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Familiar Diversions

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

Currently reading

Lying in Wait
Liz Nugent
Progress: 28/310 pages
The Shape of Water
Guillermo del Toro, Daniel Kraus
Progress: 72/313 pages
To Siri with Love: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and the Kindness of Machines
Judith Newman
Princess Prince
Tomoko Taniguchi
Progress: 310/336 pages
Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness
Peter Godfrey-Smith
Progress: 41/255 pages
FREE: Locke & Key
Tatiana Maslany, Audible Studios, Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodríguez, Kate Mulgrew, Haley Joel Osment, Full Cast
Progress: 91/806 minutes

Inuyashiki (manga, vol. 1) by Hiroya Oku, translated by Stephen Paul

Inuyashiki, Vol. 1 - Hiroya Oku, Stephen Paul

Inuyashiki is a 58-year-old man who is unloved by everyone in his life. When he moves his family to a new home, all everyone does is gripe about it - how small the place is, how cheap he is, etc. He has a young son and teen daughter, both of whom are embarrassed by how old he is. They also don't respect him and don't bother to hide this fact. When Inuyashiki proposes that the family get a dog, no one will come with him, so he ends up selecting a Shiba, Hanako, on his own. It seems that Hanako is the only being in the world that Inuyashiki has to live for, until one fateful evening, when he and a teenage boy end up forever changed.

I picked up the first couple volumes of this in a Humble Bundle a while back. There's Humble Bundle with more volumes of this and other series up right now, and I'm still debating whether to get it.

 

This first volume of Inuyashiki didn't leave me wishing I had more in my collection. The characters were, for the most part, horrible. I doubt any of the people in Inuyashiki's family ever genuinely loved each other, and the world of this series seemed to be entirely populated with bullies. The only character I even vaguely liked was the dog, and something about this series makes me suspect that the dog isn't going to make it through the whole thing.

The artwork definitely wasn't to my taste. There was something slightly unsettling and repulsive about it, even before Inuyashiki discovered that there was something strange going on with his body. Maybe this was intentional, but the result was that I didn't really want to spend more time than necessary looking at pages and panels.

The sci-fi aspects were weird and a little hand-wavy. The goals of the beings Inuyashiki and Shishigami, the teenage boy, encountered were never stated outright, but they seemed to want to avoid causing a stir, or perhaps to avoid affecting humans with their appearance too much. Either way, they failed miserably, and their failure seems likely to grow more pronounced in later volumes.

I'm really not impressed with this series so far.

Extras: 

Two pages of translation notes.

 

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

New to my TBR

I just got two new books in, because apparently not having shelf space doesn't stop me. I need to do a little culling this weekend and put together a library donation bag.

 

The Bride Was a Boy - Chii  The Dark Maidens - Rikako Akiyoshi,Booota,Kristi Fernandez  

 

The Bride Was a Boy - Chii - An autobiographical manga about the author's experiences exploring her gender and sexuality and eventually transitioning before marrying her husband. From what I've heard, 1) it's cute and 2) it does a good job of laying out transgender issues in Japan. The title sparked enough concern and conversation that Seven Seas issued a statement about it being the author's choice.

 

The Dark Maidens - Rikako Akiyoshi,Booota,Kristi Fernandez - It's a murder mystery about the death of the president of the Literature Club at an all-girls' school. I'm always looking for more Japanese novels and light novels by female authors to try.

Reading progress update: I've read 25 out of 116 pages.

Team Phison - Chace Verity

Now that I've finally finished A Rational Arrangement, I can choose a new book to read on my e-reader. I went with this one, in the hope that its romance would work better for me than the romance in A Rational Arrangement. May-December - a grumpy older gamer who owns a restaurant, and a younger gamer who works as a server. So far it's cute. Phil, the older guy (and POV character), is a bit judgy but not totally unwilling to revise his opinions, and Tyson, the young gamer, is as friendly as a Golden Retriever.

Going to see Ocean's 8 today

I'll be going with a friend of mine. Our tastes in movies don't usually mesh, so I'm crossing my fingers that we somehow both enjoy it.

