Do the Book-y Dance of Joy!

A book I’ve been dying to get finally came in the mail today:  xxxHOLiC volume 1 by Clamp.  xxxHOLiC is my favorite anime… I like it even better than Fruits Basket, can you believe that?!

This what’s on my desktop:

xxxHOLiC desktop

and then, lo and behold, it’s like page 2 of the book.  :-D   The picture makes me giggle because Watanuki has neko ears (or are they fox ears, maybe?) and a chain attached to his neck and Yuko is holding onto it.  She soo OWNS him. *gigling some more*

If you’ve not seen the show or read the books, the picture may be pretty, or may even disturb you, but if you have seen it, then you totally get the pic!

Quick summary of the story:

Watanuki sees spirits, and those spirits chase, harrass, and attack him.   He accidentally (or, is destined, depending on your take) finds his way to Yuko, who promises to grant his wish and rid him of the spirits, but it will cost him.  He has to work for her until the debt is paid off.  He cooks, cleans, serves and does her shopping, and in the process he learns a great deal about himself, the world around him and about helping people.

I like the philosophy and treatment of the supernatural in xxxHOLiC, as it is very similar to my own. 

So, do you believe in destiny, that your steps in life are prearranged?  Do you believe everything is chance and choice?  A mixture of both?

Fruits Basket Volume 5 by Natsuki Takaya

Kagura coverTitle:  Fruits Basket, Volume 5

Author:  Natsuki Takaya

Translator:  Althea Nibley

Paperback:  208 pages

Published:  2004

ISBN:  9781591826071

Challenges:  Manga Challenge, What’s In a Name?3 Challenge (food)

In this book we are introduced to Kisa Sohma, who is the tiger.  She enters the story when Tohru and Yuki are walking home and come across a drenched Haru carrying something in a blanket.  The bundle turns out to be a baby tiger, Kisa in animal form, and Tohru squeals “What a cute kitty!” in delight.  The “cute kitty” shows her how much she wants to be around people by chomping down on Tohru’s hand.  As it turns out, Kisa has run away from the Sohma house because she’s being made fun of at school.  She refuses to talk, and bites Tohru every time she tries to comfort her.  But Tohru’s persistance and kindness brings the girl around, and her explosive, “I LOVE YOU!!” accompanied by a warm, long hug turns her into a big sister in Kisa’s eyes.  Tohru’s past healing affection for Yuki, Kyo and Haru move them to compassion for Kisa and help her come out of her shell.

Other things in Fruits Basket, Volume 5 - Ayame… oh, Ayame! makes a visit, much to the consternation of both Kyo and Yuki, the latter telling his older brother he’d rather see him sink to the bottom of the lake than “bond” with him, to which Aaya replies, “I See!  We’ll ALWAYS be together as brothers then!”  LOL.. poor Yuki! 

We meet Megumi, Hanajima’s little brother, when the Prince Yuki Fan Club girls visit “wave girl’s” house in an attempt to find Hanajima’s weakness so they can get her out of the way of their destroying Tohru.  Megumi, like his sister, also has a power.  He can use a person’s name to curse them.  The girls run screaming from the strange siblings house in fear.  It’s also revealed in this scene that Hana has been a bit jealous of the Sohmas for taking Tohru away but, unlike the Fan Club girls, she understands if you love someone, you have to be willing to let them have their own life and other friends and not try to possess them.

Fruits Basket, volume 5 by Natsuki Takaya is one of my favorite Furuba books so far.  The characters are becoming more defined, and she’s relying more on the story and character interactions than on the slapstick shtick of the first couple books.  Not that I don’t find it hilarious when Kyo flies off the handle at Yuki, and I LOVE it when the cat ears and tail come out… Mags and I always giggle about that… but it’s more of a life and friends story that I feel a sense of becoming a part of their world, which always makes the best books, whether they’re regular novels or manga and graphic novels.  *sigh*  I give Fruits Basket, Volume 5 5 out of 5 stars.

