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LG

Familiar Diversions

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

Currently reading

A Man Called Ove
Fredrik Backman, George Newbern
Gaslighting: Recognize Manipulative and Emotionally Abusive People--and Break Free
Stephanie Moulton Sarkis
Progress: 18/236 pages
Gorgeous Carat, Volume 01
You Higuri
Progress: 40/170 pages
Log Horizon, Vol. 1: The Beginning of Another World
Mamare Touno
Progress: 101/213 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
The Keeper of Lost Causes
Jussi Adler-Olsen, Lisa Hartford

Snakes and Ladders: 12th roll, working well with my ILL requests

Finished books reserved for later:

- Chain Letter - Christopher Pike  (185 pages - too short to count as a book)

- Dramacon Ultimate Edition - Svetlana Chmakova  (600+ pages - I'm not actually sure whether this counts for Snakes and Ladders, so I'm keeping it on reserve for now)

 

 

Books read for the game:

1. Square 1: Neanderthal Seeks Human - Penny Reid  [dice: 1+2]

2. Square 4: The Midnight Club - Christopher Pike doesn't fit square requirements [dice: 3]

3. Square 7: Suddenly Royal - Nichole Chase  [dice: 1+5]

4. Square 13: Patient Zero - Ray Porter,Jonathan Maberry  [dice: 5+5]

5. Square 23: Salvation of a Saint - Keigo Higashino,Alexander O. Smith  doesn't fit square requirements [dice: 2]

6. Square 5: The Queen of Ieflaria (Tales of Inthya #1) - Effie Calvin  + Coffee Boy - Austin Chant  [dice: 3+5]

7. Square 13: What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions - Randall Munroe  [dice: 3+3]

8. Square 19: On What Grounds - Cleo Coyle  doesn't fit square requirement [dice: 5]

9. Square 24: Monster - Christopher Pike  doesn't fit square requirement [dice: 4]

10. Square 28: Now You're One of Us - Mitsuko Volek,Michael Volek,Asa Nonami  [dice: 5+6]

11. Square 39: The Twelve Kingdoms: Sea of Wind - Fuyumi Ono,小野 不由美,Akihiro Yamada,山田 章博,Alexander O. Smith,Elye J. Alexander  [dice: 5+6]

 

12. On Square 50: Murder Past Due - Miranda James  [dice: 5-3]

 

The requirement for this square was for the book to have a domestic animal on the cover. Murder Past Due's Main Coon cat counts, even if he was occasionally mistaken for a bobcat or some other small wild animal. So I rolled two dice:

 

 

This puts me on Square 58. The requirements for this square: Was published more than 25 years ago. If my math is correct, that's anything published prior to 1994. I'm definitely set - I have an interlibrary loan copy of Christopher Pike's Slumber Party, published in 1985, that I need to read. It's slightly too short to count as a book, but I can combine it with one of the books I have on reserve, Pike's Chain Letter.

 

RULES OF THE GAME:

 

Everyone starts on 1. There are two alternative ways to move forward.

 

1. Read a book that fits the description on the space number as listed below and you can roll two dice to move forward more quickly.

 

2. However, if you can't find a book to fit the square, don't worry about it. You can read any book, and roll one dice on random.org.  This is to ensure that if a reader cannot find a book to fill the square, no one gets bogged down and can't move on.

 

All books must be at least 200 pages long. Short stories count, so long as you read enough of them from a collection to equal 200 pages. 

 

You do not need to hit space 100 with an exact roll. In order to win, you must complete space 100 as written.

 

Spaces:

 