Non-book post: Week 3 of physical therapy complete

My muscles are definitely getting stronger. One exercise I started last week that seemed nearly impossible is starting to go slightly better, for example. Now it's just really freaking hard. And I've learned a few stretches to do in between sessions, which is supposed to help with the renewed sharp hip pain I started having on Sunday. The renewed pain worries me a bit, although it's been better in the past couple days.

 

I have two months and one week to go, and then I'm supposed to see...someone...for a re-evaluation. I've been referred to so many orthopedic doctors that I'm honestly not sure who's supposed to do the reevaluation. I need to make a few calls and find out. It would be lovely if the doctor in town could do it instead of one of the doctors who's more than two hours away, but I have a feeling I'm not going to be so lucky.

Reading progress update: I've read 495 out of 537 pages.

A Rational Arrangement - L. Rowyn

Wisteria's contract was really clear about this. She or Nik could have sex outside of marriage if they wished, but they needed to keep each other informed.

This scene that just happened is adultery. It's a good thing for all the characters that the author doesn't want them to be unhappy with each other, so of course Wisteria's reaction is just "No, this is okay, it's just like in my fantasies!"

(show spoiler)

Reading progress update: I've listened 570 out of 570 minutes.

We Are Legion (We Are Bob) - Dennis E. Taylor

I'M DONE! ::tears of relief and joy::

 

Final Bob count: 30

Final Bob List available here. I think it's pretty accurate, but Bob production reached ridiculous levels during an enemy AI hunting session near the end of the book, so I could have missed one or two.

 

There were three or four storylines, and only one of them was resolved in any way, the one about the fate of humanity. The enemy AI is still out there somewhere, there's a metal-eating, animal-destroying alien race that most of the Bobs don't know about, and one of the Bobs has become extremely invested in the fate of a low-tech population of aliens on a particular planet (and is considering wiping out a competing species, which makes me uncomfortable).

 

The only storyline I was really interested in was the one with the metal-eating aliens, and that didn't pop up until nearly the end of the book. That said, I have no intention of reading or listening to the next book. As it is, I resorted to increasing the narration speed to finish this one sooner, even though I loved Ray Porter's narration.

Reading progress update: I've listened 417 out of 570 minutes.

We Are Legion (We Are Bob) - Dennis E. Taylor

"I've been captured by the Jalapeno Empire and I'm being tortured for our secrets."

 

Bob (Linus?) has encountered a new and possibly crazy AI, which brings the total of unique AIs (as in "not some iteration of Bob") up to three: Bob, the Brazilian AI, and this Australian AI. Oh, maybe four, if the AI mentioned early on in the book still exists in some fashion.

Reading progress update: I've read 437 out of 537 pages.

A Rational Arrangement - L. Rowyn

Still 100 pages to go, but I'm getting there. Proposals have finally been made, and one has been accepted, with a bit of lamenting that she can't accept both. Since the author has been telegraphing ways that things could work out for hundreds of pages, I already have a good idea of how the second man is going to end up part of this relationship.

Binary Witness now available as an audiobook

Binary Witness - Rosie Claverton, Jasmine Blackborow

It's been available for a bit over a month now, but I only just realized. The narrator seems decent, and I loved this in e-book form, so it's definitely going on my wishlist.

Reading progress update: I've listened 332 out of 570 minutes.

We Are Legion (We Are Bob) - Dennis E. Taylor

I bought this because, yay, AIs, even if they were all based on human minds. But dang is this boring. I believe the Bob count is now up to 15. Some of the Bobs are in charge of churning out more Bobs, most of the other Bobs are off studying planets, and another set of Bobs has gone back to Earth and is attempting to help survivors. There have been two or three battles,

which the Bobs won, even though the original Bob was a programmer and the guys the Bobs were up against had actual military training.

(show spoiler)

Reading progress update: I've read 399 out of 537 pages.

A Rational Arrangement - L. Rowyn

The romance plot is finally moving forward, but I'm appalled that it took torture for that to happen.