#Bloggiesta – El Fin

Bloggiesta endOne thing I’ve learned that I already knew but just hadn’t realized and applied to Bloggiesta is… I’m a sprinter.  I got an incredible amount of stuff done on Friday, not so much on Saturday, and then today has felt like a huge brain-ooze.  But, here I am at the finish line, even if I’ve drug butt the last 6 miles… OKAY, 16 miles.

Today has reminded me of the scene at the end of Run, Fatboy, Run! Where he’s at the wall and is ready to quit.  I have to say that it’s definitely the help and encouragement of fellow bloggers that kept me going.  And I still have a few more things I want to get done, but I think I’m out of gas for this weekend.  But I’ve been writing them down on post-its for later.

First off, I want to give a rousing THANKS! to Natasha at MawBooks for organizing Bloggiesta in the first place.  AND to thank the publishers and sponsors who have provided the prizes.  I also have to give a special thanks to everyone who thought of and hosted the mini-challenges.  There are a LOT of things I just would have NEVER thought to do that I found out about on their blogs.  I still want to go through a few more, but again, too pooped out to do it tonight.  Blogging with children is a LOT of stress!

So Natasha asked for the following in the wrap up post:

Let me know how many hours you spent on the challenge, the mini-challenges you participated in, how many comments you left other bloggers, what you accomplished, what you liked best and any constructive criticism you might have.  I also need some ideas for mini-challenges for the next Bloggiesta so let me know!

So here we go:

I spent 12 hours working on Bloggiesta on Friday, 4 hours on Saturday, and 5 hours on it today.  That’s a total of 21 hours of Bloggiesta bonanza!

I participated in the following mini-challenges:

  1. Emily’s Reading Room - set up Google Alerts
  2. Books, movies, and Chinese Food - created an elevator pitch
  3. Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge: Set Goals for 2010 - firmed up and fleshed out my main goals for 2010
  4. Bloggiesta Mini Challenge:  Footers - Got a copyright doodad widget in the sidebar.
  5. Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge: Clean Up Your Feedreader!
  6. BethFishRead’s Mini-Challenge - Got a fun rainy-day rant wrote up for later.
  7. Go forth and comment - I’ve commented on more than 10 new-to-me blogs now.
  8. Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge – Dead Links - last minute mini-challenge completed
  9. Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge Sign-In – made tons of comments on several blogs, both old and new
  10. Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge: Blogging Buddies!! - Hi Care! :-D

As to how many comments I have left, I could NOT even BEGIN to say, because I’ve done my best to keep up with my Google Reader, and to leave comments on the posts as they’ve came up.  Plus the ones that are tweeted.  AND the ones that are posted through Networked Blogs on faceboook.  I’ve gone cross-eyed this weekend from all the montior-reading! :-)  I should’ve grabbed one of those people-counter-clicky things and ticked off each comment.  It’d have to be between 60 and 70 comments.

Things that I accomplished this Bloggiesta that I’m most happy about, besides mini-challenge stuff, is that I’ve updated all sidebars, widgets and pages.  I’ve decided that, for now, I’m going to take a break from Viral Video Wednesday.  It was something for my own pleasure, anyway, and I ended up doing a LOT more video searching and watching than I did reading.  I may still have a random video post, but not a regular meme for a while.  I edited my Mt. TBR inventory page to be just my ARCs and then put a link to my LT Catalogue if people want to see what ALL books I have, which is over 1000 books.

