Fruits Basket volume 1 by Natsuki Takaya

Fruits Basket 1Title:  Fruits Basket Volume 1

Author:  Natsuki Takaya

Paperback:  216 pages

ISBN:  1591826039

Challenges:  Manga Challenge

From the back cover:

A family with an ancient curse…

And the girl who will change their lives forever…

Tohru Honda was an orphan with no place to go until the mysterious Sohma family offered her a place to call home.  Now her ordinary high school life is turned upside down as she’s introduced to the Sohma’s world of magical curses and family secrets.  Discover for yourself the Secret of the Zodiac, and find out why Fruits Basket has won the hearts of readers the world over!

First off, a caveat:  This is my first manga, and my first review of a manga book.  I’m not exactly sure how one writes a review for manga.  I could read a bunch of reviews then write it, but I’d probably end up regurgitating what I’ve read, then.  I don’t even know if the title is supposed to be italicized like novels, and can’t exactly use a quote from the book since it uses pictures to tell the story.  But, here goes….

I first heard about Fruits Basketfrom a friend who said his niece loved it.  I’d been circling the manga pool and dipping my toe in every time I went to the book store, but had not as yet jumped in.  I’d also been sampling anime with Maggie, and so I thought this series would be a great place to start.  This book was originally published in Hane to Yume magazine in 1999.  It was finally published in English in 2004 by TOKYOPOP (if you click the link, you can read the first chapter online).  It is also a 26-episode anime series, AND an online petitionpleading FUNimation to make a second season of the show (I’ve signed, btw ;-) )

So, right from the start, I know I’m going into a beloved series and am fairly safe in thinking I’ll like it, which, of course, I did.

The story is about how orphaned Tohru, who has never fit in anywhere, comes to stay with the Shigure, Yuki and Kyo Sohma, members of a family who suffer from a strange curse that transforms them into the animals of the Chinese Zodiac.  It’s a book about transformations, both the humorous, and often inconvenient, physical transformations of the Sohmas themselves (and embarrassing, especially since transforming back to human form renders them naked).  It’s also about how Tohru’s kind and quiet spirit affects them, causing them to mature and let go of some of their anger and bitterness, and to grow in affection and acceptance of one another.

Maggie’s Review:

I really love-love-LOVE Fruits Basket!  Yuki and Kyo are cute and it’s so funny when they fight.  Yuki’s mysterious and it’s funny when Kyo gets mad (which is all the time) and gets cat ears, eyes, teeth and tail and hisses at Yuki.  I like the whole Zodiac thing.  It’s funny, especially when Shigure is acting like a pervert :-D  Kagura is CRAZY!  She’s in love with Kyo, and she shows it by destroying him and beating him up and flipping him through the wall.  One thing I did NOT like about it is that it’s got a lot of cuss words in it.

Maggie is funny, she says she doesn’t like the cuss words, but she sure does laugh a lot at them.  BTW, the cuss words used are Damn, Dammit, and Bitch and Bastard are used once in the second book when Kyo and Uo are playing a card game (both have anger issues).  No F-bombs, or other strong words are used.  The books are labeled for teens, which I didn’t catch until after she’d watched the whole anime series, read book one and got halfway through book two. 

and now, a few moments of love’s reflection by Kagura Sohma :-D

and, after writing this, I realized that, technically, Vampire Kisses:  Blood Relativeswas my first “manga,” though it’s not really manga because it reads like a normal American book, not right to left.  It’s the right-to-left reading of FB that’s made it so dificult for Mags to read on her own.  I’m sure a few books in and she’ll be okay.  Also, since she won’t let me put FB on BookMooch or PBS… she’s already made off with the book… I guess she’ll be re-reading it on her own, which should help her manga-reading abilities.

Well, off to Hardee’s for dinner and to finish up FB vol 2 :-D

Free Books and an Award, WINNING ROCKS!

You are a winner!!!!

 

Who doesn’t want to hear those four words?  I’ve been hearing them a lot in the last couple weeks and I’ve gotten behind a bit on sharing it, not to mention I have the Great Goblins! Giveaway winner to announce!

