Title: Turing Japanese
Author: Cathy Yardley
I don't pick up chick lit very often, but the manga industry subject matter drew my attention. Lisa Falloya is a half-Japanese-American who wins a yearlong internship with a manga publisher in Japan and learns a thing or two about herself along the way. All in all it was an enjoyable read, though not without its flaws. The pacing didn't seem right - it skipped ahead too much for my taste, and without much transition. There were plenty of little things that bugged me, and the boyfriend became rather stereotypically controlling as the book went on. I would have liked to know a lot more about the actual content of Lisa's project, too. However, I did like most of the supporting cast, and Lisa undergoes a nice personal journey by the time the book comes to an end. I'd read it again.
Title: Hanako and the Terror of Allegory vol. 3
Author: Sakae Esuno
I came across this series while interning for Tokyopop and was actually quite intrigued. It follows Aso Daisuke, the "Allegory Detective" who investigates physical manifestations of folklore. This volume was a little disappointing in that I found it more confusing than the previous two in the series. It's nice to see how things are developing between the main characters, and I'm interested to see how it all pans out in the next (& final) volume.
Title: Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Author: Anne Lamott
Recommended by a good friend of mine. A guide to the writing process, full of advice and encouragement. While I will be taking Lamott's words into consideration in my writing pursuits, overall I found the book helpful but not life-changing.
Title: When You Reach Me
Author: Rebecca Stead
2010 Newbery Medal winner! A well-crafted book for young readers, and a quick, pleasant read. Set in the late '70s, twelve-year-old Miranda starts receiving mysterious notes following a split with her best friend. It pays tribute to A Wrinkle in Time by the great Madeleine L'Engle, and it captures the nature of childhood friendships quite nicely. While the mystery may reveal itself to some readers more quickly than others, none of it feels heavy-handed.
4 / 50 books. 8% done!