What I’m super-excited about, though, is that I’ve got a separate blog set up for The Welsh Reading ChallengeRhinoa, host of the Manga Challenge, and BethFish, who hosts Sookie Stackhouse Challenge and What’s in a Name?3 Challenge, both had talked about making a separate blog for their challenges so that they can keep things better organized.  Now that I have the Welsh Reading Challenge blog, I can do so much more, like have featured authors, places for the reviews, and list suggested reading.  I’m looking forward to really getting it finished so I can announce it’s grand opening :-)  Maybe I’ll be able to get a few sponsors and prizes then ;-)

Minor adjustments were made to better organize and navigate the blogs pages and widgets were also made.  One thing that may change later is the pages and categories.  I think I’d like to make a page to list the review links for all the books I’ve reviewed.  I haven’t decided whether to list them by author or by title, but I suppose I could do both.  As for categories, I’m thinking “Blog Reviews” may be to broad a category.  I may break it down by genres, that way it’d be easier for someone looking for a specific book or topic to find.  I know that when I was visiting new blogs for the comment challenge, I looked through their categories like Reading with Tequila’s 5 Shots books (now I have Mockingbird coming in the mail) and English Major’s Junk Food’s Jane Austen label.

As for ideas for the next Bloggiefest in June… can’t wait, counting down already!  I don’t know, really.  I’m content with leaving such things to the more experience and learned blogging folks.  By June, I’ll have been blogging for 2 years, which is still a bit young.  THEN, remember all the sidetracks and diversions and breaks I’ve taken, and it probably averages out to me being an 8-month-old blogger, if that much.  I’m just hoping that I won’t get distracted between now and June!  I’ll try to have a better answer by then ;-)

The Sunday Salon ~ Reading Can Be Such a Challenge!

 The Sunday Salon.com

Okay, I’ve been sitting back this last week and evaluating my last year in reading and blogging.  I’ve come to the conclusion that my mama was right, I need more organization!  LOL…  Seriously, I think I need to do a monthly proposed reading list and see how close I get, as opposed to a yearly one.  The yearly one ended up with me in the sprints for the first half of the year, then almost nothing from June through November, then sprinting to the end for the last six weeks.  I did actually make it to 75 books, with one to spare, even, but was it quality reading that way?  Some of the books I’ve read I don’t even remember, except what’s in my blog posts.

Which is another thing…  I used to think I was blogging reviews of books for other people to read, but I think I’m the one who has benefited the most from them.  I can look back to a book I read in 2008 and get an accurate feel for how I liked the book.  Sometimes, I don’t really even remember reading the book at all.  So blogging is as much for my benefit, if not more.

So, 2009 was my first full year of reading and blogging (In the Shadow of Mt. TBR began in June of 2008) and I tried to join a few challenges, to varying degrees of success.  First off, I completed the 75 book LibraryThing challenge, and I’ve already joined it for 2010 (The Kool-Aid Mom cracks the whip!).  I’ve also joined LibraryThing’s Books Off the Shelf challenge, a challenge to read books you already own *what a concept!*.  I’ve started out with the conservative goal of 35, but I think I’ll hit higher than that.  You can find my thread here, The Kool-Aid Mom’s Wet Dream of 35.

My reasoning for believing this will be a low figure is because I intend to clear out my intimidating stack of ARCs that have sat and loomed over my right shoulder for almost a year (before that, they were a smaller stack of books on the desk to my left, but after we couldn’t find the phone anymore, I decided to move it).  It mocks me, points out my failures, and never lets me get a moment’s peace.  So, 2010 is the year I will slay this beast once and for all!

**?**?**?**?**?**?**?*    Was that over the top?    *?**?**?**?**?**?**?**

And it is in this spirit of conquest that I have decided to join Teddy Rose’s ARC Reading Challenge 2010 at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time.  I’ve recently updated my ARC-alance Pile page to reflect where I am right now, and It’s a list of 65, which leaves me only 10 extra in the 75 books to play with.  Also, if I do the Manga Challenge again, then I’ll either go over the 75 (which is a good thing)  or I’ll have to take the manga’s out of the 10.  AND, I’m in the Sookie Stackhouse Challenge, which I signed up for 2 books, and it ends in June.  So, I’ll probably go over…. oh, crap!  forgot a book… fixed.  66 ARCs to read… you do the math on the rest of all that, I have a brain ache.

