I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.
For once, I've purchased the kids' Christmas presents early. They're each getting two books. I'd like to read them all before my vacation in November. This one's for my youngest niece.
My mom and I will be going to Book Bonanza again. Despite the lines and the fact that what I've read of my Book Bonanza haul so far hasn't worked for me (to put it mildly), I'm looking forward to it. The hotel was great (it's in the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine again), it was wonderful to be around so many people who love books and reading, I enjoyed buying books and meeting authors (again, despite not liking what I've read of my haul so far), and I loved the overall atmosphere.
Here are the authors who are currently signed up to attend. This list will likely change over the course of the next year:
They unfortunately don't have a version of this list that's not in image form, although several people planning to attend have put together more readable spreadsheet versions of the list. I recognize several authors who showed up at the 2019 one, as well as a few newbies.
The authors I've read:
- Eric R. Asher (that urban fantasy book where the necromancer protagonist deliberately blew up a bunch of pigeons for giggles, so no, I don't plan to buy more of his books)
- Jillian Dodd (that New Adult teenage spy book - again, won't be buying more)
- Karen Marie Moning (I vaguely remember liking her Highlander series - I need to do a reread to figure out if they still work for me)
- Penny Reid (romantic comedy - the one book of hers that I've read irked me a little, but I'd still be willing to try more)
It looks like almost all of the authors I bought books from at Book Bonanza 2019 are attending again, so if I get through all of those I'll have added another four authors to my "I've read them and know what their books are like" list.
Out of 8 stories total, I liked three of them. The animal elements in a couple others were interesting but a bit too intense (?) for me, and the remaining three contained elements I disliked. I was most annoyed and repulsed by the peacock and crow story and the Siamese cat and hare story.
The fourth story is the first one I can honestly say I love. Who'd have thought I'd be rooting for romance between a lizard and a deer? It's wintertime, and that means coldblooded beings asking for snuggles from their warmblooded friends.
After rereading the square descriptions, I realized that Days Gone Bad qualified for more than just Vampires and Demons - since it's a supernatural book that has a forest in the background of its cover art, it also works for In the Dark, Dark Woods. That square has been called already, so I lost a candidate for the Vampires square but gained a happy taco sticker.
I added If It's For My Daughter, I'd Even Defeat a Demon Lord to my list of read and saved books. It works for Diverse Voices because it's by a Japanese author, Film at 11 because it's been turned into an anime, and Demons because it has an appearance by a being that was called a demon. I hope to use it for the Demons square. I need to read another Ao Oni book in order to guarantee that, though.
I have other vampire books I could read, including, if I decide to continue with this Japanese light novel binge, a light novel starring a vampire. It's truly terrible, so finishing it and reviewing it would mean I could finally offload it, as long as I could bear the shame of a Half Price Books employee seeing that I own the thing. Well, I'll consider it.
Read and Marked:
Read and Saved:
The creator of this is also the creator of the pretty, cute, and occasionally dark and unsettling The Girl From the Other Side. This is basically a collection of short manga stories, m/m Hogwarts by way of Zootopia.
I'm not sure how I feel about this yet. On the surface, it's lovely and sweet, and often awkward. If you don't think about it too much, and just take the character as they are. If you actually think about what's going on, though, every single story so far has been problematic and/or unsettling.
So far I've read three stories. In the first story, a hare with a huge crush on his academically superior Siamese cat classmate brews a love potion designed to make the person who drinks it temporarily do whatever the first person they see says. Nagabe kept the tone light and sweet, but it didn't negate the fact that the adorably awkward hare slipped his crush a magical date rape drug. In the second story, we have a wolf, a goat, and an unsettling mixture of human-like unrequited love, animal territoriality, and predator-prey instincts. The third story features a dragon teacher and his much younger orphaned dragon student, both of whom are very fond of each other in a way that could eventually lead to romance.
We'll see how the rest of this goes...
Finished! The translation was a bit rough, but nowhere near as bad as the archdemon book. Latina was a bit too perfect and sweet, but I still enjoyed the adoptive family bonding moments. Rita and Kenneth were a nice couple, and Dale had the potential to be interesting. The author never got around to explaining how and why Dale left his home country at such a young age.