First, I’ve got a funny story to tell…  It would seem that it has been decided by the book gods that I MUST read The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson, because I’ve won it three times now in three different blog giveaways of it (I only accepted the first one and asked the other two to draw another name so someone else could enjoy it :-) )  Thank you Joystory, Fresh Ink Books, and Gramma’s Reads for  hosting these giveaways :-)

The latest book giveaway that I won was for Shanghai Girls by Lisa See from Devourer of Books.  I have both Peony In Love and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, but haven’t gotten to them as yet, and I think I’m waiting to just have a big Asian book read-a-thon or something… lol.  Thanks Jen!

One book that I was uber-geeked out about since I first saw it’s banner in Shelf Awareness, then saw the website and trailer for it, is BoneMan’s Daughter by Ted Dekker.  So I was doing the happy dance when The Literate Housewife announced she was hosting a giveaway for the book.  When I saw my name as one of the winners, I actually screamed with joy… Missy, my little rat terrier, came running to see if her mommy was okay, even.  Thank you, Jennifer! :-D

AND I’d like to say THANKS! to texasheartland of Texas Banter Book Reviews for giving me this lovely award:

The Literary Blogger Award

Here are the details of this award:

1) Put the logo on your blog/post.
2) Nominate up to 9 blogs which make you feel comfy or warm inside.
3) Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4) Let them know that they have been nominated by commenting on their blog.
5) Remember to link to the person from whom you received your award.

Okay…. comfy and warm inside?  Well… I’d say winning books there makes me feel warm and comfy inside, so all the afore mention bloggers are 5 of my nominees, and for the other 4 of the “up to nine” I’m going to stretch a little :-)

  • Lost In Books – great blog and great Twit :-D (which is not an insult, ;-) )
  • Must Read Faster – relatively new blogger, just a month since she popped her blog’s cherry :-)  She is learning fast, reading fast, and tweeting fast :-)
  • Wrighty Reads – a LibraryThing friend, fellow Zombie Chicken blogger, and, most importantly, fellow left-hander!  YaY! for LEFTIES!
  • Books and Movies -  Carrie’s Blogroll is a directory of the best blogs in the blogosphere :-)  (and yes, Mt. TBR is on it ;-) )

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And now for the Great Goblin! Giveaway winner…

I cannot tell y’all how much fun, absolute and plain FUN, I had reading Goblins!  And I was happy that there were so many entries to win it… if only I had a copy for everyone who entered!  But, alas… I only have one to give away.  And the winner of that copy is….

Carrie K.

 

There are two more book giveaways coming soon, one for The Triumph of Deborah by Eva Etzioni-Halevy and one for The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff, so keep an eye out for those announcements!

Thanks to everyone who visits Mt. TBR, to my fellow LTers, BookMoochers, PBS’ers and Tweeps.  Y’all make reading and blogging so much fun!

MWAH!! Thank ya!

MWAH!! Big Kisses of THANKS!

 

Friday Fill-Ins ~ Anarchists, Carnies and Skanks, Oh My!

ffi

And…here we go!

1. The first rule of working in an office and getting along is establish dominance by drinking the last dribble of coffee, eating the food brought in by co-workers and leaving fresh-from-the-litter-pan-presents in the bosses dark-colored chair every morning.  Then whenever anyone expresses their displeasure, relay the passage you read in your copy of The Anarchist Cookbook last night while cleaning one of your many assault rifles and planning the next meeting with your lawyer to finalize the settlement with your last employer.

2. I once gave my kids “sea mushrooms” for supper, but really they were canned clams. (It was a punishment, btw, for ditching the school bus and trying to skip school.  It worked so well, they’ve never tried to skip since.)
 
3. When I think of carnivals I think of cotton candy, popcorn, candy apples and crazy-looking, inbred and toothless pedophiles running the controls on the Himalaya and taking tickets at the Fun House.

