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.

A couple of books showed up this week: one of which looks quite interesting and one that I’ve already read and loved!

I did start catching up on some reviews last week with All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders. It’s quirky and difficult to describe, and I enjoyed it a lot!

Now, for the latest books!

Cloudbound by Fran Wilde

Cloudbound (Bone Universe #2) by Fran Wilde

Cloudbound, a companion to Fran Wilde’s debut novel Updraft, will be released on September 27 (hardcover, ebook, audiobook). The publisher’s blog has an excerpt from Cloudbound.

Updraft won the Andre Norton Award for Best Science Fiction and Fantasy and the Compton Crook Award and was also nominated for a Nebula Award. Tor. com has an excerpt from Updraft.


After the dust settles, the City of living bones begins to die, and more trouble brews beneath the clouds in this stirring companion to Fran Wilde’s Updraft.

When Kirit Densira left her home tower for the skies, she gave up many things: her beloved family, her known way of life, her dreams of flying as a trader for her tower, her dreams. Kirit set her City upside down, and fomented a massive rebellion at the Spire, to the good of the towers—but months later, everything has fallen to pieces.

In Cloudbound, with the Towers in disarray, without a governing body or any defense against the dangers lurking in the clouds, daily life is full of terror and strife. Naton, Kirit’s wing-brother, sets out to be a hero in his own way—sitting on the new Council to cast votes protecting Tower-born, and exploring lower tiers to find more materials to repair the struggling City.

But what he finds down-tier is more secrets—and now Nat will have to decide who to trust, and how to trust himself without losing those he holds most dear, before a dangerous myth raises a surprisingly realistic threat to the crippled City.

In the sky-high city of living bone, to fall beneath the clouds is to be lost forever. But Nat Densira finds more in the grey expanse than he ever expected. To survive, he must let go of everything he believes.

Crosstalk by Connie Willis

Crosstalk by Connie Willis

Crosstalk will be released on October 4 (hardcover, ebook). The publisher’s website has an excerpt from Crosstalk (the link is below the cover image).

I already featured this book toward the beginning of July and normally wouldn’t include the cover and description again, but I couldn’t resist since I just finished reading the ARC shortly before this finished copy showed up and LOVED it! After reading the first couple of chapters, I wasn’t sure how much I’d like it but soon I was hooked and found I quite literally could not put it down. (Seriously, I still have lots of unpacking that needs to be done and yet I had to spend every spare moment reading this until I was finished!)

Since it’s not out until next month, there are some other books I’m going to try to review first so I just wanted to take this opportunity to gush about how much fun this book is!


Science fiction icon Connie Willis brilliantly mixes a speculative plot, the wit of Nora Ephron, and the comedic flair of P. G. Wodehouse in Crosstalk—a genre-bending novel that pushes social media, smartphone technology, and twenty-four-hour availability to hilarious and chilling extremes as one young woman abruptly finds herself with way more connectivity than she ever desired.
In the not-too-distant future, a simple outpatient procedure to increase empathy between romantic partners has become all the rage. And Briddey Flannigan is delighted when her boyfriend, Trent, suggests undergoing the operation prior to a marriage proposal—to enjoy better emotional connection and a perfect relationship with complete communication and understanding. But things don’t quite work out as planned, and Briddey finds herself connected to someone else entirely—in a way far beyond what she signed up for.

It is almost more than she can handle—especially when the stress of managing her all-too-eager-to-communicate-at-all-times family is already burdening her brain. But that’s only the beginning. As things go from bad to worse, she begins to see the dark side of too much information, and to realize that love—and communication—are far more complicated than she ever imagined.