Hello! It's Reija and welcome to another video. Today I am here to share with you
my August reading wrap up. And I normally don't talk a lot about the
books I DNF, but this month there were a few that I have been talking about
previously on the channel, so I thought that I'd share with you
what the status on those is. So I'm gonna be talking about my
DNF's slash books, that I've parked. Then I'm going to talk about the comics and
manga, that I've read. And then I'm going to talk about all of the rest of the
books. And I will of course leave timestamps down in the description. So,
without further ado, let's get started.
So, first things first I have decided to finally DNF
Palestine. Now, hear me out! I actually recommend
Palestine for... Palestine by Joe Sacco, for people who want to know more about
the situation between Israel and Palestine and the historical aspects
behind it. And
how Israel deals with Palestinians and and how the Palestinian resistance works
etc. This is a very good look at that situation and it is
a very thoroughly researched journalism. And
and I will commend Joe Sacco for his writing. So why did I
decide to DNF this? Mind you, I got to around 50% or 60%
of this book, so I made quite a bit of headway.
It's the art. Okay, I'm sorry. I just,
I'm personally just this sort of art style
is not my
will, like I will have you know that I know
the level of skill that it takes to do this kind of art,
with like ink and like a lot of texture. It is very skillfully done, but it's
just not pleasing to me.
So that made it a bit of a chore, whenever I was trying to pick this book
up. I was like "Oh, I have to look at Joe Sacco's art, which I don't like."
So, in the end
that's why I ended up DNFing this. The writing is great, but the art
just irks me so much. So, I am looking into reading other books, like some
other non-fiction about Palestine in the future. Another book that you may have
heard me talk about in the recent Stitch and Bitch that we did, is Beowulf - A
Modern Translation. I have
parked this book. I made it to around, I want to say the 50% mark again. I'm
about halfway through. Then I had to return the book to the library and now I
have an e-copy from the Hugo voter packet, that I can
finish the book from.
However, this month there's the Magical
Readathon and Space Opera September and I have work, so there's a lot going
on. So, I am pausing this book. But note, that I am still going to be finishing it
before the Hugo voting closes. So, just a heads up on that.
And finally another book
that I DNF'd is Unraveling by Karen Lord.
And this is more of a "not for now" sort of book, because
it's basically this idea of an urban fantasy,
inside sort of like a corporate, judicial system kind of thing
with lots of fantastical elements. And I just
am a sucker for that kind of thing, where there's a lot of like bureaucracy and
office shenanigans, but there's fantastical elements.
So, I want to read it, but I just wasn't in
the right headspace for it in August, so I returned
it to the library. And maybe I will read some other book by Karen Lord first and
see if I like her writing in another setting, and then go back to
Unraveling. But yeah, those are all the books that I
DNF'd. Next up I read volumes 14, 15 and 16 of
Berserk by Kentaro Miura. Basically Eclipse is now over.
We have now gotten past the extended flashback sequence, that was the whole of
Guts' past and are back to the present timeline,
where the series started from. And Guts is back on the road, killing
demonic apostles. And
I really liked these volumes. I gave them pretty... Like I gave volume 14, four stars,
volume 15 five stars and volume 16 four stars. So I really liked this arc. This is the
Lost Children arc of the story, where basically Guts
investigates this village
where children have gone missing and it has something to do with fairies or
elves. And he is going to investigate and
once again, brutality ensues. This commentates, like this part of the series
does a lot of commentary about how children react to war, and how children
react to atrocities around them. And also how
everyone has their own sort of
battle, that they need to pursue in their life, and other people can't really
shoulder the burdens for them. You have to do it yourself. So, it's
like, it has a lot of commentary on that. And this is one of the better arcs in
the series. I really liked it. And then I started another manga series,
which is Witch Hat Atelier by Kamome Shirahama. I heard that... I heard about
this first from Maija Reads and then from Rachel from Kalanadi. And I was like "Hey!
I am the person, who reads manga here!" So I decided that I will
pick it up. And I got it from the library and
Oh My God, it is so good! I really enjoyed it.
Like the art style is phenomenal! Kamome
Shirohama has this very rich and
thick inking style and the way she draws
the characters, it's like she is mimicking
this lithographic type of art style, which like basically looks like
ink printouts, that you'd see in like
medieval times, just when the printing press was invented.
And the magic system in this is all about art and drawing, and basically
all about creating like through interpreting magical
symbols and drawing the spells in your own way. So the wands
are actually like ink fountain pens. And it's like, it's great!
And the witch fashions in this series are
absolutely amazing! I just aesthetically, plot wise, world building
wise, I love everything about the series! So, I read the first three volumes.
And I gave volume one, three and a half stars. It was basically all about
We find out about this conflict between
the witches that have brimmed hats and
the witches that have like pointy caps. And
like this idea of forbidden magic, that works magic on human body and on
living things. Whereas the witches that have like
pointy cone hats, they are more about helping people and
using magic on inanimate objects and enchanting
contraptions that can help people. And basically
doing magic on a living body is forbidden.
And the main character, Coco ends up
accidentally using forbidden magic and she is brought
into the witch world. And she is an outsider,
trying to learn all about witchery. And it, this series is just
great! I love it so much. I'm hooked. I have
already, in September, read the next two volumes
and I can't wait to read more of it. It's just...