4. Lilacs are my favorite spring flower.

5. Things on my desk include an open box of Whoppers, a 2 liter of Diet Coke, a new box of Stridex, Maggie’s homework that she’s standing here waiting for help on, Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank (I just finished writing the review for it), a half-empty bag of Cheesy Poofs, and the little fliers about our town that I picked up from the city building (I put them in the books I send out from BookMooch).

6. The gas company and the gov’tal bureaucracy makes me wanna go postal then go survivalist… better yet, let’s go “Fight Club” on them!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to taking the kids to the new skating rink that’s suppose to be Chuck E. Cheese meets SkateWorld and is probably priced like Disney World, tomorrow my plans include taking Maggie the old skating rink for her friend’s b-day party and trying to get as much of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet read as possible  and Sunday, I want to enjoy a nice Sunday Service and grab the Kleenex while Mags and Gwen get baptized at our new church!

TSS ~ Praise and Awards and Pass the Amoxicillin

The Sunday Salon.com

Hello and happy Sunday everyone :-) Thank you for your get-wells last week when I had the stomach flu. I finally got all better from that, only to come down with a bad sinus and chest cold. Lol… I’ll take that over the stomach flu any day, though.

Thank you Wrighty Reads for the cool Zombie Chicken Award, it’s quite a funny pic and description. I passed it along to Bermudaonion, Blodeuedd, Literary Feline, Steph Su, and Chartroose. So then Blodeuedd returned the complement by giving me:

Premio Dardos Award
The Premio Dardos Award

This award is for bloggers who distinguish themselves for showing cultural values, ethics, great and fun writing skills, as well individual values, through their creative writing.

The rules are:
1. To accept and show the distinct image
2. Show the link to the blog from which you were given the award
3. Choose 15 blogs to give the Dardos Award (Premio Dardos)

Okay, so I’m going to slack on #3, because 15 awards? I might as well just point to the blogroll. I would like to pick a few who haven’t received the award and that I do really like. So, here are my nominees:

1.  Devourer of Books~ One of my first bloggie friends, also on LibraryThing :-)

2.  Fashionista Piranha ~ She has a cool layout, interesting giveaways and her reviews offer a slightly different view on things than my own.  It’s always good to receive from those whose thoughts don’t mirror your own, it makes your world a richer place :-)

3.  Fyrefly’s Book Blog~ Another of my first bloggie friends and fellow LTer, Fyrefly’s blog is bright and pretty, and we often match up on how we felt about a book.

4.  Presenting Lenore~ Whenever I think of Lenore’s blog, the first thing that comes to mind is her interview with P. J. Bracegirdle  (don’t know why it sticks in my mind), and the second thing is the lovely box of chocolates and candies she sent me :-D

5.  S. Krishna’s Books ~ I do NOT know where she finds the time to read as much as she does, maybe a clone?  I suppose I shouldn’t tell her that I mooched a copy of Haunting Bombay last night…. :-D

6.  Book Sandwich~ Mrs. Hall is very busy with life, and has moved a couple times…  AND I believe she was one of my very first mooches on BookMooch :-)

7.  Just A (Reading) Fool~  unfinishedperson writes smart post with a dry wit.  Another one of my long-time favorite blogs and fellow LTer :-)

8.  The Book Lady’s Blog~  I just love her blog :-)

I’m going to reserve the remaining 7 until next week :-) That way I can explore some new blogs to visit ;-)

As to my reading this week…..

I spent a week or more on Brisingr, and I’m glad I’m done with that book, it felt like I was reading it forever.  I did manage a few smaller books in, as well. 

Right now I’m about 100 or so pages from the end of The Lace Reader.  I will be glad to be done with it, because it’s been giving me bad dreams.  I don’t know if it’s because of my cold or the book, or a combination of the two, but I’ve been having nightmares since starting it.  AND I never have nightmares, I’m a lucid dreamer and if I’m dreaming something I don’t like, I just change it.  Like most of the nightmares I’ve had for the past4 or 5 years, it always stars my deceased father returning to life.  Ugh.  Not like a zombie or anything, just like he never died.   I’m sure it’s not Ms. Barry’s fault I’m having bad dreams, but still…..

