healyg: (Healslime)
This week I'm currently reading Cross Game (Omnibus Volume 1), by Mitsuru Adachi. It's a sports manga about a young layabout who gets into high school baseball after a personal tragedy. It's a pretty entertaining read so far (I just now started what would have been the original volume 3), although I had a little trouble keeping track of all the characters. I don't know if this is a function of the original, the translation, or just my tired and lazy brain. Regardless, I would have liked to see a cast list, or maybe even translation notes. I understand that might be hard to do in an omnibus volume like this, though. Anyway, I'll be sure to check out the next volume once I'm finished. A recommended book, especially if you're familiar with baseball.
healyg: (Excited)
Currently I'm reading What is Your Quest? From Adventure Games to Interactive Books by Anastasia Salter. It's a rough history of the adventure game genre from its early roots in the 70s to 80s to its resurgence in the internet/tablet era. It focuses more on the graphical adventure side of things, which I found pretty interesting as an IFer; it gives me an idea of how the other half lives, I guess. Anyway, if you're an adventure aficionado, you'll probably won't get as much from it as a beginner to these weird games with all these puzzles and no action bits, but it still comes highly recommended.

But wait, there's more! Book number 2 is Will Eisner's auto-bio graphic novel To the Heart of the Storm. When I checked this out of the library, I was expecting something that focused on Eisner's years in the war, but instead it's presented as a flashback to the tensions brewing before the war. I was a little disappointed in this, frankly, because it's a subject that I think was better handled in his A Life Force. Still, I did think it was a pretty good book. Recommended, but get A Life Force soon after.

Finally, book numero tres is Oishinbo A la Carte: Japanese Cuisine (story by Tetsu Kariya and art by Akira Hanasaki), which is a themed volume of standalone stories from the long running manga series Oishinbo. I didn't like the previous volume of Oishinbo I checked out from the library (Pub Food, I think?), but for some reason this volume just clicked. The main plot's not much: some dope named Yamaoka Shirou has to put together an Ultimate Menu of some kind for the newspaper he works, and his dad Kaibara Yuzaan, a hardass jerk, runs some kind of Supreme Menu for a rival paper. It doesn't really matter anyway, as it's mostly just an excuse to go on food-themed adventures. The author is a really big fan of simplicity in cooking, at least (especially?) when it comes to Japanese cuisine.

My favorite of the whole volume is the one where Yamaoka and friends accompany a businessman to a meeting with a tea ceremony master. Yamaoka doesn't think much of the old master, a boastful man who likes to talk about the famous people he teaches and showing off his expensive tea-ware, but it isn't until he serves the group strawberries covered in condensed milk that Yamaoka's suspicions about him are confirmed. What do the strawberries have to do with anything? You'll have to read the story to find out! Anyway, I think the stories in this volume are all pretty great like that, and it comes with an essay by the author that explains a bit of what he thinks about Japaneses cuisine. Highly recommended, especially if you like reading stories about food.

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