Archive for the ‘reading’ Category

It’s true…I’ve done this.   Leave a comment

“Suppose you spend ten hours a day playing Tetris. Next thing you know you’re walking down the street thinking about where to place that nice square building up ahead.”

Slum Online by Sakurazaka Hiroshi



a day in the (boring) life…   Leave a comment

I have such plans for today…Because you totally NEED to know what I’m doing today.

Laundry – I’ve been lazy this week, so now on my day off I’m estimating I have 8 loads to do.

Reading – I’ve been reading Angry White Pyjamas by Robert Twigger. He’s an Oxford poet who ended up living in Japan and doing much of nothing; decided he needed to do more of something, and chose to learn aikido. Being completely out of shape, he naturally chose the most difficult course he could find – the course that the Tokyo Riot Police used for training. Angry White Pyjamas is his memoir of that year.

Mamma Mia – I had my iPod on shuffle yesterday and Dancing Queen came up. I made me realize that I haven’t watched Mamma Mia (the movie) in almost a year. That’s nearly unbelievable. I usually end up watching it every couple of months. Don’t know why, but it’s just one of my feel-good movies. So I dug it out, and plan to watch it in between folding clothes.

Writing – I’ve been slacking on that lately, (damn you, World of Warcraft!) and I have some serious work to do on a couple of files.

But…my first druid IS up to level 82….

Whatcha reading?   Leave a comment

Began: Angry White Pyjamas – Robert Twigger
Finished: The Mysterious Benedict Society – Trenton Lee Stewart

Not Enough Time   Leave a comment

I won’t even mention my TBR pile.

Ok, I will.

I can look to my left and find 40 (I just counted, and that’s the real number) FORTY volumes of manga I haven’t read yet. And that doesn’t count the one I bought yesterday, nor my e-subscription to Shonen Jump, where I am three or four weeks behind.

E-books? Let’s not go there. 100? That I haven’t read yet? That’s a fair estimate.

Tree books? Let me count…one, two, fifteen, two more there, two shelves in the bedroom…45?

So. Not enough time. But this post isn’t about books or reading. It’s about one of my favorite time-consuming obsessions, and the most likely excuse for why my TBR piles are so neglected.

No. Not Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr.


black butler

I once had a list of all the anime I’d watched, and another list of all the anime I still wanted to watch. I’m trying to take it in lumps, watching only a few shows at a time (of the older, completed ones), until I finish them, and then moving on to another. Trying is the operative word.

Currently running shows that I’m watching right now include One Piece and Naruto. Bleach was cancelled, which made me mad, because the next arc, with Zaraki and Unohana’s story would have been fantastic animated. Maybe they’ll do a movie? (hint hint) I also catch an occasional episode of Gintama.

Older shows that I’m watching:

Black Butler – they’re making a live-action movie soon, and I want to be caught up!
Darker Than Black – I’m almost through the first season. Very good anime.
Fairy Tail – yes, I know it’s a current show, but I only just started watching it. I’m only about 10 episodes in so far.
Hero Tales – by the author of Fullmetal Alchemist. I don’t like how they translate ‘Hagun’ to ‘Alkaid’. It makes no sense. They do that with a lot of words in this show, and it’s very distracting.
Rurouni Kenshin
Gundam AGE – I love anything Gundam, I must say
Tegami Bachi – takes being a mailman to whole new level
Yu Yu Hakusho
Dragonball – yes, the original. No, I’ve never seen it before.
and every now and then an episode of Sgt. Frog, which has the cutest theme song EVER, and I’m including the themes from Lucky Star, Ouran High School Host Club and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Sgt. Frog wins the cuteness award hands down. I have it on my iPod. (Of course, I also have the theme from Ninja Turtles. Explain THAT when you have it on shuffle in the car with someone in the passenger seat you don’t know all that well…!)


And though not anime, but still taking up my time, I’ve been watching Endgame on Hulu, a seriously good show, and Long Way Down with Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman.

I’m also re-watching, in occasional bursts – Bleach, Prince of Tennis, Mushi-shi, Trigun, Doctor Who, Firefly and The A-Team.

So, those of you that know me, now when I say in a braggy voice about how ‘I don’t watch TV’, you can slap me across the face (Well, not really).


20th Century Boys   Leave a comment

My favorite manga by far is and has been 20th Century Boys, with the follow-up two volume 21st Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa. I read it in its entirety one weekend about a year or so ago on one of those online scanlation sites. I couldn’t stop reading. I remember having a huge headache, and staying up far too late, reading again before work the next day, and coming home and diving right back in, until the story was finished. It was one of those stories you want to read again, but it’s so long and twisty-turvy you hesitate to begin again too soon.


Then the movies came out. Three of them, and I bought them immediately. I wanted to wait until I had all three before watching them, but I gave in a month before the third one was released, and watched the first two. Then had to sigh and wait – and wait – and wait…until the third one came out.

