Unreviewed Books

I’m back with my list of unreviewed books. At my daughter’s request, I’ve been reading a lot of Manga lately, So there are a few on the list. Let’s get right to it!

A woman holding a scepter and a man fighting a beast in the woods.

The Elf Queen of Shannara, Terry Brooks
Goodreads, Amazon, Bookshop, B&N

I read this book when I was a teenager and fell in love. Though I stopped reading fantasy for decades. Thankfully, I started again a few years back and wanted to see if it held the test of time (it does).
I give it 5 stars.

About the Book

“Find the Elves and return them to the world of Men!” the shade of the Druid Allanon had ordered Wren.
It was clearly an impossible task. The Elves had been gone from the Westland for more than a hundred years. There was not even a trace of their former city of Arborlon left to mark their passing. No one in the Esterland knew of them — except, finally, the Addershag.
The blind old woman had given instructions to find a place on the coast of the Blue Divide, build a fire, and keep it burning for three days. “One will come for you.”
Tiger Ty, the Wing Rider, had come on his giant Roc to carry Wren and her friend Garth to the only clear landing site on the island of Morrowindl, where, he said, the Elves might still exist, somewhere in the demon-haunted jungle.
Now she stood within that jungle, remembering the warning of the Addershag: “Beward, Elf-girl. I see danger ahead for you . . . and evil beyond imagining.” It had proved all too true.
Wren stood with her single weapon of magic, listening as demons evil beyond all imagining gathered for attack. How long could she resist?
And if, by some miracle, she reached the Elves and could convince them to return, how could they possibly retrace her perilous path to reach the one safe place on the coast?

A brown cover with a darker V over it.

Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut
Classics, Historical, Semi-Autobiographical
Goodreads, Amazon, Bookshop, B&N

This was another one that I read when I was younger and wanted to revisit.
I give this 4 stars.

About the Book

Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world’s great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous World War II firebombing of Dresden, the novel is the result of what Kurt Vonnegut described as a twenty-three-year struggle to write a book about what he had witnessed as an American prisoner of war. It combines historical fiction, science fiction, autobiography, and satire in an account of the life of Billy Pilgrim, a barber’s son turned draftee turned optometrist turned alien abductee. As Vonnegut had, Billy experiences the destruction of Dresden as a POW. Unlike Vonnegut, he experiences time travel, or coming “unstuck in time.”

A father and son mouse. There is a swastika on the cover, because the mice are Jewish, and the father survived Nazi Germany

Maus I and Maus II, Art Spiegelman
Graphic Novel, WWII, Autobiographical
Maus I: Goodreads, Amazon, Bookshop, B&N
Maus II: Goodreads, Amazon, Bookshop, B&N

These books were utterly heartbreaking. I did quote book 2 when rating it on Goodreads, but that was all I could say.
I give them both 5 stars.

About the Books

Maus I:
The first installment of the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel acclaimed as “the most affecting and successful narrative ever done about the Holocaust” (Wall Street Journal) and “the first masterpiece in comic book history” (The New Yorker).

A brutally moving work of art—widely hailed as the greatest graphic novel ever written—Maus recounts the chilling experiences of the author’s father during the Holocaust, with Jews drawn as wide-eyed mice and Nazis as menacing cats.

Maus is a haunting tale within a tale, weaving the author’s account of his tortured relationship with his aging father into an astonishing retelling of one of history’s most unspeakable tragedies. It is an unforgettable story of survival and a disarming look at the legacy of trauma

Maus II:

A bunch of mice wearing uniforms passed out to prisoners during Nazi Germany

Acclaimed as a quiet triumph and a brutally moving work of art, the first volume of Art Spieglman’s Maus introduced readers to Vladek Spiegleman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler’s Europe, and his son, a cartoonist trying to come to terms with his father, his father’s terrifying story, and History itself. Its form, the cartoon (the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice), succeeds perfectly in shocking us out of any lingering sense of familiararity with the events described, approaching, as it does, the unspeakable through the diminutive.

