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Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - August 24
Time:9:48 pm.
Overtime. Sooo much overtime. Anyway:

What I Just Finished Reading

Great Britain – Emma Marriott
A generally entertaining light-read compendium of U.K.-related trivia. Marriott did a nice job covering a variety of subject matter (history, politics, law, sport, food) in a way that kept me interested even through topics I might not care for, and explained complex topics I was interested in effectively but without dumbing them down.

The Index Card – Helaine Olen & Harold Pollack
I very much enjoyed Olen's Pound Foolish, and found much of the advice in this book to be solid and worth remembering. That said, I wish someone, anyone, would admit the truth – that 401(k)s and IRAs are not “preparing for retirement,” they are gambling. Just because the state encourages citizens to participate does not make them any less so.


What I Am Currently Reading

Necklace of Kisses – Francesca Lia Block
Maybe it's because there's so much good writing in fandom that I expect more from a published author, or maybe it's because I've read hundreds of novels since the Weetzie Bat series was first published, but I've read most of Block's work and found most of it to be technically sound, but lifeless. Thus far, Necklace of Kisses has been a delightful exception to that rule. I hope the magic continues through the latter two thirds of the novel.

Sabriel – Garth Nix
I like Sabriel so much I sometimes wish I could unread the other novels in this series, which is ironic given that I'm rereading now as a prelude to tackling Clariel.

Blood of Tyrants – Naomi Novik
Intelligent, highly-cultured dragons coexisting with and sometimes at odds with human society? No problem. But give me a Japan with tatami in the hallways and sandals indoors, and my brain revolts. What improbable never-neverland is this?!? Funny how the mind works.

The Tarot – Robert M. Place
Still working through the history. I can't help but feel both Dummett and Giles covered this ground better.

Instant Indonesian – Stuart Robson & Julian Millie
I generally dislike these sorts of phrasebooks, but thus far I've found this one to be a useful way to fill in my knowledge of informal speech patterns.


What I'm Reading Next

Let Them Eat Dirt – B. Brett Finlay & Marie-Claire Arrieta
Being a nonfiction work about how excessive germophobia and preoccupation with not exposing children to dirt, allergens, and other “unsanitary” things might actually contribute to health problems later in life. I am hoping it is more science than granola. We shall see with time.

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - August 10
Time:10:58 pm.
자동차saya adaパンク <-- actual sentence that came out of my mouth today. And leaving you with that to chew on, here is:

What I Just Finished Reading

Younger – Suzanne Munshower
The final third relied too heavily on several “And so, Mr Bond, that's why I...” expository speeches, only delivered here by allies of the protagonist. The plot also hinges on a level of naivety among certain characters that stretches belief. Having said that, this was still a really well-written book that included a lot of incisive social commentary along with the entertainment, without bashing readers about the head with the former. I'm glad I read it and recommend it to anyone looking for a good action/mystery yarn.


What I Am Currently Reading

In the Darkroom – Susan Faludi
Faludi is a good writer. Whether it be holocaust trauma, the definition of gender, or the (im?)mutability of identity, her writing is a sparely worded gut punch. I'm torn between wanting to tear through it because it's so good, and needing to put it down to mull over individual sentences.

The Tarot – Robert M. Place
Farther in, the faults are beginning to show. It's not that I disagree with Place's assertions; rather, he makes them in logically faulty ways. For instance, his statement that Tarot cards could not have originated in ancient Egypt (as claimed by 18th- and 19th-century occultists) because paper didn't exist in ancient Egypt is like saying that I'm listening to The Beatles mp3s while I type this, but mp3s didn't exist in the '60s, so neither could have The Beatles. I'm hoping we'll be back on firmer ground as we move into discussions of the antecedents to Tarot symbolism.

Indonesian: A Comprehensive Grammar – James Sneddon, K. Alexander Adelaar, Dwi Djenar
This week's passages focused on the many classifiers and quantifiers in Indonesian, and how they pair with nouns and numerals.

Cut the Clutter – Cynthia Townley Ewer
This week's sections dealt with schedules and kitchen organization. While they sound nice in theory, I think they would be difficult to put into practice by anyone whose schedule doesn't involve multiple (sometimes conflicting) moving parts, or whose kitchen isn't grand enough to be featured in a high-end interior design magazine. I hope the upcoming chapters on clothing and home maintenance are more practicable.

沈黙入門 - 小池 龍之介 (Chinmoku Nyumon – Koike Ryunosuke)
Koike is the first (at least within my readings) to lay out a progression of increasingly sophisticated zazen techniques, vice “count your breaths and focus on air entering your nostrils” instructions. It will be interesting to try them out.

What I'm Reading Next

At the time of writing, I am not sure what I feel like reading next.

これで以上です。
Comments: Read 2 orAdd Your Own.

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - August 3
Time:10:30 pm.
Lots of newspapers and magazines this week, at the expense of book reading. Here's what I did get around to:

What I Just Finished Reading

Jane Steele – Lyndsay Faye
This novel has made me a fan of Faye for life. It's just so well executed, excellently written, and really, just go read it. I'd say more, but I really don't want to spoil anything for people who haven't read it yet. So trust me, and go. Read. This. Book.

ルードヴィヒII世 1 - 氷栗優 (Ludwig II vol. 1 – Higuri You)
It's dated by 21st century sensibilities, but Higuri did her research (which, if I did not know how stupid dedicated Japanese people were to such things I would assume was just a thinly veiled excuse for a junket). The art is charmingly mid-90's, but remarkably sensual in its fade-to-blacks.

終点Unknown 1 - 杉浦 志保 – (Shuten Unknown vol. 1 – Sugiura Shiho)
I had mixed feelings about this volume the first time through. It struck me then like the manga equivalent of Serenity: a two-hour film short-handing what should have been multiple seasons of world-building and character development. It was only on my second, hindsight-enriched reading that I saw


What I Am Currently Reading

Build Your Own Gaming PC – Russell Barnes & Adam Barnes
A lot of good advice that could nonetheless have benefited from the attentions of an editor focused on clarity and brevity.

Uneasy Warriors – Sabine Fruhstuck
About gender and the Japanese military/self-defense forces. I'm only half a chapter in, but Fruhstuck's writing thus far is crisp and readable. Would that all academic writing read like this.

