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. 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. Book covers and some titles are affiliate links to Bookshop, and I earn from qualifying purchases.

It has been a while since one of these posts, both because there weren’t new books to discuss until somewhat recently and because an overwhelming amount of things have been going on, particularly moving preparations. Today I’m highlighting the books that I received in the mail or downloaded since the last one of these posts that sound most interesting.

There is a review from earlier this month, in case you missed it:

  • Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh —  Although I didn’t find the characters terribly compelling, I found the speculative aspects and questions explored in this science fiction novel interesting to consider.

On to the newest books added to the TBR!

The Bone Shard Emperor by Andrea Stewart - Book Cover

The Bone Shard Emperor (The Drowning Empire #2) by Andrea Stewart

This sequel to The Bone Shard Daughter will be released on November 9 (hardcover, ebook, audiobook).

I’m incredibly excited to find out what happens after the first book in this epic fantasy trilogy, which is set in an archipelago controlled by an emperor who uses bone shard magic. As I mentioned in my review of The Bone Shard Daughter, I particularly enjoyed reading about the emperor’s daughter as she tried to uncover her father’s secrets and the secretly-soft-hearted smuggler with his adorable animal companion.

Andrea Stewart also discussed a couple of the characters, a governor’s daughter and a commoner, and exploring their already-established romance in her 2020 Women in SF&F Month guest post, “Happily Ever Aftermath.”


In this action-packed magical fantasy epic, a heroine at the head of a powerful empire confronts a raging battle as she’s forced to do whatever it takes to restore peace.

The Emperor is Dead. Long live the Emperor.

Lin Sukai finally sits on the throne she won at so much cost, but her struggles are only just beginning. Her people don’t trust her. Her political alliances are weak. And in the north-east of the Empire, a rebel army of constructs is gathering, its leader determined to take the throne by force.

Yet an even greater threat is on the horizon, for the Alanga–the powerful magicians of legend–have returned to the Empire. They claim they come in peace, and Lin will need their help in order to defeat the rebels and restore peace.

But can she trust them?

Goliath by Tochi Onyebuchi - Book Cover

Goliath by Tochi Onyebuchi

This science fiction book, Tochi Onyebuchi’s first published adult novel, will be released on January 25, 2022 (hardcover, ebook, audiobook).

Tochi Onyebuchi is also the author of the award-nominated YA science fiction novel War Girls, the Nommo Award–winning YA fantasy novel Beasts Made of Night, and the science fiction novella Riot Baby. The latter won the New England Book Award for Fiction, and it is a  Hugo, Nebula, Word Fantasy, NAACP Image, Locus, Nommo, and Goodreads Choice Awards finalist.


In his adult novel debut, Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and NAACP Image Award finalist and ALA Alex and New England Book Award winner Tochi Onyebuchi delivers a sweeping science fiction epic in the vein of Samuel R. Delany and Station Eleven

In the 2050s, Earth has begun to empty. Those with the means and the privilege have departed the great cities of the United States for the more comfortable confines of space colonies. Those left behind salvage what they can from the collapsing infrastructure. As they eke out an existence, their neighborhoods are being cannibalized. Brick by brick, their houses are sent to the colonies, what was once a home now a quaint reminder for the colonists of the world that they wrecked.

A primal biblical epic flung into the future, Goliath weaves together disparate narratives–a space-dweller looking at New Haven, Connecticut as a chance to reconnect with his spiraling lover; a group of laborers attempting to renew the promises of Earth’s crumbling cities; a journalist attempting to capture the violence of the streets; a marshal trying to solve a kidnapping–into a richly urgent mosaic about race, class, gentrification, and who is allowed to be the hero of any history.

Additional Book(s):