The Leaning Pile of Books is a feature where I discuss 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.

Like the previous post, both of this week’s featured books are recent purchases. I ended up needing to wait around a bit after an appointment last week, and there happened to be a bookstore nearby so, of course, I had to take a look!

There were no new reviews last week, but I do have a review in progress that I’m hoping to post soon.

Monstress, Volume 2 by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda

Monstress, Volume 2: The Blood (Monstress #7–12) written by Marjorie Liu and illustrated by Sana Takeda

Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening, winner of the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story, is dark, violent, and excellent with absolutely gorgeous artwork. I enjoyed it very much and am looking forward to reading this volume, a collection of issues 7–12.


The Eisner-nominated MONSTRESS is back! Maika, Kippa, and Ren journey to Thyria in search of answers to her past… and discover a new, terrible, threat. Collects MONSTRESS #7-12

Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor

Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor

This science fiction novel by Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award–winning author Nnedi Okorafor sounds rather interesting, plus I’ve heard great things about it (and, I must admit, the cover drew my eye!). The publisher’s website has an excerpt from Lagoon.


It’s up to a famous rapper, a biologist, and a rogue soldier to handle humanity’s first contact with an alien ambassador—and prevent mass extinction—in this novel that blends magical realism with high-stakes action.

After word gets out on the Internet that aliens have landed in the waters outside of the world’s fifth most populous city, chaos ensues. Soon the military, religious leaders, thieves, and crackpots are trying to control the message on YouTube and on the streets. Meanwhile, the earth’s political superpowers are considering a preemptive nuclear launch to eradicate the intruders. All that stands between seventeen million anarchic residents and death is an alien ambassador, a biologist, a rapper, a soldier, and a myth that may be the size of a giant spider, or a god revealed.

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