For this year's last manga pick I want to recommend one of my favorite reads of the year, and that is the Restart After Coming Back Home duology. It starts with Mitsuomi, a gloomy and directionless young man who has just returned to his rural hometown for the first time in a decade after being fired from his job in Tokyo. It’s there that he meets Yamato, a happy-go-lucky man about his age who was adopted into Mitsuomi’s community during his absence. The two are inexplicably drawn to each other, and only grow closer as they together unburden the pain and secrets they carry with them.
I loved this book.
I was hooked from the very beginning by the deft way the author introduced us to the main character, Talia, and to a world so very like our own, but with the addition of magic users called Mystics. The character “voices” are believable and diverse, and the relationships relatable and interesting. Sure, our leads are really nice, over-achieving, pretty people, but they are also very likable. I was enjoying the journey and looking forward to where it might lead and then…it took an unexpected turn.
This week I want to recommend a manga that I think is every cat person’s dream. It follows Saku, an ordinary, single adult woman with an odd secret. When she isn’t spending her time working long hours at her office job, she’s at home with her pet cat, Yukichi. However, Yukichi is less like her pet and more like her roommate. Saku adopted Yukichi off the street when he was a kitten, and he inexplicably grew into the size of a bear. Not only that, but Yukichi grew into the head of the household, and in turn is responsible for the cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, and for keeping his mess of an owner put together.
This manga is such an adorable read that gave me a fresh perspective on gender expression and relationships. It starts with Wako, a woman who considers herself average in nearly every aspect of her identity, including her appearance. The only thing that isn’t average about her is her long term relationship with her boyfriend, Meguru, an androgynous model and influencer. The story follows as the two navigate their untraditional relationship.
This week I want to recommend a new sports manga that is perfect for diversifying your shelf! Run on Your New Legs is about a boy named Kikuzato, a soccer prodigy. However, when an unexpected accident results in his left leg amputated, Kikuzato is depressed and directionless. By chance he meets a prosthetist who says he can make him a new prosthetic that will give him back some of the mobility and freedom he misses, so long as he agrees to run competitively for him as a para athlete.
Mass Center for the Book 2023 Reading Challenge
How It Works
- Sign up at https://www.massbook.org/readingchallenge
- Choose a book that fits the monthly challenge
- After you read, fill out a short form to tell Mass Center for the Book all about it
- That's it!
- If you read at least one book, you will be invited to a year-end celebration hosted by Mass Center for the Book
- If you read a book in each of the 12 months, you will be entered in a drawing to win 1 of 2 totes filled with books and Massachusetts goodies
Check out our Bookshop.org list for book ideas
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