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 (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.

This post covers the last couple of weeks since I got the cold that won’t go away and felt even worse last weekend than I did the week before. Unfortunately, my brain hasn’t been up to review writing whenever I’ve tried in the last week, but after the last one of these posts went up, there were two more that followed:

Now, on to the new books…

Dreams of Distant Shores by Patricia A. McKillip

Dreams of Distant Shores by Patricia A. McKillip

Dreams of Distant Shores will be released on June 14 (paperback, ebook). It features seven short stories, including three previously unpublished, an essay on writing high fantasy, and an afterword by Peter S. Beagle. The complete table of contents is on the publisher’s website.

My introduction to Patricia A. McKillip’s work was her wonderful collection Wonders of the Invisible World so I’m quite excited about this one! I also love the cover of Dreams of Distant Shores.


A youthful artist is possessed by both his painting and his muse. Seductive travelers from the sea enrapture distant lovers. The statue of a mermaid comes suddenly to life. Two friends are transfixed by a haunted estate.

Bestselling author Patricia A. McKillip (The Riddle-Master of Hed) is one of the most lyrical writers gracing the fantasy genre. With the debut of three brand-new stories, Dreams of Distant Shores is a true ode to her many talents. Fans of McKillip’s ethereal fiction will delight in these previously-uncollected tales; those new to her work will find much to enchant them.

The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky

The Immortals (Olympus Bound #1) by Jordanna Max Brodsky

This debut novel was released last week (hardcover, ebook, audiobook). The first chapter of The Immortals is on the Olympus Bound website.


Manhattan has many secrets. Some are older than the city itself.

The city sleeps. Selene DiSilva walks her dog along the banks of the Hudson. She is alone — just the way she likes it. She doesn’t believe in friends, and she doesn’t speak to her family. Most of them are simply too dangerous.

In the predawn calm, Selene finds the body of a young woman washed ashore, gruesomely mutilated and wreathed in laurel. Her ancient rage returns. And so does the memory of a promise she made long ago — when her name was Artemis.

Calamity by Brandon Sanderson

Calamity (Reckoners #3) by Brandon Sanderson

The conclusion to the Reckoners trilogy, following Steelheart and Firefight, was released last week (hardcover, ebook, audiobook). There is an excerpt from Calamity on, but if you haven’t read the series from the beginning and want to avoid potential spoilers, there’s an excerpt from Steelheart on A.V. Club.


When Calamity lit up the sky, the Epics were born. David’s fate has been tied to their villainy ever since that historic night. Steelheart killed his father. Firefight stole his heart. And now Regalia has turned his closest ally into a dangerous enemy.

David knew Prof’s secret, and kept it even when Prof struggled to control the effects of his Epic powers. But facing Obliteration in Babilar was too much. Once the Reckoners’ leader, Prof has now embraced his Epic destiny. He’s disappeared into those murky shadows of menace Epics are infamous for the world over, and everyone knows there’s no turning back…

But everyone is wrong. Redemption is possible for Epics—Megan proved it. They’re not lost. Not completely. And David is just about crazy enough to face down the most powerful High Epic of all to get his friend back. Or die trying.

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