Wherein I discuss books added to the leaning pile over the last week just in case some of them look interesting you too!

This was a big week – I raided the hardcovers and trade paperbacks at my local Borders and came out with 6 books for the price of 2 hardcovers at regular Borders prices. Not bad, especially managing to limit myself as much as I did. I thought I was going a bit crazy, but there were about 6 more books I considered buying and didn’t!  Also, my husband won a signed galley of a certain book that showed up this week, which can be seen on Twitter in all its signed glory.  In addition, one unsolicited review copy showed up at my door.

For reviews, I’m working on one of One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire which will hopefully go up on release date. The fifth October Daye book comes out on Tuesday (hint: if you liked the previous books in the series, I suspect you’ll want to read this one too).

Here are the books!

Snuff by Terry PratchettSnuff by Terry Pratchett

My husband actually won this when he pre-ordered a signed copy of Snuff (along with a bunch of other signed books). But winning the galley meant he actually got it early and he got to read it early. Yes, he’s already read it and he quite enjoyed it too!

Snuff is #39 in the Discworld series and follows the characters of the City Watch. It will be released in the US on October 11 and in the UK on October 13.  It will be available in hardcover and ebook formats.

According to the writer of the best-selling crime novel ever to have been published in the city of Ankh-Morpork, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a policeman taking a holiday would barely have had time to open his suitcase before he finds his first corpse.

And Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch is on holiday in the pleasant and innocent countryside, but not for him a mere body in the wardrobe. There are many, many bodies and an ancient crime more terrible than murder.

He is out of his jurisdiction, out of his depth, out of bacon sandwiches, and occasionally snookered and out of his mind, but never out of guile. Where there is a crime there must be a finding, there must be a chase and there must be a punishment.

They say that in the end all sins are forgiven.

But not quite all…

Dragon Sword and Wind Child by Noriko OgiwaraDragon Sword and Wind Child by Noriko Ogiwara, translated by Cathy Hirano

This was a rare impulse buy for me. I very rarely buy a book I’ve heard nothing about. In fact, before this I would have said I never do that. My husband actually came across this one when we were browsing books at Borders and wanted to know if I’d heard anything about it. I actually hadn’t, but we both thought it sounded interesting.  I skimmed the first page just to make sure the writing seemed decent. It did so I decided to take a chance on it since it was cheap. After looking it up, I’m glad I did since it seems to have a lot of good reviews, and the more I look into it, the better it looks.  It’s actually the one I picked up that I’m the most excited about reading now.

This is the first book in the Tales of the Magatama trilogy, a Japanese fantasy series. The first two books have been translated into English, this one and Mirror Sword and Shadow Prince. According to the website, the third book is only available in Japanese and Chinese right now, but I’m hopeful it will be translated as well since these two books were just released in English this year and last. I just hope it doesn’t end up like the Twelve Kingdoms series, another Japanese fantasy series I was reading which seems to have stalled out after translating a few of the books.

In the land of Toyoashihara, the forces of the God of Light and the Goddess of Darkness have waged war for generations. But for 15-year old Saya, the war is far away and unimportant–until the day she discovers she is the reincarnation of the Water Maiden and a princess of the Children of the Dark. Raised to love the Light and detest the Dark, Saya must come to terms with her heritage even as she is tumbled into the very heart of the conflict that is destroying her country. Both the army of the Light and Dark seek to claim her, for she is the only mortal who can awaken the legendary Dragon Sword, the weapon destined to end the war. Can Saya make the dreadful choice between the Light and Dark, or is she doomed like all the Water Maidens who have come before her?

Songs of Love and Death edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner DozoisSongs of Love and Death edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois

This anthology has an incredible list of authors – Neil Gaiman, Jacqueline Carey, Robin Hobb, Tanith Lee, Peter S. Beagle, M. L. N. Hanover, and Linnea Sinclair, to name a few.  I don’t normally buy anthologies since I prefer novels to short stories, but with this collection of authors and subject matter I couldn’t resist. Also, “You, and You Alone” by Jacqueline Carey is about Anafiel Delaunay so I expect that’s a rather interesting story.

In this star-studded cross-genre anthology, seventeen of the greatest modern authors of fantasy, science fiction, and romance explore the borderlands of their genres with brand-new tales of ill-fated love. From zombie-infested woods in a postapocalyptic America to faery-haunted rural fields in eighteenth- century England, from the kingdoms of high fantasy to the alien world of a galaxy-spanning empire, these are stories of lovers who must struggle against the forces of magic and fate.

Featuring stories by New York Times bestselling romance authors Jo Beverley and Mary Jo Putney, and by such legends of the fantasy genre as Peter S. Beagle and Tanith Lee, as well as many other popular writers, including Marjorie M. Liu, Jacqueline Carey, Carrie Vaughn, and Robin Hobb. This exquisite anthology, crafted by the peerless editing team of George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, is sure to leave you under its spell.

Ship Breaker by Paolo BacigalupiShip Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Here’s another book (and author) I’ve had my eye on for a while since this YA novel has been garnering quite a bit of praise. It was a National Book Award finalist and it won the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. It was also a nominee for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Literature.  It sounds pretty interesting too.

