Manga Update 2022!

So, since I started my job as a bookseller I have been increasingly reading more and more manga. This is due to both social media and my colleagues who are huge fans of the medium. I decided to create an annual post where I talk about all the manga I have read and plan to read. This might be a long post so let’s jump right in.

June 2022 Wrap Up

A bit of a quieter one this month. Still read some great books though!

  • I read 9 books this month
  • Genre: 3 fantasy, 2 horror, 2 mystery, 1 romance and 1 non-fiction
  • Gender of authors: 5 women, 2 men and 1 book by multiple of authors
  • Race of authors: 4 white authors, 2 asian authors, 1 middle eastern author and 1 book by multiple authors
  • Age range: 7 adult, 1 YA and 1 middle grade
  • Format: 5 paperback, 3 ebook and 1 audiobook

Summertime Rendering Vol. 1 by Yasuki Tanaka (2 stars)

This was a series that really intrigued me. A super cool time loop story. Unfortunately, this volume (and I am also guessing will be the case for the other volumes) had some cases of fan service. I personally find that fan service just objectifies and over-sexualises female characters and this can make or break a good series for me. Because of these instances of fan service, and also finding out later that one of the characters used for the moments of fan service was 15!!!!!, I have decided to not continue this series.

Nura and the Immortal Palace by M.T. Khan (3 stars)

This book was really good. It follows a young girl who falls into the realm of Jinn and gets tricked into working at this hotel for Jinns. Very Spirited Away. I loved the main character, I loved the creativity of the setting (I need to go to this hotel!) and I felt that the plot was super engaging.

The Perfect Crime by Multiple Authors (3 stars)

This was a very middle of the road book for me. Some stories I loved and others not so much. The stories I loved included:

  • Clout Chaser
  • The Beautiful Game
  • The Yellow Line

Three Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie (3 stars)

Enjoyable but not as memorable as some of her other stories. I sort of guessed the ending but enjoyed it nonetheless. I just wish that their was more Poirot in this story as my enjoyment sky rocketed when he finally came into the fray.

A Fatal Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum by Emma Southon (3.5 stars)

A really funny and informative look at a part of history I didn’t know to much about. I did prefer some sections over others and I felt the structuring of the audiobook I was listening too made the experience a bit confusing. But the narration and the comedic writing were amazing!

The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke (4 stars)

The first physical ARC I was ever sent by a publisher. This was a really good and suspenseful story. The characters were a massive strong point and I loved the use of the multiple POV and short chapter combo which just kept me reading page after page.

The Promised Neverland Vol. 5 by Kaiu Shirai (4 stars)

Another solid installment. The narrative has dramatically shifted from where we were the last 4 volumes so it was setting up a lot of new things but I am excited to see where the rest of the series goes.

One Foot in the Fade by Luke Arnold (4 stars)

Another great installment. Worth the wait. The world-building is amazing, the message and themeing of this series is being delivered really well and the characters are as good as ever. I am super excited to read the next book, whenever that comes out, and continue watching Fetch’s journey.

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (5 stars)

And finally, the main event! Back on my romcom shit! Just a super fun time. The chemistry is amazing, I loved both members of the couple both in and out of the relationship and I really enjoyed seeing the neurodivergent representation in this novel.

The Lighthouse Witches Review

Upon the cliffs of a remote Scottish island, Lòn Haven, stands a lighthouse. A lighthouse that has weathered more than storms. Mysterious and terrible events have happened on this island. It started with a witch hunt. Now, centuries later, islanders are vanishing without explanation. Coincidence? Or curse? Liv Stay flees to the island with her three daughters, in search of a home. She doesn’t believe in witches, or dark omens, or hauntings. But within months, her daughter Luna will be the only one of them left. Twenty years later, Luna is drawn back to the place her family vanished. As the last sister left, it’s up to her to find out the truth . . .

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag 2022

I literally say this every year but how are we in June! These 6 months has flown by so quickly!!!!! This has by far been my best reading year to date! I have never read so much in a span of 6 months ever! I have read more in this 6 month span than some of my entire reading years!

Also, this has been the most enjoyable 6 month span. I have enjoyed loads of books this time round compared to other years. Let’s jump in as there is a lot to cover.

The Books I Have Read So Far!

Here are the reviews I have bought out so far this year.

  1. Mini ARC Reviews – The Key in the Lock & The Chosen Twelve
  2. The Twyford Code Review
  3. Mini Book Reviews: A Court of Thorns and Roses & Heartstopper: Volume One
  4. The Village of Eight Graves Review
  5. This One Summer Review
  6. The Obelisk Gate Review
  7. The Promised Neverland Vol. 1 & 2 Review
  8. The Atlas Six Review
  9. Mini Book Reviews: Under the Whispering Door & The Mad Women’s Ball
  10. Murder By The Book Review
  11. Beast and Beauty: Dangerous Tales Review
  12. The Killings of Kingfisher Hill Review
  13. Moriarty the Patriot: Volume 1 Review
  14. The Leviathan Review
  15. It Happened One Summer Review
  16. Attack on Titan Whole Series Review
  17. Three Act Tragedy Review

Challenge Update!

I have set myself 5 challenges this year.

  • The Goodreads Reading Challenge
  • Audiobook Challenge
  • Sequels Challenge
  • Work BOTM Challenge
  • Physical TBR Challenge

Goodreads Reading Challenge

So far, I have read 57 books out of my planned 70! A lot of this has been contributed to audiobooks and manga both of which I have started properly reading/listening to this year. I also decided to not increase my goal everytime I DNF a book as I couldn’t be bothered to continue doing so.