So, other challenges…

I read about Beth Fish’s What’s in a Name? 3 Challenge on BermudaOnion’s 2010 Challenges post and thought it sounded cute.  Basically, it works like this:

1 book from each of the following categories:

  1.  
    1. A book with a food in the title: Clockwork Orange, Grapes of Wrath, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
    2. A book with a body of water in the title: A River Runs through It, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, The Lake House
    3. A book with a title (queen, president) in the title: The Murder of King Tut, The Count of Monte Cristo, Lady Susan
    4. A book with a plant in the title: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Wind in the Willows, The Name of the Rose
    5. A book with a place name (city, country) in the title: Out of Africa; London; Between, Georgia
    6. A book with a music term in the title: Song of Solomon, Ragtime, The Piano Teacher

Making a total of 6 books for this challenge.  I’m going to try to get as many of them to overlap with my ARC challenge, but I’ve only gotten 3 that I can for sure make work:  The Crying Tree will fill #4, The Mysterious Receding Seas will cover #2, and Strange But True, America:  Weird Tales from All 50 States takes care of # 5.  I’ve been debating where “Father” counts as a title, since that’s not the man’s name, in which case I can read My Father’s Paradise for #3.  And would Spiced count as “A book with a food in the title”?  If I can slip those two in, then I just have to find a music term… WAIT!  The Organ Grinder‘s Monkey takes care of #6 :-D

So what’d’ya think?  “Father” and “Spiced” count?

The Sookie Stackhouse Challenge continues through June 30, 2010, and is hosted by Beth Fish Reads.  As it stands I still have my original TWO (so pathetic!) books to read.

  • Dead Until Dark
  • Living Dead in Dallas
  • And I guess I’ll go ahead and go for the Manga Challenge.  Mags will demand I continue to read Fruits Basket with her, so I might as well fill a challenge with it.  LOL, too bad I don’t have ARC mangas :-D

    The goal is to read a minimum of 6 mangas. There will be the odd prize throughout the year and bonus points if you manage to watch at least one anime film or 3 episodes of a series.

    Well, the bonus will help A LOT, since we’ve been watching xxxHolic (I’m dying to get my manga for it, but it got lost in the mail… boo!), Oh! My Goddess season 2, and plan to watch Negima, as well as a few other anime serieses… serii? just series? SHOWS.  lol.  And they watch Fruits Basket anime constantly, so I’m good to go on the bonus ;-)

    Planned books at the moment:

    1. Fruits Basket volume 5 by Natsuki Takaya
    2. Fruits Basket volume 6 by Natsuki Takaya
    3. Fruits Basket volume 7 by Natsuki Takaya
    4. Ranma 1/2 volume 1 by Rumiko Takahashi
    5. Ranma 1/2 volume 2 by Rumiko Takahashi
    6. Vampire Knight volume 1 by Matsuri Hino

    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Okay, so in an attempt to start out this year a bit more organized, here is my planned reading for January (Subject to change at a whim, though I’m going to try to be stronger than whimsy ;-) )

    1. Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan - This was the Barnes & Nobles First Look book sometime last summer or so, and I’ve been “reading” it since then.  Okay, so I’m trying a little harder to actually read it now, but still… every time I crack the spine a gazillion interruptions fly in.  I feel like Elias being annoyed by the bees.  And when I’m left alone, and it’s nice and quiet, I get about 3 paragraphs read before falling asleep.  I swear, I’m shocked I don’t have a permanent crease mark running down my face like a vertical hold pattern!  It’s a really cool book, I just seem to keep slipping into unconsciousness with it.
    2. Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland - I got this book back in FEBRUARY as a LibraryThing Early Reader book.  FEBRUARY.  10 months ago.  I feel like I’m going to go to LT Hell for this, and it gets worse…
    3. The Mom’s Guide to Growing Your Family Green by Terra Wellington – A BONUS book in the February (or March, not sure anymore) LT ER round.
    4. The Blue Notebook by James A Levine – Won in the March batch of LT ER program.  This book thoroughly fascinates me and I’ve been wanting to read it… but just not done so.  Did I mention I have reserved seats for LT Hell?
    5. Holy Roller by Julie Lyons – Snagged in the April ER batch.  I don’t even look at the ER list at this point, because I feel horribly guilty for taking books that have sat so long, and other people never even get a book.  Yeah, I’m at the right hand of the MC in LT Hell.