On a side note, it began an obsession with the actor who played Otcho, Etsushi Toyokawa.


(Otcho – the Shogun)

Which led to the amazing movie, Face, which starred the even-more-amazing Naomi Fujiyama. I’m still convinced that Masako swam straight into…well, never mind. You should watch it. And while you’re at it, watch The Man Behind the Scissors and Hula Girls as well.

 alt= scissors hula

But back to 20th Century Boys. I began collecting the manga, and in yesterday’s mail came the final volume. My collection is complete, and now I can start reading it again. As many times as I want.

(as you can see, the precious pile of books is being guarded by not only a band of kick-ass ninjas, but by Colonel Roy Mustang as well, and he is not going to let anyone get past him.)

Oh. Wait. Mustang is the Flame Alchemist. And the books are made out of – paper.

Maybe I should re-think my guardians. I’ll let Shikamaru think of a better strategy. Meanwhile, here’s a picture of two Kakashis with an apple. Kakashis love apples.

(New, current Kakashi and younger, Anbu Kakashi. And an apple.)

What’s in YOUR bathroom?   1 comment

On my Kindle: Castle in the Sky, Diana Wynne Jones

Manga: Trigun, Vol. 1

In the bathroom: Skinny Dip, Carl Hiaasen

In Hardcover: Flesh and Spirit, Carol Berg


(I’m lying, really. I’m in the middle of at least four other books in various Kindle formats, and my pile of manga, so recently brought to a manageable level, will grow as soon as the two orders I put in yesterday arrive. Kind of like that movie…The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill But Came Down A Mountain? )

Posted February 21, 2013 by Fran LaPlaca in books, daily, manga, reading, stuff

What are you reading?   Leave a comment

I have a terrible habit of reading far too many books at one time. I tried to break it once. I found myself reading seven books – one on the kitchen table, two in the living room, one in each bathroom, and two next to my bed. So I put them all in one pile, and read them one at a time until they were gone. Then I swore I would only read one book at a time from now on.

That lasted, oh, maybe a month? I don’t even remember. Then it was, well, one downstairs and one upstairs. And slowly, over the past few years, the habit, as habits do, snuck back, bigger than ever.

I am currently reading, in hardcover, Dreams Underfoot, by Charles de Lint. That’s my bathroom book. Not an insult, I generally keep books of short stories there, and this book is, in essence, short stories. I hadn’t read anything by him before, and chose to start with this one. About halfway through, quite enjoying it.

I also read manga, generally four volumes at a time. Though I read a lot of it online, there are some series I collect as well, and then I read them again. Currently, for manga, I’m on Death Note, Volume 3, Naruto Volume 40, Black Cat Volume 13, and the last volume of Fullmetal Alchemist. Other than Black Cat, I’ve already read these in various other forums, but it’s nice to have the story and the artwork in hand. 😀 I recently just finished Hero Tales Volume 2, and that is entirely new to me. I quite love it. It’s by Hiromu Arakawa and Huang Jin Zhou. Arakawa you would know as the author of Fullmetal Alchemist. The characters and artwork show the same hand (Oh! He looks like King Bradley! That one looks like Greed!) but the story is so different and so interesting that as soon as I finished the volume I ordered the next one.

Now to the ebooks. I have a Kindle. Once I had the Kindle, I found I could read Kindle books on my laptop and my phone and my iPad, so then I was reading four at a time. I have possibly a hundred books on my Kindle that I haven’t read yet. I’ve had to FORCE myself not buy more until I make a dent! So I’m reading only two on my Kindle for right now: Grass For His Pillow, by Lian Hearn (the second of the Otori books), and A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. A Game of Thrones I’ve read before, years back, in hardcover, but then I never got around to reading the others. It’s been so long I had no idea what the story was even about anymore, so I started at the beginning. I don’t know why I didn’t continue last time, because this time, and it is as if the book is completely new to me, I am so in love. I haven’t seen the TV series, and probably won’t for a long time, and the book itself (and the sequels) are so long it’s quite daunting…but I’m glad I began again. Grass for His Pillow is the sequel to Across the Nightingale Floor, and is just as enjoyable as that one was.

Next on my list, when I get something (anything!) finished, is the second book in the Black Company stories by Glen Cook, Shadows Linger. I read The Black Company just last year, and it became one of my favorite books of all time, up there with The Riddlemaster of Hed books. It’s different from most fantasy books; a genre almost on its own – Military Fantasy, I suppose you could call it. I’m looking forward to that. And with that, I shall add Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, by Haruki Murakami. I recently finished A Wild Sheep Chase, and loved it.

The only thing better than reading a good book is the anticipation of the next one in the pile. 😀

(I have to add this, because at the end of the last sentence, WordPress told me my post was 666 words long. That’s un-good. There. Now it’s almost 700 words. Excellent.)

Posted April 18, 2012 by Fran LaPlaca in blogging, books, daily, fantasy, manga, reading