638 Followers
189 Following
LG

Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

Graphic Medicine Manifesto
MK Czerwiec, Kimberly R. Myers, Scott T. Smith, Michael J. Green, Susan Merrill Squier, Ian Williams
Progress: 26/172 pages
Ao Oni: Mutation
Kenji Kuroda, Karin Suzuragi, Alexander Keller-Nelson
Progress: 30/152 pages
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal
Christopher Moore
House of Leaves
Mark Z. Danielewski
Progress: 22/709 pages
On Edge: A Journey Through Anxiety
Andrea Petersen
Progress: 80/260 pages
Gorgeous Carat, Volume 01
You Higuri
Progress: 40/170 pages
Princess Prince
Tomoko Taniguchi
Progress: 310/336 pages
FREE: Locke & Key
Tatiana Maslany, Audible Studios, Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodríguez, Kate Mulgrew, Haley Joel Osment, Full Cast
Progress: 91/806 minutes

Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice from My Bipolar Life (graphic novel) by Ellen Forney

Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice from My Bipolar Life - Ellen Forney

Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1998. It took her years to get stable, but she managed it. After she published Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, & Me (which I haven't read), comments from readers inspired her to write this book.

I requested this in order to read up on mental health-related graphic novels for work. This was much more text-heavy than I expected - not so much fun to read cover-to-cover, which I needed to do fairly quickly in order to finish it in time to write up some impressions for coworkers. But I'll admit that I got through it more quickly and easily than I probably would have if it had been a more traditional self-help book. The large comic-style text and illustrations were appealing and usually easy to follow.

Forney covered lots of topics: different therapy options, coping tools, dealing with insomnia (or the opposite, hypersomnia), dealing with meds (tips for remembering to take them, traveling with meds, side effects), identifying your warning signs, and the importance of setting up a support system and ways to do it. Although her advice was geared towards folks with bipolar disorder, those with other mood disorders or anxiety could probably also find useful information. As someone who, only this afternoon, had to deal with an anxiety-induced panic attack, I can confidently say that Forney's "put your face in a tub of ice water" trick actually does help.

Some of the advice Forney covered was the same stuff I've seen in other self-help books for depression, anxiety, etc., but she occasionally put a twist on some of it that I hadn't seen before and liked. For example, there are a lot of people who say "be kind to yourself, you wouldn't say that to someone you loved, right?" Which is all well and good but doesn't really make it easier to not beat yourself up over stuff. Forney had similar advice, but instead of just saying "you wouldn't say that to someone you loved," she presented a visualization exercise in which you imagine saying that to a child version of yourself, then imagine what you'd do if someone you loved did the same thing you were berating yourself about, then imagine treating your child self like you would someone you loved, and then finally treat yourself like that. Not a thing I've tried yet, but I really liked that page.

Like so many other self-help books, Forney also brought up meditation. One twist that she added that I liked was making walking meditation less boring by turning it into a story she actually wanted to participate in. She'd imagine that aliens had contacted her and told her that the area she was in was going to be destroyed. They had turned her whole body into a recording device, and they needed her to record as much as she could, with as many of her senses as she could. She had to be as much in the moment as possible, because any thoughts would disrupt the recording.

All in all, this was a good self-help book that was more text-heavy than I expected it to be, but still a quick read. I apparently read it at just the right time, too - I'm very grateful for that ice water trick.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

The Collector by K.R. Alexander

The Collector - K.R. Alexander

Although Josie loves her grandmother, she isn't thrilled about moving in with her. She misses Chicago and, since her grandmother doesn't have internet, she can't contact her old friends. However, Josie's mom recently lost her job, and Josie's grandmother has been displaying worrying signs of Alzheimer's, so Josie's mom decides that this move is for the best.

Josie's grandmother has several odd rules. First, Josie and her sister Anna are not allowed to leave any windows open after dark. Second, no dolls are allowed in the house. And third, Josie and Anna are not allowed to enter the woods behind Josie's grandmother's house. Josie's grandmother also keeps talking about someone named Beryl - Beryl is hungry, and wants to take Josie and her sister away. Part of Josie wants to dismiss this as signs of her grandmother's Alzheimer's, but part of her worries that there might be some truth to it, especially after she and Anna have nightmares about a doll and a creepy house in the woods.

