Recent Glances


August 29th, 2009


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Well Amazon.ca cancelled my preorder from about a year ago, for the seinen manga A Distant Neighborhood Volume 1 By Jiro Taniguchi, as they can't obtain it.

I've checked around online and it seems that despite the advance rave reviews across the board, it's just not available for purchase.

The French get spoiled with titles on a montly basis but, getting them the same works in English is almost impossible...

*sigh*....I can only hope that the delay isn't permanent.

I'm so used to waiting for YEARS for a single volume that I don't know why this should peeve me so, but it does....

Probably the very real fear that the publisher will go belly up in this economy before the volume hits the street. Or that the release is so limited that I have to scrounge it from a European seller....again.

May 28th, 2009

Because thinking = doing...

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Well that lasted what...36 hours?

THIS bit of news has the manga loving world reeling, as it should for reasons of thought policing among other things ~ but I'm not going to get into a discussion here or anywhere else about it because it can and will become an wankfest pitting the shota/lolicon casual admirers (because there is a whole lot that can fall under this catagory, like PoT djs) against the morality bristles of those who equate any kind of depiction of shota with hardcore, throw away the key, anti-pedophilia, hang-em til their feet stop kicking, rants.

It's already started in one small doll forum for chrisakes and it is annoying the piss out of me.

High horses have been mounted and there aren't enough brooms in the stable to deal with the opinions that are splatting to the floor.

On the flip side: THIS blog entry makes note of the fact that Rape games are to be banned in Japan.

Unlike the former article that is downright scary, THIS I found interesting because, here is a genre that makes me cringe...probaby as much as the shota-allergic people do. Having said that, I recognize it as something that rubs my aesthetic fur the wrong way, but I won't judge those who find the concepts in the games/manga to be entertaining on some level.

Of course it's just the games that are going to be affected, but when you start banning things generally it's hard to know where draw the line and stop.

It should be noted that a lot of yaoi games will fall under this banning...although I'm sure it will be just a bit of creative writing to make it more *consentual*.....on all sides of the genre divide, but the fact remains that No Will mean No even if it's only a computer program. ;)

Mind you...if it ever extends into the realm of manga you can kiss half the adult industry buh-bye overnight. Eromanga as a genre will be well and truly f**ked. I can't even imagine what will happen to the brilliance that is Ero guro! :(

November 2nd, 2008

Anthology shuffle

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So...Shonen Jump is going to replace Slam Dunk with Tegumi Bachi in the New Year.

Well that's it. I've had it with same old supernatural fight stories up to the freaking eyeballs.

Bleach is okay but it's not something I naturally turn to. This will basically leave me with only Naruto to read and that isn't enough for me to bother renewing my subscription as I can keep up with the story online.

ShojoBeat is at least giving me a magazine where I follow half the stories eagerly...but editorial decisions are as random as farts in my opinion. I still haven't forgiven VIZ for publishing ALL but the last chapter of Backstage Prince and then telling us to buy the book to find out how it ends. *grrr*. If they do that with Crimson Hero I'm going to make someone eat a volleyball.

SPEAKING OF WHICH ~ So how is it that a SPORTS story can exist happily in the girls' anthology but not the boys? SURELY only 30% of them are sitting on their fat asses playing video games! How is it that they can't sell a story about basketball to kids in North America (that's their excuse for pulling SlamDunk) which is pretty fertile ground for such stuff if you ask me....and prefer to put in some quasi-supernatural schlock. SMELLS like another way to sell gaming products and spin off material to me. You can't do that with SD...because it's just a story about a boy who wants to win the heart of a girl by playing basketball.

You know...I do wish VIZ would put out a manga anthology for people older than 12.....and see the damned stories through to the end. That will never happen though ~ because there are no video or card games to sell alongside the mature material. Thank GOD for Dark Horse or we'd never get any Seinen....

Speaking of mens' manga ~ Path of the Assassin #13 is I think the 4th volume in a row where the story revolves around sex of some sort. This takes some doing considering the subject matter. I am left scratching my head as this historical drama decends into eromanga territory and I wonder if the original readership was flagging so badly that they had to make it into a feudal era Crying Freeman? *0__o!!!

This coming from a diehard yaoigirl has GOT to sound funny.