The Tarot – Robert M. Place
Separated as I am from my go-to books on this subject (both by Cynthia Giles), I decided to give this one a whirl. Thus far I've found it well-written and delightfully free of new age crap, but Place also says he's going to explain the Tarot absent Kabbalah, astrology, and 19th century English ritual magic...which are more or less what make up the Tarot. I'm interested to see where he takes this.

Indonesian: A Comprehensive Grammar – James Sneddon, K. Alexander Adelaar, Dwi Djenar
Having complete the first section on verbs, I now proceed to nouns and noun phrases. I am currently absorbing the many functions of yang, dari, and -nya in these constructions.

Cut the Clutter – Cynthia Townley Ewer
This book is concise and well-written, with a lovely layout chock full of bright, attractive photographs. And therein lies the problem: Fifty-three pictures of human beings tidying things, of which 48 are smiling women mopping, scrubbing, and washing in full evening make-up and five are prepubescent boys. Now, yes, I know all adult men are so naturally clean they poop laundry detergent and floral centerpieces and thus have no business being portrayed in a book about cleaning, but would it have killed the publishers to pretend otherwise?

沈黙入門 - 小池 龍之介 (Chinmoku Nyumon – Koike Ryunosuke)
We are now into the nitty-gritty of basic zazen techniques. It's good stuff.


What I'm Reading Next

Necklace of Kisses – Francesca Lia Block
Gonna start this one any day now.

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - July 27
Time:11:12 pm.
Oh hey, is it Wednesday? I thought it was Tuesday...

And after a short hiatus, I am back.

What I Just Finished Reading

Apartment Therapy – Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan
I picked this one up as a curbside adoption because I'd heard of the blog. I was expecting it to be a load of hipster bull, but found the contents to be surprisingly unpretentious and practicable. Gillingham-Ryan's advice isn't exactly revolutionary – keep your home clean and organized, get rid of things you don't use, buy a few high-cost items instead of lots of cheap crap, get rid of electronic distractions, eat food you cook yourself – but I enjoyed the way he presented them. Product and brand shilling was also kept to a minimum. Taken together, these elements made the book's aspirational elements (Gillingham-Ryan's clients can afford far more space, luxury item, and renovation options that most people I know) less irritating than they might otherwise have been. This book was very much worth the effort to read.

Indonesian Slang – Peter Torchia
The title is deeply misleading; I would expect any book about Indonesian slang to, at the very least, handle me- to ng- and -kan to -in transformations, and obscenities. A better title would have been Indonesian Sayings and Idioms, which are what the volume focuses, often well, on.

デンキ – 直野儚羅 (Denki – Naono Bohra)
“I got so into developing these characters I almost forgot I had to include sex scenes,” Naono writes in one of her free talks, making me wish – and not for the first time – that Japanese publishers were less formulaic. Denki has a good sampling of all the Naono tropes, from oyagi to supernatural beings, that I love, and yes, a lot of really good sex scenes. I just wish she had free reign to really draw out the slow burn. (My diabolical plan is to cross Naono with Sugiura to produce a mangaka who writes 30 volume epics with blistering etchi.) As I mentioned last week, most of these stories are available in her other Reijin collections, but it's nice to see them in a new context here.

銀の風遠い刻 ― 小田切ほたる (Gin no Kaze Tohi Toki – Odagiri Hotaru)
Dark secret: I bought this volume in 2003 and have just now got around to reading it; thus, I did not make the connection with the Uraboku Odagiri. For what it's worth, the 1996-1999 Odagiri wrote very sweet, very chaste shonen-ai that is very much of its time (to wit: the laughably outdated “Oh noes, I am gay,” and the very particular brand of late '90s expectation that the audience will fill in the blanks as to why these characters are in Eternal Love after precisely zero meaningful interactions). But Heian-era demons are A Thing of mine, so I'll be holding on to this volume.


What I Am Currently Reading

Jane Steele – Lyndsay Faye
Much like the original Jane Eyre, this novel hit a long rut where nothing much in particular seems to happen for next to forever. Having now soldiered through that, I am very intrigued by where the story seems to be going. In particular, we seem to be heading toward a minor reckoning involving Britain's colonization of the Indian subcontinent. The writing is as period-perfect as ever. I'm very much enjoying the ride.

Younger – Susan Munshower
I'm very much enjoying the ride here, too. Munshower does such a good job of subtly fleshing out her characters and their psychologies that the introduction of some potentially Jason Bourne-esque elements at the halfway point has me intrigued vice rolling my eyes. I hope the latter half of the book stays true to form.

Indonesian: A Comprehensive Grammar – James Sneddon, K. Alexander Adelaar, Dwi Djenar
Yes! I have made it to the ter- verbs, which Sneddon helpfully sorts into five categories based on function and nuance. As with the previous content, his explanations are parsimonious and incredibly helpful in making sense of complex meanings and usages.

ルードヴィヒII世 1 - 氷栗優 (Ludwig II vol. 1 – Higuri You)
Boy howdy, here's another volume that's showing its age with the “You drugged me and I woke up tied to the furniture with my clothes torn off and you raping me, and now I'm desperately in love with you” plot progression. I either just do not see this shortcut anymore in the romantic stuff, or the pasted-on romance in the kink (or maybe I'm just better at purchasing stuff that hits my kinks and DNWs). That said, Higuri does a good job of blending this improbability into the historical record, and it's interesting to see the early emergence of her particular kinks here.

沈黙入門 - 小池 龍之介 (Chinmoku Nyumon – Koike Ryunosuke)
A Zen Buddhist monk who thinks more Japanese should emulate the ethos of 1970's British punk. Koike does not mince words while dismantling all the tatemae on which Japanese society operates. It's exhilarating to read, but part of me can't get over the sense that a certain degree of tatemae is necessary for any society to function.

彼方者の困惑 – 直野 儚羅 (Atchimono no Meiwaku – Naono Bohra)
Chibis! Youkai! Tentative oyaji! So far this has a lot of my favorite Naono go-to's. That said, the first chapter (as far as I've got) reads as though it's reintroducing the characters instead of introducing them. As far as I can tell, this is not the second volume in any series. I'm hoping this disconnect is resolved as the story develops.

