"Take no heed of her...She reads a lot of books."
~Jasper Fforde

Friday, August 30, 2013

Summer Reading Wrap-up Review #2 (Getting Graphic)

So, this is the first of a few "Multiple Book Updates" that I'll be using to catch up on all my Summer Reading posts for this year.  Even though I didn't read too many of my school books, I did get to read some fun graphic novels.

First, I touched on the Lupin III manga series.  I've been interested in Lupin for a few months now, mostly watching the anime and the movies.  And it's a lot of fun.  So, after a few hours of animated excitement, I started to wonder why I hadn't read any of the graphic novels.
Jigen & Lupin III from Castle of Cagliostro
 Unfortunately, my library doesn't have ANY of the Lupin III books.  They have the Castle of Cagliostro movie, but no anime TV series, and no books.  One Inter-Library Loan later, and I got my first Lupin III graphic novel.  But, it was not Book 1.  No....It was Book 3 (despite my requesting book 1)!!

Luckily for me, the stories are all sort of disjointed and stand-alone.  So, starting with Book 3 didn't leave me with too many questions.  Sure, I did have questions, but I would have been just as confused even if I had read Books 1-2 beforehand.

I will say, however that despite being a fairly decent series, I was disappointed to discover that the Lupin III graphic manga is just not as good as the anime.  Sure, it was fun.  But, it lacked the same appeal of the anime.  On Goodreads, I gave it a 3 out of 5 stars.  Not bad, but not great either.  Honestly, I wouldn't mind reading the rest of the books, but I don't want to deal with the frustration of trying to track them all down via Inter-Library Loan.

Next up is a hilariously bizarre collection called Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton.  This collection was quirky, and pretty strange, to be honest.  But, it was funny, and appealed to my strange sense of humor.  Which is, of course, why it earned 5 of 5 stars on Goodreads.

The topics cover literature, history, and just the random squibblings of Miss Beaton's mind.  This can (and proves to be) very funny, but at times, produces the strangest comments and plots imaginable.  As a future librarian, I loved the literature references, especially Sherlock Holmes, E.A. Poe, and the Bronte sisters.

I suppose posting about this sort of gives a window into what I think is funny.  And that may or may not be a good thing.  I guess I'll leave that up to you guys to decide, haha.

While I'm on the topic, I also want to mention that Kate Beaton also has a website full of even more strange and funny comics.  You can find a link to it HERE.  Enjoy!

My third and final graphic novel is a bit more highbrow, I suppose you could say.  It's called Oishinbo, and it's all about food.  The series follows the staff at a Japanese newspaper, as they attempt to put together the Ultimate Menu, of the greatest foods that truly represent Japan.  In the installment I read, The Joy of Rice, author Tetsu Kariya takes us on a journey into all the finer points of eating rice.  I learned about preparation, toppings and fillings, rice balls, and how to physically go about eating the rice.  There 
was even a recipe in the front (or back, depending how you look at it, since manga traditionally reads right to left) for making scallop rice.  I don't really even like seafood, but I have to admit that it did look pretty delicious.

Excerpt from Oishinbo.  Remember to read right to left ;)
All in all, I was pretty pleased with my collection of graphic novels this summer.  And with Oishinbo earning 4 of 5 stars, that means my graphic novels earned a 3, 4, and perfect 5 out of 5.  Not too bad, I'd say.

Continuing on into the fall, I would love to see if Kate Beaton has made any more books.  And of course, I want to read the rest of the Oishinbo series.  As for Lupin III, I'm not sure.  Of course, I love the anime, so I'll be watching quite a bit more.  But, I'm just not sure if the manga is really for me. 

Keep on the lookout for more of these big themed posts while I sum up my summer reading.  I'm expecting to have even more fun stuff to talk about come fall.  I promise I'll try to post more often.  Thanks, guys ^_^

Summer Reading Wrap-up Review #1

So, I know I've been pretty terrible about posting book reviews this summer....I've been posting on Goodreads, but when it comes to blogging, I've been such a lazy bum.  So, to make up for it, I'm going to try and make a few BIGGER posts, containing the highlights of the summer's reading selection over here in the wonderful world of Emmy.

