Thursday, May 22, 2014

Read and To-Read –> May 2014

It is that time once again; time for me to go over the books that I’ve read (somewhat) recently, give you a quick review, and show you the books that I am currently reading, and looking forward to reading soon.

As always, I’ll link to the GoodReads page for each book, so you can find out more about it or add it to your own to-read list if you have a GoodReads account. Let’s get on with it, shall we?


1. MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood

This was listed as reading in my last book post, so of course it makes sense that I finished it. This was the final book in the MaddAddam trilogy, the first two books being Oryx and Crake and Year of the Flood. This is a dystopian trilogy, and it’s beautifully, chillingly written. Atwood’s style is fantastic, and disturbingly truthful and plausible. I would definitely recommend it if you’ve loved the teen dystopian craze recently and are looking for a step up in maturity and style.

2. The Complete Odes and Epodes by Horace

This was terrible, but I inished it because it was for class, and it was the first one of the semester, so my persistence was high. Yeah… just don’t unless you like torture in the form of poetry.

3. The History of Mary Prince by Mary Prince

This is a true story, or at least a mostly true story. It was told by Mary Prince—a slave from the West Indies who found freedom in England—to someone else who wrote it down for her, so the legitimacy is somewhat questionable, but at worse, this is still a short, quick to read, moving, and disturbing story of what life was like for one slave woman. I actually quite liked it, as I mentioned, it was extremely easy to read, and it is always fascinating to read accounts of lives very different from your own.

4. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

I only read parts of this recently, for class, but I’ve read other parts before as well. Chaucer is difficult for most people, as the spelling was not yet standardized in his day, and each story is written to suit the dialect and status of the character telling it. It is much easier to read out loud and understand it than it is to look at the words and hope to figure out what they’re saying to you. Still, if you can manage, many of the stories are extremely well-written, fascinating, and hilarious, so I think it’s worth a shot for any English major, or anyone else up to the challenge. Besides, there are always translations online if you just can’t figure something out!

5. Everyday by David Levithan

The concept of this book is just so original and astonishing, and it was executed beautifully. And I would have expected no less from the insanely talented David Levithan. Can you tell he’s one of my all-time favourite authors? If you haven’t heard of it before, the concept for this novel is that A, the main character, wakes up every morning in the body of a new person, and must adapt to his or her life for one day. A is not a boy or a girl, and does not feel any more comfortable in one type of life than another. A does not know why this happens, how  it began, or when it began, but in one life, A falls for Rhiannon—who is the girlfriend of the guy whose body he woke up in that morning. The story follows the battle to be with Rhiannon and deal with this weird life.

It is beautiful, stunning, eye-opening, and extremely quick-paced. I couldn’t put it down, and I would recommend anyone even remotely interested should read this one! A quick favourite, and I can only hope there will be  a sequel!

6. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

I’d been excited to try this one out for a while, because my best friend Brit (starlessbooks on YouTube) made it sound so fascinating after she read it, so I was glad it was part of one of my class lists for last semester. And it was phenomenal! Wilde’s writing style is just amazing, he’s so witty and sharp, and so so beautiful. I hated the main character so so so much, but I couldn’t have cared less, because the words that Wilde chooses are some of the best I’ve read. I look forward to reading more Wilde, though this is the only novel he ever produced, so I’m not sure how well I’ll do with his plays.

(Also, if you are interested in seeing the incredible amount of work I put into my final project on this book—of which I am quite proud of myself—then you can go to

7. Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes: A No-Bullshit Guide to World Mythology by Cory O’Brien

My boyfriend bought me this book for my birthday (I think it was my birthday), and it was really cool. I love mythology—and stuff that doesn’t take itself too seriously—so this was a great find on his part, as it wasn’t one I’d ever heard of before. O’Brien takes a bunch of myths from a bunch of different cultures, including Greek, Roman, Norse, Egyptian, Japanese, etc, and retells them with his own personal, loud, obnoxious, and extremely hilarious spin on them. It really made me want to read more of these myths in a more serious version as well, as the ones I found the funniest were often ones I already knew in their purer forms!