終点Unknown 1 - 杉浦 志保 – (Shuten Unknown vol. 1 – Sugiura Shiho)
Returning to the first volume after finishing the latter three, I have a new appreciation for the long game Sugiura is playing within the limited confines of five volumes. I'm impressed by the number of scenes that have become poignant in hindsight. And props to anyone who can write an entire volume in which we never learn the characters' names.


What I'm Reading Next

Necklace of Kisses – Francesca Lia Block
This may irrevocably spoil Weetzie Bat for me, but I'm going in anyway.

これで以上です。
Comments: Read 5 orAdd Your Own.

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - July 20
Time:10:08 pm.
This week I conducted a complete inventory and reorganization of my apartment library. From this, I learned the following three things:
1) I am missing volumes 2 and 3 of Silver Diamond. I am terrified that they were lost years ago by the postal service,
2) I have a ridiculous number of books in my apartment, and
3) The quantity of books I own but have not yet read cover-to-cover is embarrassing.

What I Just Finished Reading

Knotwork – Aidan Meehan
This is the best of Meehan's knotwork manuals. His tone is enthusiastic instead of abrasive, and the explanation of how medieval scribes used compasses and straight edges to lay out gospel carpet pages is itself worth the price of admission. Also of interest is the fact that although Meehan trots out his standard three grid construction method, here he dials it back to two grids, essentially turning it into Bain's method for laying out knotwork.

Crown Duel – Sherwood Smith
Although I'll never recapture the tension of the first (and even second) read-throughs and now remember when most of the jokes are coming up, re-reading this book was as lovely an experience as it's ever been. Smith does such a good job with her characters, world-building, and plotting. As I said last week, I hope one day to write as well as this.

Isagi Kojima - 杉浦 志保 (Isagi Kojima – Sugiura Shiho) 
Sugiura wrote this yomikiri almost two decades ago. It's far more openly dark than her later series, which fact alone makes it worth reading, and you can see her just starting to play around with some of the dominant themes of her future series. And finally, from the art to the plotting to the way characters deal with social issues, boy oh boy is this pre-lost decades Japan.

終点Unknown 4 - 杉浦 志保 – (Shuten Unknown vol. 4 – Sugiura Shiho)
Okay, I'm hooked. You keep lobbing those emotional zingers over the wall, Sugiura, and I'll keep coming back for more. And there is only one more volume plus the gaiden to go. Let us all fervently pray that they let her go long with whatever series she starts working on next.

Silver Diamond 1 - 杉浦 志保 (Silver Diamond vol. 1 – Sugiura Shiho) 
I love this series, and it just gets better with each reread as I know what's in store for these characters.

Silver Diamond 27 - 杉浦 志保 (Silver Diamond vol. 27 – Sugiura Shiho) 
Such a perfect ending to this series. And if that weren't good enough, there is one panel that just continues to make my day nearly a week later.

Silver Diamond 外伝 - 杉浦 志保 (Silver Diamond Gaiden – Sugiura Shiho)
A lovely epilogue that manages to pack in action post-defeat of the series' main antagonists, and a wonderful look at what has become of the world since.


What I Am Currently Reading

Build Your Own Gaming PC – Russell Barnes & Adam Barnes
I've yet to make it beyond the hardware chapters, but thus far the authors have kept product/brand shills to a minimum, which is what I'd been hoping for.

In the Darkroom – Susan Faludi
It's still early days, but I'm already hooked. I imagine this is going to be a very good, but difficult book.

Jane Steele – Lyndsay Faye
Boy howdy this is both dark and incredibly well written. Faye's narrator's Victorian voice is spot on, and she is doing a fabulous job of pulling back the curtains on what precisely it was that all those characters in Dickens, Bronte, or Austen were truly dreading. It's so well done that the element of wish fulfillment/retribution is rewarding, instead of grating. One of the novels of most enjoyed reading so far this year.

Marked – Sarah Fine
This looks to be another mediocre offering from Amazon Kindle First. Ho-hum.

Sabriel – Garth Nix
I prefer to only read this novel during summer rainstorms, and we had a fabulous one last night, so out it came. Some of Nix's prose now strikes me as clunkier than it did a decade ago, but lesser authors would do well to take lessons from him in world-building and writing kickass female leads.

Indonesian Slang – Christopher Torchia & Lely Djuhari
Despite what it says on the label, this is actually a book of folk sayings, thematically organized. That said, there's a fair amount of Javanese and some other regional languages in here, and it's a good resource.

Younger – Susan Munshower
This is actually a really good book. I'm intrigued to see how the hints of menace will develop. In the meantime, Munshower is doing a wicked job of providing some wonderful social commentary by showing, not telling.

Indonesian: A Comprehensive Grammar – James Sneddon, K. Alexander Adelaar, Dwi Djenar
Forging ever onward, I now encounter ber-an verbs indicating reciprocity or repetitiveness of action, as well as ber-kan verbs indicating the state of having the base noun.

デンキ – 直野儚羅 (Denki – Naono Bohra)
Being an anthology of older Naono yomikiri. I have all of them in their individual volumes, but like a mix tape, it's interesting to encounter them here in an unfamiliar context and order.


What I'm Reading Next

銀の風遠い刻―小田切ほたる (Gin no Kaze Tohi Toki – Odagiri Hotaru
Another older volume in support of my trip down Nippon Nostalgia Lane.

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - July 13
Time:12:02 am.
Temperatures in my apartment regularly came close to topping 100 degrees this week; thus, I spent a lot of time in the elsewhere, reading.

What I Just Finished Reading

Miramont's Ghost – Elizabeth Hall
The worst book I have read all year. Everyone from the author to the publisher should be ashamed.

竹光侍 4 - 松本大洋 (Takemitsu-zamurai vol. 4 - Matsumoto Taiyo) 
My palette cleanser. Matsumoto is at the top of his game here. We're treated to some amazing backstory for both our lead protagonist and supporting characters, and an absolute jaw-dropper of a cliffhanger.

終点Unknown 3 - 杉浦 志保 – (Shuten Unknown vol. 3 – Sugiura Shiho)
So last week I was all, Meh about this series. And then Sugiura decided to get serious and I could not put it down. There are plenty other mangaka who do angst and psychological scarring more bombastically than she, but none of them do it so well.

