Tome Topple: Conclusion

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Hello, all. Kate here.

Last week saw the end of the Tome Topple Challenge, a book reading challenge begun by @thoughtsontomes. The challenge itself was designed to get readers together to tackle some of the enormous books on our to-be-read lists. You know the ones – that book by your favorite author that weighs more than your cat, the book with the gorgeous cover that could second as a weapon in the case of a break-in, the one you dropped that one time and actually broke your toe. Those. The tomes.

My list of Tomes was:

The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan (592 pages)
The Forgetting Moon by Brian Lee Durfee (777 pages)
Trigun Omnibus by Yasuhiro Nightow (696 pages)
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (532 pages)
The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland (752 pages)

Each ‘tome’ read was supposed to be 500 pages or longer. My goal, admittedly, was a bit of a stretch. I had five books on my list in an attempt to complete some stretch goals. I thought I’d get through at least half of the books on my Tome Topple tbr. Despite the books being large, some overly so, there was fourteen days to complete reading them. I could do that. I’d read Illuminae in one sitting, and that book was huge. I had complete and utter confidence that I could get through a good number of the books I’d picked for the challenge.

So, of course, I came nowhere close to completing all of them.

It’s called a challenge for a reason, something I seemed to have forgotten in all the excitement. The only book I managed to get all the way through was Trigun Omnibus by Yasuhiro Nightow. Even a manga takes quite a bit of time to get through when it’s 696 pages long. As for the rest, I started most of them. I’ve begun both The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan and am more than halfway through Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. Both are very good, and I really want to finish them.

So why did I do just this badly in completing my Tome Topple goals?

I’ll be honest with you. It’s an oncoming reading slump I only just figured out how to combat. I’ve been trying to read an early copy The Massacre of Mankind by Stephen Baxter which comes out today, August 22nd, and is only four pages shy of meeting the Tome Topple requirements. While I was very excited to start reading this sequel to war of the worlds I quickly found myself disenchanted, something which I’ll go into at length in an upcoming review. Needless to say, after trying to slog through that for the last several weeks I’ve not really had the ambition to read much of anything at all.

I can’t blame my lack of reading on that book entirely; that isn’t fair. Still, it certainly didn’t help.

Next time I think I will set some smaller goals. A few less books on the to-read list and an attempt at completing only one or two of the challenge goals is probably a smarter idea.

Did anyone else participate in the Tome Topple Challenge? Did you meet your reading goals? Let us know in the comments!

Review: Attack On Titan, Vol. 1 by Hajime Isayama

13154150 Attack on Titan, Vol. 1
By: Hajime Isayama
Release Date: (English Translation) June 19, 2012
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Series: Attack on Titan #1
Award: Kodansha Manga Award for Best Shounen Manga (2011), 『エンタミクス』NEXTブレイク漫画ランキング BEST50 for 2nd place (当時1巻) (2010)
Rating:


This isn’t the first time I’ve read Attack on Titan Vol. 1 by Hajime Isayama. The first time was quite some time ago, right around when the English version was released. This time was because I’d picked up a used copies of the first two volumes in the series at a used book sale. But this is the first time I’ve read the manga with a more critical eye.

Review: Fragments of Horror by Junji Ito

23705532 Fragments of Horror
By: Junji Ito
Release Date: (Original Japanese) July 8, 2014; (English) June 16, 2015
Publisher: VIZ Media
Rating:


This book has been sitting on my shelf for quite some time. Unlike the majority of the small library my husband and I have acquired, this one is his! Fragments of Horror is a manga filled with short, one chapter stories by Junji Ito, author of longer works such as Tomie. Ito is a master of horror, each story filled with strange, bizarre happenings and art that is as beautiful as it is terrifying.

New Release!: Revolutionary Girl Utena Vol. 1

30983494 Revolutionary Girl Utena Vol. 1
By: Chiho Saito
Release Date: March 23, 2017
Publisher: VIZ Media; Shojo Beat
Series: Revolutionary Girl Utena #1
Rating:


Sometimes there’s a book I just need. The gorgeous boxed set of Revolutionary Girl Utena was exactly that. I’ll be honest. I’m low-key obsessed with the anime of the same name. I watch it from start to finish a few times a year. Despite this, I never read the manga. Well, now’s my chance! This is the first volume in a two volume boxed set by Be-Papas, the creative collective behind Revolutionary Girl Utena, and Chiho Saito, the mangaka.

