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Keeping Tabs on Manga: One of my favorite blogs…

I’m a HUGE manga fan. I discovered manga a few years ago as part of my Master’s of Library & Information Science program (thank you, Linda Braun!!) …and have been a devotee ever since :)  To this day, most of my family and friends still scratch their heads in amusement as they try and puzzle out exactly what my fascination with manga is. I even have trouble pin-pointing the heart of my devotion – is it the art, the fresh/unique stories, the serial nature? All of the above, I think. Last Christmas, even more fun than receiving a stack of manga under the tree was discovering that, by luck of the draw, it was my 84 year-old Grandma who had lovingly purchased volumes of Naruto (Masashi Kishimoto), Bleach (Tito Kube), Real (Takehiko Inoue), and Goong (Park SoHee) for me *so touched!* [This year I’m hoping to get piles of Reborn! volumes (Akira Amano)…you can do it, Grandma!]

As the popularity of manga grows in leaps and bounds, the number of series being picked up for English translation (mostly from Japan and Korea in my experience) grows as well.  Probably my biggest challenge is staying on top of all of the new series and translations coming to American shores.  Lucky for me – and other fans of manga – there is a large community of equally passionate readers out there who are creating and maintaining some fantastic blogs that contain everything from book reviews and author interviews to news about the manga world in general (in America and abroad).


Book to Movie: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

If you’re the nerdy, devoted type of Harry Potter fan who can take this quiz and score over a hundred, you’re probably the kind of person who was at a midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 on Thursday, November 18th. And if you’re anything like me, you were, possibly for the first time since you started seeing Harry Potter movies in 2001, really impressed.

Part 1 was really, really good. I’m glad they decided to split book into two movies, because that meant the movie could spend just a little more time with the characters, instead of rushing from plot point to plot point, trying to cram everything in. That’s not to say the movie won’t be confusing to a casual fan. A friend who’s read the books just once confessed that he spent most of the two and a half hours more than a little lost (he also said, “I want to see Part 2 now!”). The seventh book is so dang confusing anyway, however, that (sorry, casual fans) I think that’s to be expected.

The real payoff of the two-movie scheme is that it gives director David Yates time to linger just a little longer in the non-action moments. The heart of the series’ charm has always been the friendship between Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and Yates spends his extra moments exploring the characters and the relationships between them. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint carry the movie. They’ve all grown immensely as actors, but Grint’s Ron steals the show (and my heart – I love a redhead!) with his spot-on comedic timing and plenty of sweet, longing glances directed Hermione’s way. Yates plays up some Harry/Hermione romantic tension that was never in the books—let’s be honest, we all knew from Book 1 that Ron and Hermione would end up together—but it’s pretty subtle and easily ignored if you’re not in to that kind of thing.

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KDL What’s Next

Are you trying to remember the name of the third Maximum Ride book? What about the second Fablehaven book or the fourth Artemis Fowl book? The Kent District Library…

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My favorite lists…are “favorites” lists.

On 11/24/10, Gayle Forman posted on the NPR web site a short list of what she considers “the year’s best teen reads.”  Her list stayed away from fantasy or popular “dark romance” books and focused on “just real people in real situations with real emotions that we all can relate to.”  Seeing her list, of course, compelled me to think back on my year of reading. What were my favorite discoveries in 2010? What trends did I see in my own choices?  And what have others noted as their recent favorites and/or “best of” picks from 2010?

Just a small sampling of some interesting recommendations/lists you may want to check out in addition to Gayle Forman’s list (as noted above):

  • “YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten (2010)” (Following this link will also lead you to a wealth of other lists recommended by YALSA – just look to the left of the page for the other available menu options/lists…)

What were some of MY favorite reads/discoveries from 2010 (and some not-so favorites)?

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