1. Author is a woman

2. Genre: mystery

3. Set in the twentieth century

4. Published in 2019

5. Published in 2018

6. Title has a color word in it

7. Author's last name begins with the letters A, B, C, or D.

8. Author's last name begins with the letters E, F, G, or H.

9. Author's last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K

10. Author's last name begins with the letters L, M, N or O

11. Author's last name begins with the letters P, Q, R, or S

12. Author's last name begins with the letters T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z

13. Author is a man

14. Author is dead

15. Genre: romance

16. Genre: fantasy

17. Genre: horror

18. Set in a school

19. Set in the UK

20. Set in a country that is not your country of residence

21. Set in Europe

22. Set in Asia

23. Set in Australia/Oceania

24. Set in Africa

25. Snake - go back to 5

26. Part of a series that is more than 5 books long

27. Set during WWI or WWII

28. Written between 1900 and 1999

29. Someone travels by plane

30. Someone travels by train

31. Road trip

32. Genre: thriller

33. Set in North America

34. Snake - go back to 1

35. Has been adapted as a movie

36. Set in Central or South America

37. Has won an award

38. Newest release by a favorite author

39. A reread

40. Characters involved in the entertainment industry

41. Characters involved in politics

42. Characters involved in sports/sports industry

43. Characters involved in the law

44. Characters involved in cooking/baking

43. Characters involved in medicine

44. Characters involved in science/technology

45. A book that has been on your tbr for more than one year

46. A book that has been on your tbr for more than two years

47. Snake - go back to 19

48. A book you acquired in February, 2019.

49. Recommended by a friend

50. Has a domestic animal on the cover

51. Has a wild animal on the cover

52. Has a tree or flower on the cover

53. Has something that can be used as a weapon on the cover

54. Is more than 400 pages long

55. Is more than 500 pages long

56. Was published more than 100 years ago

57. Was published more than 50 years ago

58. Was published more than 25 years ago

59. Was published more than 10 years ago

60. Was published last year

61. Cover is more than 50% red

62. Cover is more than 50% green

63. Cover is more than 50% blue

64. Cover is more than 50% yellow

65. Snake - go back to 52

66. Part of a series that is more than 10 books long

67. Set in a city with a population of greater than 5 million people (link)

68. Something related to weddings on the cover

69. Something related to travel on the cover

70. Something related to fall/autumn on the cover

71. Involves the beach/ocean/lake 

72. Involves the mountains/forests 

73. Categorized as YA

74. Categorized as Middle Grade

75. Set in a fantasy world

76. Set in a world with magic

77. Has a "food" word in the title

78. Set in a small town (fictional or real)

79. Main character is a woman

80. Main character is a man

81. Ghost story

82. Genre: urban fantasy

83. Genre: cozy mystery

84. Genre: police procedural

85. Written by an author who has published more than 10 books

86. Author's debut book

87. Snake - go back to 57

88. Comic/graphic novel

89. Published between 2000 and 2017

90. A new-to-you author

91. Snake - go back to 61

92. Reread of a childhood favorite

93. Author's first/last initial same as yours (real or BL handle)

94. Non-fiction

95. Memoir

96. From your favorite genre

97. Title starts with any of the letters in SNAKE

98. Title starts with any of the letters in LADDERS

99. Snake - go back to 69

100. Let BL pick it for you: post 4 choices and read the one that gets the most votes!

 

ADDITIONS TO THE RULES

See comments to the post for further explanations or to ask questions

 

When you start on square 1, you need to read a book before you can roll. If your book fills the square, you get to roll two dice. If your book doesn't not fit the square, roll one dice only.

 

With respect to the ladder squares: You must read a book in order to climb the ladder. Once you finish the book for the ladder square, climb the ladder to the ending square. If you read a book that fits the ending square, roll two dice to move on, otherwise, roll one dice.

 

For audiobook substitutions, either check the print book to determine if it is more than 200 pages long, or any audiobook that is a minimum of 5 hours & 30 minutes qualifies.

Reading progress update: I've read 294 out of 294 pages.

Murder Past Due - Miranda James

I was starting to suspect the person who turned out to be the murderer, but the ending still surprised me. There were a couple details I thought the author was going to make use of in some way, though, that didn't end up going anywhere. Hmm.

 

I technically get to roll now, but it's going to have to wait until my Internet is back up. There's a sudden storm in my area, and I'm having to write this on my phone. Thankfully, the quarter-sized hail that was supposed to happen didn't.

::flail::

Dinosaurs - Robert Sabuda, Matthew Reinhart

Oh, I'm so excited. The person in charge of our children's book collection was going over our pop-up books and deciding what to weed and what to keep. I mentioned that I thought this particular book was cool, and she said, "Okay, then I'll just get rid of it. You can take it." So I made a donation to our Friends group and now it's MINE.

 

Pictures when I get a chance. It's so cool. POP-UP DINOSAURS.

Reading progress update: I've read 200 out of 294 pages.

Murder Past Due - Miranda James

It's a miracle: I've actually been getting some reading done this week, and I'm making good time on this book. I might be able to do my next rolls soon.