BTT ~ The Library Is the Heart of a Community

btt2

Suggested by Barbara:

I saw that National Library week is coming up in April, and that led to some questions. How often do you use your public library and how do you use it? Has the coffeehouse/bookstore replaced the library? Did you go to the library as a child? Do you have any particular memories of the library? Do you like sleek, modern, active libraries or the older, darker, quiet, cozy libraries?

The trouble I have with borrowing books from the library is that I am horrible at reading them in a timely fashion and I can never decide on one book or two, so I just get all twenty; the result of these failings is that I end up with a lot of fines, my highest fine balance  being over a hundred dollars.  Instead of borrowing books from the library, I get books from BookMooch and PaperBackSwap, as well as buying them from the thrift stores and an occasional brand-new book from Wal-Mart (I used to be a permanent fixture at Waldenbooks, but Border’s shut our store down… I’m still grieving over that loss).

If I never brought home  another book, there are enough books in Mt. TBR’s inventory, and even more in the rest of my home library, to keep me busy for three or four years, maybe more.  What’s more, I also receive ARCs and books from publishers to review, so I doubt I’ll ever run out of books, barring a disaster like a fire or a book thief :-D

No, my main use of our local library is as a place to take my kids.  Our library has family movie events once a month, the last one we went to was “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” and shows for local artists and musicians.  They also have a monthly book sale, though the prices have gone up and up so I’ve gone less and less.  Our library also has a nice computer farm that occupy my kids, during which time I sit in a quiet corner away from everyone and read.

As we live about seven or so blocks from the library we walk there, which gives us time to enjoy the flowers and the world around us, as well as chat about whatever little thing crosses our minds.  A little over six years ago, we lived right behind the library and the kids went everyday, but now we go about once a week, sometimes more, and usually on Saturdays.  The library is a large part of our life, both as a source of entertainment as well as a backdrop for memories.

A few years ago, our library underwent a major renovation that brought the building into the 21st century.  With the installation of a gas fireplace and an open curving staircase with a glass ceiling and window walls, it went from a dreary cement box to one of the most beautiful libraries in our state and winning awards.  After the old one retired, the new director has enlarged the DVD, audio book, and music CD inventory a thousand percent, and has returned the library to public.

Some of my happiest childhood memories take place in a library, and I’m glad that I’m giving the same gift to my children. :-)

Buy Books for Christmas! (and Chanukah… Kwanza… New Year’s… Tet… Valentines… Just because…)

I recently received an email from author Josh Henkin, whose book Matrimony I will be reviewing and will be giving away in January, about the troubling future of the publishing industry. AND, with the decline of publishing, the loss of the voices of new authors and authors whose ideas may not be of the mainstream flavor. Though I very rarely do this, I want to pass along his email.

Dear Friends,

As many of you know, the book industry is in serious trouble. It was in trouble when economic times were good, and now that times are bad, things have gotten really precarious. Book sales across the industry are down as much as 40 percent, publishing houses are laying off people and cutting imprints, one big publishing house announced that it was no longer reading new manuscripts, and a major chain bookstore is on the brink of bankruptcy. Many of these problems have been a long time coming (the decline of newspapers and especially of book review sections has been a big blow, as has the closing down of many independent bookstores), but in recent months the problem has become especially acute. I don’t mean to sound alarmist, but these are alarming times. What’s at stake is the future of books, and of reading culture. Although books will continue to be published (Stephenie Meyer and J.K. Rowling will publish their next books), for everyone except a handful of bestselling authors, the future is far more uncertain. What’s at stake is the wealth and diversity of book culture. Many classics (books we read in our English classes in high school and college, books our children read or will read), simply wouldn’t be published by today’s standards and, if they were published and didn’t sell well immediately, they would be removed from the bookstore shelves. This is why it’s so important that you buy books for the holidays. There’s a website dedicated to this enterprise, Buy Books for the Holidays,which you might want to check out, and publishing houses are running ad campaigns focused on holiday book-giving. You really can make a difference. A typical paperback novel costs less than fifteen dollars, far cheaper than a necklace or a sweater or dinner at a nice restaurant. Thanks for reading this, and have a happy and healthy holiday.