Silver Diamond 25 - 杉浦 志保 (Silver Diamond vol. 25 – Sugiura Shiho) 
The previous volume was a bit of a plod (by Sugiura's standards,) but this volume finds her, and the story, back on point. And how. Amazing character development, nail-biting drama, and gut-punches to readers coming so fast and furious it's exhilarating.

Silver Diamond 26 - 杉浦 志保 (Silver Diamond vol. 26 – Sugiura Shiho) 
Dear god, this is perhaps the best thing I've read all year. So damn good I didn't even notice the knife in my kidney for a good long while. Sugiura, whenever did you slip that in?

I cried. And I had to put it down multiple times, because I couldn't breathe.


What I Am Currently Reading

Knotwork – Aidan Meehan
I find Meehan's method for constructing knotwork needlessly obtuse and his tone frequently arrogant. And yet I keep reading – it is, in fact, a guilty pleasure.

Younger – Susan Munshower
An Amazon Kindle First book that doesn't make me want to gouge my eyes out and curse the invention of written language?!? Like you, I didn't believe it was possible. But this book is not only readable, it's good.

Crown Duel – Sherwood Smith
Every time I return to this book, I'm floored by how good it is. Amazing and fresh worldbuilding, endearing, believable characters, incredibly subtle exposition, and a ripping plot that subverts some of the most fundamental fantasy tropes. Some day, I hope to write like this.

Indonesian: A Comprehensive Grammar – James Sneddon, K. Alexander Adelaar, Dwi Djenar
Forging ever onward, I now encounter ber-an verbs indicating reciprocity or repetitiveness of action, as well as ber-kan verbs indicating the state of having the base noun.

終点Unknown 4 - 杉浦 志保 – (Shuten Unknown vol. 4 – Sugiura Shiho)
In which the climax becomes visible. The series became massively more compelling in the second half of volume 3, but it also feels like Cliff's Notes of a real Sugiura series. If only her publisher had let her go longer.

There's already talk of a 外伝, so they've apparently come around (belatedly) to this way of thinking.

Silver Diamond 27 - 杉浦 志保 (Silver Diamond vol. 27 – Sugiura Shiho) 
A very necessary denouement, given the way the previous volume ripped my beating heart from my chest.


What I'm Reading Next

Wren to the Rescue – Sherwood Smith
I have high hopes that this will be more Crown Duel than Court Duel.

Silver Diamond 外伝 - 杉浦 志保 (Silver Diamond Gaiden – Sugiura Shiho)
When I finish this volume, 13 years of my life will be over. It's going to hurt.

これで以上です。
Comments: Read 6 orAdd Your Own.

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - July 6
Time:11:20 pm.
And after a short hiatus, I am back.

What I Just Finished Reading

How To Be a Victorian – Ruth Goodman
Entertaining and well-written from start to finish. I recommend this one to anyone interested in day-to-day life during the time period.

Promethea vol. 1 – Alan Moore
Nearly 20 years later, Promethea is still the best comic out there. The storytelling, the worldbuilding, the clever allusions, the social commentary, the art (oh god, the art). I more or less have this volume memorised, but it still wows me every time I read it.

Having said that, it is a product of its time, written before anyone questioned why “gay” was a go-to putdown for a subpar experience, or whether sex between a colonial landholder and his decades younger, mentally handicapped housemaid could ever be described as “consensual.” But what's surprising is how jarring these instances are, precisely because they stick out like sore thumbs here, when so many 21st century titles are far more Neanderthal, for all that they've been written decades later.

Promethea vol. 3 – Alan Moore
Moore gets a bit more didactic in this volume, but since it's Tarot and Qabbalah and English ritual magic, I don't really mind. Still a few blind spots on display (e.g., one wonders if the typical woman in ancient Greece would use “freedom,” “logic,” or “peace” to characterise her existence), but the plot and character development are as good as ever, and the art is enthralling.


What I Am Currently Reading

Miramont's Ghost – Elizabeth Hall
The author knows how to spell and punctuate.

Wildwood Dancing – Juliet Marillier
This book was so good, so good...until the main character started delivering pages of ham-fisted dialogue that could have come straight from a modern pop psychology book on self-actualization. I am sad.

Time Exposure – Jane Burton & Dougal Dixon
I loved this book as a child. It's interesting to return to it as an adult and read all the passages that were far too technical for my child's attention span. I believe the author is Scottish, and it's also interesting how frequently my flow snags on his unanticipated phrasings or word choices.

Indonesian: A Comprehensive Grammar – James Sneddon, K. Alexander Adelaar, Dwi Djenar
In which I encounter the memper- and memper-kan verbs, and spend much time committing to memory when and how they do not overlap with their men- and men-kan counterparts.

終点Unknown 3 - 杉浦 志保 – (Shuten Unknown vol. 3 – Sugiura Shiho)
It's an amusing series with art that is as gorgeous as ever, but it just is not grabbing me. Sugiura excels at long, intricate plots and the attendant character development; everything here just feels rushed.


What I'm Reading Next

Wren to the Rescue – Sherwood Smith/b>

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - June 22
Time:10:15 pm.
Expect next week's pace to taper off given that Good Old Games just had their big summer sale. Anyway, this past week's reading:

What I Just Finished Reading

Headscarves and Hymens – Mona Eltahawy
Although the rest of the volume never attains the diamond-brilliant glory of the first essay, this volume is well worth the ready.

The Great Suppression – Zachary Roth
Also worth the read, although I'm a little skeptical as to Roth's conclusion that Jane and Joe Everyone can turn the tide against moneyed elites' efforts to disenfranchise them from the political process.

Queen and Country: The Definitive Edition vol. 3 – Greg Rucka 
The art was by and large fabulous, and I think Rucka means well. But he is also a sterling example of how even largely well-meaning male authors so often get it wrong when writing “realistic” female protagonists.

Silver Diamond 24 - 杉浦 志保 (Silver Diamond vol. 24 – Sugiura Shiho) 
In which Rakan & Co. deal a striking blow to the main antagonist. I imagine it would have been gripping had I been able to read it in Ichi Raci, but the dramatic tension is somewhat lessened by my knowledge that four additional volumes yet remain.