But then Josie makes her first friend at school, a girl named Vanessa. Vanessa is kind, cool, and a vegetarian just like Josie. She lives alone with her aunt. Who collects porcelain dolls. And whose house just happens to be located in the woods, and look just like the one in Josie and Anna's nightmares. But surely it's just a coincidence.

My eldest niece is now old enough to start recommending books, and this is the first book she recommended to me. I later learned that she probably recommended it because she was in the process of reading it and loving it - my sister told me that she ended up disliking and feeling dissatisfied with the ending. Still, my bookish self was happy to get the recommendation. Here's hoping for more in the future.

Alexander tapped into quite a few real-life fears in this book: moving to a new place, trying to make new friends when everyone else already seems to have formed their own cliques, worrying about elderly relatives, and just generally feeling out of place and cut off. Josie can't contact her friends back in Chicago because of her lack of internet, and she seems to be the only vegetarian at a school with horrible lunches that always feature meat in the main course. The creepy dolls, strange dreams, and weird sounds were icing on the cake.

To my adult self, this book wasn't particularly scary. Still, Josie's first visit to Vanessa's house was pretty good. Josie immediately found the place creepy but tried to pretend that she was fine being there, because she didn't want to lose Vanessa's friendship and Vanessa's explanation for why it looked the way it did seemed plausible (her aunt was a big doll collector and was too injured to keep the house properly maintained). Unfortunately, things got a bit too hokey for me when the story behind Beryl, the dolls, and the house in the woods was finally explained.

I'm interested to hear which aspect of the ending my niece had problems with. I can think of two possibilities: the fate of one of the characters and the "you thought it was over but it isn't really over" last page. Based on what my sister said, I'm guessing it was the latter that bugged her.

All in all, this was mostly okay until the revelations at the end.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djèlí Clark

The Haunting of Tram Car 015 - P. Djeli Clark

This novella takes place in Cairo in 1912. Agent Hamed Nasr and his new partner, Agent Onsi Youssef, work for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments, and Supernatural Entities. Their newest case appears, initially, to involve a haunted tram car. However, they soon realize that there's something else going on. Unfortunately, knowing what they're dealing with isn't the same as actually solving the problem, considering the shoestring budget the Ministry has given them. The agents find themselves having to get a bit creative, with the assistance of some local women.

This was decent, and featured a few aspects that made me want to read more by this author. It's steampunk that, for once, isn't set in London. In fact, London didn't even come across as being particularly important - magic first entered this world via the work of a Sudanese man, who used a combination of alchemy and machinery to open a doorway to the world of the djinn. And although the book starred two male agents, women's suffrage was constantly in the background, and women played an important part in dealing with the being in the tram car. The few appearances of "boilerplate eunuchs" (robots) also fascinated me - some appeared to possess this world's version of artificial intelligence.

I'd happily read more stories starring Hamed, the experienced and somewhat grumpy agent, and Onsi, his shinier and more cheerful new partner, although I'd really love to read a full novel set in this world. From what I can tell, there's currently just one other story, "A Dead Djinn in Cairo," which stars Fatma el'Sha'arawi, the one female agent in the Ministry.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

If It's for My Daughter, I'd Even Defeat a Demon Lord, Vol. 1 (book) by Chirolu, illustrated by Truffle, translated by Matthew Warner

If It's For My Daughter, I'd Even Defeat a Demon Lord, Vol. 1 - Chirolu, Julia Truffle, Matthew Warner

Dale is a skilled 18-year-old adventurer who's been traveling and defeating monsters since he was 15. One day he comes across a little devil child who's had one of her horns broken off, something that would usually be considered a sign that she was a criminal and had been banished from her people. She's so young that Dale can't think of anything she could possibly have done. The devil who was apparently her father or guardian died not far from where Dale found the girl, so Dale, not knowing what else to do and unwilling to kill or abandon her, takes her with him.

He can communicate with her a little, and she's a fast learner. He soon learns that her name is Latina. She doesn't seem to want to talk about her past much, but she takes well to Dale, as well as to Rita and Keith, the couple who run the inn where Dale had been staying up to that point. Dale also takes instantly to Latina, and it isn't long before he decides to become her adoptive father. Meanwhile, Latina learns to help out around the inn, improves her language skills, makes a few friends, and encounters anti-devil prejudice.