 

So far this is decent, maybe 3.5 stars. The mystery intrigues me - I have a guess as to the murderer's identity, but it's based more on a feeling than actual evidence. The setup reminds me of one of the subplots in Jenn McKinlay's series. One of the characters learns that he's the son of a famous writer, and then the famous writer turns up dead.

 

I could see myself continuing on with the series. The library connection isn't quite as strong as in McKinlay's series, since Charlie only works part-time, but Diesel is appealing. And so far there's no evidence of a love triangle, although the same could have been said of the first book in McKinlay's Library Lovers series.

A Likely Story by Jenn McKinlay

A Likely Story (A Library Lover's Mystery) - Jenn McKinlay

I finished this about four months ago and just realized that I never wrote a review for it. Oops. All it took was starting a completely different cozy mystery series starring a librarian to remind me.

When Lindsey attempts to deliver books to a couple of her most reclusive library patrons, Stewart and Peter Rosen, she and Sully discover that Peter has been killed. Stewart is missing and seems to be the most likely suspect in Peter's murder. Lindsey can't imagine him having done it, however, and is concerned that Stewart is in danger. (And that is, unfortunately, about as much as I can remember of the book's overall plot. There was also a subplot involving Beth and a worryingly popular male children's librarian.)

I was not happy with the previous book in the series, to put it mildly. A Likely Story thankfully scaled back on one of my least favorite aspects of the series, the love triangle, although it sadly didn't do away with it. Robbie spent most of the book out of the picture, on a mysterious trip he didn't talk about much. Not that he needed to - it was painfully obvious that he was finally getting a divorce, so that Lindsey's excuse for not choosing him over Sully would no longer be an issue. It was so obvious that I actually thought Lindsey was purposely not commenting on it and wondered why she was stringing Robbie along, but in the end I think she truly didn't realize. Which made her seem like a bit of an idiot.

Since McKinlay for some reason chose not to end the love triangle once and for all, despite Lindsey's clear preference for Sully over Robbie, I imagine it'll rear its ugly head yet again in the next book. I'm not sure I want to deal with that. There are lots of other cozy mystery series starring librarians that I could be reading instead.

It's really too bad, because this book was an improvement over the previous one on the mystery front as well. I loved the crime scene, Stewart and Peter's house. It was amazing, crammed with all the stuff they'd collected over the years, with elaborate hidden tunnels and deadly booby traps. The chase scene in the tunnels was excellent.

If I continue this series, it'll be because my coworker handed me the next book and I couldn't bring myself to say no. The characters are okay, and I like the recipes in the back, but this love triangle shouldn't have survived longer than one book. It wasn't just that Robbie was married, but also that he allowed Lindsey to think he'd been killed. I mean, come on.

Extras:

  • "An Unlikely Meeting," a bonus short story in which Lindsey is supposed to interview a candidate to replace Ann Marie at the circulation desk. I'm vaguely curious about how well Paula Turner and Ms. Cole will get along. Curious enough to read the next book? Eh.
  • The Briar Creek Library guide to crafternoons
  • Readers guide for The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
  • Crafting instructions: Paper flowers created from scrap paper
  • A recipe for Beth's Irish soda bread - I haven't made it, but it seems relatively easy.
  • A recipe for Charlene's shepherd's pie - I haven't made this either, but it also seems relatively easy.

 

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

Reading progress update: I've read 8 out of 294 pages.

Murder Past Due - Miranda James

I currently own two cozy mysteries, both the first book in series by different authors, that star librarians and their cats. This is one of them. Tannat gave it 3 stars and Murder by Death gave it 4 stars. I'm hoping for it to be at least a 3-star read, so this seems like a promising sign.

 

So far we have a widower main character, Charlie, with a rescued Maine coon cat, Diesel. Charlie has two adult children - no idea if they live anywhere near him. He works two days a week at the local public a university library, as a cataloger and archivist. This bit resonated with me, especially considering the past couple weeks:

 

"During my career as a librarian in Houston, I had spent much of my time as an administrator. Being able to catalog again was almost heaven after dealing for so long with budgets and personnel." (8)

 

I'm not an administrator, thank goodness - I doubt I'd enjoy it, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be very good at it. However, I do have some supervisory duties that I picked up a few years after I was first hired, and there are days when all I want to do is barricade my office door, refuse to answer my phone or email, and do nothing but catalog.

