What did I read (and finish) this week? Look below to find out!
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin (2014) – This book collects interviews from six transgender or gender-non-conforming teens and young adults and asks them about how they came to their gender expression, how their families and communities reacted, and where they are now. It attempts to be diverse, incorporating people from different racial and socio-economic backgrounds with different perceptions about what it means to be transgender. It took a little to get into the book, but I really liked it. It was nice to hear from transgender people who aren’t supposed to be figureheads or know everything about transgender people and their experiences. This was really low-key and accessible.
Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Blogs, Memoir, Recipes, and More by Dianne Jacob (2015) – This detail-oriented book tells you the ins and outs of writing in the world of food. It goes into how to tell personal stories, how to do reviews, how to do cookbooks, how to pitch and query, how to amass clips, and more. It was a little dense, which is why I only made it to page 114, but it’s still really helpful – it even came with writing exercises! I’d definitely recommend it, though I might suggest skipping around to sections that are personally applicable.
All-New X-Men, Vol. 1: Yesterday’s X-Men by Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen (2013) – This complicated graphic novel begins with Hank McCoy saying he’s dying and ends with bringing teenagers from the past to the present to stop Cyclops from starting the apocalypse. In the middle, we have disrupted mutant powers, new mutant powers, paradox-shattering meetings, time travel, and creepy costume throwbacks. It’s okay but dense, overly referential, and full of deus ex machina. It doesn’t really make me want to keep reading, despite how cool everyone’s powers are now.
Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community edited by Laura Erickson-Schroth (2014) – This massive book reads like a textbook into the transgender experience, psyche, and spectrum. It covers religion, immigration, transitioning, employment, and more in the words of actual transgender people. I only made it to page 174 (a third of the way) before I had to stop – it’s just so long! But I plan on coming back to it in the future – it is an excellent resource and a must-read for anyone wanting to know more about the transgender community.
Pen to Chocolate (Pen and Chocolate) by Nemu Youko (completed) ch. 1 – 21 – This series centers on manga artist Futaba, whose having a hard time making her manga series last. After one is cancelled, another editor, Akimoto, decides to step in and be her editor. As the two work together, Futaba falls in love with him. This is a very cute series. The characters were interesting and well put together, and despite its trite premise, it still managed to feel fresh. I loved it.
3 AM Dangerous Zone by Nemu Youko (completed) ch. 1 – 15 – Momoko is a young woman who wants to be an illustrator but has instead found herself working as the graphic designer of a pachinko office. The hours are long, the coworkers are crazy, and she’s constantly stressed. However, as time goes on, she finds herself more and more involved in the work, her coworkers, and a certain man. During the course of this manga, she has to come to terms with the fact that everything might not be as she dreamed, but it’s still okay – and that she’s just as weird as everyone else. It is a very enjoyable manga, and I laughed out loud. Must read.
Hatsukoi Zombie by Minenami Ryou (ongoing) ch. 1 – This serious is about Tarou Kurume, a young man completely uninterested in love. However, after getting hit in the head by a ball, he walks up able to see the zombie/ghost manifestations of everyone’s first loves. Then hilarity ensues. Actually, I’m not too sure what happens next because I didn’t read any more! It’s mostly an excuse to be ecchi, and I didn’t find it that interesting.
Pandora by Nemu Youko (ongoing) ch. 1 – 2 – This series is about a girl who wins a wish from a raffle but can’t think of what to wish for because she’s a boring person. I really wish there were more than two chapters because I like the art and the premise seems fun. Alas, there is not.