8. Teleny, or The Reverse of the Medal by Oscar Wilde (probably)

Let me start off by warning you that this book is . . . fairly graphic, to put it gently. To put it a little less gently, this is pretty much straight-up gay porn. But the fascinating thing about it is its origin! Though the cover I’ve put above says that this novel is by Anonymous, it is argued by some Wilde scholars that this was written by Oscar Wilde himself, though he never published it. That might sound ridiculous, but reading it, the style is just like his, and his descriptions are so beautiful, and the banter between the main characters is so Wildean that it is hard to deny that he was the author. But yes, if that intrigues you, do be prepared for explicitly described male-on-male sex scenes. Though to be honest, the idea of 1890’s homosexual porn is at least half of what enticed me to get this book out in the first place!


Reading: (I am not actively reading all of these, but they are all somewhat on-the-go or not yet completed)

1. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

2. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

Yep, that’s right, I still haven’t finished rereading this one…

4. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins


1. Emma by Jane Austen

2. The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald

3.The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

4. Wide Awake by David Levithan

5. Four: A Divergent Story Collection by Veronica Roth

6. Panic by Lauren Oliver

7. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

8. Neuromancer by William Gibson

9. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

10. OCD Love Story


All images from


And that’s all for now. Of course, there are hundreds more books on my to-read list on GoodReads, so if you’d like to follow me there, check out my books, and follow what I’m reading, then feel free. My GR username is angelsins.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

My Spring 2014 Anime Line-up

So I mentioned in my last post that I’m currently following several anime right now, which is shocking, since I shunned anime for years and years. But I’ve been broken now, so shush. I’ll do what I want.

Anyways, I thought it would be cool to let you know what anime I’m currently watching. I’m obviously by no means an expert on anime, and some of these may be absolute shit in comparison to more established and well-known shows… Though good and shitty are pretty subjective according to each person’s likes and preferences…

I watch my anime translated and subtitled by fan groups, with the original Japanese voices, not dubbed over in English, which it takes forever to do, and which just sounds cheesy every single time. I will, however, post both the Japanese and Anglicized titles for each anime that I’m watching this season, and give you a brief intro to the concept and story.

All images found on MyAnimeList. I will try very hard not to be spoiler-y in my introductions/descriptions…. So let’s get on with it:

1. Isshuukan Friends (One Week Friends)

This one was basically sold to me by Random Curiosity (—the site where I read with my boyfriend about all the anime coming up in the next season, which I originally started reading through with him because some of the concepts for anime are completely and utterly ridiculous and thus hilarious to read out lout—because it’s supposed to be a slice-of-life type anime that is also just incredibly sad. And I love anything that can effectively make me love and care for the characters, so I thought I would give it a go. Plus, the soft art style, as seen in the picture above, is super appealing to me.

For those that don’t know, slice-of-life anime are basically that the name suggests: a look into random days in these characters lives. Nothing really extraordinary really happens, and I don’t think there’s supposed to be anything magicky, sci-fi, supernatural, etc. The concept for this anime, which is based on a manga, is that the girl—Fujimiya—doesn’t make friends because at the end of every week she forgets everyone that is special to her, aside from her family. She wakes up every Monday morning with all memories of these people that she loved just the night before completely erased. The guy—Hase—however, decides that he wants to be her friend and determines to start each week asking Fujimiya if he can be her friend if that’s what it takes.

So far, I’ve really been liking this show. It hasn’t yet made me cry, but with less than half an hour per episode, I only have about an hour of plot anyways, so I’ll give it some time before declaring that it failed to be emotional. I definitely feel for the characters, though, and Fujimiya in particular.

2. Kamigami No Asobi (Mischief of the Gods)

This one is by far my favourite thing that I’m watching this season, at least so far. I decided to give it a go partly because it’s the type of show my boyfriend would never bother watching. It’s a shojo harem anime, for starters; shojo means that it’s for girls (~7-18 yrs. old), and harem means what one might suspect. . . to put it delicately, there’s one girl, and a ton of guys.

Just being a shojo anime would not have been enough to entice me to give this show a try, though, although I might try more now just because I kinda like the feeling and setup of the show. The concept, though, is what actually intrigued me. The girl, Yui, is a human schoolgirl, while the guys are various gods from the Greek, Norse, and Japanese pantheons. Honestly, who doesn’t want to see an odd Japanese take on forcing several different pantheons to intermingle? The driving element of this story is that Zeus has brought all these gods to this academy to learn about humans and human love, in an attempt to help the gods remain relevant in an increasingly secular society.