Snakes and Ladders: 11th roll

Finished books reserved for later:

- Chain Letter - Christopher Pike  (185 pages - too short to count as a book)

- Dramacon Ultimate Edition - Svetlana Chmakova  (600+ pages - I'm not actually sure whether this counts for Snakes and Ladders, so I'm keeping it on reserve for now)

 

 

Books read for the game:

1. Square 1: Neanderthal Seeks Human - Penny Reid  [dice: 1+2]

2. Square 4: The Midnight Club - Christopher Pike doesn't fit square requirements [dice: 3]

3. Square 7: Suddenly Royal - Nichole Chase  [dice: 1+5]

4. Square 13: Patient Zero - Ray Porter,Jonathan Maberry  [dice: 5+5]

5. Square 23: Salvation of a Saint - Keigo Higashino,Alexander O. Smith  doesn't fit square requirements [dice: 2]

6. Square 5: The Queen of Ieflaria (Tales of Inthya #1) - Effie Calvin  + Coffee Boy - Austin Chant  [dice: 3+5]

7. Square 13: What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions - Randall Munroe  [dice: 3+3]

8. Square 19: On What Grounds - Cleo Coyle  doesn't fit square requirement [dice: 5]

9. Square 24: Monster - Christopher Pike  doesn't fit square requirement [dice: 4]

10. Square 28: Now You're One of Us - Mitsuko Volek,Michael Volek,Asa Nonami  [dice: 5+6]

 

11. On Square 39: The Twelve Kingdoms: Sea of Wind - Fuyumi Ono,小野 不由美,Akihiro Yamada,山田 章博,Alexander O. Smith,Elye J. Alexander  [dice: 5+6]

 

The requirement for this square was for the book to be a reread. Sea of Wind definitely fits, so I get to roll two dice.

 

 

 

This puts me on Square 50, which thankfully doesn't have one of those devious snakes on it. The requirement for this square: Has a domestic animal on the cover.

 

Just from where I'm sitting right now, I can spot at least two books that would work for this square. The question is whether I'll have the willpower to read any of them. I guess I'll find out. I'm glad the game doesn't require us to read books that fit our squares, or I suspect I'd never finish.

 

RULES OF THE GAME:

 

Everyone starts on 1. There are two alternative ways to move forward.

 

1. Read a book that fits the description on the space number as listed below and you can roll two dice to move forward more quickly.

 

2. However, if you can't find a book to fit the square, don't worry about it. You can read any book, and roll one dice on random.org.  This is to ensure that if a reader cannot find a book to fill the square, no one gets bogged down and can't move on.

 

All books must be at least 200 pages long. Short stories count, so long as you read enough of them from a collection to equal 200 pages. 

 

You do not need to hit space 100 with an exact roll. In order to win, you must complete space 100 as written.

 

Spaces:

 