蟲師 3 - 漆原 友紀 (Mushishi vol. 3 – Urushihara Yuki) 
I love, love, love Urushihara's art. It's what my fantasy-perfect premodern Japan looks like. That said, the series has been slow going for me thus far, with it's youkai-of-the-week format and dearth of recurring characters. But halfway through the volume's final chapter, we get a hint that Urushihara's just sneaked in some major backstory that's confirmed by the conclusion. If the following volumes contain actual plot arcs in addition to the gorgeous artwork, you can count me on board.


What I Am Currently Reading

Jane Steele – Lyndsay Faye
Having read the first chapter, I'm pleased to say Faye has the voice down pat. However, I get the sense the story may be far darker than what I thought it would be. I'm now wondering if I should reread Jane Eyre before plunging any further into this one, as good as the writing promises to be.

Miramont's Ghost – Elizabeth Hall
Still as flatly and unbelievably written as ever. At least I'm a fourth of the way through it.

Wildwood Dancing – Juliet Marillier
While not as wonderfully atmospheric as I'd hoped it would be, I'm still enjoying the story immensely. The plot, characterizations, and description are all engaging, and I'm eager to see if some of my suspicions about where the story might be headed regarding the Night Folk and the magical frog Gogu are borne out.

The Living Religious & Cultural Traditions of Bhutan – National Museum, Janpath, New Delhi
This book contains some lovely tidbits about Bhutanese culture, particularly the country's unique riff on esoteric Buddhism. The color photographs are top notch; my main complaint is that they should have included far more, particularly details of the intricate thangka paintings.

Queen and Country: The Definitive Edition vol. 4 – Greg Rucka 
I believe this is the final volume in the series, although thus far it's been backstories for the secondary male characters, versus Rucka picking up the story from its volume 3 cliffhanger. Given the overall implausibility of the volume's ending, this may be a blessing in disguise.

Indonesian: A Comprehensive Grammar – James Sneddon, K. Alexander Adelaar, Dwi Djenar
I have finally moved into me-i verbs. This week's sections focused on me-i verbs indicating location of the action, and their corresponding me-kan + preposition counterparts indicating the object.

Sang Alkemis – Paul Coehlo
Trudging along. At least I'm picking up some useful geographic and pastoral vocabulary.


What I'm Reading Next

Crown Duel – Sherwood Smith
This is one of my quintessential high-summer reads. I own the paperback reprint, but am trying to get the 1997 edition, with its “uncorrected” geography, from the library to read instead.

これで以上です。
Comments: Read 1 orAdd Your Own.

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

Subject:Dear Rare Pair Fest Author
Time:1:12 pm.
I love exchanges and I'm so happy to be getting a fic from you, especially in one of these lesser-known fandoms. In terms of the fic itself, I like everything from G-rated character studies to full on smut. Slice-of-life vignettes and intricately plotted epics are both fine by me. My kinks include humor, banter, loyalty, found families, characters confronting social norms, and hurt comfort. My fairly short list of DNWs includes noncon, character death, or heavy-duty AU.

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Comments: Add Your Own.

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - June 15
Time:10:14 pm.
What I Just Finished Reading

A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab 
I finished it. The writing was mediocre at best and often simply bad. I have no desire to read the sequel.


What I Am Currently Reading

Headscarves and Hymens – Mona Eltahawy
You probably know Eltahawy for her 2012 Foreign Policy article “Why Do They Hate Us?” It reappears here, in updated form, as the first chapter of the book and it is even more blistering than the original. It's some of the best writing I've read this year. The rest of the book is still very good, but slightly paler by comparison (perhaps because it has not had four years' worth of reworking). But I am tearing through this thing and very glad to be reading it.

How To Be a Victorian – Ruth Goodman
I am very much enjoying this book. Goodman has chosen to organize her material in the framework of a British Victorian's life from waking to bedtime, an approach I wasn't sure I would care for initially, but that is both engaging and a very effective way to convey information. A third of the way in, I have not been bored yet, even by topics that would normally never interest me.

Wildwood Dancing – Juliet Marillier
It's still early days, but that's only because I put the novel down until I have time to properly savor it. From what I've read so far, this is going to be fantasy fiction as I wish all of it were written.

The Great Suppression – Zachary Roth
I thought this was going to be a book about voter suppression legislation, and was pleasantly surprised to find that it is much wider in scope. Thus far, Roth has also tackled the influence of corporate and one-percenter money on electoral politics, attempts to stack or neuter the Supreme Court, gerrymandering, efforts to make the Senate and Electoral College less responsive to popular majorities, and attempts to override the legislative prerogatives of state and local governments. The latter especially was unfamiliar to me, and both interesting and troubling to learn about. At 180 pages, the book is short, but I have yet to feel that Roth isn't dealing with an issue comprehensively, or is cherrypicking his evidence (and only once that he had not considered a likely alternate hypothesis).

Indonesian: A Comprehensive Grammar – James Sneddon, K. Alexander Adelaar, Dwi Djenar
This week's reading involved me-kan constructions as a way of formulating verbs indicating actions conducted in or on the base noun.

What I'm Reading Next

Jane Steele – Lyndsay Faye
I will get to this book!

Inside the Victorian Home – Judith Flanders
Being the much more traditionally structured analog to Goodman's volume. My sense is that it will cover much of the same ground, only in slightly more detail and in a more academic and less chatty fashion. The color plates look gorgeous.

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Saturday, June 11th, 2016

Subject:Last night I joined a new D&D group...
Time:12:36 pm.
...and it was lovely. It's been a long time since anything has left me with this particular type of contented happiness, and 12 hours later I am still thinking about the quest and eager for the next session to find out what will happen next.

I hadn't realised how much I missed playing. This city is full of intelligent and informed people, but they also tend to be casually dismissive of "geek" things in the way only people who've never actually encountered them can be.

We aren't meeting again for another month, so now I am very much feeling the urge to replay the Baldur's Gate series. It's going to be in the upper 90s all weekend, so I might have to make this happen.

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - June 8
Time:10:06 pm.
Not much to report this week, not much.

What I Just Finished Reading

The Good Fairies of New York – Martin Millar
Over a decade later, I still love this book, even after multiple readings and very little detail forgotten between them. Millar perfectly illustrates that you don't need trilogies with epic-sounding titles or ornate prose to write a damn good fantasy novel.

