Adventures in Reading June 1 — June 7, 2015

ProcessWhat did I read (and finish) this week? Look below to find out.

Process: The Writing Lives of Great Authors by Sarah Stodola (2015). In this book, Sarah Stodola gives the reader a brief glimpse into the domestic, reading, and writing lives of influential writers including Virginia Woolf, Toni Morrison, and James Joyce. She takes great pains to introduce us to their character and to sketch out as best as she can their writing habits. The book is well written and interesting but should be used as a starting point for further research (Its brevity means that it can be somewhat shallow at times.). Highly recommend.

Ongoing manga series:

Vagabond by Takehiko Inoue (1998 – ongoing). I’ve read through chapter 225, which means Musashi and Kojiro have finally met, and it was every bit as adorable as one could hope. Musashi and Matahachi have also finally met, and Matahachi was every bit as disappointing as I thought he’d be. I feel so bad for this guy, but I’m really hoping he gets his shit together before the end of the series. I’m actually really impressed with Inoue’s ability to get me to care about a character I would normally just hate and dismiss immediately. He’s such a good writer.

Ansatsu Kyoushitsu (Assassination Classroom) by Yusei Matsui (2012 – ongoing). I’ve read through chapter 142, and I appreciate the fact that Matsui is willing to try different storylines. A lot of the time, shounen manga falls into this monotonous routine of endless fights and leveling up and increasingly more difficult and outrageous villains. I like that Matsui takes the time to explore the different characters and work in various genres. It’s what makes this series so interesting.

Shokugeki no Soma (Food Wars!/Soma’s Cooking Battles) by Yuto Tsukuda (2012 – ongoing). I’ve read through chapter 120. Honestly, I think this story arc is starting to get a little dull. The series might actually be falling into the trap that I mentioned above where new and ridiculous villains are just being added and the routine gets a bit monotonous. Nonetheless, I am looking forward to seeing how in the world Soma fares against Terunori Kuga – Tsukuda always comes up with cool and unexpected outcomes.

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