The Indie Challenge : Some Books You Should Read

2018 is fast approaching and we've started thinking properly about the Indie Challenge. In case you missed it we've pledged to buy only independently published books during 2018. Since we posted about it we've also decided to try to make at least half of our reading indie too, and we're inviting you to join us!

Join us! You don't have to buy only indie books, but you do have to buy more indie than usual. Post about the challenge on your blog, twitter, Instagram, wherever, and link up your Indie Challenge related posts in the comments to win prizes...

Each blog post/twitter thread relating to the challenge and linked up in the comments below by December 31st 2018 will get you a chance to win £30 of books from

For those of you who aren't already immersed in the world of independent publishing and may be struggling (as we were when we first decided to launch Ninja Book Box) to come up with indie inspiration, we plan to be the fountain of all knowledge! We are going to have our 25 books to look for in 2018 coming very soon on the blog, and then each month throughout 2018 we'll be featuring posts on loads of wonderful stuff released that month, as well as having our usual reviews of older indie books and posting more Indie TBR posts!

To start off with we thought we'd write this post sharing some of the independently published books we absolutely love and think you should add to your wishlist immediately! We'd love it if you'd share yours in your own blog post or in the comments too...

We've mentioned our intense love for The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Walker Books) already this year in our mid-point recommendations but I just wanted to throw it out again in case there's anybody left in the world who hasn't read it. It's absolutely beautiful, heartbreaking, and the most thought provoking book likely to change the actions of people who will actually change the world as a result of it. You'll probably cry but it's so worth it.

Recently we read and loved A Man of Shadows by Jeff Noon (Angry Robot Books), and we think it'd be perfect for lovers of detective mysteries, science fiction and anyone who just loves a good story. Check out our review of it here.

Child protagonist of the year is a split which is unusual as I'm usually not the biggest fan, but this year of course the phenomenal Dragon's Green by Scarlett Thomas (Canongate) absolutely blew me away. It's one of my favourite books of the past few years and I've talked about my undying love for it already, as have many of the lucky people who received it in our May box. The second book in the series, The Chosen Ones comes out in April, I'm squealing. However I also read another book this year with a really interested in child as a central character. The Red Beach Hut by Lynn Michell (Inspired Quill) is a really quiet, absorbing kind of book and I wanted to give Neville a big hug. You can read more of my thoughts about it here.

If you're interested in books which make you want to find out more about history or things which are happening in the world then I'd highly recommend both The Gurugu Pledge by Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel (And Other Stories) and How to be a Kosovan Bride by Noami Hamill (Salt). Excellently written (if very different) stories, I've already noted my thoughts about The Gurugu Pledge but How to be a Kosovan Bride was the choice for our November Ninja Book Club and the discussion we had was wonderful. It uses Kosovan folklore to tell the story of two characters, 'the Kosovan Bride' and 'the Returned Girl' in Kosovo in the period after the Kosovan war. It's a beautiful book, full of quiet pain and absolutely brilliant writing.

Speaking of quiet pain and beautiful writing, I've also already mentioned Sometimes a River Song by Avril Joy (Linen Press) which we included in our Summer Reading box (yes there will be a 2018 version, sign up to our newsletter to be kept up to date). It has one of the most unusual narrative voices I've ever encountered and being a water person myself I absolutely loved the way the river was almost a character in the novel.

Finally (and another book club choice) if you're into folklore at all you should definitely pick up Sealskin by Su Bristow (Orenda Books). Based on the legend of the selkies the novel explores human relationships and whether love can ever grow from an act of brutality. I hugged the book when I finished it because I loved it so much.

We could have gone on and one with this list, but we'll stop there for now! Make sure you're following our blog to keep up with all the indie goodness coming your way, and don't forget to link up your own posts in the comments for your chance to win £30 of books!

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