恋愛年齢 – 直野儚羅 (Ren'ai Nenrei – Naono Bohra)
Final verdict: it was cute, but boy did I wish her publishers had given her more space in which to explore the characters' relationships and backstories. That's true for the main oyaji couple whose story comprises the first several chapters, and especially so for the final two chapters, with their human/nekomata pairings and Edo jidai setting. That stuff is catnip to me, and I would have loved for it to have been spun into a much longer tale.


What I Am Currently Reading

A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab
Two-thirds of the way in, it's gone even further downhill. Characters speak to each other in large chunks of expository dialogue that would never emerge in actual human conversation, the POV begins to switch between more and more one-off characters so Schwab can introduce various deus ex machina, and boy does she ever go overboard on the italics, sometimes to the tune of multiple words a sentence. I will be glad to wrap this one up this week.

Indonesian: A Comprehensive Grammar – James Sneddon, K. Alexander Adelaar, Dwi Djenar
This week's sections compared me-, me-kan, and ber- words with the same base. It was good stuff as always, but I will probably have to revise it a few times to remember each word's definition correctly.


What I'm Reading Next

How to Be a Victorian – Ruth Goodman
For reasons.

The Great Suppression – Zachary Roth
I have a personal interest in this book, having almost been disenfranchised by Republican-enacted voter ID laws after years living abroad.

これで以上です。
Comments: Read 3 orAdd Your Own.

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - June 1
Time:10:20 pm.
What I Just Finished Reading

The Strangler Vine – M.J. Carter 
It held up very well on the reread, especially considering this time through no longer involved the tension of not knowing who lives and who dies, to put it bluntly. One of my favorite things about this novel, which became clear to me the second time through, is how little Carter tells you about physical appearances, ages, etc. Readers wishing to know will have to pay close attention to the narrative and do a fair amount of extrapolating. The thing is—and what too few authors realise—is that it makes the narrative so much more immediate and vivid than having everyone stare in a mirror, or express jealousy/admiration for another character's hair/eye color/height.

Myth-Making and Religious Extremism and Their Roots in Crises – Arthur Neal & Helen Youngelson-Neal
Final verdict: some intriguing concepts are buried in this volume but the book fails to deliver, largely because the authors lack an overall thesis or framework for organizing the information. Their arguments are poorly structured, repetitive, and frequently contradictory. That said, they reference a ton of intriguing sociologists and theorists, and I found myself regularly flipping to the works cited section to make notes for future reading.


What I Am Currently Reading

A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab
I realised what it is about this book that is rubbing me the wrong way: it's set in Victorian London, but the narration and worse, dialogue, come straight out of 21st century America. Our Stoic Yet Softhearted™ mage protagonist is repeatedly “okay” after whatever's just happened to him. “Sit down before you fall down, magic boy,” threatens our Plucky Lady Heroine™ when they first meet. (PS: Oh, snap!) Combined with the narrative sloppiness of characters remembering or forgetting their informed attributes to create a path of least resistance for the author, it just leaves me cold.

Indonesian: A Comprehensive Grammar – James Sneddon, K. Alexander Adelaar, Dwi Djenar
Bless this book. In less than 100 words it explained a bit of grammar—me-kan constructions, why they are both adjectives and verbs, and when they are adjectives versus verbs—to which another volume I own devoted an entire chapter that left me more confused than illuminated.

恋愛年齢 – 直野儚羅 (Ren'ai Nenrei – Naono Bohra
These stories were written in the years before 2010, when I felt that Naono was really phoning it in for her published stuff. The interesting works are now in her DJs, where she can spend as much time as she likes on plot before getting to the sex.


What I'm Reading Next

The Game of Kings – Dorothy Dunnett
Still planning to get to this one soon.

Jane Steele – Lyndsay Faye
I will be reading this book because it stole the cover from my current obsession, The Strangler Vine. I'm not joking

As a bonus, I believe it too might involve an alternate London.

これで以上です。
Comments: Read 1 orAdd Your Own.

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

Subject:Long weekend woes
Time:7:02 pm.
It is disgustingly hot and humid, and the library has been closed for the long weekend, meaning I can't escape to somewhere comfortable. Therefore, I am going to wrangle this Strangler Vine thing to at least 2,500 words in length, and then I am going to post it.

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - May 25
Time:8:03 pm.
What I Just Finished Reading

Trees vol. 1 – Warren Ellis
The eight issues collected in this volume eventually came together better than I'd expected them to, and I will progress at some point to volume 2. Some of Ellis' social commentary grates, but overall, he's one of the more incisive authors in the medium in this regard and that's the case here.


What I Am Currently Reading

The Strangler Vine – M.J. Carter 
Some of my favorite scenes in the last 100 pages are coming up, and I'm slowing down to try to get to them over the weekend.

Western Power in Asia – Arthur Cotterell
I've moved on to the conquest of Malacca and the Acehnese uprising in response. It's good stuff; I'd had no idea Aceh was such a powerhouse back in the day.

Myth-Making and Religious Extremism and Their Roots in Crises – Arthur Neal & Helen Youngelson-Neal
This week's chapter focused on why people enter and become disillusioned with organized religious groups. Neal and Youngelson-Neal don't offer any insight beyond the readily apparent, but they did reference several other scholars whose work I will probably look into.

A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab
A third of the way through, it possesses many of the elements I love – world-hopping, blood magic, alternate Londons, hints of pirates to come – but it all leaves me cold. The characters feel like paper dolls more than people. At least it reads quickly.

Indonesian: A Comprehensive Grammar – James Sneddon, K. Alexander Adelaar, Dwi Djenar
This week's sections revolved around ber- and men- verb conjugations. I considered myself solid on this topic already, but Sneddon et al. added a great deal more to my understanding.

Sang Alkemis – Paulo Coelho
It doesn't get any less smarmy in Indonesian. Still, I forge on.

禅、シンプル生活のすすめ – 枡野俊明 (Zen, Shimpuru Seikatsu no Susume – Masuno Shunmyo)
I first read this over six years ago and found it pleasant, if not particularly memorable. Last November, another volume I'd picked up in BookOff and was very much enjoying struck me as familiar – it was also by Masuno. As I liked the latter one so much I thought I'd revisit this and see if my opinions have changed with the passage of time. I'm doing a chapter a night before going to bed. So far, so good.