    These are the ones I plan to get through this month.  You can see why they’re so urgent, as well.  If I get through these 5, I plan to read The Triumph of Deborah by Eva Etzioni-Halevy and Strange But True, America by John Hafnor, as I have copies of these to give away.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Oh yes!  and don’t let me forget about Bloggiesta! Last year, I didn’t officially participate, but I did do a lot of the activities.  So this year I’m gonna throw my sombrero in the ring and partic-a-icpate.  This year’s event will be from January 8th-10th.  Here’s a quick description from the Maw Books Blog announcement page:

    Some of you may be asking what is Bloggiesta?  In short, it’s a blogging marathon.  An opportunity to cross those nagging items off of your to-do list and improve your blog while in the good company of other awesome bloggers doing the same thing.  Break out the nachos, enchiladas, drinks, mariachi music and whack a pinata or two!

    I’m gonna grab some tortilla chips and medium-heat salsa to munch along for the event, just to keep in the spirit of things.  Maybe I’ll even make Saturday here Taco Night… mmm… better yet, make my own taco casserole :-D  * homer drool drool homer drool *  ‘K, now I’m hungry.

    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Edited to add:  I solved my trouble with which books to put in the What’s In a Name?3 Challenge’s food and title title.  Since I’m doing the Manga Challenge, I’ll be reading Fruits Basket books and Vampire Knight, so those will cover the WIaN3 needed titles.

    Also, I’ve added another challenge to my reading for 2010.  I’m hosting it, as well, and that is The Welsh Reading Challenge.  I’m planning to read 12 books for that.  I’ve realized that if I get ALL my challenges done this year, I’ll have nearly 100 books read by the end of the year.  I can do it, but it’ll mean sticking to it all year and not getting bored, or distracted, or sidetracked, like I am prone to do.  The REAL challenge for me in 2010 will be to stick to my schedule and stick with it.  I think it’ll be good for me. :-)

    BTT ~ If the Corn and the Mashed Potatoes Touch, the World Will Implode!

    Follow-up to last week’s question:

    Do you keep all your unread books together, like books in a waiting room? Or are they scattered throughout your shelves, mingling like party-goers waiting for the host to come along?

    Okay, I was not going to do Booking Through Thursday this week, I was going to start back on them next week, but I have to tell on myself… after all, confessions good for the soul, right? 

    I am obsessive about keeping things separate (except when it comes to the laundry, then everything gets shoved in the machine with as much hatred for the chore the clothing and washer can take without breaking).  I get panicky if my food touches.  I swear, if they’d make good china like the lunchroom trays, I’d eat off those.  My dad used to grouse about it at dinner, “It’s all going to get mixed up in your stomach anyway!” and I’d answer, “Yeah, but I don’t have to look at it there!”

    So YES, oh god yes! my books are separate.  Not just TBR and Read separate, but ARC and review piles here, audio books there, books on deck there, manga up there, Mt TBR here and here and there, unreads that aren’t yet TBR’s way over there, the kids’ books are in the living room so they can’t go near my books and spread their cooties to them… each kid has their own specific, all-yours books in their rooms, coffee table books over there… I used to seperate them even further according to genre, but my TBR shelves have become a free-for-all from acquiring so many so fast that I had to give that up.  

    So, do I qualify as mildly anal or OCD? 

