“The Lost Hero” by Rick Riordan

This was another book that helped with my reading slump, and that’s because it was a reread of a favorite. Reading it again reminded me why I enjoyed it so much my first time through. It’s a quick read, it’s funny, and it’s about Greek and Roman mythologies. What’s not to like?


Genre

MG Fantasy

Series

Heroes of Olympus, book 1

Pubbed

2010

Quick synopsis

The Lost Hero kicks off a new batch of books by Rick Riordan, the Heroes of Olympus series. This series immediately follows the Percy Jackson series, middle grade fantasy about the demigod children of Greek gods, but focuses on a new cast of characters and is told from various points of view.

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“Charmed Life” by Diana Wynne Jones

I have a feeling that I may have read these books as a kid, but I really cannot remember having done so.

This is the kind of story I’d have loved as a kid: Those fantasy stories where the characters sit around eating marmalade (whatever that is) and drinking cocoa and having picnics on lawns and there’s a beautiful garden somewhere that they can visit and portals to other worlds as well. Yep, such stories were catnip for me as a kid, and it seems that’s still the case because I loved Charmed Life.


Genre

MG Fantasy

Series

Chrestomanci, book 1

Pubbed

1977

Quick summary

Charmed Life is about Cat, who’s apparently a normal boy. He lives on Coven Street among many witches with his beautiful, talented sister, Gwendolen, under the care of Mrs. Sharp because his parents had died in a boating accident. Through some contrivance of Gwendolen, they move to Chrestomanci Castle, where Gwendolen grows increasingly frustrated since folks there do not acknowledge her amazingness and fawn over her. Cat, on the other hand, seems overlooked and always does what his sister says. But there’s more to Cat and something odd about Gwendolen’s powers. (Goodreads)

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“First Test” by Tamora Pierce

This one was a reread. I often read these books as a kid, in addition to the Song of the Lioness and Immortals series. The Protector of the Small books weren’t favorites back then — as the Song of the Lioness books were — but I enjoyed them too.


Genre

YA Fantasy

Series

Protector of the Small, book 1

Pubbed

1999

Quick summary

The Protector of the Small books, of which this is the first, are set in the same world as Pierce’s Song of the Lioness and Immortals series — Tortall. However, the stories take place after the Immortals War (in the Immortals series) and instead focus on Keladry of Mindelan, who goes by Kel for short.

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Comics Roundup #67: A Love of Books and Food

Although I don’t want to jinx myself, I’m celebrating a little because it seems that my blogging slump is lifting. Here I am again with another batch of reviews! This time, I have two mangas and a graphic novel that are all light, humorous, sometimes silly reads.


Skull-Face Bookseller Honda-San, Vol. 2 by Honda (illus.), transl. from the Japanese by Amanda Haley

Genre

Contemporary; Humor

Series

Skull-Face Bookseller Honda-San

Pubbed

2016

From Goodreads

Whether it’s foreigners asking for “JAPANESE EROTIC MANGA,” navigating the tricky government definition of “morally harmful material,” or helping a customer who’s awfully “criminally organized,” there’s rarely a dull moment for Honda-san. The true stories of a Japanese bookstore employee can be stranger than fiction! (Goodreads)

My thoughts

I’ve decided to continue with the second volume of this humorous manga series. The series seems to be semi-autobiographical and is about the experiences of an employee at a Japanese bookstore. The bookstore’s name isn’t mentioned, and all the employees are drawn wearing a mask. The protagonist (the author, Honda) wears a skull-face mask. In addition to focusing on Honda’s experiences working in the bookstore and interacting with a variety of customers and professionals in the Japanese book publishing industry, this volume also touches a bit more on Honda’s job as a manga artist.

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Top 5 Tuesday #75: Comics Set at School

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme created by Shanah, the Bionic Book Worm, and now hosted by Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.


This week’s topic:

Top 5 books set at a school

Here are five comic books that take place at a school of some kind or involves characters attending such institutions.