I bought this because it looked sweet and I'm a sucker for adoptive parent slice-of-life stories. I somehow forgot that it's usually a good idea to do a bit of research and spoiler-hunting prior to getting at all invested in these, especially when they're "single man adopts adorable little girl" stories. This first volume, at least, was pretty decent.

The writing/translation was a bit awkward, but I've definitely seen worse. The only time it got a little confusing was when the author elaborated on the details of how things like customer accounts at the inn worked - I had a feeling that the translator couldn't follow along well either and just tried to get through those bits as quickly as possible. One thing I really liked, though: this is one of those rare third-person POV light novels.

I rolled my eyes a bit at how very cute Latina was, tottering around with trays of food while scary-looking adventurers silently wished her well and melted at the sight of her. She was, of course, well-behaved and quiet, and she rarely caused any problems - basically perfect for a single father whose job meant that he couldn't always be around to watch over her. Still, I go into these kinds of series expecting ridiculously cute and generally well-behaved children, so it wasn't exactly a surprise, and it helped that Latina was actually a little older than she appeared to be. One thing that irked me, though: even as Latina's language skills improved, she continued to speak (and even think!) about herself in the third person. I suspect that this was another effort to make her seem cute, and for some reason it got on my nerves more than the multiple pages devoted to her learning to carry food to customers at the inn.

Readers were repeatedly told that Dale was a cool and experienced warrior who was known to be touchy about how others perceived him. In his homeland, he was considered an adult at age 15, but in this particular area he'd only just barely legally become an adult, and there had apparently been instances of folks treating him like a kid or a newbie adventurer. Readers never actually got to see any of that, though, and Dale was so completely and utterly head over heels for Latina that he failed to notice anything that might be perceived as insulting comments about his age and abilities. He also hardly got any opportunities to show off his supposedly awesome adventuring skills. The person Dale was supposed to be didn't match at all the Dale that readers experienced on-page.

Still, I liked this overall and was looking forward to reading more about this little adoptive family. What happened to Latina in her hometown? Why had Dale moved so far away from his people in the first place, and would he continue with his adventuring life or would Latina prompt him to settle down a bit? Who else would they meet and befriend in town?

But a little detail early on in the book bothered me.

It was shortly after Dale found Latina and took her back to his room at the inn. He was helping her bathe and found himself thinking "Could it be...that this girl will be a real beauty someday?" (25) Which was a weird thought to have about a starving, traumatized little girl. He then worried that, if he didn't take her in, some pervert would view her as prey - her broken horn meant that even her own people wouldn't protect her. So I was willing to let that weird original thought slide at first, but found  myself thinking about it again when I considered buying and reading the next book. So I did some spoiler hunting.

It's not difficult info to find - apparently it crops up as early as book 3 or 4. Even the positive reviews of the later books mention it, and there seem to be quite a few folks who are fine with the direction the series takes. However, I started reading this series because I wanted a sweet story about a young man who suddenly decides to become the adoptive father of a little girl, and that's very much not what the later books will be giving me.

(show spoiler)

For that reason, I won't be continuing on with this series.

Extras:

Four pages of full-color illustrations (which are gorgeous), several black-and-white illustrations throughout, and an afterword written by the author.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

Vacation coming up

If all goes as planned, I'll be posting a bunch of reviews in the next 24 hours and then not much of anything for the next two weeks. I won't have much access to a computer, which is how I prefer to write Booklikes posts, but I'll have my phone and won't be completely cut off.

 

This is my usual "manga binge" vacation, so theoretically I'll have a bunch of short, spoilery (and spoiler-tagged, no worries) reviews to post when I'm back. However, last year was the first year I never finished posting all my post-vacation reviews. That could potentially happen again this year. Crossing my fingers that I can actually force myself to do the write-ups, because they're vital for figuring out what manga to request and read during future vacations.

Need Recommendations: EPUB E-reader App for Android

Do you have a favorite EPUB e-reader app for Android? If so, I'd love to know what it is.