    Oh, forgot to tell you, I alphabetize my canned foods, too.

    Fruits Basket Volume 2 by Natsuki Takaya

    Fruits Basket volume 2 by Natsuki TakayaTitle:  Fruits Basket volume 2

    Author:  Natsuki Takaya

    Softcover:  200 pages

    ISBN:  1591826047

    Challenges:  Manga Challenge

    From the back cover:

    A family with an ancient curse…
    And the girl who will change their lives forever…

    Ever since Tohru Honda discovered the Zodiac secret of the Sohma clan, her eyes have been opened to a world of magic and wonder. But with such a great secret comes great responsibility. When her best friends Hana-chan and Uo-chan come to the Sohma house for a sleepover, Tohru has her work cut out for her keeping the “Cat” in the bag and the “Dog” on a leash.

    Mags and I started to read just a chapter or so last night and, before we knew it, there was one lonely chapter left.  The clock read 12:30 am, and we had church to go to, so we saved those last few pages for today.  Okay, the cover has Yuki Sohma on it, aka Prince Charming, Prince Yuki, Rat Boy and Damn Rat (the last one is Kyo’s pet name for him), and Maggie’s lip marks have permanently tarnished Sohma-kun’s face.  She’s eager for us to finish with book three, which has Kyo on the cover, so she can kiss all over him, too, and then make book 2 and book 3 fight over book 1.  What a deal, not only do we get books to read, but they’re dolls and action figures, too.  LOL!

    So book 2 picks up after Tohru’s been staying… or shacking up as her aunt and cousins call it… with Shigure, Yuki and Kyo, and in this book her two best friend’s Hanna (she has electrowave powers) and Uo (who used to be a Yankee, which is like a gang girl, I guess) come for a sleep over.  This can prove disastrous if the guys aren’t careful, since an embrace from the opposite sex, accidental or on purpose, can cause them to transform into their zodiac animal.  Also in this book is a cross-dressing Yuki, a half-German boy who likes to wear girls clothes (Yuki was coerced, Momiji dresses that way because he likes to look pretty), New Year’s banquet, and Tohru is summoned to the Sohma estate to meet with Hatori, the one who erases people’s memories when they find out about the Sohma family curse.  Lots of sugar and love from Tohru and lots of animosity and rancor back and forth between Yuki and Kyo, with a smattering of perv-ishness from Shigure.

    Oh yeah… and a herd of cats.

    If you want to watch the whole vid, it’s cool. The song’s great, Mags and I will randomly sing it without realizing it… occasionally at the same time, weird. But the parts I’m after is from 2:29 to 4:58, OR for an even shorter snippit, 3:29 to 3:46 for just the “Kyo and the herd of cats” part.

    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

    Summer Blahs and Distractions… and a new computer doesn’t help!

    Yeah, I’ve seen a few of you expressing this same thing.  Just a general sense of blah and a disinterest in anything.  Maybe it’s the heat, it’s baking our brains -though, it’s been unseasonably mild here, so I can’t use that as an excuse!  I just can’t seem to focus or concentrate on reading.  I just can’t seem to bring myself to caring about anything.  I turn on the tv and fall asleep.  I start reading a book and space out.  The house looks like a tornado went through, but I just step over the messes.

    Here’s the thing.  I was feeling a bit blah-like before I got the computer, but since then, I’ve been 10 times worse.  I suddenly realized yesterday when I forgot to get up and wake up my daughter for her summer club that maybe I’ve been on Facebook playing the games a little too much.  Yeah, okay… so I didn’t go to bed for three days playing online stuff, is that a bad thing?  LOL…

    Well, at least it didn’t take five or six months to realize maybe I was spending too much time online, you know.. like it did with SecondLife.  And we all need a break from the everyday, right?  Okay, so break’s over.  Time to get back in gear.  First up, cleaning the house before FEMA steps in.  I did mow yesterday, so that’s good, right?  Or was it the day before yesterday… 

    I did manage to finish reading Fruits Basket volume 1yesterday.  I was trying hard to wait until I wrote the review before going on to volume two, but… halfway into the second book now, and I think I’ll give up that plan… LOL.  Maggie made me read it!

