Caught up on this long-running manga that I’ve been reading for 10+ years (!) It’s still delightful. If you haven’t heard of it and enjoy supernatural characters, this is a great manga. Plus Nyanko-sensei.
Yes & I Love You, by Roni Loren
This the first in Loren’s Say Everything series. I listened to the second one last year and really enjoyed it, so I thought I’d catch up. I also listened to this one. A lovely romance between a ne’er do well improv comedian and an insecure woman with Tourette’s. When writer, Hollyn, finds out that she needs to do videos in order to keep her job, she accepts help from improv genus, Jasper. They get together, trouble separates them, and then a big romantic gesture. You get the idea. Still a nice read.
The Resting Place, by Camilla Sten
This is the second thriller by this Swedish author. I read The Lost Village last year and while I had some issue with the plotting, it stayed with me due to its eerie-ness. This was a much better plotted mystery, but didn’t quite have the same spookiness. Eleanor has face blindness so she can't recognize her grandmother’s murderer. Then she finds out she has inherited a rural estate, but when she, her boyfriend, her aunt, and a lawyer go visit it, they discover a dark mystery surrounding the house and her grandmother.
Kaibyō: The Supernatural Cats of Japan, by Zack Davisson
My brother gave me this book (among many!) for Christmas and I am shocked I didn’t know about it before. Absolutely in my wheelhouse. Chapter by chapter Davisson explains the role of cats in everyday Japanese life and their more sinister personalities as monsters. Filled with original Japanese art this book was fascinating. (Also, a reviewer said that Davisson is the new Lafcadio Hearn, so of course I was going to love it.)
The Christmas Bookshop, by Jenny Colgan
Due to shipping issues, we didn’t get this book in stock at my store until after Christmas. But I love Jenny Colgan’s other bookshop-oriented stories, so it didn’t matter what time of year I was reading it. Unambitious Carmen loses her job and her very ambitious sister finds her a job. There is a lot of resentment between the sisters, and the job is a lot more than she thought it would be, but Carmen finds a place for herself in the bookstore and friends in its customers. This is my favorite Colgan that I’ve read and it might go into rotation as a favorite Christmas read.
Tidesong, by Wendy Xu
Sophie is determined to get into magic academy, going so far as to try magic that is way beyond her. That causes trouble when she summons a young dragon from the sea who can’t remember who he is. Gorgeous art and interesting characters make this a fun, lovely read.
The Missing of Clairedelune, by Christelle Dabos
This is the second of the Mirror Visitor series. I loved the world-building of the first one and this one goes so much deeper into the world. Ophelia becomes a much stronger character and the danger is omnipresent and very real. My complaint is that both books are more than 500 pages and so much could have been cut out, large swaths are pretty dull. I did enjoy the first two books, but I’m going to take a pass on the final two. Good, but not worth that much investment. I have a lot of other books to read.
What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat, by Aubrey Gordon
My second nonfiction title of the month! Go me. I’ve been wanting to read this for a while. I’ve long been a fan of Gordon’s advocacy work and I love her podcast, Maintenance Phase. This book lays bare how bias and prejudice against overweight people causes harm, from early childhood through their whole lives. From loss of job opportunities and income to healthcare, to diet culture, and more. Insightful and kind of depressing, Gordon takes on the last acceptable form of bigotry—dunking on fat people. Absolutely eye and mind opening.
Elder Race, by Adrian Tchaikovsky
I’ve heard a lot of good things about this author and this book. It very much reminded me of some late sixties sci-fi that combines with fantasy. For Lynelle, fourth daughter, her moral code means she must use her sword to protect others. For Nyr, an anthropologist from a far future earth who has been stranded on Lynelle’s planet, is bound not to interfere in the subjects of his study, but he can’t help but try to help. It’s an interesting book, with alternating POVs between Lynelle and Nyr, but I feel like it’s ground that has been covered before.
A Psalm for the Wild Built, by Becky Chambers
A comfort reread. Just another science fiction cozy from Becky. I read this last summer, so I’ll refer you to that review.
The Cat Who Saved Books, by Sosuke Natsukawa
The grandfather of high school student, Rintaro, has just died, leaving the boy in charge of his old bookstore. Rintaro is pulling inside himself after his loss, but when a talking cat appears in the store requiring Rintaro’s help defeating three labyrinths, he follows him to a different world coming to terms with his loss and his place in the world
. This was an odd, fairytale sort of book. Rintaro is a deeply read, true book lover and uses that to defeat his enemies. I’m not sure if I liked it or not.
Aria’s Travelling Book shop, by Rebecca Raisin
Of course I was going to buy this one when I came across it. Unfortunately, it was pretty awful. I really hate saying that about any book, but the characters had no dimension (widowed book nerd is not a personality). The love interest wasn’t even two dimensional. The plot was not really there either. I enjoyed the comradery of the travelers. Yeah.