This show is a cool mix of funny, goofy, ridiculous, pretty, and fun. As you might be able to tell, I’m thoroughly enjoying it. My favourite character is Apollo (though he is called Apollon in the show), though Hades is also pretty interesting/funny and Balder is pretty endearing as well. This is certainly not a serious or probably even ground-breaking anime, but I would suggest it if you think it sounds interesting.

3. Seikoku no Dragonar (Dragonar Academy)

This anime is actually completely not geared at me. As you might be able to guess from the picture above, this is what David likes to term a “boob anime.” Well, kinda. I mean, there are certainly some ridiculously busty characters, a little too much bounce action, and some moments that could be termed “creepy.” This anime is obviously geared at boys. But I love dragons, and for the most part, after I managed to accept the first 5 minutes of the first episode, I was able to accept and enjoy this anime. It has a cutesy, goofy humour for the most part, but also a darker element that is currently mostly just threatening to rear its head.

The premise for this anime is that the characters are dragon riders/breeders/masters, and they are at a school for dragonars—what they call these dragon rider people. The main character, though termed a “problem child” throughout his school career hasn’t found his dragon yet at the beginning of the anime, and when he does, it is in the form of a young girl (pictured in the middle of the image above). She is feisty and stubborn, and not about to let Ash—the main character—call himself her master. No, she is his master!

For the most part I’ve been quite enjoying this anime. It does have the creepy, look-at-her-boobs factor, but there is also what I feel to be a fairly strong and interesting story and driving plot behind that. I’m interested to see where this one goes. As for favourite character thus far, aside from the dragons themselves (have I ever mentioned I love dragons?), my favourite character is Eco, the protagonist’s dragon-in-human-form. So technically still a dragon.

4. Gokukoku no Brynhildr (Brynhildr in the Darkness)

This one is a bit hard to classify. I don’t think it’s particularly geared towards either gender, maybe slightly towards guys more then girls, but I think it’s good for everyone. I guess that it’s a sci-fi mystery/drama type anime? And dark. Only 4 episodes in and the darkness is already quickly creeping into this show’s plot. Like dragons and sad shows, I also love me some darkness. Admittedly, though, although this was one anime that interested me a bit when I first read about it on Random Curiosity, I’m mostly watching it because my boyfriend decided to pick it up. I’m not sure I would have gone for it on my own.

The main character—Ryouta—when he was young, had a friend who insisted on proving the existence of aliens, but died in an accident. Feeling responsible, he is the sole remaining member of the astronomy club in high school years later, trying to prove aliens for Kuroneko, his dead friend. One day, a transfer student who looks identical to his long-dead friend comes to his school, and he kinda freaks out, but she insists that they have never met in their lives. She later saves his life using her magical powers, however, and admits to being a witch. It’s a pretty complicated premise, and I can’t explain better or more thoroughly without spoiling the first couple of episodes, so I’ll leave that there.

I was not expecting to like this anime as much as I have been. As I mentioned above, I do really like the darkness that hasn’t been present in many of the anime that I’ve watched thus far. It’s a bit morbid and gory, and more adult than a lot of anime, which is usually geared to kids, teens, and young adults. This is probably more of an older show, and lacks a lot of the goofiness of a lot of anime. Which is not always a bad thing. I’ll definitely be continuing to watch to figure out what the fuck is going on!


Escha & Logy no Atelier: Tasogare no Sora no Renkinjutsushi (Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky)

I won’t give this one as thorough an introduction as the others, but I did want to touch on it because I did give it a try.

I didn’t know going in, but this is linked to an existing and successful game franchise, which complicates and confuses somethings. There were a few times when stuff happened or was said that just seemed to be taken for granted that I felt needed some explanation, but no explanation was ever given. That might be because anyone who has played the games would understand without explanation, but I don’t know. I also felt that character development was lacking.

I did find the art style very appealing, and the alchemy element seemed interesting on first read through of the introduction, but about halfway through the third episode I just couldn’t care anymore, so I decided to drop it. I have other things that I can do with the 20 minutes a week I would have spent not caring about this anime. However, if you’ve played the games, maybe this would be fun to watch?


So that’s everything. I will also mention briefly that I’m super excited for next season, because that is when the reboot of Sailor Moon airs! I’m pretty excited to watch a proper, Japanese version of the show.

So yeah, I hope you found this interesting or useful in some way. Thanks so much for reading. Have an awesome day! =)

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