November 2021 Reading Recap

November featured not as much reading as I’m used to. That’s because I finished my rewrite as my NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) project, rather than writing the requisite 50,000 words. I did it! I completed the rewrite, and it is now sitting in beta readers’ inboxes. The work took a lot out of me, so much so that I’m still feeling vaguely hungover.

December will feature some more things. But also, what do you mean it’s December already?

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Manga Review: MIERUKO-CHAN Vol. 3 & 4 by Tomoki Izumi (2021)

Genre: Slice-of-Life Horror
Year Release in English: 2021
Source: BOOK☆WALKER

Reminder: The star rating reflects overall opinion of the series.

For some reason, I never rated Volume 3. Anyway, this continues to be a consistent delight. The ghosts are just getting scarier, the plot is starting to take shape, and the greater world of spiritualists unfolds.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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October 2021 Reading Recap

October went by quickly. I had the opportunity to go to Sirens Conference where I was on a panel about nonbinary representation in science fiction and fantasy. I also had a hard time reading this month, which was unfortunate, but I did enjoy the books, ARCs, and manga I did manage to read.

I also did three excellent blog interviews:

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Manga Review: HAPPINESS Vol 1-10 by Shūzō Oshimi

Genre: Horror Shonen
Year Release in English: 2015-2019
Source: Azuki Manga Cafe

Sometimes you start reading a series and next thing you know, you’re several chapters in and deeply invested in the plight of the characters. Volumes don’t matter. What is structure anyway? So this review of an entire manga will be slightly different in that I will be talking about the series overall rather reviewing each individual volume.

In short, this vampire horror filled with emotions and the centering of childhood upended by supernatural happenings reminiscent of Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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August and September 2021 Reading Recap

August and September were two months I can only describe as liminal spaces. Long story short, we moved into one apartment, and then transferred to another apartment. I didn’t feel like doing an August recap without having settled in. So here we are. I’ve also been busy otherwise.

I did several author interviews (and there are so many more to come):

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Manga Review: MISS KOBAYASHI’S DRAGON MAID Volumes 1-4 by coolkyousinnjya (2016-2017)

Genre: Fantasy Slice-of-Life Seinen
Year Release in English: 2016-2917
Source: BOOK☆WALKER

Reminder: The star rating reflects overall opinion of the series.

An absolutely adorable slice-of-life series about an office worker who drunkenly and unwittingly invites a dragon girl back to her house to work as her maid. I love the balance between a greater plot happening in the background with more everyday silliness as a dragon girl learns to be a human girl.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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July 2021 Reading Recap

What even was July? It was my last month in Chicago, I moved to Texas (am still moving in Texas, no, I won’t be getting into more specific details). Reading was a bit fraught. I had lofty goals, like reading everything I borrowed from the library (didn’t happen). But I did enjoy a bunch of what I read, which is always a blessing.

I had two authors interviews on my blog for their debut works. First, horror YA writer Ryan Douglass talked about his debut, The Taking of Jake Livingston, and short story writer Charles Payseur told us a bit about his process of putting a short story collection, The Burning Day and Other Strange Stories.

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Manga Review: AZUMANGA DAIOH Vol. 4 by Kiyohiko Azuma (2004)

Genre: Slice-of-Life Comedy
Year Release in English: 2004
Source: Borrowed from Friends

Rating: 4 out of 5.

In the final volume of Azumanga Daioh, the threads and character development of the previous three come together. We get one last school trip, final exams, and finally, graduation. I did not expect to find myself having so many emotions about graduation, but there I was.

The comedic timing and pacing throughout comes from ridiculous puns and slap-stick style comedy. The way Azuma pulls in jokes from the previous entries. Seeing the students with the teachers provided some of the best overlaps in how little sense both the adults and kids have. The arc with Sakaki gets a resolution and we get more dream sequences.

Overall, an enjoyable slice-of-life that touches on the innocence of school life with a light tone and funny situations.

Manga Review: DAI DARK Vol. 1-2 by Q Hayashida (2021)

Genre: Science fiction horror comedy shonen
Year Release in English: 2021
Source: BOOK☆WALKER

Reminder: The star rating reflects overall opinion of the series.

In short, perfect for fans trying to fill in the space skeleton dark fantasy horror void while waiting for any news about Alecto the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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June 2021 Reading Recap

June was my birth month! I also finished writing an entire project! It’s an exciting time of reconnecting with myself and art, and it’s been lovely. I also spent a lot of time at the gym getting into the rowing machine and preparing for my big move in August.

I am so excited to have hosted Fran Wilde to cheer on The Ship of Stolen Words and Jen Karner to celebrate the release of their debut, Cinders of Yesterday.

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