Oh I can hardly WAIT to hear what my mother has to say about this when she snatches up the lastest volumes *rolls eyes*

September 25th, 2008

BEST line of my day!

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Peddling away on the bike at teh gym. Reading Volume 7 of Eiji Otsuka and Housui Yamazaki's The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service

We find three of our heroes out on yet another errand, and upon entering an enormous, multi-leveled, gaming/manga/anime complex (like Akihabara under one roof) one of them quips:

"I've heard of this place. It's like a five-story ant farm for Otaku"

.....I couldn't help it. I laughed aloud (more than once) today at the gym.

Sorry [info]sildil...I'm keeping this series. It's too good for teenagers. >D

July 21st, 2008

Real manga....really!

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Read Takehiko Inoue's REAL at the gym today.....oh wow. IF this isn't nominated for an Eisner I think there is something really wrong in the world of comics.

From the same manga-ka as SLAMDUNK, we have another basketball story ~ but this time off the bench our storyteller is providing the reader with less silly, shonen sports hoopla and...if you'll pardon the court slang....LOADS more balls-to-the-wall drama.

A story about a number of young men and women, whom for various reason find themselves involved in wheelchair basktball (on or off the court) doesn't sound like it could grip the reader but.... oh my goodness ....it can and it does!

I had doubts ....but don't any more. This is a two-thumbs up read!

In other reading we have Nanae Chrono's beautifully drawn and genuinely entertaining vampire romp; VASSALORD.

Vampire stories seem to be in fashion these days and I haven't really thought much of them thus far ~ but Vasslord is different from the rest. First off ~ the artwork is just plain good. Secondly ~ the stories genuinely have their amusing moments and the definately don't take themselves too seriously. That's not to say they are stupid ~ *coughTrinitybloodcough* ~ rather they are just a whole lot of fun and you can't help but think that they manga-ka is having a blast. It's fluff, but good fluff!! *^__^*

July 12th, 2008

Here kitty kitty kitty!!!

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Just got a notification that Vassalord vol. 1 has been shipped, which tweeked me to the fact that it was time for my monthly sweep of pre-orders to see what was available (as in; hunt down the next issue of series I collect on amazon/indigo-chapters).

Going down the list I was thrilled to discover that Volume 8 of LOVELESS is FINALLY making it to our shores in English!...DUDES! This was on the shelves in Japan last summer!! A YEAR? It's taken you guys a full YEAR to cough-up the next copy? NOT like every chapter in that volume wasn't already available in anthology form and they had to draw it from scratch!!!?

*face palm* Tokyopop I know you guys are a bit scattershot right now...but seriously.

(o__(o ......I suppose I should just be grateful it's not on the *cancelled* list.

June 29th, 2008

You can NEVER have too much...

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While I was eating the breakfast bowl of rice, I was bopping about online and in the way things usually happen for me, I stumbled onto the fact that Kodaka Kizuma's re-issue of Kizuna, vol. 2 (actually volume 3&4) is out, as is volume one of Borders AND Kizuna 3 (5&6) is available from Japanese booksellers for pre-order.

*falls to floor and wallows in imaginary goodness like a dog*

I hadn't mentioned here that I stumbled across the freshly released Lux version of Kizuna 1 (1&2) while in Kyoto, sheerly by chance when in a regular book store hunting down PBB 3 for [info]tameiki...and it's a nice, fat, sexy volume I might add.

I'm such a K2 whore....I WILL have one copy of everything she puts out and *gurgles*...she's redrawn the covers AND an entire chapter. I can HARDLY wait to see what she does with Masa in volume 3 *reaches for drool towel*.

...and since I'm helpless in resisting the need to make BK1 purchase I picked up a hat making book too, in order to take advantage of the shipping.


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It is Sunday and I can finally get at this house ~ most of the family is out from under my feet for a few days ~ and because I suspect I will be *on-call* for my mother's visiting relatives next weekend, it's best to do it sooner than later.

Before I get to that I wanted to finish making this post (which I started about 4 days ago) about things I've been reading while sulking due to hiding from reality.

First off, when looking-up the title of the missing volume of a series by Tamora Pierce, that I was inhailing recently, I discovered that she had penned a short White Tiger series for Marvel, and since I love all her strong female characters I had to check it out.

