People From My Neighborhood

It's hard not to compare this book to an anime — something light and detached like Azumanga Daioh ↗ with a hint of Mushishi ↗'s deep and largely amorphous/unexplained mythology. And it's a fun one, if not lightweight: you cozily follow along the protagonist (more of a camera than an agent unto herself) as she narrates the stories of her town, which start with the quirky mundanity of Gilmore Girls's Star Hollow (the man with a wild dog! the woman running a terrible karoake bar! and so on) and evolve to take more and more magic, with the same cool and slightly child-like tone.

It's not a big commitment — a little over a hundred pages, and maybe two hours of reading. You'll fall a little in love with this world, and it will make you think about your neighborhood, and perhaps how you should pay more attention to it.

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© 2023 Justin Duke • I hope you're wearing your favorite sweater.