Best,

Josh

http://www.joshuahenkin.com

Of course, I use BookMooch and PaperBackSwap, both being swap-sites of sorts for books, but I do buy new books as well. Books that never pop up on my wishlist, books I want to read now and don’t want to wait, and books from the bargain bins and twofer sales. Thanks to the swap sites and LibraryThing, I actually purchase more books new than ever before. Go figure.

So, to support the publishing industry and starving authors everywhere, I will be hosting a second Book Bucks Giveaway! :-D
From now until December 31st you can throw your name into the hat for a $25, $15, $10 and $5 gift card to your choice: Borders, Amazon or Barnes & Noble bookstores. The cards can be used either at the brick-and-morters or online shopping.

The rules are as follows:

No biting, scratching, or holding… erm, wait… wrong list… :-))

1. Post a comment to this post for your official entry and specify which store you would like your gift card from. Without your comment here, you won’t qualify for the bonus entries.   If no preference is stated, then you’ll receive one for Borders… I’m lazy and we have a Waldenbooks right here in town.

2. Post a link to this contest on your blog, then post the link here in the comments for a bonus of 5 entries.

3. Comment on any blog entry between now and December 31st for an additional entry per comment. There is a limit of 5 comment-bonus entries per day, so make sure to stop by every day to get your bonus entries! There are over 100 posts on this blog and I’m very busy trying to reach my goal of 75 books by December 31st. I have 17 more to go, which means there will be a post a day, as well, so you won’t run out of chances for your daily bonuses ;-)

4. If the winner(s) is outside the US, instead of the gift card, I will mail the new book(s) of his/her/their choice. The postage will be on me and won’t come out of the gifted amount ;-)

5. If you go to the Buy Books for the Holidays site, you can pick up the code for a widget button. Include the button in your sidebar for another 5 bonus entries.

Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!

Tuesday Thingers – Favorite Bookstore

Today’s question: Favorite bookstores. What’s your favorite bookstore? Is it an online store or a bricks-and-mortar store? How often do you go book shopping? Is your favorite bookstore (or bookstores) listed as a favorite in LT? Do you attend events at local bookstores? Do you use LT to find events?

My favorite bookstore is my local Waldenbooks. I do not buy books online (unless BookMooch, PaperBackSwap and the occasional ebay book purchase count). I prefer to touch them, smell them and look at them… are they a tome or a quick read, etc. I live in a small town and Waldens is the only new books bookstore here.

But even if it wasn’t, I love Jan, Sally and Obie so much I’d still shop there if I had ten bookstores to choose from. And I think that is also some of the reason I shop there. It’s wonderful to go into the store and see their smiling faces. They always ask what I’ve been reading and are quick to help me find whatever I need. They give great suggestions, and take mine as well… I’m still bugging them to read The Gargoyle.

I usually run in terror from the bookstore because I know I cannot resist! So I haven’t shopped as much lately. Last time I had to go in was to order Josette’s book since she can’t use the Borders gift card in Malaysia, and I walked out spending about $30… I went in to just orderpeople! I suppose electricity isn’t completely necessary… I could read my books by candle light… but I havegrown fond of it, you know. (TV runs on it and TV keeps kids quiet… puter runs on it, and puter keeps me in books!)

LibraryThing has nothing for my bookstore, so it’s fairly useless for finding events. It has Borders in Ann Arbor, but I’m not driving 3 1/2 hours to some book signing, no matter whose pen the scrawl comes from. I do occasionally attend the events at my store… but again, I can’t walk away for less than $20. The last even was the Breaking Dawn party. I went to the Mummy 3 instead. :-D

By the way, Borders is where I get my gift cards for my giveaways, and where I got the Boogers you can win along with a $10 gift card! Enter to win at Boogers and Book Bucks Giveaway!