It definately was worth the effort ~ not only because this is a female super heroine written by a woman, but her sense of humor if not sardonic outlook marries very well with the Marvel universe and I couldn't help but laugh aloud at the banter between the female crime fighter and the friendly neighbourhood Spiderman, among many others. It was a real pleausure to read, and the scene(s) where she is dealing with finding a *super hero costume* are something that a female reader can not only appreciates, but totally gets on every level.

It reminds me of the companion book for the Metropolitain Museum of Art's current exhibit; Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy ~ I am rather annoyed that I will not have the opportunity to see the actual show, so I got the book (of course she did)...and am amused by the fact that it has a METAL cover and PLASTISIZED pages...

...not something you grab and stuff in your purse for casual reading, but it is cool in a over- the-top-sorta way. Possibly the most dense book I have ever encountered ~ on several levels. The introductory essay by Michael Chabon is an exercise in editorial masturbation and *snaps* I keep forgetting to bring a DICTIONARY up to the W.C., where I have it as casual reading material.

Dear Mr. Chabon ~ casually throwing around big words that only acedemics use does not make unitards & capes in neon-colours high-brow. If the entire exhibition is plastered with this kind of explanitory drivel then someone at the MMA needs to be slapped.

I am not so much *reading* the introductory essay as I am *working my way through it*. Oh I will learn new words to be sure, but it strikes me that the point of the book should be to engage all reader's imaginations, not scare or confuse them. *rolls eyes*....really, really hate the art establishment and nothing they do or say has yet to change my mind. Taking the humble superhero costume and elevating it from pulp to art COULD have been a way to bridge the gap between the classes ~ instead the great unwashed are merely plundered for their street smart, popculture bounty and left outside the glass window peering in. Meh!

Read White Tiger instead.

I've read the latest volume of Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima's manga epic, Path of the Assassin and omg, this stuff just gets better and better.

Based on the life of historical figure Hattori Hanzo ~ and the political and military manipulation that lead to the unification of the warring states in 14th century Japan is fascinating reading, not to mention a rip snorting good adventure story.

My mothers' eyes lit-up when I passed her this chapter in the tale ~ always an indication of a good book for me. Sure I might like something, but what of others? Her grabby-hand motions for a manga pretty well cinch it for me. While I like this writing/drawing teams' Samurai Executionerbetter, this one is definately up there on my must read list.

Speaking of must read lists ~ I have finally gone back to Keiji Nakazawa's semi-autobiographical, Hiroshima series;Barefoot Gen and finished volume one. This is not something I can read all at once...it's just too heart- wrenching...but it is definately a series that I will force myself to absorb...

...and perhaps that is the point. One doesn't so much *read* the story but absorb the tale. The manga-ka lived through the bombing of the city and decades of physical, emotional and social fallout...this isn't fantasy or distant history, but a very personal, very real telling of a horrific story that is part of our times. The characters on the pages are just simple people trying to make the best of whatever situation life finds them in and as you read, you become absorbed in their personal triumphs and tragedies ~ you laugh, you cry, you stare blankly at pages as try to comprehend that this actually happened.

If I were to recommend a series for a high school library...this would be it.

I have been continuing on with House Lust and am finishing off the section of the book discussing the *real estate gurus* who were teaching people speculative buying practices...for a fee. This book is its own little horror show of sorts, as I am lead to conclude that there are two kinds of greedy people ~ the smart ones, and the stupid ones.

From the state of the U.S. economy following the sub-prime meltdown....I think the latter outnumber the former by 1000 to one. Seriously ...dudes! People blame the crashing economy on lots of things but NO ONE is willing to look in the mirror and say *Hello you greedy bastard...what was your role in this national financial fiasco?"

Kathy (my Kyoto travel companion) kindly sent me a package this past week, which included the book;Secrets of Mariko, by Elisabeth Bumiller. Like House Lust, it's written by a journalist and reads very easily ~ in other words, it's not a work of scholastic integrity but you know...that's not the point of the exercise.

It's a fascinating read about a year in the life of a middle aged Tokyo mother/wife/woman. She's my age ~ has a busy, workaholic husband and 3 kids....around the same age as mine. EVERY time I open this book it is like sitting down to coffee with a peer and listening to her dish....when I was 30 or when I am 50 this book may mean nothing to me...but I have NEVER read a book I related to so well before in my life. While she may or may not be a *typical* middle class Japanese housewife, she is someone who was, at the time the book was written ~ at the same junction of life that I have come to....and it's fascinating to learn how someone else copes.