What I'm Reading Next

The Game of Kings – Dorothy Dunnett
I'm more in the mood for historical fantasy than straight historical fiction, and will probably pout for a bit because Pascat's so recently spoiled me with a slashy version of the former. But it comes recommended and has lots of stars on LT.

これで以上です。
Comments: Read 2 orAdd Your Own.

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - May 18
Time:11:35 pm.
What I Just Finished Reading

The Captive Prince – C.S. Pascat 
Plotwise, it read like a bona fide BL novel in English. Craftwise, it read like decent fanfic, although I could have done without 90 percent of the adverbs. I can't shake the feeling that I know this story from somewhere.

Our main character Damen seemed a little too blasé about his captivity, and his flaying. I have high hopes that his complacency toward slavery will come back to haunt him, potentially as a wallow in helpless devotion to his captor. I imagine that exchange between Laurent and the Regent is significant, especially given the latter's preference for children. (Ew.) I do like that the racy bits are largely pandering to my tastes, versus standard romance novel or porn-for-straight-dudes tastes. I just hope they pander less to non-con/non-con BDSM/chan...I honestly can't tell where things are going at this point.

The novella at the end was of far better quality than the main novel; I hope the subsequent books take after it.

Prince's Gambit – C.S. Pascat
Okay, I'm hooked. Our heroes are clearly ciphers for Thor and Loki, but perhaps it's because I can rely on that shorthand/familiarity here that the book seems far more three-dimensional than it should be. Other elements remind me of Attolia, or Saintcrow's Romances of Arquitaine, or even a bit of Song of Achilles, and that's helping too.

For me, bad fantasy fails because it bumps me out of the narrative, and this should be doing that – (Who produces all the food and clothing for this bloated court and its rent boys and girls? Where are all the rent boys/girls coming from, anyway? Are their families upset that this has happened to them? What about the people who don't want to be pets? The slaves who don't learn to embrace abject groveling subservience? The commoners who think they're worth more than three coppers?) – but it isn't.

I am surprised by how much I like the dynamic between Damen and Laurent, which is more complex than I'd anticipated, and there are moments of shining humor that took me completely by surprise. The slow burn between them is also very, very well done, and hits pretty much all of my buttons. My one concern is that Laurent will prove to be too manipulative and omniscient to be believable, but I'll have to wait for the third book to find out.

Kings Rising – C.S. Pascat
I was absolutely right about the big reveal underlying much of Laurent's behavior, but it was handled so well, I'm pleased at having spotted it instead of irritated at its obviousness or heavy-handedness. I am also pleased at the way Damen's change of heart was revealed – as genuine and believable character development versus, again, heavy-handed with capital-L Lessons Learned moping and angsting.

I was surprised by an incorrect assumption I'd made concerning Jocaste, and completely blindsided by a nice piece of narrative symmetry toward the end.

Overall, in terms of some major kinks (worldbuilding, long-game plotting, character developmet) these books were far, far better than I thought they'd be and I am very glad to have read them, despite their having rendered me useless for doing anything else over the past five days.

The Late Works of Hayao Miyazaki – Dani Cavallaro
I finished it. I think my favorite passage is this:

His ecstatic vision is shattered as an enormous zeppelin descends onto the scene and proceeds to bomb the countryside below, while the boy is powerless to halt it. Strange creatures ride the zeppelin's hideous ammunition, which hangs from the aircraft by means of wires redolent of thick noodles.

“Redolent of thick noodles.”

"Redolent of thick noodles."

The entire book is written like that.


What I Am Currently Reading

The Strangler Vine – M.J. Carter 
Largely put on hold because of the Captive Prince series, along with the fic.

Western Power in Asia – Arthur Cotterell
The conquest of Calicut and Malacca was put on hold for the Captive Prince series.

Someone out there is responsible for this. They know who they are.

Indonesian: A Comprehensive Grammar – James Sneddon, K. Alexander Adelaar, Dwi Djenar
I've forged ahead into se- and se-nya constructions. Unlike last week's affixes, my brain seems to take to this set.


What I'm Reading Next

Trees vol. 1 – Warren Ellis
I am going to wrap this one up this week, because I've had it signed out for a really embarrassingly long time.

Myth-Making and Religious Extremism and Their Roots in Crises – Arthur Neal & Helen Youngelson-Neal
I made it to chapter 6 before the dense prose made me take a breather. There are interesting ideas in this book, but the presentation could have been tightened and the editing, well, could have been done in the first place.

A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab
This being my third stab at this novel since last November, I am determined to make headway this time.

これで以上です。
Comments: Read 12 orAdd Your Own.

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - May 11, 2016
Time:9:15 pm.
What I Just Finished Reading

Alas, nothing. It has been a week of long hours at work and long commutes to and from.

What I Am Currently Reading

The Strangler Vine – M.J. Carter 
I’m about halfway through with my read-through, and enjoying my favorite bits from my first go-round with the added knowledge of hindsight. And god help me, I appear to be ficcing it.

Western Power in Asia – Arthur Cotterell
I’m currently in the midst of the Portuguese expansion into India. Thus far, the writing is crisp and informative. I am pleased.

Trees vol. 1 – Warren Ellis
The first issue didn’t capture me, but I’m increasingly intrigued the further in I read. That said, I wish Ellis had devoted more panels (to say nothing of issues) to unpacking some important character development, a common reaction I’ve had to other recent promising titles.

Miramont's Ghost – Elizabeth Hall
I’ve read enough fiction that I have a hard time tolerating cliché at this point. Por ejemplo: We are told the main character is “making up” for his horrendous treatment of his daughter by doting on his granddaughter. Except, making up with your daughter is how you make up with your daughter. Spoiling her daughter when you didn’t treat her well just adds insult to injury.

Indonesian: A Comprehensive Grammar – James Sneddon, K. Alexander Adelaar, Dwi Djenar
This week I delved deeply into the affixes ke-an, pe-an, and per-an and tried wrapping my head around the nuances that all come out the same in English translation.

