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 covers the last two weeks since not many books showed up the week before—but a book that I’m very curious about showed up a few days ago!

In case you missed any recent posts, here’s what’s happened lately:

I recently finished reading the March Patreon book, The Midnight Queen by Sylvia Izzo Hunter, and am working on a review of it. Spoiler: I found it quite charming and enjoyable.

On to recent book arrivals!

Roses and Rot by Kat Howard

Roses and Rot by Kat Howard

This debut novel will be released on May 17 (hardcover, ebook). I’m quite intrigued by the description, which mentions several elements that I like—fairy tales, art and sacrifice, and sisters.


Imogen and her sister Marin have escaped their cruel mother to attend a prestigious artists’ retreat, but soon learn that living in a fairy tale requires sacrifices, be it art or love in this haunting debut fantasy novel from “a remarkable young writer” (Neil Gaiman).

What would you sacrifice in the name of success? How much does an artist need to give up to create great art?

Imogen has grown up reading fairy tales about mothers who die and make way for cruel stepmothers. As a child, she used to lie in bed wishing that her life would become one of these tragic fairy tales because she couldn’t imagine how a stepmother could be worse than her mother now. As adults, Imogen and her sister Marin are accepted to an elite post-grad arts program—Imogen as a writer and Marin as a dancer. Soon enough, though, they realize that there’s more to the school than meets the eye. Imogen might be living in the fairy tale she’s dreamed about as a child, but it’s one that will pit her against Marin if she decides to escape her past to find her heart’s desire.

Additional Books: