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Leaf 🍂 Locked account

Joined 1 month, 3 weeks ago

I read a lot of SFF and horror, leaning toward the weird, and I adore a good translation (to English) and small press book. I’m queer and I like to read books about queer people and by queer and otherwise marginalized authors. I tend to avoid things that are marketed strongly as YA.

I’m a former bookseller and I’ve never been able to let go on being way too aware of what’s coming out, so my tbr list is a very active living document (and being realistic, highly aspirational).

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Leaf 🍂's books

No books found.

2024 Reading Goal

41% complete! Leaf 🍂 has read 31 of 75 books.

Max Gladstone: Last Exit (2022, Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom) 4 stars

Ten years ago, Zelda led a band of merry adventurers whose knacks let them travel …

Review of 'Last Exit' on 'Storygraph'

No rating

I’m also a millennial, about a year off from Gladstone’s age, so I get that this is a very personal and heartfelt outpouring of his feelings about Black Lives Matter, flowing from having been through the Occupy protests and electing Obama and feeling like maybe we’d done things right but then nothing was fixed and things stayed dark. I get that. 

But I also wish a brave editor had been willing to cut like…30% off the long internal monologues of each of the characters. There’s a lot that’s good in this book, and a lot of wonderful ideas and images, but… it’s so bogged down and repetitive that it’s hard to enjoy the ride.   

Berry, Michael, Han Song: Hospital (Hardcover, Amazon Crossing) No rating

Review of 'Hospital' on 'Storygraph'

No rating

This was extremely disjointed especially near the end, it really felt as if the author was making it up as he went. It had some interesting ideas packed in there, and I do like a non traditional narrative structure usually, but it’s hard to get around the sexism and like, the main character having sex with a teenager while envisioning his own preteen daughter. 😬 yeah I finished it somehow but this is the end of the series for me 

Review of 'Coming of Joachim Stiller (Valancourt International)' on 'Storygraph'

No rating

I’m a big fan of surrealism and weird fiction, so I was pretty disappointed here. The most interesting parts for me were the descriptions of historic Antwerp in 1957, and the protagonist’s recollections of being part of the resistance during WWII in his youth less than  12 years prior. 

<spoiler> Also it turns out to be about Jesus, which is the biggest disappointment to me. Ugh. </spoiler>

Alex Jennings: Ballad of Perilous Graves (2022, Orbit) 5 stars

Nola is a city full of wonders. A place of sky trolleys and dead cabs, …

Review of 'Ballad of Perilous Graves' on 'Storygraph'

5 stars

I will read anything Jennings writes from here on out, this book was inspired from front to tail. Wonderful. 

reviewed Station Eternity by Mur Lafferty (The Midsolar Murders, #1)

Mur Lafferty: Station Eternity (Paperback, 2022, Penguin Publishing Group) 4 stars

Amateur detective Mallory Viridian’s talent for solving murders ruined her life on Earth and drove …

Review of 'Station Eternity' on 'Storygraph'

No rating

<spoiler> I almost never DNF but I just really wasn’t enjoying this. For something that was billed as a science fiction murder mystery series similar to Midsomer Murders (or if that wasn’t the intent, calling the series Midsolar Murders was a huge misstep) there was a distinct lack of on-page murder mystery solving or intrigue. Instead it’s just backstory, 1/3 of a book spent  freaking out about humans moving to the space station, and then after the halfway point new backstory for new point of view characters. It felt like the entire book was basically being used as setup for the intended series without including enough plot or forward movement to make me at all interested in continuing. Or even finishing it, obviously. 

The aliens really bothered me too, they kept making throwaway comments about how humans are fragile bags of water walking around and then themselves turning out to …

Kelly Link: White Cat, Black Dog (Hardcover, 2023, Random House) 5 stars

Finding seeds of inspiration in the Brothers Grimm, seventeenth-century French lore, and Scottish ballads, Kelly …

Review of 'White Cat, Black Dog' on 'Storygraph'

5 stars

I’m a huge Kelly Link fan, and honestly this might be my favorite collection of hers yet. Eminently haunting

Marina & Sergey Dyachenko: Assassin of Reality (2023, HarperCollins Publishers) No rating

Review of 'Assassin of Reality' on 'Storygraph'

No rating

I thought it was an excellent continuation of Sasha’s journey of self, and I cried during the acknowledgment at the end. I think it was implied that Marina and Sergey were working on plotting a third book about Sasha, and I hope I’m right. I want to see her finish this

Review of 'Vita Nostra' on 'Storygraph'

5 stars

This was not at all what I was expecting. It was like Alfred Kubin’s The Other Side took place at a magical school for terrified college students, all learning how to deconstruct their mental understanding of the physical world and themselves in order to do magic. I hope they’re planning on translating the rest of this series!

Review of 'The Other City (Czech Literature Series)' on 'Storygraph'

5 stars

The soldiers who spend months on end there among the coats themselves end up looking more like coats than people, and their thinking is more like the thinking of coats (for instance, they spend hours on end thinking about a city, where there are houses, monuments and streetlights on springs, and through whose streets there walks a solitary pony).

This book is absolutely as strange as I could possibly hope a book to be, and yet entirely comprehensible and with a strong plot and message. A+, will be reading it again and again in the future. 

Robert Aickman, Reece Shearsmith: Cold Hand in Mine (Paperback, Faber & Faber, imusti) No rating

Review of 'Cold Hand in Mine' on 'Storygraph'

No rating

Like any short story collection, there were ones I enjoyed more than others, but the pervasive sense of strangeness was consistent and I appreciated that. “The Hospice” was my favorite. I will look up more of Aickman’s work