1. Author is a woman

2. Genre: mystery

3. Set in the twentieth century

4. Published in 2019

5. Published in 2018

6. Title has a color word in it

7. Author's last name begins with the letters A, B, C, or D.

8. Author's last name begins with the letters E, F, G, or H.

9. Author's last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K

10. Author's last name begins with the letters L, M, N or O

11. Author's last name begins with the letters P, Q, R, or S

12. Author's last name begins with the letters T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z

13. Author is a man

14. Author is dead

15. Genre: romance

16. Genre: fantasy

17. Genre: horror

18. Set in a school

19. Set in the UK

20. Set in a country that is not your country of residence

21. Set in Europe

22. Set in Asia

23. Set in Australia/Oceania

24. Set in Africa

25. Snake - go back to 5

26. Part of a series that is more than 5 books long

27. Set during WWI or WWII

28. Written between 1900 and 1999

29. Someone travels by plane

30. Someone travels by train

31. Road trip

32. Genre: thriller

33. Set in North America

34. Snake - go back to 1

35. Has been adapted as a movie

36. Set in Central or South America

37. Has won an award

38. Newest release by a favorite author

39. A reread

40. Characters involved in the entertainment industry

41. Characters involved in politics

42. Characters involved in sports/sports industry

43. Characters involved in the law

44. Characters involved in cooking/baking

43. Characters involved in medicine

44. Characters involved in science/technology

45. A book that has been on your tbr for more than one year

46. A book that has been on your tbr for more than two years

47. Snake - go back to 19

48. A book you acquired in February, 2019.

49. Recommended by a friend

50. Has a domestic animal on the cover

51. Has a wild animal on the cover

52. Has a tree or flower on the cover

53. Has something that can be used as a weapon on the cover

54. Is more than 400 pages long

55. Is more than 500 pages long

56. Was published more than 100 years ago

57. Was published more than 50 years ago

58. Was published more than 25 years ago

59. Was published more than 10 years ago

60. Was published last year

61. Cover is more than 50% red

62. Cover is more than 50% green

63. Cover is more than 50% blue

64. Cover is more than 50% yellow

65. Snake - go back to 52

66. Part of a series that is more than 10 books long

67. Set in a city with a population of greater than 5 million people (link)

68. Something related to weddings on the cover

69. Something related to travel on the cover

70. Something related to fall/autumn on the cover

71. Involves the beach/ocean/lake 

72. Involves the mountains/forests 

73. Categorized as YA

74. Categorized as Middle Grade

75. Set in a fantasy world

76. Set in a world with magic

77. Has a "food" word in the title

78. Set in a small town (fictional or real)

79. Main character is a woman

80. Main character is a man

81. Ghost story

82. Genre: urban fantasy

83. Genre: cozy mystery

84. Genre: police procedural

85. Written by an author who has published more than 10 books

86. Author's debut book

87. Snake - go back to 57

88. Comic/graphic novel

89. Published between 2000 and 2017

90. A new-to-you author

91. Snake - go back to 61

92. Reread of a childhood favorite

93. Author's first/last initial same as yours (real or BL handle)

94. Non-fiction

95. Memoir

96. From your favorite genre

97. Title starts with any of the letters in SNAKE

98. Title starts with any of the letters in LADDERS

99. Snake - go back to 69

100. Let BL pick it for you: post 4 choices and read the one that gets the most votes!

 

ADDITIONS TO THE RULES

See comments to the post for further explanations or to ask questions

 

When you start on square 1, you need to read a book before you can roll. If your book fills the square, you get to roll two dice. If your book doesn't not fit the square, roll one dice only.

 

With respect to the ladder squares: You must read a book in order to climb the ladder. Once you finish the book for the ladder square, climb the ladder to the ending square. If you read a book that fits the ending square, roll two dice to move on, otherwise, roll one dice.

 

For audiobook substitutions, either check the print book to determine if it is more than 200 pages long, or any audiobook that is a minimum of 5 hours & 30 minutes qualifies.

Dramacon: Ultimate Edition by Svetlana Chmakova

Dramacon Ultimate Edition - Svetlana Chmakova

This omnibus contains the entire 3-volume series.

Christie is an amateur manga author with vague dreams of making it big one day. In the meantime, she just wants to have fun at Yatta Con, her first big manga/anime convention. Unfortunately, her boyfriend and artist (they're co-creating original English-language/OEL manga) is being a jerk, practically drooling over every pretty cosplayer who comes to their table. Matt, the good-looking cosplayer manning the table next to them, annoys her with his snarky comments, but she finds herself turning to him more and more as things deteriorate between her and her boyfriend. Matt's attitude may be a bit abrasive, but he and Christie just sort of click in a way that Christie and her boyfriend don't.

Each of the next two volumes take place a year apart, at the next Yatta Cons, following the ups and downs of Christie and Matt's relationship, Christie's con-going experience, and Christie and her friends' prospective manga careers.

This was a reread, but my last time reading this series was so long ago that I'd forgotten a lot of specifics. I vaguely remembered thinking that the romance didn't quite work for me. My feelings about it haven't changed - Christie and Matt are cute together and all, but it bugged me that, by the end of the series, they'd spent a grand total of maybe 8-9 days in the same physical space. If they'd spent the time between Yatta Cons talking over the phone or online, it wouldn't have been quite as big of a deal, but they hadn't even done much of that. Christie tried calling Matt once between volume 1 and volume 2 but chickened out when someone else answered. Matt and Christie talked a little just prior to volume 3's Yatta Con, and Matt read Christie's blog (which mortified Christie when he finally commented for the first time), but there were still a lot of things they didn't know about each other and hadn't talked about when they met up again at the convention.