On that note, have a good one! :)

June 23rd, 2008

.....a glimpse of my future.

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Last night I was trying to find a particular manga. I'm usually pretty darned good about keeping this stuff organized, if not catalogued and in it's proper place ~ I do recall taking this one particular volume off the yaoi shelf in order to wallow in a storyline and now I can't seem to put my hands on it.

It will of course turn up, but while I was searching for it I noted the piles of books around my side of the bed had become precariously tall again, helped no doubt by the fact that I'd removed many from the dangerously stacked bathroom shelf to make room for current reading and placed them at the bedside in passing....so I quickly sorted out the manga/books that could be shelved and re-shuffled the other volumes on the night table at least.

I have actually been yoinked out of R.E.M sleep by guerrila attacks of books before, so it was best to get the circus act under control before it became a hazard to my beauty rest. =__=

Having said that ~ the weeded-out volumes were merely moved to the floor until I can sort them and file them according to genre/title....and I allowed myself a moment of reflection on the fact that this really is sheer madness, before dismissing the thought and wrapped myself up in cloak of denial once more.

Hence I had to pause and swallow a bit nervously at news of the FATE of this Otaku.....

Man in Sendai found dead buried in his manga

The Miyagi Prefectural Police have found a 37 year old man dead in his apartment in Sendai buried under several hundred manga and magazines. They’re currently investigating the case under suspicion that his death was an accident triggered by the Northeastern Japan earthquake on the 14th.

The man apparently had books stacked up to 2 meters tall on all sides and the police suspect that he was in the middle surrounded by books when the books toppled and crushed him, with the weight of the books pushing against his chest and stomach to cause him to be unable to breathe.

....I don't know wheather to laugh or cry. Not at him...but rather, the thought of dying under that. It's like a plot out of a manga story..literally. I've joked about dying this way...but seriously...it happens? @_@!!

June 10th, 2008

What reading list?

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Have finished updating Norton on both pcs during which I made head way into the 2nd book of Tamora Pierce's Immortals Series; Wolf Speaker....nice bubblegum fantasy fare...and I understand now how it was that my mother positively devoured almost the entire trilogy ...of 4 books each, in less than two weeks.

My father told me to keep my books to myself. She just sat on the couch for a week+ and ignored him. *heh*

AND I now recall WHY it was that she asked me when returning them, if I had any more. Thinking back on it ~ when I went on a Tamora Pierce tear in 2007 (because she was listening to the audio books from the library and wouldn't stop recommending them to me), I couldn't get a hold of the concluding volume to this particular set (the middle of the trilogy). It is now readily available....and the glaring oversight will be dealt with. It's also why I hadn't read this series yet....I just forgot what I was waiting for. >__<

MEANWHILE ~ I read the newly released compilation of Yoshihiro Tatsumi's work from Drawn & Quarterly; Good-bye, while my son was at swim lessons today.

First off let me take this moment to gloat ~ D&Q is a Canadian GN publisher and puts out some....slightly off beat material, and Yoshihiro's work definately fits that profile. Each volume is a pleasure to read ~ inspite of the feminist reviewers who will continue to get their knickers in a knot about the way women are portrayed ~ they work becausethey are a product of their time (1960s-70s) ~ and one should not lose sight of that cultural and historical significance when reading these sad, disturbing, sad and disturbing, and sadly disturbing short stories. These tales are about the underbelly of humanity ~ pimples, warts and nosehairs be damned, there is nothing particularly likable about the heroes ~ unless of course you recognize yourself in their thought processes.

There is nothing...*satisfying* about these stories ~ no conclusions, no happy endings...just the reader left closing the book and mulling thoughts over in their head.

Why gloating? Cause I recieved my pre-order before the street date. :P

As for the dollies ~ I have been looking for a pair of *older* Japanese dolls that *spoke* to me for about 2 years now. Not that I am completely dismissive of the pretty ones featuring royalty, geisha or samurai....it's just that I'm not looking for merely attractive.... I seem to approach them like all other artwork that I collect, with the basic desire that looking upon them makes me smile.

