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Academic Discourse at Havana by Wallace Stevens
All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
Arabella by Georgette Heyer
The Big Pony Race by Erica David
Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton
Borders of Infinity by Lois McMaster Bujold
Bye-Bye, Big Bad Bullybug by Ed Emberley
Camp Buccaneer by Pam Smallcomb
Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks
Child of the Owl by Lawrence Yep
Creole Ladies, Marti the Smuggler, Bullfighting by Maturin M. Ballou
Cuban Sketches (excerpt) by James Steele
Dancing Above the Waves by Susan Walerstein
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
Evergreen by Belva Plain
Enfant Terrible by Scott Dalrymple
Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor
Flight of the Goose by Lesley Thomas
The Frog Prints by B. L. Harwick
Fullbrim's Finding by Matthew Hughes
A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis
Havana Letter by William Cullen Bryant
If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff
King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard
LoveHampton by Sherri Rifkin
Marlin off the Morro by Ernest Hemingway
The Minister's Wooing by Harriet Beecher Stowe
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
My Pet Virus by Shawn Decker
Nana Volume 1 by Ai Yazawa
Native Tongue by Carl Hiaasen
The Penthouse Mystery by Ellery Queen
Reader's Guide by Lisa Goldstein
Red as Blood by Tanith Lee
The Roberts by Michael Blumlein
The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason
Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky
Sea Gift by John Ashby
Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott
Singing to Cuba (excerpt) by Margarita Engle
Spiders and Scorpions: A Look Inside Series by P. D. Hillyard
Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself by Alan Alda
Unholy Domain by Dan Ronco
Virus Games by G. L. Sheerin
Zen of Fish by Trevor Corson

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2 stars: OK
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Nana Volume 1: 07/12/08

Nana Volume 1 by Ai Yazawa is a Shojo manga and quite a departure for me from my usual manga choices. I saw this volume reviewed on my of favorite book blogs but it was months ago and I can't remember where. Anyway, the cover art appealed to me as did the title and I was looking for a change.

There are actually two young women named Nana: Nana Komatsu, who is introduced on pages 3-104, and Nana Osaki who is introduced on pages 105-176. The first volume comes to a close with a coda dedicated to a character named Junko but her role here is more as a source of "coming attractions" than anything else. Both Nanas are drawn to Tokyo but the paths they take are very different.

Nana K. is an emotionally scarred girl who is looking for love in all the wrong places, including having an affair with an older married man. She goes to Tokyo to follow a pair of men: the married one and a young artist who has transferred to a university there. Her time in Tokyo will probably be a rough one; she's unprepared for the big city and lacks the confidence to make the move work.

On the other hand, Nana O., a member of rock band, goes to Tokyo to follow her lover when he is offered a better gig. Although she is hurt by the break up she is strong enough and stubborn enough to charge into Tokyo and claim her piece of it.

The two Nanas will obviously meet in the future but in this volume they lead separate lives. There are enough similarities in their lives and in how they look that it is easy sometimes to accidentally confuse one for the other. In this regard, their parallel lives reminds me of a wonderful French/Polish film: La Double vie de Veronique / Dvojnaja zhizn Veroniki (1991).


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Comment #1: Saturday, July, 12, 2008 at 11:53:03

Carrie, Reading to Know

I just recollected the whole series (not sure what happened to the copies I used to own) and was staring at them the other day thinking I needed to give them another read through! GREAT memories of this series as I was growing up. Fun, fun!"

Comment #2: Saturday, July, 12, 2008 at 13:54:25


I've been checking them out from my local library but I may break down some day and buy the entire set."

Comment #3: Saturday, July, 12, 2008 at 12:15:30


I've had this book sitting on the shelf for quite some time now. I wonder why I never read it when I was young. Someday I will correct that. Soon, I hope."

Comment #4: Saturday, July, 12, 2008 at 13:59:10


Read it a chapter a night; that's what I did. Happy reading."

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