    Speaking of Maggie, she has a friend spending the night tomorrow, and she’s been involved in a play with the summer reading program at the library for which her performance is tomorrow evening.  She’s excited, of course, and is happier that her best friend will be there than she is about my going.  And Maggie starts summer school on Tuesday, which will set me back into a schedule again.  Yay for routines!

    Maggie with an Airhead tongue

    Maggie showing off her long Airhead tongue

    Coming soon, I promise… a review of Fruits Basket volume 1 with Maggie’s guest review, too.  She made me read it, I swear!  She may look sweet, but you should see her claws!

    Sookie Manga Undiscovered Skanks Strike at Random!

     grave

    Okay, so I’ve decided to give in and join Beth Fish Read’s The Sookie Stackhouse Challenge.  It would seem that I’m going to buy the books anyway… lol, even though I told myself I wanted to wait to see if I LIKED the first book first, I went ahead and bought the second book.  So I’ll “goat head” as my mom always said,  and join the challenge.  There doesn’t seem to be any specific number for this challenge other than to read the books, so for now, I’ll just start off with the two on Mt. TBR.

     

     

    1. Dead Until Dark  
    2. Living Dead in Dallas

    I’ve also got True Bloodseason 1 in my Netflix queue, but I’m waiting to read the first book before getting them.  I may be a little late to this ball, but I wanted to be sure.  Funny, I’ve gone from scairt to join any challenges to being in five?  Does the CDC know how contagious reading challenges are?  What are they doing to help the victims?  :-D

    manga challenge smallAnd, I found a Manga Challenge at Rhinoa’s Ramblings… Yay!  LOL.. Now, if you told me this time last year that, not only would Ibe reading manga, but that I’d be joining a whole challenge devoted to it, I would’ve quit reading altogether.  Funny how you can change in just a year. 

    The challenge is simple, just read 6 mangas in 2009.  I don’t know if graphic novels are included in that, but since it’s a manga challenge, I’ll just stick with them.  My list for the challenge is:

    1. Fruits Basket, volume 1by Natsuki Takaya ~ I’m almost done with it already, and I have volumes 2-5 coming in the mail.  I’m thoroughly enjoying it, and it seems the only book I can focus on right now,  so if I’m not careful, I’ll end up just reading them and ignoring all the rest of the books I’m suppose to read.
    2. Death Note, volume 1by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata
    3. Psychic Academy, volume 1by Katsu Aki
    4. Naruto, volume 1by Masashi Kishimoto
    5. Vampire Hunter D, volume 1by Hideyuki Kikuchi and Yoshitaka Amano, which is still in the mail, but should be here today or tomorrow.
    6. Cowboy Bebop, volume 1by Yutaka Nanten, et al.  It’s not been mailed yet, and I’d actually requested it once before from PBS, but the person never sent it.  So we’ll see if it gets here this time. 

    I chuckled at the writing on the cover of Cowboy Bebop, “Done the Right (to left) Way!”  The one obstacle for Mags reading it on her own is the right-to-left, top-down, way you have to read it.  She’s making me read Fruits Baskets out loud to her.  AND I’ll be sooooooo glad to finally get through the mangas PAST the anime series.  Every other page she gripes how the show is better and the book’s inferior.  Bah!  I’ve been secretly reading ahead of her so I can enjoy it… shh, don’t tell!  I actually like the book better than the show, though, I admit, I read it with the voices from the show (and do the voices when reading it to her).