I found the pair that does exactly that....their smiles, the angle of their faces and the way they hold their hands out joyously at play. :)

Dolls )

May 3rd, 2008

VAMPIRE KNIGHT ~ okay, I bite.

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I conceed to [info]tameiki that Vampire Knight is a worthy anime.

The illustustrations for the manga drive me batty ~ because of the DOE-EYE thing the manga-ka has going with the females, and in particular the heroine of the story. I just can't get past that rather like some people can't get past the faces of those boys in CLAMP's X ~ Honestly...when the eyes make up easily HALF the face I hit a visual wall and abort even trying to read the story. It creeps me out. The End.

This is what has happened for the serialization of Vampire Knight in Shojo Beat ~ hate the look so I flip past it as fast as possible. It's the same reason I didn't read Baby and Me while it's run lasted.

ANYway ~ with some urging I gave the Vampire Knight anime a try and humbly agree that there is a good story being told and I can actually stomach it in this version and look forward to watching more.

If you compare the images below the cut you will see that while the ratio of eyes to face are the same ~ removing a lot of the sketchy feel of ink, combined with soothing colour tones dulls the impact of the BIG-EYE syndrome.

....and the bishonen...well the boys are simply gorgeous. I mean...seriously drool-worthy....as are their voices. *puddles*

Manga vs Anime image comparison )

May 1st, 2008

Talk about neglecting precious pets!!!!!

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....I have decided that the marketing arm of Tokyopop are a bunch of idiots.

HOW can it be that so many people who love the series Petshop of Horror, by AKINO Matsuri don't know that there even IS a series re-start, let alone that volume 2 is going to hit the street soon?!

...because Tokyopop is an ass! That's how?

Due to pure dumb LUCK I had stumbled across the new series ~ ONLY because I was searching for the next volume of Genju no Seiza by the author, so as to pre-order it.

These people are sitting on a cash-cow and they are starving it to death due to lack of attention!

*Jabs a pointy object into Tokyopops' backend*

WAKE-UP you morons and let your customer base ~ above the age of 12 ~ KNOW YOU HAVE SOMETHING WORTH BUYING!


What a girl wants....

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In a comic/manga blog I read, the author/shop owner was musing on what *girl friendly manga* he should stock at his table for the upcoming Anime North convention, held in Toronto (during which time I will be in Japan.)

His cry was for *the IT manga*...the *must have bishie book* that the girlies will be asking for and he will just not have in stock because he didn't know!

I have to give the fella credit....he knows what he knows (and loves I might add) very well, but is man enough to call out for help when dealing with the other side of the street.

I ventured to him that his best bet is to read the editorial section of Shojo Beat, that young fanpoodles squee in...because truth be known, I'm really too much of a manga omnivore to know what the girl-children are getting their panties in a knot about these days ~ besides the fact that I probably won't be reading it.

I COULD have told him that he should check out JPQueen to see what the Japanese girls are madly basing their latest doujin on and then check if the original product is licensed and available in English yet ~ because quite frankly that's the only way to second guess with any accuracy what's going to be hot ~ I'd vote on Gintama, D-Grayman and Hitman Reborn.

I'm looking forward to what happens when VASSALORD hits the street this summer. I have the tankoubon of volume one...and yummy yummy. Straight manga translation but still...vampire cyborg bishonen? It's like a Trinity-Blood ripoff where the almost-yaoi is canon!! >D heheh...what's not to love?

I'd also tell him to say the HELL away from that dumb Haruka ...because any day now the girls are going to figure out it's...well...dumb...and Viz is going to fire the idiot who pushed the licensing of the thing ~ but I digress. Vampire Knight *resists urge to gouge out own eyes with a spork* is probably a good bet, and definately Nana (resist urge to flip VIZ the bird for removing that from the serializtion) and Sand Chronicles...and from TokyoPop; The NEW Petshop of Horror. I'd vote for the Viz publication High School Debut (two very fun shojo-thumbs up) but then that should be available anywhere....

What he needs to stock is stuff the girls can't get on the shelf at a regular bookstore and that means ANYTHING that smells even remotely of Yaoi. 801/June/Blu/Deux/KittyMedia...put them on the table and they will come. Even some of the Josei that is starting to come out from Aurora and LuvLuv...not to mention the manwha. They are so utterly under-represented on bricks and mortar bookshelves that I could cry.