 

My favorite EPUB e-reader app used to be Bookari Premium (formerly Mantano), which I loved enough to pay for. However, it completely broke when I recently updated Android, and now it refuses to open at all. I emailed the developer to ask if they had plans to update it so it would work again, and there's been nothing but silence. Things I liked about it:

- Text size, font, colors, etc. were all easily customizable

- Reading display let me know where I was in the book and how much was left to go (in page numbers, although percentages are fine too)

- I could take notes, highlighting or underlining in a variety of colors, and then scroll through the notes in one place later

- I could go directly into Dropbox from the Bookari app

- Removing my files from the app when I was done with them was easy

 

I've since tried Reasily and an old favorite, Moon+ Reader. Unfortunately, Reasily only appears to have one font available, and I can't get the display settings to show me where I am in the book at all. Moon+ Reader is a bit clunky to navigate, and it seems to dislike J-Novel Club's e-books, or at least Ao Oni: Mutation in particular. For some reason it's centering all the text in the book, and I can't figure out why or how to stop it - I found a box that says "justified alignment" and checked it, and that still didn't fix the problem. When I open a different book, the text is justified like normal.

 

So I want to try other apps, and recommendations would be appreciated.

Reading progress update: I've read 179 out of 179 pages.

Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice from My Bipolar Life - Ellen Forney

Overall, this was good - lots of information and advice for folks dealing with bipolar disorder or other mood disorders. It'll probably end up on our list of purchases if we can get that grant.

Reading progress update: I've read 118 out of 179 pages.

Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice from My Bipolar Life - Ellen Forney

Another entry in my "dipping my toes into mental health graphic novels" work project. This is very text heavy and not really all that fun to read cover-to-cover, but it does have a lot of helpful advice. And not just for folks with bipolar disorder! I plan on recommending the chapter on taking your meds (techniques for remembering to do it, traveling with meds, etc.) to a friend who's been taking meds for depression for a while and struggles with remembering to take them all. The advice might be stuff she's already tried, but there might still be some helpful tidbits.

 

The page on being kind to yourself was nice - not just "would you say those things to someone you love?" but rather a whole progression of "imagine saying these things to __" before eventually bringing the responses back around to yourself in that moment. I also liked Forney's modification of walking meditation, turning the experience into a story she found herself wanting to participate in (Basically: "Imagine that aliens have learned that this area will be destroyed soon and have contacted you to use your whole body - all your senses - as a recording device. Any thoughts you have disrupt that recording, so you need to try to just experience your surroundings."). And oof, as someone who has spent the past week struggling against anxiety-induced insomnia, I felt the section on insomnia in my bones.

Halloween Bingo: Update #12 (Two - or Three? - More Bingos!)

 

I just realized that I'm a little behind on marking the called squares on my card, but I don't want to retake and re-edit the picture, so eh.

 

Since my last update, I finished three books I'm using for the game. The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow takes place in London, so I'm using it for my Darkest London square. Her Royal Spyness works for Cozy Mystery, and for The Collector, I took cast a transfiguration spell on Classic Noir and turned it into Supernatural.

 

I finished a few other things that might work for the game, but I'm not in the mood to work out more transfiguration spells, so this is where I'm ending things. These three newly marked squares get me at least a couple more Bingos: the first row across and the diagonal from the bottom left square to the top right square. And also possibly one more Bingo, if the four corners plus center square count - I haven't been able to find confirmation of that in the rules, though.

 

Read and Marked:

 

Ao Oni - Kenji Kuroda,Karin Suzuragi,Alexander Keller-Nelson Ghost Stories

 

Anansi Boys - Neil Gaiman,Lenny Henry A Grimm Tale

 

Mr. Monk on the Couch - Lee Goldberg Amateur Sleuth

 

An Archdemon's Dilemma: How to Love Your Elf Bride: Volume 1 - Fuminori Teshima,COMTA,Hikoki Spellbound

 

Days Gone Bad - Eric R. Asher In the Dark, Dark Woods

 

Ao Oni: Vengeance - Kenji Kuroda,Karin Suzuragi,Alexander Keller-Nelson Diverse voices

 

The Wize Wize Beasts of the Wizarding Wizdoms - Nagabe,Adrienne Beck Free

 