EDIT: I’ve got a shirt for you, readerville:
True Bibliophile

Tuesday Thingers -Reco Me This, and Reco Me That

Today’s topic: Recommendations. Do you use LT’s recommendations feature? Have you found any good books by using it? Do you use the anti-recommendations, or the “special sauce” recommendations? How do you find out about books you want to read?
I have looked at the recommendations feature on LibraryThing, but I’ve never went by it.  And the anti-recommender is the anti-Christ when it comes to telling my what I won’t like… I wrote a post about that a few weeks back called Does A Christian Have a Brain?  if read more on that.  The special sauce is interesting but, again, I don’t use it.
Actually, the three ways I find out about the books I’d like to read is:
1.  BookMooch Recommendations -though I’m not entirely sure if it just throws out a bunch of books or if it’s really guessing at what I’d like.  The thing suggests books I’ve mooched and posted, so I don’t know if it has a brain.  At least LT’s algorithm sorta-kinda makes some sense.
2.  ARC sources such as Shelf Awareness, publishers’ and authors’ emails offering me books, and other “free” book places.  Hey, of course I’m gonna take free books!
3.  From my fellow LT’ers and bloggers.  I take your recommendations over an automated guesser any day!  At least you have a soul.  At least you have emotions.  At least you have some sense of aesthetics.  What’s the bot going to tell me?  Because I have Nietzche I won’t like The Purpose Driven Life… which I actually do have in my library?  Yeah…. whatever. (that goes back to the unsuggester is the anti-Christ.)
4.  Jan and Obie at my Waldenbooks… they know me so well! And Jan’s only been wrong once.  She suggested Annie Freeman’s Fabulous Traveling Funeral, but I thought it was just mneh.
5.  My momma.  Though, lately her taster is running on the off-side for me.  Lately she’s been reading about some retired old ladies running a B&B and solving crimes or something… I don’t know, maybe they are killing the guests.  I forget.  Maybe I watch too much Law & Order and read too much Stephen King.
6.  Then, of course, there’s just little me, touching-feeling-looking at the actual book on the shelf and reading the back cover.  However, with Mt. TBR and Mt. TBarc at capacity, I can’t even go to the mall for fear I’ll be drawn into Waldens and won’t be able to resist the lovely books… they want to come home with me…. they jump on the counter and make me buy them….
Okay, that’s enough silliness.

Tuesday Thingers- I’ll swap ya Tuesday for a Sundae

Tuesday Thingers

Today’s topic: Book-swapping. Do you do it? What site(s) do you use? How did you find out about them? What do you think of them? Do you use LT’s book-swapping column feature for information on what to swap? Do you participate in any of the LT communities that discuss bookswapping, like the Bookmooch group for example?

I certainly do book-swapping, how else could I have such a magnificent Mt. TBR? I’m grateful for BookMooch, because without it I wouldn’t have found LibraryThing, and without LT I wouldn’t be blogging. I heard about BookMooch on NBC’s Today Show, when they’d had a segment on free and almost free sites on the internet. The name “BookMooch” was catchy and easy to remember, which is a good thing because it was a week or so before I finally got around to signing up.

From BookMooch, I found LibraryThing through the “LibraryThing add” button. After a month or so on LT, I found out about PaperBackSwap, which is different enough from BookMooch to warrant both accounts. I’m very thankful for LibraryThing, because through the “other places to find ARCs” thread (now ARC Junkies group… YaY!) I found a lot of opportunities to get ARCs, and finally graduated to a blog, and more books than I could read in 2 years snowed in and alone!

I like the LT swap column fair enough, though it’s rarely accurate, and includes the UK only sites in the “books available” numbers. I do participate and enjoy the BookMooching group on LT. My current favorite BM thread is the “Book search for friends” one.

I not only enjoy getting books, but also sending them out to people who I know have been dying to read a book I’ve enjoyed, usually… though there was one book I was so glad to get out of my house (it was the worse book I’ve ever read).

Don’t forget to enter to win a $20 Borders Gift Card… or a $10… and now that there are over 500 entries, a $5 gift card is on the table! If we hit 600, I’ll add another $10, and at 700 another $5! That’ll make $50 in My First Ever Giveaway!

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