User Profile

Otts

otts@books.theunseen.city

Joined 1 year ago

I read 10-12 novels a week in grad school and some heavy literary theory. No interest in non-fiction now, and mainly read sci-fi and fantasy. Using this account to track/share my reading from 2023 onward (and maybe backward, if my completionist tendencies kick in). On Mastodon @ottsatwork@artsio.com.

This link opens in a pop-up window

Otts's books

Early Light (Hardcover, 2022, New Directions Publishing Corporation) 3 stars

Early Light offers three very different aspects of Osamu Dazai's genius: the title story relates …

Drunk men, one only slightly useless

3 stars

Three short stories, all featuring a drunk, somewhat useless man. I liked the second and third, about a writer’s ambivalence towards Mt. Fuji and a woman who ends up happily working at a bar to get away from her broke, no-good husband, respectively.

Eastbound (Paperback, 2023, Steerforth Press, Archipelago Books) 4 stars

In this swirling, gripping tale, a young Russian conscript and a French woman come together …

Small pleasures

4 stars

I read the Archipelago edition which was very pleasing to hold and touch. Its physicality really influenced my good opinion. A simple story contained inside a small book, set on the cramped spaces of a train on the Trans-Siberian railway.

Lost in the Moment and Found (Hardcover, 2023, Tordotcom) 4 stars

A young girl discovers an infinite variety of worlds in this standalone tale in the …

How the Doors operate 💔

5 stars

The Author’s Note broke my heart. I’m finding it difficult now to talk about this book and what it reveals about this series and the world(s) McGuire’s created.

I always loved that this series was fantasy with an edge. But the realization of the cost of all that wonder, for both the characters and us readers, cuts deeper this time. Book 8 and my favorite of The Wayward Children series.

Burma Chronicles (Hardcover, 2009, Jonathan Cape) 4 stars

After developing his acclaimed style of firsthand reporting with his bestselling graphic novels Pyongyang: A …

Silence is golden

4 stars

This one felt different from Delisle’s other work: more episodic, more editorial commentary, more dad jokes. I didn’t like those bits as much, but as ever, his drawing is wonderful. A little comics journalism and memoir gives us his particular experience in this country where his wife is in Medecins Sans Frontieres. The silent stretches were often my fave, as well as the Water Festival and Buddhist retreat.

The Famous Magician (Hardcover, 2022, Storybook ND) 4 stars

An author is offered a devil’s bargain: will he give up reading and writing books …

Unable to escape one’s own thoughts

4 stars

Originally written in 2013, this meta novella asks the author to choose between Magic and Literature. Are the two, in fact, the same? Or is Magic a transcendence of Literature? A quick, fun read that’s sitting with me the more I turn it over in my head.

The Fragile Threads of Power (Hardcover, Titan Books) 5 stars

Seven years have passed since the doors between the worlds were sealed. Seven years since …

A welcome expansion

5 stars

I love all of Schwab’s work. This continues the story set up in The Shades of Magic series.

That series got a teeny bit muddled by the end for me, but Schwab’s growth as a writer is evident here. Except for the monarchy, which I’m just more impatient with these days in my entertainment, (enough of the in-born virtue of royals), such a pleasure to re-visit this world and characters.

Mending Life- A Handbook for Repairing Clothes and Hearts (Hardcover, 2020, Sasquatch Books) 5 stars

An instant buy

5 stars

I’ve wanted to learn how to mend (more), but wasn’t sure how to get started. Specifically, in a way that would be interesting to me. Someone on Mastodon mentioned this book and I put it on hold at the library.

It’s so, so sweet! 🥹 Instructions interspersed with stories and illustrations. I’ll share what I do once I get started. ❤️‍🩹

Where the Drowned Girls Go (Hardcover, 2022, Tordotcom) 3 stars

There is another school for children who fall through doors and fall back out again. …

A necessary lull

3 stars

The Wayward Children is always a solid series to return to. This entry is more of a stepping stone: set in our world instead of another on the other side of a door that a child stumbles through. It feels like a necessary, if slightly less compelling, step to prepare a larger stage. But McGuire still gives us unsettling glimpses into the particular deliverance/torments each person finds on the other side. 💔

Didn't Nobody Give a Shit What Happened to Carlotta (2023, Little Brown & Company) 5 stars

Carlotta Mercedes has been misunderstood her entire life. When she was pulled into a robbery …

More stories like this, please

5 stars

Yes! More stories about trans Blatinas! Carlotta Mercedes transitioned while in prison on jumped up charges and is released into a changed world.

The writing randomly switches from first person unfiltered stream of consciousness to third person, the former often without punctuation. But it works since Carlotta’s voice is so distinct. And funny as hell, even when what she faces is no joke.