The Leaning Pile of Books is a feature where I talk about books I got over the last week – old or new, bought or received for review consideration. Since I hope you will find new books you’re interested in reading in these posts, I try to be as informative as possible. If I can find them, links to excerpts, author’s websites, and places where you can find more information on the book are included.

I’m a day late—I blame the long weekend, the intense heat, a book I couldn’t put down until I finished it, and yesterday being my anniversary! The first of these books is an anniversary present from my husband (that I already started reading!) and the rest showed up in the mail.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

This short novel was recently released in hardcover and ebook. It was one of my most anticipated releases of this year, and I’ve heard it is wonderful. I’ve only read the first few chapters, but so far I’m enjoying it. An extract from The Ocean at the End of the Lane is available on The Guardian.


Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.

Possession by Kat Richardson

Possession (Greywalker #8) by Kat Richardson

The eighth Greywalker book will be released in hardcover and ebook on August 6. Kat Richardson does have some appearances in Washington and Oregon as part of the book’s release:

University Bookstore in Seattle, Washington, at 7:00 PM on August 6

Powell’s in Beaverton, Oregon, at 7:00 PM on August 8

Seattle Mystery Bookshop in Seattle, Washington, at 12:00 PM on August 10

If you are a fan who would like a signed book by Kat Richardson but are unable to attend any of the above tours, her website does have some information on how to procure a signed copy of one of her books.

The first 7 books in the series are as follows:

  1. Greywalker (Excerpt)
  2. Poltergeist
  3. Underground
  4. Vanished
  5. Labyrinth
  6. Downpour
  7. Seawitch

Harper Blaine was your average small-time PI until she died—for two minutes. Now Harper is a Greywalker, treading the thin line between the living world and the paranormal realm. And she’s discovering that her new abilities are landing her all sorts of “strange” cases.

When a comatose woman suddenly wakes up and starts painting scenes she’s never witnessed, with a skill she’s never had, medical science has no explanation. As more bizarre phenomena manifest, even her doctors start to wonder if the woman may be possessed. Frustrated and frightened, the
patient’s sister reluctantly turns to Greywalker Harper Blaine to discover who—or what—is occupying her sister’s body.

As Harper digs into the case of apparent possession, she discovers other patients struck with the same mystifying afflictions and a disturbing connection to one of the most gruesome stories in Washington’s history…

Two Fronts by Harry Turtledove

Coup d’Etat and Two Fronts (The War That Came Early #4-#5) by Harry Turtledove

Two Fronts will be released in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook on July 23, and the previous book Coup d’Etat is being released in trade paperback on the same day. (The description of Coup d’Etat can be found in this post.)

Excerpts from both Coup d’Etat and Two Fronts can be found on the publisher’s website.

The previous books in the series are:

  1. Hitler’s War (Excerpt)
  2. West and East (Excerpt)
  3. The Big Switch (Excerpt)

In 1942, two nations switch sides—and World War II takes a horrifying new course.

In the real world, England and France allowed Adolf Hitler to gobble up the Sudetenland in 1938. Once Hitler finished dismembering Czechoslovakia, he was ready to go to war over Poland a year later. But Hitler had always been eager to seize Czechoslovakia, no matter the consequences. So what if England and France had stood up to the Nazis from the start, and not eleven months later? That is the question behind the War That Came Early series.

Four years later, the civil war in Spain drags on, even after General Franco’s death. The United States, still neutral in Europe, fights the Japanese in the Pacific. Russia and Germany go toe-to-toe in Eastern Europe—yet while Hitler stares east, not everything behind him is going as well as he would like. But nothing feeds ingenuity like the fear of losing. The Germans wheel out new tanks and planes, Japan deploys weapons of a very different sort against China, and the United States, England, and France do what they can to strengthen themselves against imminent danger.

Seen through the eyes of ordinary citizens caught in the maelstrom, this is a you-are-there chronicle of battle on land and sea and in the air. Here are terrifying bombing raids that shatter homes, businesses, and the rule of law. Here are commanders issuing orders that, once given, cannot be taken back. And here are the seeds of rebellion sown in blood-soaked soil.

In a war in which sides are switched and allies trust one another only slightly more than they trust their mortal enemies, Nazi Germany has yet to send its Jews to death camps, and dangerous new nationalist powers arise in Eastern Europe. From thrilling submarine battles to the horror of men fighting men and machines all through Europe, Two Fronts captures every aspect of a brilliantly reimagined conflict: the strategic, the political, and the personal force of leaders bending nations to their wills.