If It's For My Daughter, I'd Even Defeat a Demon Lord, Vol. 1 - Chirolu,Julia Truffle,Matthew Warner  Demons

 

Penny Dreadful Is A Magnet For Disaster - Joanna Nadin 13

 

Wolves and the River of Stone - Eric R. Asher Vampires

 

The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter - Theodora Goss,Kate Reading Paint it black

 

The Haunting of Tram Car 015 - P. Djeli Clark New Release

 

The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow - Katherine Woodfine Darkest London

 

Her Royal Spyness - Rhys Bowen Cozy Mystery

 

The Collector - K.R. Alexander Classic Noir transfigured into Supernatural

 

Read and Saved:

 

 

 

Read But Can't Use:

 

This is all the stuff I've read during the game but, due to either a lack of planning on my part or other reading goals, can't use.

 

Olivia's Secret Scribbles: My New Best Friend - Meredith Costain,Danielle McDonald

Reading progress update: I've read 217 out of 217 pages.

The Collector - K.R. Alexander

Okay, that's the last of my Halloween Bingo reading.

 

Overall, it was okay. I didn't find it to be particularly scary, but I'm also an adult, so there's that. My favorite moment: when Josie visited her friend's house and tried to convince herself that, although it was odd (dolls literally everywhere, all facing the wall), it was just a sign that her friend's aunt was a little weird rather than something to be afraid of.

 

Man, the full explanation of everything that was going on was pretty hokey, though. And the very last bit made no sense.

 

I'm transfiguring my Classic Noir square into a Supernatural square for this one.

First time through in audio, but technically a reread

Her Royal Spyness  - Rhys Bowen, Katherine Kellgren

I started this last week Thursday, never added it to my Currently Reading, and finished it yesterday.

 

I think I liked this more the first time I read it. Or maybe I just liked it better in physical book form rather than audio? Katherine Kellgren's narration was enjoyable, to be sure, and I especially liked her voices for Georgie and Darcy, but actually hearing some of Georgie's friends made me grit my teeth a bit. And I'm honestly surprised that Georgie's cleaning service idea wasn't an instant failure. Still, I applaud her efforts to somehow make money despite not having anything resembling marketable skills.

Rosie Claverton and the Amy Lane books

Oh no! I subscribe to Rosie Claverton's newsletter, and she just notified readers that the small press that was publishing her Amy Lane books has gone under. She ends the newsletter with:

 

"As the series' future is uncertain, I will be pursuing other projects. I hope to return to Amy and Jason in the future and finish their story."

 

:-(

Reading progress update: I've read 66 out of 217 pages.

The Collector - K.R. Alexander

The main character, Josie, is a 6th grader whose family just moved away from Chicago to take care of her grandmother, who has Alzheimer's. Josie's mom lost her job, so that also played a part in their move. There's been zero mention of Josie's father.

 

Yeah, I now read kids' books and find myself focusing way more on the adult characters than readers are probably supposed to. At any rate, Josie's mom seems like she could use a nap, a hug, and reassurance that things are somehow going to be okay.

 

Josie and her little sister keep hearing sounds coming from the woods, and their grandmother has told them that the woods are dangerous and that someone named Beryl wants to take them away. Both Josie and her sister have had dreams about going into the woods, finding an old house, and being greeted by a creepy doll. And now Josie has a new friend who refuses to talk about herself and who is taking them into the woods to go see her aunt. Sure, that's not going to end badly.

Reading progress update: I've read 314 out of 314 pages.

The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow - Katherine Woodfine

I loved the department store setting, and the characters were enjoyable, especially Lil and Sophie. I had thought for a second that the author was going to somehow squeeze romance into this, between Lil and Joe, but thankfully that wasn't the case - it would've been weird. The mystery was okay, even if the whole Baron thing was a bit much.

 

It looks like this is part of a series. At some point, I'd like to read the next book.

 

I'll use this for my Darkest London square. Hopefully I can finish one of my other books in time to use a transfiguration spell and mark one more square - I'd go from one bingo total to three. Maybe four? Do the four corners plus center square count as a bingo? Anyway, several more bingos.

