It’s the last day of 2018, so I’m thinking about the year that’s passed, like everybody else today. I often feel conflicted at the end of a year, but I can’t remember a recent year that’s left the future feeling quite as uncertain as this one has. To be clear, I don’t necessarily think of that as a negative. I’m a person who has historically sought change for its own sake, and I tend to view an uncertain path as one that’s wide-open—more like an unplanned road trip over a bright midwestern highway than an unguided hike through a haunted forest. That said, I really don’t know what to make of 2018.
Back in the day at Manga Bookshelf, I used to write what I called “Persuasion Posts” intended to convince readers why they should invest their time and money on particular series (such as Ai Yazawa’s NANA or Akimi Yoshida’s Banana Fish, etc.). I don’t have a platform suited to this for prose novels (and seriously, by “prose novels” I basically mean “YA fantasy” because do I actually read anything else?) so most of my proselytizing on those books has been in the form of feverish conversations with my teen students and the occasional overenthusiastic tweet. This has generally been kindly received. I’ve successfully gotten some of my teens into favorite authors. Once, Rick Riordan retweeted me. But lately these platforms have simply not been enough.
My life’s a bit too crowded these days to put in the time and effort I used to give to those old “persuasion posts” but I’d like to begin using this blog for recommendations now and then. And what better book to begin with than the latest object of my obsession, Sarah Rees Brennan’s In Other Lands. [Read more…]