Set initially in a future shanty town in America’s Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being dissembled for parts by a rag tag group of workers, we meet Nailer, a teenage boy working the light crew, searching for copper wiring to make quota and live another day. The harsh realities of this life, from his abusive father, to his hand to mouth existence, echo the worst poverty in the present day third world. When an accident leads Nailer to discover an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, and the lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl, Nailer finds himself at a crossroads. Should he strip the ship and live a life of relative wealth, or rescue the girl, Nita, at great risk to himself and hope she’ll lead him to a better life. This is a novel that illuminates a world where oil has been replaced by necessity, and where the gap between the haves and have-nots is now an abyss. Yet amidst the shadows of degradation, hope lies ahead.

Surface Detail by Iain M. BanksSurface Detail by Iain M. Banks

Ever since reading The Player of Games and Use of Weapons, I’ve been slowly collecting the Culture novels. I LOVED The Player of Games especially, and it is one of my favorite science fiction novels. So picking up a 66% off copy of a Culture novel I didn’t have was a no brainer.

It begins in the realm of the Real, where matter still matters.

It begins with a murder.

And it will not end until the Culture has gone to war with death itself.

Lededje Y’breq is one of the Intagliated, her marked body bearing witness to a family shame, her life belonging to a man whose lust for power is without limit. Prepared to risk everything for her freedom, her release, when it comes, is at a price, and to put things right she will need the help of the Culture.

Benevolent, enlightened and almost infinitely resourceful though it may be, the Culture can only do so much for any individual. With the assistance of one of its most powerful – and arguably deranged – warships, Lededje finds herself heading into a combat zone not even sure which side the Culture is really on. A war – brutal, far-reaching – is already raging within the digital realms that store the souls of the dead, and it’s about to erupt into reality.

It started in the realm of the Real and that is where it will end. It will touch countless lives and affect entire civilizations, but at the center of it all is a young woman whose need for revenge masks another motive altogether.

SURFACE DETAIL is Iain M. Banks’ new Culture novel, a breathtaking achievement from a writer whose body of work is without parallel in the modern history of science fiction.

The Desert of Souls by Howard Andrew JonesThe Desert of Souls by Howard Andrew Jones

I’ve been hearing good things about this book and it sounded like fun so it’s been on my radar for a little while. It’s a debut novel that just came out this year. An excerpt is available on the author’s website.

The glittering tradition of sword-and-sorcery sweeps into the sands of ancient Arabia with the heart-stopping speed of a whirling dervish in this thrilling debut novel from new talent Howard Andrew Jones

In 8th century Baghdad, a stranger pleads with the vizier to safeguard the bejeweled tablet he carries, but he is murdered before he can explain. Charged with solving the puzzle, the scholar Dabir soon realizes that the tablet may unlock secrets hidden within the lost city of Ubar, the Atlantis of the sands. When the tablet is stolen from his care, Dabir and Captain Asim are sent after it, and into a life and death chase through the ancient Middle East.

Stopping the thieves—a cunning Greek spy and a fire wizard of the Magi—requires a desperate journey into the desert, but first Dabir and Asim must find the lost ruins of Ubar and contend with a mythic, sorcerous being that has traded wisdom for the souls of men since the dawn of time.  But against all these hazards there is one more that may be too great even for Dabir to overcome…

River Marked by Patricia BriggsRiver Marked by Patricia Briggs

I am a huge fan of the Mercy Thompson series so this was another no-brainer and one of the books I was looking for.  It’s one of my three favorite urban fantasy series, mostly because I just love Mercy’s character. This is the sixth book in the series and it sounds like it goes more into Mercy’s heritage so I’m really looking forward to finding out what happens! A sample chapter is available on the author’s website.

Car mechanic Mercy Thompson has always known there was something different about her, and not just the way she can make a VW engine sit up and beg. Mercy is a shapeshifter, a talent she inherited from her long-gone father. She’s never known any others of her kind. Until now.

An evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River-one that her father’s people may know something about. And to have any hope of surviving, Mercy and her mate, the Alpha werewolf Adam, will need their help…

Angel by Nicole Marrow and Laura HaydenAngel by Nicole “Coco” Marrow and Laura Hayden

This would be the unsolicited review copy. I can’t say it sounds like my cup of tea, but then I was also disappointed because when I saw the publisher name on the package there was a particular book I was REALLY hoping this would be.

Angel will be available on September 13 in trade paperback and ebook formats. An excerpt is available online.

A beautiful woman awakens on a plane and discovers that things are going terribly wrong. The plane is about to crash into the Hudson River…and she can’t even remember her own name.

After she survives the crash, the airline determines that her name is Angela Sands. But she has no idea who she really is.

Reporter Dante Kearns is fascinated by the woman the media dubs “the Angel of the Hudson,” especially once he discovers her shocking secret. Angela can hear voices in her head—the thoughts of all men around her. And when a man gets close, her face and form change into the woman of his dreams.

Who is Angela? And why does she believe that she was murdered before she woke up on that plane in a stranger’s body? Together, Angela and Dante are going to find answers, even if they have to bring down a killer to do so.

Nicole “Coco” Marrow, wife of Ice-T, keeps readers guessing with her pulse-pounding debut novel.