it.

OTHERS

  • The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo. I wasn’t going to buy this right away but I saw it for discounted at Target and it was a Target exclusive so I bought it.
  • The Creeps by Fran Krause. This is my Blogging For Books pick.
  • Invictus by Ryan Graudin. I bought this signed from Blue Bicycle Books.
  • My Brother’s Husband Volume 1 by Gengoroh Tagameh. I had a Right Stuf Anime coupon expiring and I found it cheaper here than other online stores.

I read 9 out of these 27 books. Heh. I wish I could say I’m on a book buying ban but I already have one book received this month and about 4 more coming in the following days. Oops. 😉

WRAP-UP | OCTOBER 2017

Can you believe we only have two months left in 2017? I mean… how did that happen?

It was raining 4 and 5 stars in my reading world for October. I read 13 books, 3 of those are audio books and five are graphic novels/manga. Actually, I was planning to post this yesterday but good thing I didn’t. I managed to squeeze in one more short story on the final minutes of October bringing my total to 13 instead of 12.

I didn’t read a lot of horror or mysteries as a lot of people do during October. For some reason, I associate scary stuff more in November. That’s when I tend to read more fantasy and try to finish out series. Mistborn trilogy will definitely be finished out by the end of the month for Tome Topple Round 5. As always, I plan to make a dent on the NA books I’ve been acquiring. I’m still testing the waters and so far, the ones I liked the most are M/M stories and those with taboo topics. Hey, I’m curious!

So let’s see how my month went, shall we?

I participated in one readathon: #GetGraphic Readathon. I ended up reading 5 things but not Maus. Again.

TOTAL BOOKS READ: 13.

  • Priest by Sierra Simone. Forgive me, Father (Bell), but I fcking loved this book. I saw this in passing on my GoodReads feed and the premise sounded so sinful and steamy. And it was. It’s about a priest falling in love with one of his parishioners. It sounds so wrong but it made for such a compelling – and very human – read. 4 stars.
  • The Creeps by Fran Krause. I still have to write up a Blogging for Books review for this. This is sort of a picture book of people’s “fears” from the small things to the paranormal to the profound. I quite enjoyed it. 4 stars.
  • Barakamon Vol 3 and 4 by Satsuki Yoshino. Volume 3 is probably one of my favorites so far. It’s definitely one of my favorite episodes from the anime adaptation. I gave that 4 stars. Volume 4 however got 5 stars. Naru is just the best-est kid.
  • Gyo by Junji Ito. Not as good as Uzumaki but definitely a more enjoyable read than Tomie. It’s about stinky dead fish with mechanical legs invading dry land. 5 stars.
  • My Hero Academia Vol 1 by Kohei Horikoshi. I loved the first season of the anime and am currently fourth of the way through the second. I love everyone in this story. And it seems like the anime is a super faithful adaptation. I cannot wait to read more. PLUS ULTRA! 5 stars.
  • Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore. I finished Fire in March of 2016. It took me this long to finally finish this trilogy. I did try to read this a long time ago, I do own a hardcover. But the one character named “Death” but rhymes with “teeth” was throwing me off. When I finally got Overdrive to work for me, it was time. I loved the audio narration. Bitterblue is so precious. But Po from Graceling is definitely book boyfriend. 5 stars.
  • Sweetness & Lightning Vol 4 by Gido AmagakureI think the anime stops here. I loved it. I absolutely love everything about this manga/anime. I wish it could continue to be adapted into a show. 5 stars.
  • Midnight Mass by Sierra Simone. More Father Bell goodness! This is a novella set three years after the events of Priest. It’s just as sinful, just as good. 4 stars.
  • Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini TaylorAudio. The audio book is a gift from the gods. I tried reading this not too long ago but I wasn’t in the mood for it yet. But I saw the audio book was available so I jumped at the chance. It is a work of art. The book itself is an intricate masterpiece. Zuzana is the best girl ever. This was marvelous. 5 stars.
  • Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor. Audio. A dual-narrator audio book of the novella that is about Mik and Zuzana’s first date. It’s the most precious thing! 4 stars.
  • Origin by Dan Brown. 7 of 7 for Dan Brown’s works. I admit, this had me slumping a little bit. It’s his usual Robert Langdon formula and it’s not as complicated as the ones that came before this. But it’s a very easy read. 4 stars.
  • Life After Legend by Marie Lu. This was the pre-order perk for Warcross and I managed to read this in 20 minutes last night. This was the Champion epilogue in Day’s perspective. As you know, I was destroyed by that epilogue. Therefore, this short story effectively destroyed me as well. 5 stars.

STATS:

  • 3656 pages (I don’t remember how many pages Life After Legend is so I put in 20.)
  • 5 graphic works and 3 audio books.

As for book purchases… well, that deserves its own post. I received 27 books this month. It’s a mixture of post-birthday coupons, Book Outlet’s Booktober Fest, signed new releases, and a surprise find. I’ll try to gather them into one post so I can show them all to you guys. I’m super excited for all of them.

We’re on the final stretch for 2017. How many more books can I fit in? 😉