Thursday, May 28, 2015

My Little Monster, v.2-3 by Robico

My Little Monster, v.2 by Robico - 167 pages
My Little Monster, v.3 by Robico - 168 pages

Volume 2 continues the story of the friendship between Haru and Shizuku.  It also reveals more about their home life.

Volume 3 tells of the school festival. 

Both volumes were great additions to the series.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

My Little Monster by Robico

My Little Monster, v.1 by Robico - 172 pages

Haru Yoshida is viewed as an unstable and violent "monster" ever since being suspended on the first day of school for beating up three upperclassmen.  Shizuku Mizutani is a grade-obsessed student with no friends.  When they run into each other Haru declares that he "likes" Shizuku.  Now they are a very unlikely pair of friends.

I had started to read this manga last year when it first came out and I never made it through the book.  I tried it again now and enjoyed the book.  I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.

Went the Day Well? by David Crane

Went the Day Well? Witnessing Waterloo by David Crane --- 366 pages including End Notes, Bibliography and Index

June 18, 2015 will mark the bicentennial of the Battle of Waterloo, and a number of books have been published to mark this watershed event in European history.

One of the most interesting is David Crane's Went Well the Day? in which the author chooses to examine the political, social, economic and cultural environment of Britain during the long years of the Napoleonic Wars that culminated in the victory at Waterloo.

He accomplishes this with a series of vignettes, linked hour by hour with the events of the battle on the 18th of June, that reveal the hypocrisy, brutality, corruption and injustice that festered during those long years when Britain's ruling class was fixated on the necessity of preserving their privileges from the revolutionary tide that had engulfed France and produced Napoleon. These are all the more glaring in contrast to the stories Crane presents of individual courage and endurance on the battlefield.

A fascinating look at the reality of life behind the glittering facade of the Regency period.

Click HERE to read a review from the Spectator.

Click HERE to read a review from the New York Times.

Click HERE to read the review from Publishers Weekly.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, 336 pages

I was on the edge of my [train] seat this whole book. Paula Hawkins has written a very engrossing and suspenseful story with The Girl on the Train. Rachel is a divorced and well-meaning, but seemingly disillusion, out-of-a-job drunk who rides the train into London every day. The highlight of the trip every day is watching what she thinks is the perfectly married couple whom she has named "Jess and Jason." This couple turns out to be not what she imagined, and between Megan, the mysterious couple, and Rachel's ex-husband and his new wife, this story will have you pulling out your hair, yelling at the characters, and mentally exhausted. What a train wreck, I mean, train ride.

No. 6, v.3-9 by Atsuko Asano

No. 6, v.3 by Atsuko Asano - 192 pages
No. 6, v.4 by Atsuko Asano - 176 pages
No. 6, v.5 by Atsuko Asano - 192 pages
No. 6, v.6 by Atsuko Asano - 176 pages
No. 6, v.7 by Atsuko Asano - 192 pages
No. 6, v.8 by Atsuko Asano - 176 pages
No. 6, v.9 by Atsuko Asano - 192 pages

This continues the story of Shion and Rat's attempts to rescue Safu and take down the city No. 6.  I really enjoyed this series.  It was well done.  I didn't realize until halfway through the series that this is actually based on a novel series in Japan.  I was interested enough to try to find the novel series but it is only available in Japanese.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Waterloo: The History of Four Days, Three Armies, and Three Battles by Bernard Cornwall

Waterloo: The History of Four Days, Three Armies, and Three Battles by Bernard Cornwall --- 352 pages, including Acknowledgements, Bibliography and Index

June 18, 2015 will be the bicentennial of the Battle of Waterloo, that watershed event in British and European history, when the Duke of Wellington and his Prussian ally, Marshall von BlΓΌcher, defeated Napoleon's comeback bid. 

Cornwall, a noted British author of military historical fiction, puts his formidable writing skills to the task of organizing a coherent account of one of the most complicated battles on record; complicated by the tactics and confusions that concentrated an enormous number of combatants into a constricted and difficult terrain. One survivor of that hellish day later wrote that he began to think that no one on either side would live to know who had prevailed.

Click HERE to read a review from the Spectator.
Click HERE to read a review from the Economist.

Friday, May 22, 2015

No.6, v.1-2 by Atsuko Asano

No.6, v.1 by Atsuko Asano - 160 pages
No.6, v.2 by Atsuko Asano - 176 pages

Shion has just been accepted to the upper elite classes at the school in the city No.6 when he meets the fugitive boy Rat.  Due to that meeting, Shion loses his status and must move to the less desirable part of town.  But that chance meeting, also means that one day several years in the future Rat will repay the favor by saving Shion's life when he must also go on the run.

I really enjoyed the first two volumes in this graphic novel series.  It has enough characterization, plot, and mystery to keep you interested.  I'm really looking forward to reading the remaining volumes in the series.