First, I thought I'd dredge up those books that fit into my Summer Reading Theme of "Summer School".  And well, that list is going to be painfully short.  How short, Emmy?  I can hear you asking.  Well....one.  I read ONE book for my summer reading theme.  In total, though, I did read a healthy 29 books, and I'm still working on my 30th (I'm ending "summer" at Labor Day, so I have until Monday to finish with 30 books.  That means that about 3% of my summer reading actually fit in with my theme.  And that is pretty sad.  Not that I'm beating myself up over it.  I mean, I had a great time reading those 28 other books.

I was considering doing a post about the best and worst of my summer reading, but I think, since most of the books I read were fours and fives, I'm NOT going to write about the best.  (Unless you really want me to).  But, I think I might do a post about the worst.  Sort of like a cautionary tale.  "Don't read this shit" kinda thing.  Not sure yet.  I'm just sort of making this up as I go.

I guess I'd say just expect some more summer reading posts from me in the next few days.  And come this fall, perhaps we can come up with a sort of schedule for my book reviews, or something like that?  If you have any suggestions (like a big post at the end of each week, or post as I read, or whatever, just let me know).

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat (Hal Herzog)

First, I would like to start off my first book review in a good, long while by saying I really like Hal Herzog.  And by that, I don't mean I liked his book, per se.  I mean, I really like him as a person.  Like, I would be perfectly happy to sit down and have dinner with this guy, talking about his next book, his family, his cats, etc.  I just think he seems like a really cool guy.

That being said, while I did enjoy his book, it certainly is not something I would read again.  It's nothing against Hal.  Not at all.  As I said before, he seems like a really cool person.  It's just that the topic of Anthrozoology (animal/human relations) are not really my top interest priority.  My human/animal relations involve swatting bugs, chasing cats, and shouting over the fence for the neighbor's dog to stop barking at a leaf while I'm trying to read.

Honestly, this is a book I totally judged by it's cover.  I mean, look at it: it's bright yellow and blue and has cute animal silhouettes.  Who wouldn't want to read a book like that?  And also, the title piqued my interest.  I even found myself falling comfortably into the prose as soon as I started reading.

All in all, it was a good book.  But, honestly, not a topic I really have a particular interest in, or one I plan on pursuing further.  I guess it was what it was: something enjoyable to read, and nothing more.  Seriously, though, I'm really tired right now, and I think Imma end this post at that.  If you have questions, post them in the comments, and I can ramble on about them when I'm a bit less sleep-deprived.

[But seriously, if Hal Herzog wanted to grab lunch sometime, to talk about his kids, his wife, or his newest book, I would jump at the chance.]

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What's That You're Reading?

Hello, readers!  Sorry it's been so long since I've last posted.  I've been reading and working and hanging out with people and reading and reading and reading....Yeah, so I've been reading a lot.  And so, I thought I would just give you a quick run down of things, since I haven't been posting on the blog at all (of course, those of you who follow me on Goodreads are totally up to date on my shit).

So, what have I been reading?  Well, I've been paging through tomes of everything from whaling expeditions, to two-dimensional worlds, to how science uses dead bodies.  Currently, I'm reading about the processes of eating, and all those fun little ads in the back of vintage comic books, such as "Dr. Hypno's x-ray glasses".

The best part of working in a library (and also the worst) is that I check in so many books all the time, and I always find something cool.  Which means I have to ask my co-workers to check them out to me (I'm not allowed to access the subtle nuances of my account from behind the scenes for fear of being accused of "funny business").  And it also means I have a pile of books in my room ranging from Stephen King's The Shining to a cookbook about muffins and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Of course, I'm still open to book suggestions, but I'm really looking forward to trekking through my current reading lists.  The one on Goodreads is over 600 books long!

And the music!  I love being able to have access to all my favorite bands right at work, and check out all kinds of CDs for groups I might not be familiar with.  Currently listening to Alice Cooper, but I also have Men without Hats, Tegan and Sara, and They Might Be Giants.  Jumping back to Alice for just one brief moment, I have to say that I am FREAKISHLY impressed with Welcome 2 My Nightmare.  SUCH a good album!  I'm including one of my favorite songs here...just in case you wanted to hear the awesome.