Reviews: Lady Kanoko, Beauty and the Squat Bears

You might notice, I’ve changed the name and address of the site. I’m trying something new, and hopefully it works out; I don’t want to have to change the address again.

I’ve mentioned it before, but last week I posted a review on Real Otaku Gamer for The Secret Notes of Lady Kanoko volume 1. It’s a really fun shojo manga, and I just can’t get enough of the heroine.

Yesterday I tried something new and wrote a review for a picture book: Beauty and the Squat Bears by Emile Bravo. I was worried I wouldn’t know how to write about this – what the heck do I know about what kids would like, anyway? – but it was really fun! I hope I get the chance to review something like that again.

Next up for reviews will likely be a couple of manga from VIZ Media. I’ve also received an advance copy (by like a week) of a YA novel from Razorbill, which is really neat! Though I don’t know if I’ll have the time to get to it since it’s pretty thick.

What I’m Reading: Fantasy, Manga, & Some Silly Bears

I forgot to write this up yesterday; the day got away from me. But let’s go on, shall we?

I finished reading The Blue Sword, and while it got more exciting towards the end, the last couple of chapters dragged on and on. Very frustrating, and depressing since I’ve completely loved the other two Robin McKinley books I’ve read. I have started The Hero and the Crown, and you can tell that she figured some things out about pacing and world-building when she started up this novel.

Like I mentioned in my Borders post, I read The Secret Notes of Lady Kanoko, and oh boy is that manga fun. There are one or two things I was a little unhappy with, but it’s so overall enjoyable that that didn’t matter too much. I’ve also written a review for the manga on Real Otaku Gamer, so check that out to see some more specific opinions on it.

I’ve read a few other review copies that I’ll get written up and posted on Suite 101 soon, but the one I had the most fun with was a picture book by Emile Bravo, Beauty and the Squat Bears. It’s a very cute, very funny story, and I’m torn between giving this copy to one of my young cousins as a present, or keeping it for myself for forever. I’m leaning towards the latter.

I picked up a second edition hardcover of The Last Unicorn from the used bookstore, and I hope to crack into that this week. I also have a few more review manga that I’m excited to read, like the next volume of Cross Game.

What have you all read this week? And what’s on your to-read list?

More Reapings from a Dying Borders

The Forest for the Trees: An Editor's Advice to WritersThe Borders going-out-of-business sale has gotten better, so I snuck in there yesterday and grabbed another pile of books.

I bought two more writing advice books: Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maas and The Forest for the Trees by Betsy Lerner. Writing the Breakout Novel was suggested to me by another woman at the Lesley MFA, so I was glad to see one copy left–and extra glad that it was put down on the table by another writer! The Forest for the Trees is written by an editor, which is a perspective I don’t normally see in writing advice.

Obviously I bought some manga as well. Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms is another manga about Hiroshima, written by Fumiyo Kouno. Hopefully this won’t tear me apart as much as Barefoot Gen did.

The Secret Notes of Lady Kanoko by Ririko TsujitaWhen waffling between a couple of shojo manga, my eyes landed on called The Secret Notes of Lady Kanoko. It’s about a girl that loves to sit back and observe her classmates, being completely uninterested in things like friendship, boys, and popularity. I’ve read through it already, and while there are a couple of things that disappoint me, I think it’s great. She watches the people that would’ve been the heroines in any other shojo manga, and her sharpness with other characters makes me love her even more. This was a great impulse buy.

I also picked up a light novel, Book Girl and the Suicidal Mime. I received a copy of the second book in this series from Yen Press, but since I don’t like reading things out of order if I can help it, it’s been sitting unread on my shelf. Now that I have the first book, I look forward to reading this series; I’ve heard good things about it.

The Borders sale is now at 30% for more most books, and this week they’re adding an extra 10% discount. Plus they still allow the discount for Borders Plus members, so this is a pretty good week to shop if you’ve been holding out on something. What books have you been eying at the sale?