And who can resist a beautiful hardcover edition of a manga?

Throwback Thursday: Wanted

2400167 Wanted
By: Matsuri Hino
Release Date: (Original Japanese) 2005; (English) September 2, 2008
Publisher: VIZ Media
Rating:


I have been on a manga buying/reading spree lately. I’m a little late to the manga scene, at least compared to my husband, and have been trying to make up for it by picking up more or less every old manga I find at used book sales. Wanted by Matsuri Hino was one such purchase. This is a standalone manga from the creator of Vampire Knight. Yup, that’s right.

Upcoming Release! Ocean of Secrets Volume 1

33160054 Ocean of Secrets Volume 1
By: Sophie-chan
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Publisher: TokyoPop
Series: Ocean of Secrets #1
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


It’s no secret that I love manga. So when I had the opportunity to review a copy of a new manga I’d never heard of before, of course I jumped on it. Ocean of Secrets, Volume 1 is a brand new series by the mangaka Sophie-chan. The cover was full of pretty purples, and drew my eye to it immediately. This volume will be released on May 16, 2017, just a little over a week from now.

Review: No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular, Vol. 3

18295855 Review: No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular, Vol. 3
By: Nico Tanigawa
Release Date: (Original Japanese) December 22, 2012; (English) April 22, 2014
Publisher: Yen Press
Series: No Matter How I Look At It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular #3
Rating:


Here we are again, another volume of No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular!, Vol. 3 down. This series by Nico Tanigawa, pen name for the two creators of the series, is about Tomoko, high school student determined turn things around from her middle school days, make friends, and talk to boys. Unfortunately, this is harder than it originally sounded. Already at the start of second term, none of Tomoko’s plans have come to fruition.

Review: No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular! Vol. 2

17899412 No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! Vol. 2
By: Nico Tanigawa
Release Date: January 21, 2014
Publisher: Yen Press
Series: No Matter How I Look At It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! #2
Rating:


Another day, another manga read. This time it was No Matter How I Look At It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular, Vol. 2 by Nico Tanigawa, a pseudonym used by the two creators. The second volume in the series continues with Tomoko’s misadventures in high school. It’s just as fun as the first volume in the series, and one I definitely enjoyed.

Small note here: The title is often shortened to Watamote, which is also the title the anime is known by. This is what I will be using to refer to this volume for the rest of this review. Because the full title is just too damned long. Great title. Perfectly explains the manga. But just way too long.

Throwback Thursday: Ragnarok, Volume 1

1186587 Ragnarok, Volume 1
By: Myung-Jin Lee
Release Date: (Original Korean) 1998; (US Release) May 21, 2002
Publisher: TokyoPop
Series: Ragnarok
Rating:


Happy Throwback Thursday everyone! Let’s talk about a very old manga that has graced my husband’s bookshelf since our middle school days. Ragnarok, Volume 1 by Myung-Jin Lee was the first manga he ever managed to convince my mother-in-law was appropriately priced despite the book’s real lack of words in the traditional sense.

So, for a manga that’s been tucked away between multiple volumes of Black Cat and Trigun for the past almost twenty years, how is it?

Throwback Thursday: Wish

936906 Wish, Vol. 1
By: CLAMP
Website: https://clamp-net.com/
Release Date: (Original) 1996; (English) 2002
Publisher: Tokyopop
Series: Wish #1
Rating:


Some of the first manga I’ve ever read was from CLAMP. I’ve read (and watched) the usual stuff – Tsubara: Reservoir Chronicle, Cardcaptor Sakura, xxxHolic. But I never even heard of Wish before I found it tucked away in a used book sale at my local library. I stared at the cover, and wracked my brain, but nothing came up. So I did what any other fan would do – purchase it immediately and worry about details like plot and why exactly I never heard so much as a whisper about this manga afterwards.