Monthly Archives: May 2020

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

Taking place 64 years before the events in the first Hunger Games novel (and featuring the 10th Hunger Game), this book only includes two people from the original trilogy: Coriolanus Snow and his cousin Tigris (the genetically altered woman who … Continue reading

Posted in ARC, Book Reviews, dystopian, sci fi, sci-fi, science fiction, YA | 1 Comment

Blue Flag 3 by Kaito

Those looking for an example of storytelling meeting illustration perfection will find it all here in the Blue Flag series. From emotive panels to subtle illustrations and dialogue, this manga remains consistent from the first volume to the end of … Continue reading

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Fushigi Yuugi Byakko Senki by Yuu Watase

For those who have read the Fushigi Yuugi series in the past, you know that there are four gods in Chinese tradition that correspond to the NSEW compass points: Suzaku, Seiryu, Genbu, and Byakko. With the first Fushigi Yuugi series … Continue reading

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Toritan Birds of a Feather 1 by Kotetsuko Yamamoto

Toritan is a cute style manga with clean illustration work and about what you would expect from this genre. There are lots of misunderstandings, secret confessions, and a sweet main character blithely going through life. The plot is very easy … Continue reading

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The Steel Prince by V.E. Schwab, Andrea Olimpieri

I had not read Schwab’s novels and looked to this in the hopes of being an introduction to the series (since it was a prequel). And while I wasn’t lost, it’s clear that the world building was not fleshed out … Continue reading

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E-Bike by Martin Haussermann

Pretty much all aspects of E-bikes are covered here: choosing one, understanding how they work, how to ride them effectively, how to care for them, even how to transport them. A slight quibble is that clearly this was translated from … Continue reading

Posted in ARC, fitness/diet, non fiction, nonfiction | Leave a comment

Hell’s Paradise Jigokuraku by Yuji Kaku

This series continues to impress – creepy, atmospheric, strong characterizations, and a story that you really don’t know where it will go. Although the focus on the first book was the pairing of Gabimaru and Sagiri, we are also given … Continue reading

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Triathlete Guide to Spring & Olympic Triathlon Racing by Chris Foster

While I completed one mini-triathlon back in my early 30’s, I had over a ten year break before doing my first sprint two years ago. It happened mostly on a whim – a friend had a free slot because of … Continue reading

Posted in ARC, fitness/diet, health, non fiction, nonfiction | Leave a comment

Rent A Boyfriend by Gloria Chao

Rent A Boyfriend is a very well written book that explores Taiwanese identity in America through a wonderful romance. The book is nuanced and filled with characters that are relatable for their fallacies and contradictions. The personalities of both main … Continue reading

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Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Traveler’s Guide to Batuu by

The book is set up as a traveler’s guidebook to Galaxy’s Edge – the newest land at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Imagine a Lonely Planet, Fodor’s, or Birmbaum type of guide and you get the idea: lots of pictures, … Continue reading

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Shine by Jessica Jung

Although promising a lot of inside info about the K-Pop industry, Shine skirts any kind of heavy-hitting commentary in favor of a few thoughts on gender inequality, the pressure of big business on the young hopefuls, and examples of how … Continue reading

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Star Wars Poe Dameron: Free Fall by Alex Segura

In the Rise of Skywalker movie, Poe Dameron was aided by a mysterious helmeted female named Zorii Bliss. With Free Fall, we get the full backstory of their past and why Zorii was willing to help Dameron, even at the … Continue reading

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How I Make Photographs by Joel Meyerowitz

Photography is a huge subject that falls into many categories: macro, nature, portrait, event, and with this book, street. And while many aspects of photography are universal across the disciplines, I feel those looking to become or enhance/analyze street photography … Continue reading

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A Crash of Fate by Zoraida Cordova

Crash of Fate is listed as a YA Star Wars novel. That a product in a universe as PG as Star Wars is given a “YA” tag should give an indication that this skews very young – more middle school … Continue reading

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You Brought Me The Ocean by Alex Sanchez and Julie Maroh

You Brought Me The Ocean is an origin story for the Jackson Hyde Aqualad. As such, you don’t need to have read/watched anything else about the character in order to understand or appreciate this story. That said, the story doesn’t … Continue reading

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The Friend Scheme by Cale Dietrich

While this was better than Dietrich’s debut effort, I had a hard time with the amount of suspension of disbelief needed to justify the plot as well as yet again, more weak characterization and world building. Most of the book … Continue reading

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Instant Pot Asian Pressure Cooker Meals: Fast, Fresh & Affordable by Patricia Tanumihardja

I am rating this highly because it is authentic Asian food, has many photographs, is laid out nicely and the recipes do work. But keep in mind that the recipes can be daunting: 25+ ingredients and 15-30 bulky steps are … Continue reading

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