The Bibliophile’s Journal VII: Advent Children

Yeah, I’m classing it down this time with a rather silly subtitle. Couldn’t resist, for some reason.

Anyway, as you may guess from my last few posts I’m back to my usual self, devouring one book after another. Of course, there’s always a trade-off, so recently I’ve been watching fewer anime and movies than usual. There are several interesting-looking shows coming up this season, though, so perhaps my reading schedule will collapse again in a week or two. In the meantime, besides Haruhi and The Sea, here’s what I’ve been reading lately:

X (fifth omnibus), by CLAMP – I went in expecting I could summarise it much like the previous volumes: “I don’t get it.” That wouldn’t be fair, though, since at this point I’ve gotten used the huge cast of characters and their various backstories and plot threads. I’m still not totally invested, perhaps because it took so long for me to settle into the story, but I’m enjoying it enough that I’m not reading just for the art anymore.

Cromartie High School, by Nonaka Eiji – I found the first three volumes at a used bookstore not too long ago, and just started the second volume. I loved the anime adaptation, and appreciate that the comic includes several events that the animated version left out. I think the anime version is a little funnier, though I’m can’t quite put my finger on why. The animation is a little more visually appealing, and as a whole it does benefit from the movement and vocals; of course, the comic is also at a disadvantage, since I’ve seen most of these jokes already.

My biggest concern with these older, out-of-print series, especially long ones, is that some volumes will be difficult to find at a decent price. Luckily, a glance at Amazon tells me it shouldn’t be too hard to track down the rest of this without going broke.

The Arthurian Handbook, by Norris Lacy and Geoffrey Ashe – an overview of the Arthurian Romances, from its (more-or-less) historical origins through its major fictional treatments, from Mediaeval times to the modern world. I’ve had a post in mind related to Arthur, so I’m glad to get started on this one after having it sit on my shelf for… a year? Yeah, I guess I’m never in any kind of hurry… Anyway, the origins section was fascinating, and I’m looking forward to the rest.

Jeremiah (Navarre Bible Commentary) – I received a few volumes of the Navarre Bible commentaries as a gift last year (Major Prophets, Minor Prophets, Wisdom Books), so I’ve been working my way through them. Overall, the commentary’s pretty interesting, especially when they refer to writings by some of the Fathers of the Church. It strikes a good middle ground between the sparse, often useless notes in most single-volume Bibles on one hand, and the sprawling commentaries of St. Thomas Aquinas (which I’ve talked about briefly) on the other. My one complaint is that a little too much of the commentary is just summary, but it’s not too bad. Oh, and it uses the RSV (Catholic Edition) for the text, which I guess is okay if we must use a modern translation.

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