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 in the mail for review consideration (usually unsolicited). 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.

Last week brought a couple of books that look quite interesting—one new book and one I already featured here over the summer—but first…

In case you missed it, there’s been one new review since the last one of these posts covering Snowspelled (The Harwood Spellbook #1) by Stephanie Burgis, a delightful fantasy novella set in an alternate matriarchal version of England in which politics is traditionally the domain of women and magic is traditionally the domain of men.

And now, on to the latest books!

Starlings by Jo Walton

Starlings by Jo Walton

Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award–winning author Jo Walton’s first short story collection will be released on January 30, 2018 (trade paperback, ebook). Starlings also contains an introduction by the author, a brief afterword after each story, a play, and poetry.

The publisher’s website lists the table of contents.


An intimate first flight of short fiction from award-winning novelist Jo Walton (Among OthersThe King’s Peace).

A strange Eritrean coin travels from lovers to thieves, gathering stories before meeting its match. Google becomes sentient and proceeds toward an existential crisis. An idealistic dancer on a generation ship makes an impassioned plea for creativity and survival. Three Irish siblings embark on an unlikely quest, stealing enchanted items via bad poetry, trickery, and an assist from the Queen of Cats.

With these captivating initial glimpses into her storytelling psyche, Jo Walton shines through subtle myths and wholly reinvented realities. Through eclectic stories, subtle vignettes, inspired poetry, and more, Walton soars with humans, machines, and magic—rising from the everyday into the universe itself.

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