Archie, Vol. 1: The New Riverdale by Mark Waid, illus. by Fiona Staples, Annie Wu, and Veronica Fish

This is the first volume in the reboot of the classic comic book series staring the all-American teen, Archie, who attends Riverdale High with his friends Betty, Veronica, and Jughead. This first volume mostly introduces us to the characters. I remember not being very impressed by it, so I didn’t continue with the series.

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Top 5 Tuesday #74: These Ones Give Summer Vibes

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme created by Shanah, the Bionic Book Worm, and now hosted by Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.


This week’s topic:

Top 5 books that remind you of a season

I’m supposed to list books that remind me of the four seasons, but (luckily for Meeghan — HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!) I can only think of books that remind me of summer, lol! So here are five books that give me strong summer vibes.

To Night Owl From Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan & Meg Wolitzer

This one falls toward the older end of middle grade, bordering on YA. It’s a contemporary novel about two girls whose single dads are dating and want their daughters to meet and get along. It’s an epistolary novel, as the story is relayed via emails and texts the girls use to communicate. And it gives me summer vibes because it takes place in the summer while the girls are at camp and because it reminds me of the movie Parent Trap. The story is light, fun, and sweet.

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Wyrd & Wonder 2022 Wrap Up

Wyrd & Wonder is all done and won’t be back until next year. But there are other events to possibly look forward to in the fall, like Spooktastic Reads and SciFiMonth. But in the meantime, here’s my wrap up.

Wyrd & Wonder is a monthlong celebration of all things fantasy where participants can participate in any way they like, whether reading books, watching shows, playing games, anything. Thanks to the hosts — Imyril, Lisa, Jorie, Ariana, and Annemieke — who kept us abreast of everyone’s posts, we had a fun, interactive event. Shout out them!


Here are what my plans were and how I did.

Read ONLY fantasy books in May.

This was easy and is the only goal I managed to accomplish, but I only managed to complete one book and that’s Charmed Life, the first book in this anthology of Diana Wynne Jones’s Chrestomanci middle grade books. Other than that, I started many books and have a buddy-read on going.

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Fantastic Top Five — Fav Fantasy Subgenre

Fantastic Top Fives is a meme for Wyrd & Wonder, a monthlong celebration in May of all things fantasy.

This week’s topic:

Top Five From a Favorite Fantasy Subgenre


I’ve decided to focus on middle grade fantasy books for this week’s topic. I know middle grade is an age category and not a genre, but it certainly has its own flavor. These fantasy stories are often light, fun, fast-moving with loads of zany adventures, often with no parent or other responsible adult around. Kids often have to rely on their own abilities because adults are either evil, unaware, unavailable, or unreliable, and it’s up to the kids to save the day.

Other than the Harry Potter books, the Narnia series, whatever Rick Riordan writes, and the Tea Dragon books, here are a few others I enjoyed.

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Fantastic Top Five — Single-Serve Fantasy Reads

Fantastic Top Fives is a meme for Wyrd & Wonder, a monthlong celebration in May of all things fantasy.

This week’s topic:

Top Five Single-Serve Fantasy Reads


Now I know this calls for short works such as short stories and novellas, but I really want to talk about picture books because I love them and think more adults should give them a chance. Plus, they fit the category — being books you can read in a single sitting — and these will be great recommendations for your kids.

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Fantastic Top Five — Forest Fantasy

Fantastic Top Fives is a meme for Wyrd & Wonder, a monthlong celebration in May of all things fantasy.

This week’s topic:

Top Five Forest Fantasy Recs


Since wood is symbolic of fifth anniversaries, a theme for this year’s W&W is forest fantasy. For this topic, we can choose books that have “woodland settings, forest creatures, a particular focus on trees — or maybe even important wooden items and artifacts.” It’s totally up to you.

I’ve decided to focus on fantasy books that either have a forest setting or in which the forest has great significance. (Kinda went overboard and chose 7 🙃)

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