Book 477: Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It – Anne Ishii, Chip Kidd and Graham Kolbeins

ishii-anne-chip-kidd-and-graham-kolbeins-massiveDon’t worry, I’m going to keep this response PG even though this book is definitely X-rated!

I can’t remember where I first heard about this book, but when I did I remember flagging it to look into. I’m not a big Manga reader or erotica reader for that matter, but when I found out there was an entire genre of manga dedicated to larger gay men I thought it sounded interesting. It is read like a normal manga from right to left and thankfully my earlier dabbling with Jane Austen manga adaptations helped prepare me for that. Two things to note, the word “erotic” was replaced with “Japanese” for some reason in the US Library of Congress’ database and m cover has a different beefy man on it, also drawn by Jiraiya. Continue reading

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Book 367: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up – Marie Kondo

Kondo, Marie - The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying UpThere are a couple of reasons I sought out this book and read it earlier than I thought I would. Apparently it’s been climbing the charts since it was translated from Japanese into English this past fall, but for me it first came to light when my friend, Carlie, started posting about it on Instagram. For those of you that have been following for a LONG time she got me to read The Hunger Games way back in 2010. I still haven’t read the other book she recommended, The Beans of Egypt, Maine, but I should probably get on that as she’s two-for-two.

After I asked about the book section of this tidying book she sent me the entire section via PM and I realized I wanted to read this book. I’m moving in August so it was the perfect time to take a look at all of my stuff so I grabbed a copy and devoured it.

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30 x 30: #21 – Eat at a real sushi restaurant

2014 05-24 Even Tried SashimiYup. That’s me smiling as I try a big piece of sashimi. If the piece would’ve been half the size it wouldn’t have been so bad, but in general I enjoyed the sushi and will eat it again in the future. With lunch yesterday I’ve completed FIVE of my 30 x 30 list and I really hope I can keep up the momentum as I head into June.

What was most funny about #21: Eat at a real sushi restaurant, was that EVERYONE wanted to do this one. Most of my friends who checked out the list at some point or another volunteered to do this one. It worked out to be my sister and I, which was perfect as this weekend is her birthday weekend and what better way to celebrate than by eating raw fish. Ha!

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Book 263: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running – Haruki Murakami

Murakami, Haruki - What I Talk About When I Talk About RunningIt’s funny how quickly things change. Back in May and June of last year I spent a good amount of time complaining about running and if you asked me then, if I’d ever read a memoir about running I would’ve looked at you like your face just fell off. Needless to say, I’m still not enamored with running, but I can say I’m incredibly glad I read it and it’s made me think differently how I will approach the future (both running and normal).

I stumbled across this book randomly and once I got it from my local library I read it in less than two days. I requested it because Murakami’s fiction writing is some of the most beautiful I’ve ever read and I wanted to know how it translated to nonfiction. Not only did it translate amazingly, but this was the exact book I needed to read at the moment. I’ve been struggling to make it to CrossFit and to keep up my training/running.

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Book 229: When the Emperor was Divine – Julie Otsuka

Otsuka, Julie - When the Emperor was DivineWhen the Emperor was Divine was the required reading for the college where I work and although I do think it was a good choice, I feel that there are other novels out there which tell this story better. (Such as Snow Falling on Cedars, and this story wasn’t even the main storyline in that book.)

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but this book and I did not get along. It wasn’t bad, per say, but it definitely wasn’t good. It was a very short read and I read it in three sittings on the train to and from work, but there was just something about it that I didn’t enjoy.

I’m starting to think that it might be related to the fact that it was chosen as the required reading and I felt that it wasn’t very challenging. I do believe it highlight’s a portion of World War II which many people aren’t aware of, or never learned about, but the writing style and the novel were very basic. Given I didn’t attend the speaker series, this could be a total misinterpretation of the novel, but I feel that a required reading for college students should be more challenging. However, that being said there were parts of the novel that were really well done, so don’t think it was a completely horrible work.

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Book 168: 1Q84 – Haruki Murakami

Murakami, Haruki - 1Q84It may have taken two weeks to read this book, but it was completely worth it. I don’t know the last time I’ve spent this much time basking in the beauty and wonderment of a novel. 1Q84 counts for my 2013 Mount TBR and Tea & Books challenges. Now on to my response, which is jumpy and hardly all-inclusive, but hopefully it portrays some of the wondrousness this novel is. Let’s just say I can’t wait to read more Murakami, regardless of if it’s a mind f*ck like Kafka on the Shore or like 1Q84, which is also technically a mind f*ck.

How does one even begin to classify Murakami. From the two books I’ve read the only things I can definitely say are that he defies genres and bucks trends, is incredibly well versed in classic literature and music and popular culture (films and music) and his descriptions are so vivid you don’t have to strive to imagine things because you see them completely formed in front of you. What I can appreciate is Murakami usually drops a line into his books which perfectly explain the books (so far, again I’ve only read two) and this books is (NOT A REAL SPOILER, but maybe skip the quote if you don’t want to know anything – the rest is okay though.), Click here to continue reading

Book 140: Kafka on the Shore – Haruki Murakami

You’ll have to excuse the language, but this book was a mind f*ck. Now, don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean it was bad, it is actually one of the best written books I’ve read this year, but my brain hurts trying to process the novel.

A friend in the UK recommended this book to me and I only just now got around to reading it and thus it counts for my Mount TBR Challenge (22 of 25).

I did a brief cursory search to see if I should save this novel for the Literary Others event in September and I should have with the amazing character Oshima, but I’m glad I didn’t. At one point he says this and it boggled my mind at how awesome he is. I mean there were a lot more awesome things, especially as to the reveal which happens pretty late in the book, but still definitely a great character. Click here to continue reading.