So, I didn't think the series' format worked well for its primary romance, but I at least felt other aspects of the series were much stronger. Chmakova's depictions of Yatta Con and Christie's experience of it, particularly her first time going, were great. Volume 2 was more dramatic, touching on folks who don't consider OEL manga to be "real" manga, racism, and fans who don't respect cosplayers' boundaries and hug or take pictures without asking - not inaccurate, but maybe a bit much in a single volume. There was also a nice ongoing storyline involving Christie's new artist, Bethany, who yearned for a career as a manga artist but whose mother wanted her to have a career that was more likely to produce a stable income.

Dramacon wasn't bad, but it didn't give its primary romance enough room to breathe and really feel like something that could last. As with Nightschool, one of her later series, it had a lot of promise but didn't quite hit the mark.

Extras:

This edition of the series contains a lot of previously unpublished material. I'm not sure which bits were new and which weren't, but I didn't recognize the multi-page comic featuring Matt and Christie's first real date (all in Matt's POV, which was kind of nice). There were also a few author's notes, comics featuring a little behind-the-scenes info, fan art, some four-panel comics, and an interview with Svetlana Chmakova with early concept art for the series. Even if you own the original three volumes, the extras in this omnibus are worth checking out if you're a big fan of the series. I only wish the fan art could have been in color.

 

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

Reading progress update: I've read 630 out of 630 pages.

Dramacon Ultimate Edition - Svetlana Chmakova

I actually finished this a few days ago. I still need to write a review for it.

 

My memories of this series were a bit vague, but I don't think my feelings about it have changed much over the years. The convention stuff was stronger than the romance, which is a bit of a pity since the overall story is about Christie and Matt's relationship. The format just didn't work well for it.

 

I'm wondering, can I count this towards Snakes and Ladders? The rules mention how to handle audiobooks, but I haven't been able to find anything in the rules or Q&A about graphic novels, although Tannat commented on one of my past posts about seeing something somewhere.

Umpteenth reread now finished

The Twelve Kingdoms: Sea of Wind - Fuyumi Ono, 小野 不由美, Akihiro Yamada, 山田 章博, Elye J. Alexander, Alexander O. Smith

This latest reread took a bit longer than usual - according to past reading data, I normally get through this book in a day or two. I'll blame that on work, which is still a torturous, stressful slog, although slightly less so in the past week than it was the week before. I haven't done much reading in the past week, only a few minutes of computer game playing and TV watching here and there. Current shows: Bromance (a Taiwanese romantic comedy series) and Hanna (Amazon's new series based on the 2011 movie of the same title). Current games: Garden Paws and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.

 

I've been doing nearly annual rereads of Sea of Wind for the past 5 years now. I'm willing to admit that the book has flaws, but I love it all the same. Here's hoping Taiki's story eventually gets an ending. And that the ending doesn't rip my heart out and stomp on it.

 

And now I get to do some more Snakes and Ladders rolls. Yay!

Reading progress update: I've read 18 out of 236 pages.

Gaslighting: Recognize Manipulative and Emotionally Abusive People--and Break Free - Stephanie Moulton Sarkis

So far, the "how to identify gaslighters" chapter is pretty good, with a few examples of behaviors that hadn't occurred to me as being features of gaslighters.

Approximately 2 hours in

A Man Called Ove - Fredrik Backman, George Newbern

I started listening to this at work because The Keeper of Lost Causes was about to expire and I wasn't sure if I was going to renew it (I did renew it, but if I were reading a paper copy rather than listening to the audio, I'd likely have flipped to the end by now to find out how things turn out for Merete, who I care about more than the detective main character).

 

It's my IRL book club's next pick. It is, once again, not a book I'd have decided to read on my own. It's slow-paced and emotionally manipulative, and Ove's judgmental thoughts annoy me. That said, I don't actually dislike it. I just have a bit of a kneejerk "I don't want to feel the way you want me to feel" reaction to it. I'm sure reviews of the book frequently use the word "heartwarming." Maybe I don't want my heart warmed right now. So there. :-P

Reading progress update: I've read 385 out of 630 pages.

Dramacon Ultimate Edition - Svetlana Chmakova

All right, that's the end of volume 2. One more volume to go and I'm done with this omnibus.

 

Volume 2 was basically the "dark side of fandom" volume: OEL manga creators being told that what they're doing isn't "real manga," people making fun of bad cosplayers, con-goers who don't know how to respect the boundaries of cosplayers and touch them or take pictures of them without asking, etc. It was a wee bit much crammed into a single volume, and maybe over-dramatized at times, but not inaccurate.