    Let’s see… what else….  Oh, I just got an email the publisher that I’ll be getting my copy of Undiscovered Gyrl, and I’m sooooo excited for that!  I’ll probably just drop everything and read it as soon as the packaging is ripped from it.  I don’t get this excited for specific books very often, the last one I read straight from the envelope was Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank!  Hopefully I’m not looking forward to it too much and the only way for it to go is down…

    And now, some random things from my digital camera:

    These are my gorgeous girls:  Gwen, 15, on the left, Maggie, 10, in the middle, and Sammi, 16, on the right
    These are my gorgeous girls: Gwen, 15, on the left, Maggie, 10, in the middle, and Sammi, 16, on the right

     

    Demure little Missy.  How could you ever say NO to that face :-)
    Demure little Missy. How could you ever say NO to that face :-)

     and whether it’s the new computer, windows vista or IE 7, there are a few things that just aggravate the crap out of me.  For instance, those two pictures were a trial of patience to get them there.  It doesn’t want to let me SEE what I’m doing in HTML mode, it keeps flipping back to the top.  Some of the blogs won’t stay open for me to leave comments, usually the blogspot ones with the comment box embedded, so I’ve missed commenting on a couple, it seems to do it most to My Friend Amy‘s site.  And it seems to have an issue with doing the open IDs.  I keep having to re-enter “thekoolaidmom” in, until it finally decides publish.  Is this something IE7 related?  *growling sigh of frustration*

    BTT ~ Do You Hafta Be So Graphic?!

    Booking Through Thursday

    Suggested by Vega:

    Last Saturday (May 2nd) is Free Comic Book Day!

    In celebration of comics and graphic novels, some suggestions:

    - Do you read graphic novels/comics? Why do/don’t you enjoy them?
    - How would you describe the difference between “graphic novel” and “comic”? Is there a difference at all?
    - Say you have a friend who’s never encountered graphic novels. Recommend some titles you consider landmark/”canonical”.

    For the longest time, I never gave graphic novels a serious consideration. To me, they were just kids’ books, just a glorified comic book. Not only did I refuse to read them on the grounds they were “books for dummies,” (after all, wasn’t it the mark of growing up? Graduating out of picture books and into chapter books?) but I avoided their whole section like it had a highly-contagious, IQ-lowering virus emanating from it.

    However, a few months ago I started getting curious about them. It was about the same time I gave anime an open-minded look. I started walking by their area in the bookstore, then started looking at their spines, and even cracked a couple open before passing them up. Then, when Gwen’s school had a book fair, I came across Vampire Kisses: Blood Relatives by Ellen Schreiber and finally bought my first graphic novel.

    I had always found the few graphic novels I’d read a little confusing.  Who said what first is sometimes hard to tell, as the bubbles aren’t numbered, and often bump together.  So I sat down with Maggie (it was for her I bought the book) and began to read VK, determined to get through it.   And, after a few pages of working it all out, I started enjoying it.  They’re not the awful stupid-fying, “Dick and Jane grows up” kind of book I’d always accused them of being.

    Still, I haven’t read many.  I’ve only read one other graphic novel, Robot Dreams by Sara Varnon.  Part of that, though, is there are just so many to choose from.  I do have one, a manga, coming from PaperBackSwap called Psychic Academy.  Also, since I like Neil Gaiman, I’ve put his Sandmanbooks on my wishlists.  I’ve also got the first Fruit Baskets on my wishlist.

    As to which book I’d recommend, well… I’m kind of in that same boat with the hypothetical friend.  Maggie doesn’t like the traditional manga books because they open backwards… lol… it seems I’ve passed my book-prejudice on.  And besides, she says, they’re not worth anything in the Accelerated Reader world, which is her yardstick of book-value.  “Why read it if I’m not getting points for it?”  *sigh*

    If you’d like to participate in Booking Through Thursday, click the button above :-)

    Edited to add:  I forgot about the Far Side book I recently read and reviewed, Night of the Crash-Test Dummies by Gary Larson.

    Follow

    Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

    Join 494 other followers