 

Also, I want to smack Justin. He actually managed to be tolerable for a short period, but then he ruined it by

considering telling Nik that Wisteria's a slut in order to make Nik change his mind about proposing to her. And this after Justin told Wisteria off for even implying that she might be a slut for being interested in both Justin and Nik. And now he's gone off to Wisteria, and what does he do? Propose to her. WTF.

(show spoiler)

On the plus side, I might actually finish this before the end of the week, and I suspect my review is going to be a breeze to write.

Just in via ILL: The Shape of Water novel

The Shape of Water - Guillermo del Toro, Daniel Kraus

I largely disliked and was disappointed by the movie (a link to my review, if you want to know why), but I decided I was still curious enough about the book to give it a shot. The illustrations are nice, at least.

Reading progress update: The Bob list

We Are Legion (We Are Bob) - Dennis E. Taylor

Okay, here's my weak attempt at trying to keep track of the Bobs. I'll just periodically update this post.

 

- Bob: The one who was originally sent out into space. All other Bobs originate from this Bob, one way or another. He opts to stay at the first location he stopped at, in order to become a Bob factory. Whoops, I got Bob confused with Bill. Bob goes off exploring.

 

- Riker: The Bob who decides to check up on Earth. His VR environment looks like the bridge of the Enterprise.

 

- Homer: A copy of Riker. He accompanies Riker back to Earth. Likes cartoons a lot.

 

- Garfield: Opts to stay with Bob.

 

- Milo: Yup, the Bob in my previous update was Milo, not Bill. He discovers two habitable planets and names one Vulcan and one Romulus, because the Star Trek and Star Wars references in this book just keep going.

 

- Bill: Of the initial batch of Bobs, he seems to be most like Original Bob. He opts to stay at the first location he stopped at, in order to become a Bob factory.

 

- Mario: Extremely antisocial.

 

- Calvin: Constantly at Goku's throat verbally poking at Goku, and yet shows no signs of wanting to be separated from him.

 

- Goku: Constantly at Calvin's throat verbally poking at Calvin, and yet shows no signs of wanting to be separated from him.

 

- Linus: Fine with going off on his own.

 

- Marvin: Replicated in order to serve as help for Bob after Bob finds a particularly interesting planet.

 

- Luke: More assistance for Bob.

 

- Bender: More assistance for Bob.

 

- Charles: Assistance for Riker.

 

- Arthur: Assistance for Riker. Gloomy and pessimistic.

 

- Bart: Replicated by either Goku or Calvin. His VR environment is a lot like a cabin his dad used to take him to for vacations when he was kid.

 

- Kahn: One of the Bobs created in order to avenge the death of one of the other Bobs.

 

- Hannibal: Part of Kahn's group.

 

- Jeeves: Also part of Kahn's group.

 

- Barney: Also part of Kahn's group.

 

- Tom: Also part of Kahn's group.

 

- Kyle: Also part of Kahn's group.

 

- Ned: Also part of Kahn's group.

 

- Fred: Also part of Kahn's group.

 

- Elmer: Also part of Kahn's group.

 

- Jackson: Also part of Kahn's group.

 

- Hector: Also part of Kahn's group.

 

- Howard: Accompanying a colony ship

 

- Bert: One of the colony ships.

 

- Ernie: One of the colony ships.

Reading progress update: I've listened 223 out of 570 minutes.

We Are Legion (We Are Bob) - Dennis E. Taylor

Since the Bobs don't age and are completely isolated in space, the passage of time is a little difficult to follow. I find myself latching onto any mention of time. One of the Bobs, who I believe has renamed himself Bill (or maybe Milo? I lost track after they went their separate ways), just said that 20 years have gone by since the first Bob was launched into space.

 

Literally none of the Bobs wonder why they're all so radically different even though they're all clones, and no explanation for these differences has been given.

Reading progress update: I've read 343 out of 537 pages.

A Rational Arrangement - L. Rowyn

In the past 30 or so pages there has been a kidnapping, a very unexpected torture scene (which I skimmed, because D-:), and lots of action. This is after more than 300 pages of dancing, parties, witty conversation, agonizing over feelings, and an occasional mind healing session.