 

The series still doesn't quite work for me as romance. In volume 1, Christie and Matt got to know each other over the space of 2-3 days. At that time, Christie was dating her sleazebag of a boyfriend, who crossed a line and became her ex-boyfriend. In the year between the end of volume 1 and volume 2, Christie tried to call Matt once but never actually spoke to him. In volume 2, Matt is dating someone else, but there are still sparks between him and Christie.

 

By the end of volume 2, Matt and Christie have maybe spent a grand total of 4-6 days out of an entire year in the same physical space, and a good chunk of that time has been drama-filled, with one or the other of them dating someone else.

Rereading: Page 32 of 317

The Twelve Kingdoms: Sea of Wind - Fuyumi Ono, 小野 不由美, Akihiro Yamada, 山田 章博, Elye J. Alexander, Alexander O. Smith

I've reread this on a nearly yearly basis since joining Booklikes. This is my first time rereading it in 2019.

 

I consider this book a comfort read, although it became a little less comforting after I read a fan translation of the book that continues Taiki's story - Ono basically stomps on Taiki, stomps on him some more, and then pauses the story at a point that looks really bad for the poor boy. I hope she finally publishes the rest of his story one day, and that the continuation gets an official English translation.

Snakes and Ladders: 9th and 10th rolls, in which Snakes and Ladders gives me a reassuring pat on the back

(Edit: Oops, I just realized that I saved the board game image but never actually added it to this post. I just fixed that...)

 

Finished books reserved for later:

- Chain Letter - Christopher Pike  (185 pages - too short to count as a book)

- Monster - Christopher Pike   (229 pages)

- Now You're One of Us - Mitsuko Volek,Michael Volek,Asa Nonami  (239 pages)

 

 

Books read for the game:

1. Square 1: Neanderthal Seeks Human - Penny Reid  [dice: 1+2]

2. Square 4: The Midnight Club - Christopher Pike doesn't fit square requirements [dice: 3]

3. Square 7: Suddenly Royal - Nichole Chase  [dice: 1+5]

4. Square 13: Patient Zero - Ray Porter,Jonathan Maberry  [dice: 5+5]

5. Square 23: Salvation of a Saint - Keigo Higashino,Alexander O. Smith  doesn't fit square requirements [dice: 2]

6. Square 5: The Queen of Ieflaria (Tales of Inthya #1) - Effie Calvin  + Coffee Boy - Austin Chant  [dice: 3+5]

7. Square 13: What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions - Randall Munroe  [dice: 3+3]

8. Square 19: On What Grounds - Cleo Coyle  doesn't fit square requirement [dice: 5]

9. Square 24: Monster - Christopher Pike  doesn't fit square requirement [dice: 4]

 

It's dangerous - all I'd have to do is roll a 1 to land on the same snake that sent me back during my 5th roll - but I don't care. I don't feel like reading Murder for Tea or the second Binti book right now, and they're the only books I have in my collection that would work for that square. Also, I just want to roll the dice and see what's coming next. If I end up having to go backwards again, so be it.

 

I'm using Christopher Pike's Monster and rolling one die.

 

 

Oh good, I avoided the snake. Let this be a sign that work is about to take a turn for the better as well.

 

10. Square 28: Now You're One of Us - Mitsuko Volek,Michael Volek,Asa Nonami  [dice: 5+6]

 

This puts me on Square 28. The requirements for this square: "Written between 1900 and 1999."

 

Now You're One of Us was first published in English in 2007, which initially makes it look like it wouldn't work for the square. However, it was originally published in Japanese in 1993, so I would argue that it actually does count and I can roll two dice.

 

 

That puts me on Square 39. Requirement: "A reread." Bless you Snakes and Ladders, you're being very kind to me this time around. I think I'm going to dig up a comfort read.

 

 

RULES OF THE GAME:

 

Everyone starts on 1. There are two alternative ways to move forward.

 

1. Read a book that fits the description on the space number as listed below and you can roll two dice to move forward more quickly.

 

2. However, if you can't find a book to fit the square, don't worry about it. You can read any book, and roll one dice on random.org.  This is to ensure that if a reader cannot find a book to fill the square, no one gets bogged down and can't move on.

 

All books must be at least 200 pages long. Short stories count, so long as you read enough of them from a collection to equal 200 pages. 