What I'm Reading Next

The Late Works of Hayao Miyazaki – Dani Cavallaro
Cavallaro possesses the linguistic aptitude of Donald Trump. It’s taken me two years to get through this thing but this coming week, I will finish it. I will not let it defeat me.

Most Blessed of Patriarchs - Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter S. Onuf
Looking forward to this weekend, when hopefully I can sit down and devote long uninterrupted periods to reading this.

これで以上です。
Comments: Read 1 orAdd Your Own.

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

Subject:Fic: To Whom It May Concern
Time:6:39 pm.
I actually participated in shipswap this year and wrote the following Goblin Emperor fic, which was great fun.

Title: To Whom It May Concern
Fandom The Goblin Emperor
Summary One day, Csevet Aisava made a simple mistake.
&c. Post-canon, 2,835 words, rated G.

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - May 4
Time:10:58 pm.
Wow, it's been awhile, hasn't it?

What I Just Finished Reading

The Infidel Stain – M.J. Carter
What a disappointment. This book reads like someone's bad fanfic sequel to The Strangler Vine. Carter reduces her formerly intriguing protagonists to buffoonish caricatures, which makes her cribbing from Doyle all the more obvious and irritating. The narrative reads as if someone had a gun to her head and was threatening to pull the trigger if she dared include anything but exposition.

And boy, is it tedious (Just try to distinguish passages from the novel from the book's bona fide historical afterward. I dare you.) Even the dialogue is presented as post facto exposition, when it would have been more exciting and less verbose had it been written as dialogue. I get the feeling that a) Carter and/or her publishers wanted to get a sequel out as quickly as possible, good writing be damned, and b) Carter included so much exposition (vice narration or dialogue) to hit contractual word counts. At any rate, give this half-baked volume a miss.

What I Am Currently Reading

The Strangler Vine – M.J. Carter 
Now, this is some good writing. A disaffected ensign in the East India Company is ordered to accompany a disgraced loose cannon and former officer on a search to locate a missing poet, who may have been murdered by Thugs. Carter's descriptions are lush and the protagonists fascinating. And she plays her cards close to her chest, so when she parcels out hints and clues as to who these people might be, readers are left hungering for more.

There is some unnecessary exposition here (although far less than in the sequel), and some fairly improbably scenarios, but here's the thing: I'm willing to go all-in on these bits because the rest of the writing is so good.

Sang Alkemis – Paul Coelho
I was hoping the experience of reading this one in Indonesian would make it somewhat more tolerable. It hasn't.

Indonesian: A Comprehensive Grammar – James Sneddon, K. Alexander Adelaar, Dwi Djenar
I adore grammar books, and for Indonesian, this is probably the best. The explanations are concise and clearly written, and there's a lot of good vocabulary for intermediate to advanced readers.

What I'm Reading Next

Most Blessed of Patriarchs - Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter S. Onuf
Jefferson fascinates me: you'd think he largely got it if you only knew him from his writings, but in his conduct he was a hideous human being as often as not. I'm interested to see whether this book's premise – that Jefferson organized his life around “mastery” of the self, intellect, actions, etc. - can convince me.

Miramont's Ghost – Elizabeth Hall
This was a freebie and looks to be as bad as most Kindle novels, but I need something mindless for my commute.

これで以上です。
Comments: Read 10 orAdd Your Own.

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - March 2, 2016
Time:10:07 pm.
What I Just Finished Reading

竹光侍 3 - 松本大洋 (Takemitsu-zamurai vol. 3 - Matsumoto Taiyo)
Matsumoto is just a master - his artwork imbues the characters with such life that when terrible things happen, you cry.

These Heroic, Happy Dead - Luke Mogelson
I’m not quite sure what to say about this book. The writing is solid – often poetic – and Mogelson does a phenomenal job of showing, not telling. But for some reason, it just didn’t do it for me. This may be because although Mogelson is a talented writer, the story he tells (over and over) of men hopelessly broken by war has already been told (over and over) by myriad other authors. To be sure, Mogelson tells this story well. I just wish he could have also told a story or two about the women who fight in these wars, or any veteran who came out the other end without being fully crushed by the experience.

What I Am Currently Reading

The Goblin Emperor – Katherine Addison 
Reading very slowly now, as I’m approaching the Great Avar’s state visit and midwinter, collectively my favorite arc in the entire novel.

Sir Lancelot the Great - Gerald Morris
This is perfect bedtime reading. I’m far older than the audience for whom Morris is writing, but there are genuinely delightful scenes throughout.

Myth-Making and Religious Extremism and Their Roots in Crises – Arthur G. Neal and Helen Youngelson-Neal
This is a dense book so progress is slow, but I’ve found a lot of food for thought thus far. Subject-verb disagreement abounds – a strange quirk I’ve noticed in other books published by McFarland.

Washington’s Spies – Alexander Rose
I’m also talking this one very slowly, enjoying Rose’s descriptions of the colonial period and the patriots and crown loyalists who populated it.

神隠し - 佐伯泰英 (Kamikakushi – Saeki Yasuhide)
Being the story of Akame Kotoji a master swordsman and former samurai who now makes his home in Edo as a knife-sharpener. Eighty pages in, we’ve learned that Kotoji has a common-law wife named Oryo, and a son who is actually not his but the child of Kotoji’s erstwhile assassin (whom Kotoji killed first), to whom Kotoji is teaching kendo so that said son can kill him and avenge his birthfather when he reaches his majority (PS: good lord, Japan). One day, the grandfather of Kotoji’s landlord disappears in the blink of an eye from the crowded family residence (the “kamikakushi” of the title), but Kotoji wonders whether something other than the supernatural is to blame.

竹光侍 4 - 松本大洋 (Takemitsu-zamurai vol. 4 - Matsumoto Taiyo)
In which we will learn something of Soichiro’s backstory.

세상에 없는 아이 - 김미승 (Sesang-e Eomnun Ai - Kim Misung)
Our protagonist has recently saved an important man from drowning, and is about to be kicked out of her house by her father for her troubles. (She neglected to bring home any firewood, what with all the life-saving.) I sense a “virtue belatedly recognized and rewarded” payoff on the horizon.

What I'm Reading Next

Chances are good I’ll return to some of the yet-unfinished volumes from Wednesday reviews past.

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

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