Happy Monday everyone! We're so excited to launch this new project which is, to be completely honest with you, pretty much just a way to build our ever increasing TBRs!
I'm sure most people are familiar with the idea of a shelfie - where you take pictures of your bookshelves. Here at Ninja Book Box HQ we store our independently published books on separate shelves from the rest and we thought it would be fun to take an #indieshelfie and show you what's there, and then we thought why not create an Indie Book Tag to go along with it!
We'll go first to give you an idea of what we're thinking and then we'd absolutely love it if you'd play along and tweet/instagram/Litsy/whatever pictures of your independently published books (which can include books from independent publishers and self published books) whether they be on a shelf or in a pile, whether you have a hundred or just one we want to see them and share the indie love! Make sure you use #indieshelfie as we'll be retweeting and compiling a gallery and #indiebooktag for the questions, as we'll probably also be making a reading list.
There will be many giveaways and chances to win future Ninja Book Boxes & subscriptions so please make sure you're signed up to our newsletter and following us on social media (@NinjaBookBox on twitter, Instagram and Litsy and here on Facebook). Here's the first of my #indieshelfie pictures - there will be more!
Here goes nothing!
The Indie Book Tag
How familiar are you with independent publishers?
I've been reading independently published books for years without really being aware of it. One of my favourite authors, Scarlett Thomas, is independently published (by Canongate) and I've been reading her books without realising the significance for probably a decade. However it's only in the past year or so that I've really embarked on a journey of awareness about indie publishers.
Who's your favourite?
I have lots of love for lots of indies for many different reasons - Myriad Editions publish some absolutely brilliant graphic novels (keep an eye on the blog for upcoming adoration of For the Love of God, Marie! by Jade Sarson) and have a generally brilliant range plus being really friendly and helpful. I've been reviewing for them on my other blog for a long time and they continually impress me.
However this year in particular Persephone have really stolen my heart. If you don't know them, they're a (very) small publisher who have a bookshop in London where they actually operate their publishing business as well. We were lucky enough to get a guided tour and talk about the business and books when we visited on the London Bookshop Crawl earlier this year. They publish forgotten (mostly) women writers from between the wars and after and their books encompass such a broad spectrum. You also can't beat the look of a Persephone book for me - most of them are published with gorgeous grey covers and endpapers featuring a design from the year they were originally published and the air of mystery gained from not having a blurb is a brilliant plus for me, as I've now read enough of them to know I can absolutely trust any of their books to be phenomenal.
Do you have a favourite independently published book?
This is a difficult question, me! I have several and I've already talked a lot about Our Tragic Universe (Canongate) and Wild (Atlantic) so I'll go for This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz (Faber & Faber), a collection of short stories about Yunior, Diaz's protagonist in all of his books so far. Yunior's a young guy from the Dominican Republic whose family are immigrants to the US and the stories are about Yunior's relationships and the various ways that his background and culture impact on his life. Junot Diaz is a fantastic writer and I love him for so many reasons. If you've not read his work before I'm told reading them in publication order works best (Drown, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, This is How You Lose Her) but I didn't read them that way and didn't suffer for it.
What's a forthcoming book you're excited about from an independent?
Since reading Naming Monsters a few years ago I've been eagerly anticipating new stuff from Hannah Eaton and so I'm really really excited to read Blackwood, her new graphic novel. Unlike Naming Monsters this one is fiction, a murder mystery. Here's a little about it from the Myriad website:
A pair of murders has occurred 65 years apart, uncanny echoes of each other, in the ancient woodland beside Blackwood, a small town in middle England. Both evidence and local lore suggest overtones of ritual or of the occult. Past and present collide in the mind of 93-year-old Peg, while through her great-grandson 11-year-old Mason, and other members of her family, we soon discover that the town and Peg’s own life are full of secrets.
Which book from your #indieshelfie will you read next?
I'm really hoping to get to The Sculptor soon as I've heard such fantastic things about it and I really enjoy reading bulkier graphic novels!
And that's it! Have fun participating, don't forget to use the hashtags and look out for our fantastic February box which will be on sale from December 1st!