Revisiting Harry Potter #2 and #3

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With the hope of finishing the Harry Potter series by Halloween, and the small chance of actually doing so, I’ve continued on!

I started the Chamber of Secrets on my return flight back from the midwest, and finally finished getting through the Prisoner of Azkaban last week. When I was a kid, I didn’t realize how silly some things were… like Lockhart. Oh my goodness. Not sure I exactly had an opinion on him as a kid, but after re-reading the book, I felt like he would be one of those annoying guys posting on Instagram all the time about the stuff that he’s done for attention. Nope.jpg.

The Prisoner of Azkaban, on the other hand, was such a joy to reread. My favorite chapter is the chapter with the Knight Bus: the mix of magic and reality really started the book off on the right note. For some reason, Prizoner of Azkaban is where I’ve always felt like the series really started expanding and where I felt that the situations became more dramatic and important.

Also that this book had important situations spanning the entire book — e.g. Buckbeak — whereas it felt like the previous two books tended to have a lot of the action right at the end of the book. Although I have nothing against that, this need and desire to see how the trial ends up and everything else made me keep reading and reading and reading.

I’m excited to get into the 4th book, but I’m a bit nervous as well given the length of the book and juggling school/work. I’m not sure I’ll hit that Halloween timeline, but maybe Christmas will do. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Corel Painter 2019 Demo Review

I’ve been wanting to buy Corel Painter for quite some time now, but the steep price tag always turned me away from actually buying it after trying the demo. Now that I’m a student, I can finally take advantage of the under $100 price tag (much much better), and with Painter 2019 available to demo, I can try it out with the expectation of getting it this time. ๐Ÿ™‚

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As a digital artist, I found that accessing the brushes were very easy and straight forward. I enjoyed the default paper textures and brushes (and their algorithms) that made drawing a really fun experience, without a lot of the customization and fuss that come with a lot of other drawing programs. It’s very user friendly.

One downside I’ve had with Painter is that when attempting to paint on the selected layer only, it’s persistent throughout the entire picture. Compared to other programs, this is something odd to get used to. Usually the option is layer-by-layer rather than the entire image, which can be helpful for quickly going between layers and doing touch-ups. I’ve found myself having to continuously check when my brush doesn’t show.

Another downside (maybe I haven’t found it yet) is that the font selection doesn’t display how it looks, unlike in Photoshop where you can get a feeling for what font you’ll be using beforehand. Instead of scrolling through a bazillion font changes. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ll be playing more with the program but at this price it is something that will be a good add to my collection.

Top 5 Wednesday (7/4): Best Books of 2018

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Happy Independence Day! We have a nice break this week due to the holiday, so time to take a quick breather and share what some of my favorites are for this year. This list includes both writing, graphic novels and manga.

  1. America is not the heart by Elaine CastilloAmerica is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo
    An historical fiction looking at the cross-section of being Filipino and American in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 80’s/90’s. Seriously, a must read novel. I love the fact that the author writes the experience of being Filipino so well that I’m reminded of my in-laws, and catches the feeling of being an Asian person in the 90’s. I also enjoyed the inclusion of the LGBTQ element, which was totally unexpected but handled really well.


  2. The Eating Instinct by Virginia Sole-SmithThe Eating Instinct: Food Culture, Body Image, and Guilt in America by Virginia Sole-Smith
    This book hasn’t been released yet, but from an ARC I received, this book is seriously top on the list for non-fiction books for me this year. As a person with Celiac Disease, this book somehow caught a lot of the complex feelings around food and eating and placed it into a book. I never knew what orthorexia was before this, but I think this is going to become a bigger issue as time goes by. I’m looking forward to reviewing this book closer to it being released in November.


    tokyo tarareba girls

  3. Tokyo Tarareba Girls, Vol. 1 by Akiko Higashimura
    Just got this from NetGalley yesterday, and I do-not-regret-it! On first view, I was taken aback because the main characters did remind me of the characters from Princess Jellyfish. Reading into it, though, I was soooo pleasantly surprised. She really captures being an ADULT woman trying to navigate love and life, and this is geared towards your older readers who can really relate either personally or through friends.


    kimetsu no yaiba

  4. ้ฌผๆป…ใฎๅˆƒ 1 [Kimetsu no Yaiba 1] by Koyoharu Gotouge
    A 80’s/90’s style shonen that DOESN’T make you feel like it’s going to drag on for-ev-er. A really enjoyable action-packed read.


    x3

  5. ๅค่ฆ‹ใ•ใ‚“ใฏใ€ใ‚ณใƒŸใƒฅ็—‡ใงใ™ [Komi-san has a communication problem] by Tomohito Oda
    Bite-sized. Fluffy. Happiness. So cute. Just read it. Here’s my previous review on the series.