Audiobook Challenge

When I re-newed my phone I was able to get a free year of Audible so I set myself a challenge to expand my horizons and listen to some audiobooks. So far the challenge in doing quite well. I have listened to 6 audibooks so far and I am currently on my 7th. I set myself a goal to listen to 12 this year. So, that’s 6 out of 12!

  • Iron Widow – Xiran Jay Zhao
  • Empress and Aniya – Candice Carty-Williams
  • The Ghost Bride – Yangsze Choo
  • The Story of the World in 100 Moments – Neil Oliver
  • Dead Famous – Greg Jenner
  • Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The World’s Greatest Detective – Mark Aldridge

Sequels Challenge

Another challenge that is going at a steady pace. Every year I task myself with reading one more book from all the series I currently have on the go. As the years go on my list of on-going series increase rapidly. So, this year, I did get the shorter books out of the way first. This means I am left with the chunkier books for the latter part of the year. This will either haunt me or go really well, trying to get all my tomes read at once. Here is what I have read so far, in no particular order:

  • Three Act Tragedy – Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot #11)
  • The Man Who Died Twice – Richard Osman (The Thursday Murder Club #2)
  • Attack on Titan Vol. 2 – Hajime Isayama (I have actually read volumes 3, 4, 33 and 34. I just decided, having seen the show already, to just read the final volumes and finish the series that way.)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 6 – Hiromu Arakawa (I also read volume 7 as well)
  • The Village of Eight Graves – Seishi Yokomizo (Detective Kosuke Kindaichi #3)
  • The Killings at Kingfisher Hill – Sophie Hannah (New Hercule Poirot Mysteries #4)
  • The Obelisk Gate – N.K. Jemisin (The Broken Earth Trilogy #2)

My original list from Jan this year listed 16 different books from 16 different series. So, far I have read 7 out of the 16! Very soon to be 8!

I also started a bunch of new series this year!

  • Iron Widow – Xiran Jay Zhao
  • Haikyu!! – Haruichi Furudate
  • The Promised Neverland – Kaiu Shirai
  • The Atlas Six – Olivie Blake
  • British Library Crime Classics – British Library (Multiple Authors)
  • Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End – Kanehito Yamada
  • Moriarty the Patriot – Ryosuke Takeuchi
  • Solari – Tola Okogwu
  • The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang

Book of the Month Challenge

From Jan – Nov my bookstore highlights books they want to promote that month and I tried to read 1 for each month. But with this one I did fail. I went for one each month but that did not happen… My excuse is that I always have way to many books on my hands and I had to prioritise others books over this challenge. But here is what I did read:

  • The Hatmakers – Tamzin Merchant
  • Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Being Good – Louie Stowell
  • The Last Firefox – Lee Newbery
  • Noah’s Gold – Frank Cottrell-Boyce
  • Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun – Tola Okogwu

So, I have read 5 out of the released 6.

Physical TBR Challenge

Another challenge that I am not doing well on. To be honest, I know I will not complete this… Every year I try to get through my massive physical TBR. This consists of all the books I have either been gifted or bought from previous years and just haven’t got round to it. So far, out of my planned 30 (which is still only half of the books on my actual TBR) I have read 10! Not good at all.

Best Book I Have Read So Far

I have to go with The Promised Neverland Vol. 1 here. I had heard really good things about this series and I wanted to see if it was worth the hype and I was locked in from pretty much the first panel. I now compare each new manga to this first volume. Does this new manga I’m reading match up? Does it compare to how I felt when I read the first volume of this series?

Best Sequel I Have Read So Far

I read the first book back at the very beginning of 2021. While I enjoyed it, I felt that it couldn’t match the legendary hype I had seen all over social media. It was good enough for me to continue the story and then I picked up The Obelisk Gate. Now, this book was exactly what I expected the first book to be like. I loved this sequel so much. My mind was literally blown away by how amazing this book was. I have already bought the final book so I can read the ending.

A New Release You Haven’t Read But Are Excited For!

Everything about Her Majesty’s Royal Coven sounds incredible! Historical fiction, witches, getting the gang back together trope. Ugh I need to read this ASAP!

Biggest Disappointment So Far!

The first book in this series was a 5 star for me. And now the quality for me is slowly going down hill. I felt it the most when reading The Village of the Eight Graves. I just found myself bored, I thought certain additions were unneeded and now I can’t even remember who the murderer is and why they did what they did.

Biggest Surprise So Far

I have a whole blog post dedicated to how surprised I was by This Happened One Summer. I never really thought romance was for me until this book. Now I am up for reading more and more romance ASAP.

Favourite New Author

There are a lot of new authors that I read and loved but I think my favourite has to be Kaiu Shirai the author of The Promised Neverland. Every volume amazes me and blows my mind.

Favourite New Characters

  • Stella Lane – The Kiss Quotient
  • Piper Bellinger – It Happened One Summer
  • Tanaka – Haikyuu!!
  • Hugo – Under The Whispering Door
  • Libby Rhodes – The Atlas Six
  • Zetian – Iron Widow
  • Mom – The Promised Neverland

A Book That Made You Cry!

Under the Whispering Door had me sobbing! Literally sobbing! It was not a pretty sight whatsoever. I felt all the feelings reading this book.

A Book That Made You Happy!

Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End is the first manga series I found by myself not through social media or friends. I am loving this series and I happy that I found it on my own.

The Most Beautiful Book You Have Received or Bought This Year

I ahve some big contenders coming up in the next couple of months but for now I will say the new Stormlight Archive collectors editions. I currently have The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance. Next month I should receive Oathbringer!

What Books Do You Need To Read By The End of This Year?

I have way too many! I literally tallied up how many books I own but haven’t read yet and it’s over 100!