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Things are still shifting around in my head. Settling in new shapes.

Books:

Anteckningar från en ö (Notes from an island) by Tove Jansson and Tuulikki Pietilä. Fairly miscellaneous assortment of notes on and thoughts about their summer home out on a tiny island, written by Tove and illustrated by Tuulikki. I really loved it, though obviously it's one for people who already have some investment in the whole thing!

Now reading: Lyssnerskan by Tove Jansson, Simone och jag by Åsa Moberg.

Manga:

Solanin by Asano Inio is manga which is about dissatisfied university graduates trying to get their lives together and figure out what they want. I rather enjoyed it, and it gave me a pretty good kick of emotional response, both good and bad, so I'll call that a success. (I've read a few manga which are basically aiming for realism lately, but I can't even remember the names of the others. Yes, that has prompted me to finally begin listing manga I read on librarything as well.) It's one solid volume, pretty big but easy to read. I read it in an afternoon and then I felt melancholy. But maybe that was partly November's fault.

Paradise Kiss by Yazawa Ai (as in Nana) didn't have characters I really fell for in the way I fell for Nana, but the manga as a whole really worked for me. Somehow. I'm not absolutely clear on how, but I suspect it's that as melodramatic as Yazawa Ai can be there's something in there which feels basically believable to me in the way people related to each other (and struggle to relate to each other).

Flower of Life by Yoshinaga Fumi has a similar kind of honesty coupled with absolute ridiculousness. It also delights in presenting the reader with a stereotype and then going BUT WAIT! and it did it in a way that surprised me and cracked me up. The whole thing cracked me up. A lot. One of the things I really do appreciate Yoshinaga Fumi for is her ability to tackle fucked up ideas while fully recognising precisely how fucked up they are. It appeals to me, in a "yes, sometimes people really do do stupid things" kind of way.

To Terra by Takemiya Keiko I'd read a whole chunk of before but lost track of somewhere in moving countries, so I picked it up from the beginning again and read it all in one go. I think this one is pretty much brilliant, category-defying and a giant metaphor for homosexaulity well put together.

Banana Fish is stupid. But kind of hypnotic. In a really, really 80s way.

I'm pretty sure I've got more but I should actually go and have breakfast now.

(We have a day off school for teacher training. And I've had a rather ill and sleep deprived weekend. I totally get to lie in bed being lazy. Right? ...no?)

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December 2012

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