The Leaning Pile of Books is a feature in which I highlight books I got over the last week that sound like they may be interesting—old or new, bought or received in the mail for review consideration (the latter of which are mainly unsolicited books from publishers). 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, along with series information and the publisher’s book description. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Last week’s books are all purchases: two I ordered from Bookshop during the #BlackoutBestsellerList campaign and one new ebook.

Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh - Cover Image

Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh

I somehow missed hearing about this Alex Award–winning science fiction title until recently, but Do You Dream of Terra-Two? went straight onto the wish list after I did hear about it.

It’s available in hardcover, trade paperback, ebook, and audiobook, and the author’s website has an excerpt from Do You Dream of Terra-Two?


An NPR favorite book of 2019
Winner of the ALA/YALSA Alex Award

When an Earth-like planet is discovered, a team of six teens, along with three veteran astronauts, embark on a twenty-year trip to set up a planet for human colonization—but find that space is more deadly than they ever could have imagined.

Have you ever hoped you could leave everything behind?
Have you ever dreamt of a better world?
Can a dream sustain a lifetime?

A century ago, an astronomer discovered an Earth-like planet orbiting a nearby star. She predicted that one day humans would travel there to build a utopia. Today, ten astronauts are leaving everything behind to find it. Four are veterans of the twentieth century’s space-race.

And six are teenagers who’ve trained for this mission most of their lives.

It will take the team twenty-three years to reach Terra-Two. Twenty-three years locked in close quarters. Twenty-three years with no one to rely on but each other. Twenty-three years with no rescue possible, should something go wrong.

And something always goes wrong.

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon - Cover Image

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

I’ve heard a lot of praise for Rivers Solomon’s debut science fiction novel, and An Unkindness of Ghosts has received a lot of recognition since its publication: it won the Firecracker Award for Fiction, was selected for the Tiptree Honor List, is a Stonewall Honor Book in Literature, and was a finalist for the Locus Award for First Novel and the Lambda Award for LGBTQ SF/F/Horror.

It’s available in trade paperback, ebook, and audiobook (and hardcover, although that appears to be rarer and more expensive at this point), and The Rumpus has an excerpt from An Unkindness of Ghosts.


Odd-mannered, obsessive, withdrawn–botanist and healer Aster Gray has little to offer folks in rebuttal when they call her ogre and freak. She’s used to the names; she only wishes there was more truth to them. If she were truly the monster they accused of her being, she’d be powerful enough to tear down the walls of HSS Matilda, the generation ship ferrying the last of humanity to a mythical Promised Land.

When a series of blackouts threatens Matilda‘s voyage as well as the lonely life Aster has carved out for herself in the slum decks of the ship, she becomes embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer bent on bringing her to heel. Aster may have found a way to improve her lot–if she’s willing to take him on and sow the seeds of civil war.

AN UNKINDNESS OF GHOSTS was a best book of 2017 in The Guardian, NPR, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Bustle, Bookish, Barnes & Noble, and more, as well as a Stonewall Honor Book, Firecracker winner, and a finalist for a Locus, Lambda, Tiptree, and Hurston/Wright award.

Of Dragons, Feasts and Murders by Aliette de Bodard - Cover Image

Of Dragons, Feasts and Murders (Dominion of the Fallen Novella) by Aliette de Bodard

Of Dragons, Feasts and Murders, a Dominion of the Fallen story about Thuan and Asmodeus, just came out last week (paperback, ebook). I’m not sure if it’s technically a novelette or a novella since I’ve seen it referred to as both of these.

Although it is set after the books in the Dominion of the Fallen trilogy, it is a standalone. I couldn’t resist getting it since Thuan was my favorite character in The House of Binding Thorns, plus it involves the Dragon Kingdom. (And I loved Thuan and Asmodeus together in the second book!)


From the author of the critically acclaimed Dominion of the Fallen trilogy comes a tale of dragons, and Fallen angels—and also kissing, sarcasm and stabbing.

Lunar New Year should be a time for familial reunions, ancestor worship, and consumption of an unhealthy amount of candied fruit.

But when dragon prince Thuan brings home his brooding and ruthless husband Asmodeus for the New Year, they find not interminable family gatherings, but a corpse outside their quarters. Asmodeus is thrilled by the murder investigation; Thuan, who gets dragged into the political plotting he’d sworn off when he left, is less enthusiastic.

It’ll take all of Asmodeus’s skill with knives, and all of Thuan’s diplomacy, to navigate this one—as well as the troubled waters of their own relationship….

A sparkling standalone book set in a world of dark intrigue.

A Note on Chronology
Spinning off from the Dominion of the Fallen series, which features political intrigue in Gothic devastated Paris, this book stands alone, but chronologically follows The House of Sundering Flames. It’s High Gothic meets C-drama in a Vietnamese inspired world—perfect for fans of The Untamed, KJ Charles, and Roshani Chokshi’s The Gilded Wolves.