I'd continue on with this series, if it weren't for the spoilers I read. That's a big "no" from me. My enjoyment of the book's adoptive family elements is exactly why it's best for me to stop here. I just hope I can find a spoiler that explains why Latina was banished from her village...
I'll write up a Bingo update post later, but this would work for Diverse Voices, Film at 11, and Demons (there was one on-page appearance from a being called a demon, and devils like Latina apparently have close relationships with demons).
No, I haven't read any more since my last update. But I did read reviews, and OMG, it sounds like this series is going to pull the same thing(show spoiler)
It pains me to say this, because this is actually pretty enjoyable, but it might be best for me to quit this series at Book 1.
It's confirmed: I can definitely use this for the Demons square. Granted, demons in this world are basically just people with horns and minions, but they're called demons, so I think it counts.
Latina can now speak in full sentences, but she still hasn't learned to use the word "I." Come on already.
I actually like this and plan on continuing on with the series as long as it doesn't somehow take a turn for the worse in the second half. After that archdemon slog, this translation is blessedly easy to follow. It isn't perfect - there was a weird bit involving customer accounts that I suspect was just translated literally - but at least I don't have to fight the translation to get to the story.
The one thing I don't really like: Latina thinks and talks about herself in the third person. I get that her language skills are still rough, but surely she can learn to use the word "I."
Dale is basically this guy right now, except younger and single:
(Both images are of the character Maes Hughes, either from the TV series Fullmetal Alchemist or Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
Dale has known Latina for a couple days, but he's already all in on this fatherhood thing. And luckily for him, Latina is the most serious and well-behaved child in the world.
I'm hoping that this actually works for the Demon square, and that I finish it before that square is called. I'd prefer to use Days Gone Bad for the Vampires square.
If I don't finish it in time, it'd still work for Diverse Voices and Film at 11. I thought it might work for New Release too, but that's iffy - although this paperback version was released in April 2019, the e-book version was released way back in 2017.
This might be decent? It's third-person POV, the writing is only a little awkward, and the main character seems like a decent if somewhat bland guy. I fully expect that the little girl will be sickeningly cute and sweet, and I wish I could rename her and the main guy (their names are Latina and Dale), but there's some hope that I won't regret buying this.
I used An Archdemon's Dilemma: How to Love Your Elf Bride Vol. 1 to mark Spellbound, because it's full of sorcerers. That's the last of my adorable dragon designs, and probably the last sticker from that set that I'll use.
I now have three rows with an equal possibility of netting me a Bingo at some point. The most likely one is the diagonal, assuming Vampires gets called before Demons. I'm in the process of reading something that would work for the New Release square, and middle square would be a snap.
Read and Marked:
Read and Saved:
There were times when I kinda sorta liked the romance, despite the very problematic premise. But oof, the ending made me kind of uncomfortable. I know Nephy was willing and all, but considering her overall history and how emotionally damaged she was, I'm not sure that was enough.
Even if the ending hadn't included a couple things that made me uncomfortable, the terrible translation would have kept me from continuing on with this series. Book 1 is where I stop.
I'll be using this for the Spellbound square - it's full of sorcerers.
OMG, I think I just figured out what the word "donations" is actually supposed to be: taxes. A few sections now make much more sense.
It boggles my mind how much the translation quality of J-Novel Club titles varies. I discovered that it isn't possible to search their site by translator or editor, so I just clicked through a bunch of different pages. I suspect that they don't have any dedicated translators on staff, just editors, and only a few of the editors are listed on multiple series. The editor for this book is not one of them. This book's translator is also the translator of another series I'm interested in, The Magic in this Other World Is Too Far Behind! (light novel titles from the past 10 years or so are ridiculous). I'm somewhat less interested in it now.
"Even to us, a sorcerer like thee is a first. Do forgive us our throbbing inquisitiveness."
I'm going to die of laughter. "Throbbing inquisitiveness." I wonder, is this an accurate translation, or would a better translator have opted for something else?