Penny Dreadful is a Magnet for Disaster by Joanna Nadin

Penny Dreadful Is A Magnet For Disaster - Joanna Nadin

Penny Dreadful's actual name is Penelope Jones. It's the nickname her dad gave her because she is so often a magnet for disaster.

In the book's first story, Penny decides to become a hairstylist because she learns that hairstylists can charge $15 for a haircut. She would only need to do one and a half haircuts in order to pay her mom back for her last disaster and go to Monkey Madness safari park with her sister. (Penny's math was a little off since she needed almost $26, but whatever.) In the book's second story, Penny finds a dog, decides he's been abandoned, and tries to find a home for him after her mom refuses to let him stay with them. In the book's third story, a School Inspector is scheduled to visit Penny's school, and everyone is supposed to be on their best behavior.

This was one of my book purchases for my youngest niece. I found it entertaining in a "please don't let the kids get any ideas" kind of way.

In the first story in particular, Penny wasn't so much a magnet for disaster as she was an architect of disasters. Part of her seemed to realize that her hairstylist idea would be frowned upon. But since it wasn't specifically forbidden, she decide it would be fine, even though she'd previously been forbidden from using her parents' scissors due to past incidents.

Penny meant well in the second story, but she couldn't rein herself in, much less a dog, and so of course it all blew up. The second story was probably my least favorite out of the bunch, because one of the things that happened to the dog would have required surgery in real life.

It ate the receiver of a baby monitor. Penny and Cosmo found the whole thing amusing because they could use the baby monitor to make the dog seem like it was talking, and the adults' greatest concern was how much the baby monitor set cost, because in the world of this book apparently a dog can just poop something like that out and be perfectly fine.

(show spoiler)


I will grant that, in the third story, things were already going pretty wrong when Penny got involved - all she did was make things a bit worse, and even then it was an accident that could have happened to several other students in the class. Here's hoping Penny's poor teacher doesn't regularly have days as bad as that one.

Penny's narration had a breathless quality to it, and she tended to include lots of numbered lists and words in all caps. I found it a little exhausting, but I'm hoping her energy will appeal to my equally energetic niece.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness (manga) by Nagata Kabi, translated by Jocelyne Allen

My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness - Kabi Nagata

Content warning for this manga: discussions of cutting, binging, and anorexia, and, if it wasn't obvious from the cover, there's on-page nudity and sex.

This volume begins with the author's first sexual experience, at age 28, in a love hotel with a woman from a lesbian escort agency. Only a few pages in, Nagata interrupts this scene to explain how she got to that point. After high school, nothing seemed to go the way she expected. She dropped out of university after six months, became depressed, developed an eating disorder, and couldn't seem to hold down a part-time job, much less the salaried position that her family expected her to have by that point. She gradually comes to the realization that a lot of her internal pain was the result of wanting love, comfort, and unconditional acceptance from parents (particularly her mother) who seemed unable to really understand her. And yes, the story does eventually get back to the scene in the love hotel, and it is awkward.

I was not expecting to enjoy this as much as I did. I figured it'd be depressing and emotionally exhausting. Nagata was so fragile at times that it was painful to read, but she somehow managed to keep the tone relatively light. It also helped that this was clearly a look back at worse times in her life - Present-Day Nagata had done a lot of thinking, had figured out better paths to take, and was actually eating regular meals and feeling more like her own definition of "adult." She wasn't "cured," necessarily, but she was doing better.

I liked Nagata's frank and unflinching look at self-harm, eating disorders, her mental health issues as a whole and the toll they'd taken on her body (scars, a bald spot from hair pulling, etc.), the inadequacy of her own sex education (she realized after the incident at the love hotel that most of her expectations came from m/m erotic doujinshi, of all things), and more. I was a little surprised that she was willing to put so much of herself out there, but she even addressed this. Her explanations made sense, I guess, but still. I can just imagine the awkwardness after her parents read this volume (if they read it?).

The one part of the volume that threw me a bit was Nagata's somewhat Freudian exploration of her desire to be touched and held by women, which she decided was rooted in her constant clinging to her mother. She never quite came out and said it, but she seemed to see her lesbianism as being connected to all of this, as though it was a childish fixation she'd never grown out of.

Overall, I thought this was really good, and I plan to read Nagata's My Solo Exchange Diary as well.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)