It's so good. I highly recommend it. It is great. In volume 3 there was also very
good, like colorblind representation, which I really enjoyed, so top notch.
Highly recommend. And then I read volumes 3 and 4 of the manga Jujutsu Kaisen. And
I gave volume 3, three and a half stars and volume 4, four stars. The series is
definitely getting better. It's still a little bit on shaky ground, because the
pacing is very abrupt and fast,
but it also tackles some interesting topics and
is a bit horrific at times, which is very apt considering it is more like
a horror action type of manga. And
it's interesting also for me to read it after I have watched the animated series,
because I keep comparing it to the anime,
animated series. And it's interesting to see how the anime has actually
improved upon the source material. I'm continually impressed. But yeah, volume
four has definitely been my favorite so far. We get to see my favorite
grumpy old salary man, Nanamin
who is one of my favorite characters, so yeah.
I'm eagerly continuing on this series, but
it's one of those weird things where I actually think the animated
series is better. And then finally, the last manga that I read was volume 19 of
The Promised Neverland by Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu.
And I gave this volume, three stars. It was okay, but it just...
It's too convenient. There are plot things, that are way too convenient
and happen too fast to really let me enjoy the impact and the surprise.
And I just wish the author could have let this
series just breathe. Like, just let it breathe, have some more
volumes in between. Like slow it down.
And there is one more volume to go, and then the series is finished
and I am going to do a full series review.
But yeah, this has just been an overall series that had such a
fantastic start. Started out great and has just
been continually plummeting down into mediocrity, as it has gone on. So yeah, I
was a little bit disappointed, but then again, this is also one of the better
later volumes in the series. And now, on to the novels. First up I
finally, I finally finished How to Lose a Country - The Seven Steps From Democracy
to Dictatorship by Ece Temelkuran. She is a Turkish journalist, however this
book was written in English. And it's basically
how, what steps
have to happen in order to, in order for like a populist,
authoritative ideology to take root in a country. And
it was very interesting. And it talks about the rise of
Nazi Germany, it talks about the polarization in the United States. It
talks about Erdogans's rise in Turkey and also like these
populist right-wing leaders in Hungary and
France, for example. And it was really interesting
in terms of the topic, and I think it has a lot of important things to say. However,
I do feel like sometimes the author writes in a very sort of, self-important
way. And also this book sometimes reeks of certain
class elitism, because the author has the resources to remove herself from the
situation by way of traveling to another country etc. And she doesn't really,
she doesn't really go over what it's like
for more marginalized people in her country, how they are dealing with
the suddenly oppressive regime of Erdogan etc. So I think
in that way the book kind of lost me. However, I do think it was an
interesting read and explores a very current topic. So, I gave it three and a
half stars. Then I read the Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. This is a literary
fiction novel about two sisters who are living in a town,
all Black citizens, but they are... They have
lightness and have always tried, strived towards
basically having the lightest possible skin. And these twins
are born in this town and they are both very light.
And it tells the story of how they
run away from this town to live in another city, and then the
runs away from her twin and decides to pass as
white, while the other sister marries a Black man.
And it's all about this familial dynamic. It is about what,
what's the cost mentally
for this other sister to pass as white, as well as
what's the social cost of the other sister when she comes back
home with a very
dark daughter. And how her daughter deals with
living in a town where everyone looks down on her
because of her skin color. So it's very much about colorism
and the sort of social hierarchy that
results from people putting a lot of stock into skin color.
It was very interesting. Like not perfect. I think there was plenty of
instances where the author chose convenience over,
like logic, to advance the plot. But I really enjoyed it. It has a
major trans side character and
other kinds of... Like it also has... This book takes place from
the 1950s up to like the 1990s, so it very much
tackles like the Jim Crow segregation, as well as
the AIDS crisis in the 80s. So I thought that it was
an immensely interesting and thought-provoking read, as well as very
engaging and readable. Like, I read it in like a couple of days. It is very
fast to read. So, I would recommend it. I gave it four stars.
And finally I read some non-fiction and I listened to this one on audio. I read
Fearing the Black Body - The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia by Sabrina Strings.
This basically is all about the
historical origins of how we look at people's bodies today,
and how the sort of language surrounding
how we talk about people's weight and appearance
has borne out of, basically race theory and religion,
before it got brought up into the medical field. This book was really
interesting and I learned a lot. Like, I... For example, I learned that
Italy and Spain and also Netherlands were like the major three in, like
hubs that imported enslaved people into Europe,
already in the like 15th and 16th centuries. So
that gave me like an update on my time frame
on the whole Trans-Atlantic slave trade. And I would highly
recommend this. This was really interesting. It talks about like beauty
standards and how we and how,
this sort of supremacist thinking has also caused
beauty standards to shift and change
in various times, and especially during the time of enlightenment and
such. So yeah, I would highly recommend this. I
gave this four stars. And there you have it. Those were all of the books, that I
read in some capacity in August. I hope you enjoyed this video. If you did, please
leave me a
cactus emoji in the comments, because I feel a bit prickly today. So
yeah, thank you for watching and I will see
you in another video, very soon. Bye bye!