I really PITY the girls who don't have the ability to buy online ~ I have tried to work the local anime shop (till he closed), but that just made my head hurt because sometimes Jason got the material in, sometimes he didn't and the crapshoot of it all made me just plain ornery when I am reading over 30 series and have pre-ordered my BL half a year in advance. When Gemini Jetpack closed I chose NOT to go to the COMIC book store because ....a comic guy is even more out of touch with a manga girl than a manga boy is. I am NOT up to training yet another man to do my GN shopping for me. I'm a big girl. I can do it myself.

*hugs computer and credit card*

You want to feed the girls stuff? Give them what they CAN'T get from the chain stores or what a straight man would find icky.

....meanwhile I need to go kick Amazon.ca in the can again. They seem to be unable to deliver volume 7 of Naruto Uncut. WTF? Naruto. Viz. um...yeah.... Hello Indigo you are my best friend again!

March 31st, 2008


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Mangacast just reported that TIMES OF BOTCHAN VOL 4 by Jiro Taniguchi and Natsuo Sekikawa has been cancelled by the publisher, Ponent Mon


I knows it's esoteric, but why can't something this brilliant find an audience big enough on this planet in English to sell to, if tripe like Haruka can?

*stomps off to pout in bed*

February 22nd, 2008

The month in review

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Gah...it's closing in on the end of the month and I've fallen off the reading-wagon! Possibly because my *quiet time* for reading on the couch has be interupted by eldest spawnling and boyfriend have taken to sitting in my corner to snuggle while watching t.v. ~ which means I retire to bed early and have a bit of time to gnaw on a manga before passing out.

And there has been a good deal of manga flowing through my hands....I'm sure there are a few I've forgotten but here are a few thought bubbles on those which I've grazed upon;

manga blah blah blah )

January 26th, 2008


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Have located a number of post offices in Kyoto, close to the various hotels I'll be staying in.

Having marked them on my map & noted when they are generally open for business...but since the tour guide will be also posting things back (and encouraging others on the trip to do so) I doubt I'll screw that up too badly. It won't be as nice and easy as in Ikeburkero though...the one there is a postal station and open pretty well 24/7.

In other news...as I wandered around the WWW I made a complete WTF-discovery. Just down the street from TWO of the hotels I'm staying at...and just a stones throw from one of the post offices ~ is The Kyoto International Manga Museum.


My kids are currently laughing their asses off.

**EDIT ...found a good review of the museum. Definately going to fit that on to my to-do list.

January 13th, 2008

Books and Comics ~ review

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Okay, so you know I surround myself with an obscene number of books and one of my two New Years' resolutions is to read one of them a month (beginning to end)....the other is simply to continue to look for the silver-lining in situations rather than dwell on the negative...because there is ALWAYS an upside, even if it just a glimpse of a breathtaking sunset

I tend to buy a lot of books because I am above all ~ a generalist. Fiction is fine, but my passion is Non-fic, and sometimes I ponder the advice of friends' mother when I was still in school (she was the head librarian for the State of New Hampshire I think). After talking for a bit she suddenly said I should do a Masters in Library science. She was the one who labled me a *generalist*....someone who'd never actually met a subject that didn't look interesting, and that is the kind of personality that makes a good librarian.

While I didn't follow through on the advice, I does seem that I have created my own library ~ which probably explains why my children never have actually had to use one for research projects. As they tell their friends....no matter the subject, their mother is bound to have something on the shelf about it.

...sadly it's true.

Books and GN review )

November 8th, 2007

Ghost Hunt

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I have been catching up on some of my manga series. I tend to collect several volumes of one series and then dive in for a pure overload of a story. This week it has been Shiho Inada's Ghost Hunt.

The series started out slow and sort of fluffy....but as it's progressed it has become much more fascinating and nothing at all like your typical high school romance thing. It's about ghost hunting in all it's twisted Japanese glory >D

I'm almost finished volume 9. Volume 10 doesn't come out till April of next year!!!


I just discovered that they have made an anime out of it....and it's licensed to arrive on our shores the autumn of next year.

*not available on Youtube...but they have AMVs and the production values of the animation look good*

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