I am happy to announce that I will be participating in the Bout of Books readathon for the first time ever!
Don't know about Bout of Books? Here's some info:
The Bout of Books readathon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It’s a weeklong readathon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in YOUR time zone. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are reading sprints, Twitter chats, and exclusive Instagram challenges, but they’re all completely optional. For all Bout of Books 30 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
I'm excited to be participating in this and I can't wait to start reading from my first book haul of the year!
Earlier in the year I took a look at my bookshelf, nightstand, and desk. I must admit, I was pretty disgusted.
Piles of purchased books to be read as soon as I was done with the piles of library books that I swore I would finish before their due date. And oh, let's not forget the many slips of paper with new release titles scrawled on them.
It was bad.
I mentioned 25 Days of Manga briefly in a previous post and I'm excited to say that I completed the challenge!
This fun challenge was hosted by Pages and Panels and co-hosted by Shae Geeks Out, MommaLuvsManga, and DynamicDylan.
In the month of December 2020 I read 28 manga and completed all 25 bingo challenges.
Here are my reviews for my top favorite manga from the reading challenge!
1. Hell's Paradise by Yuji Kaku
2. Sakamoto Days by Yuto Suzuki
3. My Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi
4. Blue Flag by KAITO
5. Moriarty the Patriot by Ryōsuke Takeuchi
I had a lot of fun and it was interesting to view everyone else's tweets, blogs, and vlogs about the titles that they were reading.
Moriarty the Patriot by Ryōsuke Takeuchi. First published in 2016 and published in the United States in 2020 by Viz Media.
Plot: "In the late 19th century, Great Britain rules over a quarter of the world. Nobles sit in their fancy homes in comfort and luxury, while the working class slaves away at their jobs. When young Albert James Moriarty’s upper-class family adopts two lower-class orphans, the cruelty the boys experience at his family’s hands cements Albert’s hatred of the nobility he was born into. He asks the older of the two boys—who has a genius mind and a killer instinct—to help him rid the world of evil, starting with Albert’s own family!"
This title had been on my TBR since Viz first announced it in October. I finally had some time in December and decided to give it a go!
I found the premise interesting, but the manga very much exceeded my initial expectations! Moriarty the Patriot is a social critique on how the status quo has disenfranchised the working class and the vulnerable while privileging the wealthy elites who are allowed to do as they wish without little consequence.
Blue Flag by KAITO. First published in 2017 and first published in the United States in 2020.
Plot: "For some reason, Taichi Ichinose just can’t stand Futaba Kuze. But at the start of his third year in high school, he finds himself in the same homeroom as her, along with his childhood friend Toma Mita, a star athlete. But one day, Futaba opens up to Taichi and admits she has a crush on Toma. She then asks for his help in confessing to him! There’s just one problem—Toma seems to already have a secret crush on someone else."
I discovered this manga thanks to Shae Geeks Out who recommended this title on her Youtube channel. This recommendation did not disappointment! I tend to be very picky when it comes to slice of life manga, but I absolutely adored this one!
My Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi. First published in 2014 and released in English in 2015 by Viz Media.
Plot: "Middle school student Izuku Midoriya wants to be a hero more than anything, but he hasn’t got an ounce of power in him. With no chance of ever getting into the prestigious U.A. High School for budding heroes, his life is looking more and more like a dead end. Then an encounter with All Might, the greatest hero of them all, gives him a chance to change his destiny…"
The first time I heard about My Hero Academia was in 2016 when the English version of the anime was first released. I'll admit, I wasn't very impressed and found the plot a bit more juvenile than what I was interested in at the time. Flash forward four years later and I decided to give the manga a try.
Sakamoto Days by Yuto Suzuki. First English translation released on Viz Media's Shonen Jump on November 20, 2020.
Plot: "Taro Sakamoto was the ultimate assassin, feared by villains and admired by hitmen. But one day...he fell in love! Retirement, marriage, fatherhood and then... Sakamoto gained weight! The chubby guy who runs the neighborhood store is actually a former legendary hitman! Can he protect his family from danger? Get ready to experience a new kind of action comedy series!"
There's an ongoing pandemic and I needed some humor in my life to lift my spirits. As someone who's a fan of action manga and graphic novels, Suzuki's Sakamoto Days was perfect for me as it had the perfect blend of action and comedy.
Hell's Paradise by Yuji Kaku. First published in 2018 and first published in English in 2020 by Viz Media.
Plot:"Gabimaru the Hollow is one of the most vicious assassins ever to come out of the ninja village of Iwagakure. He’s ruthlessly efficient, but a betrayal results in him being handed a death sentence. He has only one hope—in order to earn his freedom, he must travel to a long-hidden island and recover an elixir that will make the shogun immortal. Failure is not an option. On this island, heaven and hell are just a hair’s breadth away."
Yuji Kaku has a very beautiful art style and it was the covers he created for Hell's Paradise that drew me in when Viz first started advertising the English edition. I'm caught up to the latest translated chapter thanks to my Shonen Jump subscription and Kaku's art never disappoints. And better yet, the story and characters of Hell's Paradise are equally great.
I have a long TBR list and 2021 will be the year that I will shorten it!
There are 8 different levels to this challenge. I will be participating in the Mount Crumpit category. For those curious, more information and rules about the challenge can be found here.
Mount Rum Doodle: Read 12 books from your Virtual TBR/Wish List/Library
Mount Crumpit: Read 24 books from your Virtual TBR/Wish List/Library
Mount Munch: Read 36 books from your Virtual TBR/Wish List/Library
White Plume Mountain: Read 48 books from your Virtual TBR/Wish List/Library
Stormness Head: Read 60 books from you Virtual TBR/Wish List Library
Mount Mindolluin: Read 75 books from your Virtual TBR/Wish List/Library
Mount Seleya: Read 100 books from your Virtual TBR/Wish List/Library
Mount Olympus: Read 150+ books from your Virtual TBR/Wish List/Library
Books I want to read (tentative list):
I am excited to sign-up for the Back to Classics Challenge for 2021! It's a year long challenge with the goal of reading 12 different classical books for 12 different categories. Curious? Click here for more information on the challenge.
Here is my (tentative) reading list for the challenge: