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Field Trip: Kitazawa Book Store

I am finally back from my study abroad experience in Tokyo, Japan so it’s time to hit the ground running again! Of course, while I was abroad, I had to visit bookstores, because it’s just what I do.

I wrote a blog post a while back about “50 Must-Visit Beautiful Bookstores on Six Continents” which was originally compiled by BookRiot. In that list they had the bookstore Kitazawa and after a little bit of research, I found that it was just a 30 minute train ride from where I was studying. So, naturally, I went to visit as I couldn’t pass up this opportunity.

The bookstore was definitely an experience to visit.

First of all, it was in a used bookstore district. All of the stores on that side of the street were for used bookstores so it was such a wonderful street.

Field Trip: Kitazawa Book Store

The first thing you saw on the way into the bookstore was this gorgeous display outside. I really loved the contrast between the blue books and the yellow flowers. It was really eye catching.

Field Trip: Kitazawa Book Store

Heading inside, it was a nice entrance way so you knew that you had to expect something exciting!

Field Trip: Kitazawa Book Store

And the door to the bookstore was beautiful. A nice, rich red. It had such an inviting look.  Also the bookstore door was glass, which was different. You were able to clearly see inside as to what to expect.

Field Trip: Kitazawa Book Store

Walking in you saw so many books! Unlike Pickwick, which was chaos but in a wonderful way, this bookstore was incredibly neat, down to the smallest thing.

Field Trip: Kitazawa Book Store

Field Trip: Kitazawa Book Store

You can clearly see how neatly it was all set up. Instead of having the discount books in piles, they were on rolling carts and even those that were on the floor were clearly stacked and in specific sections. It wasn’t messy at all.

Field Trip: Kitazawa Book Store

Even their desk for checking out was covered in books all over the place! There was a slight disorganization because of just how many books that there were, and how many books that were waiting to be put out. But it was calming and you were easily able to browse around.

Field Trip: Kitazawa Book Store

There was also a side of the room that had old bookshelves and really old books that were not for sale. They were just part of the ambiance of the shop.

The store was not busy at all. While I was there, there was only one other person in the store, and maybe one was coming in on the way out. So I’m honestly not sure how they survive as a bookstore. Of course some of their books were incredibly expensive.

Field Trip: Kitazawa Book Store

An example was this book. You can just see how bit it was. It was massive! And this book would be an incredible table piece of something to show off in your home. But it was over $200 and there were many others similar, or old, that were of a comparable price. So I’m guessing when they sell a few of those, and since it’s a small bookstore, they do well.

Overall, this bookstore was amazing. I am so glad that I found time to go and visit the bookstore while I was in Tokyo. Who knows when i will be back next and I had to visit somewhere that BookRiot had said was good!

Have you visited here?

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Book Review: No Safety In Numbers by Dayna Lorentz

Book Review: No Safety In Numbers by Dayna LorentzRating: 4/5 teacups

Summary

“A biological bomb has just been discovered in the air ducts of a busy suburban mall. At first nobody knows if it’s even life threatening, but then the entire complex is quarantined, people start getting sick, supplies start running low, and there’s no way out. Among the hundreds of trapped shoppers are four teens.

These four different narrators, each with their own stories, must cope in unique, surprising manners, changing in ways they wouldn’t have predicted, trying to find solace, safety, and escape at a time when the adults are behaving badly. This is a gripping look at people and how they can—and must—change under the most dire of circumstances.

And not always for the better.”

-From Amazon.com

Review

I had come across this book in my library and it caught my eye because it was BRIGHT yellow and also had a bio warning symbol on the front. Naturally I went, ‘oh, what is this’ and just had to check it out. I only grabbed it because of that and also because it looked to be a quick read.

An exciting thrill ride from beginning to end.
It was definitely an exciting read and you never really knew what was going to happen next. You sometimes thought you knew what was going to happen and then something else would occur.

Pretty realistic with all of the bureaucratic bull…I mean,uh, drama.
There was lots of mess with the whole political scene. People didn’t like the politician who was making the choices. The main character was the daughter of said politician and seemed to hate her mother and blamed her for everything. So it was pretty close to how it would happen in real life. Information wasn’t being allowed out to the media as they didn’t want public panic and all of that good stuff. So it was realistically written.

There are 3 books and the book doesn’t conclude the situation.
It’s one of those series…yeah. Book one is not a stand alone. You have to read the entire series, all 3 books, to find out what happens. I really hate when they do that because I don’t have all the time in the world to read and entire series (even though I read the entire book in an afternoon outside in the nice weather). Will I read the rest of the series? Probably not in all honesty. I don’t have that much time currently to do so, so I’ll never know what happens. But I’m sure most of them will get out but people will die and all of that stuff. It had a predictable overall story feel, just not the small situations within the book.

It dragged…a lot.
I mean come on! This one book was only happening over a few days. And there are 3 more books! Like what else could possibly happen in the next?! I am slightly curious as to what will happen but I’m not sure if I’m curious enough to read the entire series currently.

Strong female lead.
You know me, I’m a sucker for a strong female lead! And this one was one. She was pretty smart and quick on her feet which I really did like. So that boosted the book up in my opinion.

Overall it was a good book and if you have time to commit to the small series I would recommend it. It was exciting, kept the pages turning and kept you questioning as to what was going to happen next. For that I do give it 4/5 teacups!

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Happy Reading!

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Book Review: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

Book Review: The Bone Witch by Rin ChupecoRating: 3/5 teacups

Summary

Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there’s anything I’ve learned from him in the years since, it’s that the dead hide truths as well as the living.

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha―one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.

Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Name of the Wind in this brilliant new fantasy series by Rin Chupeco!”

-From Amazon.com

Review

So this is actually a book in my DNF list. I am about to go away (actually I’m away now) and I just didn’t have time to finish it unfortunately. I really did want to and I sat down a few days before I was going to leave to try and grind through the rest of it but I just couldn’t.

First impressions were good.
My first impressions of the book was that it was going to be good. I was seeing it all over the place and people seemed to love it and as I was getting into it, I was seeing that it was good and I was curious about what was going to happen. But as the book went on I started to lose interest in the book. I’m not sure what it was but I just wasn’t feeling the book though the story was intriguing and I was certainly curious as to what was going to occur within the book. However, I just didn’t finish it.

The cover caught my attention.
The first thing that  I loved about the book was the cover. It was a deep and rich purple which isn’t a common book cover color. Also it had the accents of shiny gold on the front and then this little skull protruding out of the darkness. So it really caught my eye and I thought it was going to be a great read.

Tea seems a little bit obnoxious.
In my opinion, Tea seemed a little obnoxious. I’m not sure what it was about her, but there was this slight obnoxious attitude about her. I really can’t place my finger on it but I just felt that she got on my nerves.

The dead weren’t…well..dead.
Fox was supposedly dead as that’s what the entire story was about. But I never got this feeling that he was truly dead or that there was something wrong enough with him. You were supposed to have this creeped out vibe coming from him and people were supposed to be afraid, or confused, by him and I didn’t get that feeling most of the time.

Bone Witches are bad! And good?
I was confused through the reading because in the beginning it was saying that Bone Witches are bad and everyone hates them and fears them. But then they were loved by certain people. I was just a little unclear as to if they were truly bad or if they were good and I was just missing something.

Honestly, I may not have been in the mind frame to read this book as I’ve been running around and preparing to travel. I had heard good things about it, or so I remember, and so I had high hopes for the book. These expectations were not met at all unfortunately.

I would recommend checking it out if you have some time and can find it in your local library. It was a good read, for the beginning. As the book went on, I went off of it. But I’m pretty sure it’s all just my opinion considering the average rating for the book is 4 stars.

However, I personally give this book only 3/5 teacups.

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Happy Reading!

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Book Review: 7 Billion Needles (Volume 1) by Nobuaki Tadano

Rating: 4/5 teacups

Summary

“Always sporting her headphones to try to close out the world around her, Hikaru is clearly a reclusive teen aged girl.  And within her body resides another life-form known as Ciel, a hunter in search of an intergalactic murderer intent on wiping out humanity. In 7 Billion Needles, two lives share one heart as they race to protect each other and what they most cherish.

Modern day Japan is the stage for a new form of hard science-fiction, as author Nobuaki Tadano revisits one of the  genre’s Grand Masters, Hal Clement, in his debut work 7 Billion Needles.  Loosely inspired by Clement’s golden age title Needle, 7 Billion Needles follows the life of a teenage girl whose quiet boring days are dramatically changed when her body is possessed by an alien life form caught up in an intergalactic manhunt.

On a clear calm night, while on a class trip to the beach, Hikaru Takabe decides to go for a walk to escape the shackles of school and peer pressure.  While observing the stars above a calm dark sea in an instant she is disintegrated when  struck by a meteor.

Flash forward one page, and Hikaru awakes, from what seems like a horrible daydream of sorts, sitting amongst classmates in school without a scratch on her.  The meteor dream seemed so real she cannot believe she’s alive, but given her relative aloof nature, she soon shrugs off the events and moves on with life.  However, one thing she cannot shake off is the strange buzzing she hears coming from her new pair of headphones…”

-From Amazon.com

Review

I’m not generally one to read Manga. I’m not sure why, but I really prefer making my own images in my head instead of reading a story that is made of images. But a change can be good sometimes. So when I was in the library I decided to find a Manga, but I didn’t want to read a really famous one because I wanted something a little different. And I also wanted something shorter. Then I found this one. Only 4 volumes (and they are really small) so I only have 3 more to go!

Unique story.
It was quite unique this story. So unlike anything else. The first thing that caught my attention was the name. It just made me curious. Then the cover. It has a girl and a skeleton on it that seems to be like….loosing…flesh. I was slightly curious as to what happened in the story for this to happen. I can’t tell you as it’s early in the Manga.

However, I can tell you that the story was really good! The 4 volumes make up the entire story. So this one was just the first part!

Book Review: 7 Billion Needles (Volume 1) by Nobuaki Tadano

Traditional manga drawings.
As you can see the actual drawings are gorgeous! It’s all done in traditional Manga style with various frames per page. It took me a while to figure out which way to read it because, while I knew that you start at the back (read opposite direction) I’m never really sure which way to read a page because it wasn’t always the Japanese reading direction. I kind of just made it up as I went!

Book Review: 7 Billion Needles (Volume 1) by Nobuaki Tadano

Overall it was an interesting read. Not something that I generally read but it’s nice for a change. It only took me an hour or so to get through and I’m definitely curious as to what the rest of the series holds. I will have to get to it when I can as I have so many other books on my TBR but it is certainly worth checking out if you are looking for something different.

For that I give it 4/5 teacups!

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Happy Reading!

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Update: Traveling and Guest Posts

Hey all!
Just wanted to put out a small update.

So I will be traveling in a few days for about a month! I’m heading off to Japan to study abroad! I’m so excited, and of course nervous too, but it will be amazing!

Because of this I will not be able to post as much. And when I do, the time I post may be strange!

So to help keep my blog going and to keep posts coming up, I will be using the help of my wonderful M.O.M. to keep the blog going for the next few weeks.

Don’t worry, I will be taking tons of pictures, and may be posting things form my trip when I’m there too!

But I just wanted to let you all know so you don’t get concerned about a severe lack of posting (especially in the summer when I am most active) or different kinds of reviews.

I can’t wait to see you all when I get back and I’ll be doing a massive post about my trip!

See you in a few weeks!

Happy Reading!