 

You do not need to hit space 100 with an exact roll. In order to win, you must complete space 100 as written.

 

Spaces:

 

1. Author is a woman

2. Genre: mystery

3. Set in the twentieth century

4. Published in 2019

5. Published in 2018

6. Title has a color word in it

7. Author's last name begins with the letters A, B, C, or D.

8. Author's last name begins with the letters E, F, G, or H.

9. Author's last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K

10. Author's last name begins with the letters L, M, N or O

11. Author's last name begins with the letters P, Q, R, or S

12. Author's last name begins with the letters T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z

13. Author is a man

14. Author is dead

15. Genre: romance

16. Genre: fantasy

17. Genre: horror

18. Set in a school

19. Set in the UK

20. Set in a country that is not your country of residence

21. Set in Europe

22. Set in Asia

23. Set in Australia/Oceania

24. Set in Africa

25. Snake - go back to 5

26. Part of a series that is more than 5 books long

27. Set during WWI or WWII

28. Written between 1900 and 1999

29. Someone travels by plane

30. Someone travels by train

31. Road trip

32. Genre: thriller

33. Set in North America

34. Snake - go back to 1

35. Has been adapted as a movie

36. Set in Central or South America

37. Has won an award

38. Newest release by a favorite author

39. A reread

40. Characters involved in the entertainment industry

41. Characters involved in politics

42. Characters involved in sports/sports industry

43. Characters involved in the law

44. Characters involved in cooking/baking

43. Characters involved in medicine

44. Characters involved in science/technology

45. A book that has been on your tbr for more than one year

46. A book that has been on your tbr for more than two years

47. Snake - go back to 19

48. A book you acquired in February, 2019.

49. Recommended by a friend

50. Has a domestic animal on the cover

51. Has a wild animal on the cover

52. Has a tree or flower on the cover

53. Has something that can be used as a weapon on the cover

54. Is more than 400 pages long

55. Is more than 500 pages long

56. Was published more than 100 years ago

57. Was published more than 50 years ago

58. Was published more than 25 years ago

59. Was published more than 10 years ago

60. Was published last year

61. Cover is more than 50% red

62. Cover is more than 50% green

63. Cover is more than 50% blue

64. Cover is more than 50% yellow

65. Snake - go back to 52

66. Part of a series that is more than 10 books long

67. Set in a city with a population of greater than 5 million people (link)

68. Something related to weddings on the cover

69. Something related to travel on the cover

70. Something related to fall/autumn on the cover

71. Involves the beach/ocean/lake 

72. Involves the mountains/forests 

73. Categorized as YA

74. Categorized as Middle Grade

75. Set in a fantasy world

76. Set in a world with magic

77. Has a "food" word in the title

78. Set in a small town (fictional or real)

79. Main character is a woman

80. Main character is a man

81. Ghost story

82. Genre: urban fantasy

83. Genre: cozy mystery

84. Genre: police procedural

85. Written by an author who has published more than 10 books

86. Author's debut book

87. Snake - go back to 57

88. Comic/graphic novel

89. Published between 2000 and 2017

90. A new-to-you author

91. Snake - go back to 61

92. Reread of a childhood favorite

93. Author's first/last initial same as yours (real or BL handle)

94. Non-fiction

95. Memoir

96. From your favorite genre

97. Title starts with any of the letters in SNAKE

98. Title starts with any of the letters in LADDERS

99. Snake - go back to 69

100. Let BL pick it for you: post 4 choices and read the one that gets the most votes!

 

ADDITIONS TO THE RULES

See comments to the post for further explanations or to ask questions

 

When you start on square 1, you need to read a book before you can roll. If your book fills the square, you get to roll two dice. If your book doesn't not fit the square, roll one dice only.

 

With respect to the ladder squares: You must read a book in order to climb the ladder. Once you finish the book for the ladder square, climb the ladder to the ending square. If you read a book that fits the ending square, roll two dice to move on, otherwise, roll one dice.

 

For audiobook substitutions, either check the print book to determine if it is more than 200 pages long, or any audiobook that is a minimum of 5 hours & 30 minutes qualifies.

Reading progress update: I've read 229 out of 229 pages.

Monster - Christopher Pike

Finished!

 

This was...weird. And I suspect that the science-y explanations are completely off. At least the dog survived.