This second volume, subtitled And Here My Troubles Began, moves us from the barracks of Auschwitz to the bungalows of the Catskills. Genuinely tragic and comic by turns, it attains a complexity of theme and a precision of thought new to comics and rare in any medium. Maus ties together two powerful stories: Vladek’s harrowing tale of survival against all odds, delineating the paradox of daily life in the death camps, and the author’s account of his tortured relationship with his aging father. At every level this is the ultimate survivor’s tale – and that too of the children who somehow survive even the survivors.

The cover is black, with a teen boy on the top in a circle, and a circle at the bottom with a sideways horse head.

Alice in Borderland, Haro Aso
Manga, Fantasy, Horror
Goodreads, Amazon, Bookshop, B&N

I love any Alice retelling. I had this in my wishlist months before it released. (and the 2nd one arrived Weds and I’m starting my copy today!)
I give it 5 stars.

About the Book

Eighteen-year-old Ryohei Arisu is sick of his life. School sucks, his love life is a joke, and his future feels like impending doom. As he struggles to exist in a world that can’t be bothered with him, Ryohei feels like everything would be better if he were anywhere else. When a strange fireworks show transports him and his friends to a parallel world, Ryohei thinks all his wishes have come true. But this new world isn’t an empty paradise, it’s a vicious game. And the only way to survive is to play.

The first game starts with a bang, but Ryohei manages to beat the clock and save his friends. It’s a short-lived victory, however, as they discover that winning only earns them a few days’ grace period. If they want to get home, they’re going to have to start playing a lot harder.

The cover is orange with the title in blue over it

Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame, Charles Bukowski
Goodreads, Amazon, Bookshop, B&N

This isn’t my favorite Bukowski read, but it’s good.
I give it 4 stars.

About the Book

Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame is poetry full of gambling, drinking and women. Charles Bukowski writes realistically about the seedy underbelly of life.

Haruhi is dressed as a man in a salmon colored suit. Sketched to her right, much larger, is Tamaki's head, he's winking

Ouran High School Host Club, Vol. 1, Bisco Hatori
Manga, YA
Goodreads, Amazon, Bookshop, B&N

You wouldn’t believe the manga collection my daughter has going. So I’m working my way through (some) of her books. Hikaru and Kaoru are adorable.
I give this 4 stars

About the Book

One day, Haruhi, a scholarship student at exclusive Ouran High School, breaks an $80,000 vase that belongs to the “Host Club,” a mysterious campus group consisting of six super-rich (and gorgeous) guys. To pay back the damages, she is forced to work for the club, and it’s there that she discovers just how wealthy the boys are and how different they are from everybody else.

A man wielding a sword is holding a girl that is clinging to him

Jujutsu Kaisen Vol 0, Gege Akutami
Manga, Fantasy, Action, Horror
Goodreads, Amazon, B&N

Okay, so as I mentioned, I’ve been reading a lot of manga. I watched season 1 of the show with my daughter and I totally dug it. So we *might* have gone out and bought the first 5 books including this prequel. Will I buy the rest of them? Yes, yes I will. (the prequel should technically be read 3rd, but I already knew the plot here).
I give it 5 stars.

About the Book

In a world where cursed spirits feed on unsuspecting humans, fragments of the legendary and feared demon Ryomen Sukuna were lost and scattered about. Should any demon consume Sukuna’s body parts, the power they gain could destroy the world as we know it. Fortunately, there exists a mysterious school of jujutsu sorcerers who exist to protect the precarious existence of the living from the supernatural!

Yuta Okkotsu is a nervous high school student who is suffering from a serious problem—his childhood friend Rika has turned into a Curse and won’t leave him alone. Since Rika is no ordinary Curse, his plight is noticed by Satoru Gojo, a teacher at Jujutsu High, a school where fledgling exorcists learn how to combat Curses. Gojo convinces Yuta to enroll, but can he learn enough in time to confront the Curse that haunts him?

It’s quite a list, right? And it keeps growing. I’ve been in a life funk, and so throwing Manga into the rotation makes for easier reading.

Tell me what you’re reading this week, I definitely could use some recommendations.


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