Books to Get Excited About in 2018 (from Independent Publishers)


This was so much fun to write last year that I decided to make it an annual feature! It's a great way to get a feel for the year ahead in publishing as well as hopefully get you all excited about some amazing indie books coming your way...

However since this year we're much more immersed in the world of indie publishers and catalogues we'll also be doing a monthly feature with all the books coming out that month that we couldn't fit into this post. So these are the ones we're super 'can't contain our excitement' excited about and wanted to let you know about right now so you can pre-order or add them to your wishlist!


January

Banthology: Stories from Unwanted Nations ed. Sarah Cleave (Comma Press)

I've been excited about this collection since it was first announced in the wake of the 'Muslim travel ban' and it's finally coming out in January. Bringing together writers from the seven 'banned' nations of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen this anthology collects pieces exploring the themes of restriction on movement. and the impact this has personally and politically.

The Chalk Artist by Allegra Goodman (Atlantic Books)

This is the story of Colin, a college drop-out and waiter/chalk artist, and Nina, an heiress/teacher. I read The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman years ago and have been searching for more of her books since then. This seems like it will be a sweet, inspiring story to start the year.

February

The Hoarder by Jess Kidd (Canongate)

We just announced our event with Jess Kidd as part of the London Bookshop Crawl so you can get tickets to hear her talk about her brilliant sounding new book! Her debut, Himself isn't my usual genre but I read it when I knew we'd be doing an event with her and it was phenomenal. The Hoarder is about an 'uninentional psychic' and her uncovering of the strange activities of the house she lives in and what is causing the hostility of her employer.

Hotel Silence by Audur Ava Olafsdottir (Pushkin Press)

Although we didn't end up including it, Butterflies in November was one of the first books I read for potential box inclusion so I was excited to hear about Hotel Silence. Jonas is depressed and thinking about ending it all when he buys a one way ticket to a dilapidated holiday resort and through his developing relationship with May and her young son he begins to discover reasons to go on...

March

Sunburn by Laura Lippman (Faber & Faber)

Mystery and intrigue! A woman walks out on her husband and child and appears to have vanished. The novel follows her to a new job, a new town, and a new acquaintance who knows more about her than a new acquaintance should. Who is she?

On Bodies (3 of Cups Press)

3 of Cups Press is an exciting new micro publisher launched in 2017. Their first anthology On Anxiety comes out in January and this second one will be funded through Kickstarter in 2018 so watch out for an alert for that in our monthly newsletter. On Bodies will be an anthology of short stories, essays and poetry all about our relationships with our bodies.

April

The Chosen Ones (Worldquake #2) by Scarlett Thomas (Canongate)

The second book in my current favourite series, The Chosen Ones follows Effie and Maximilian as they mysteriously vanish. Have they gone to the Otherworld or the Underworld? Or neither? Their friends, Wolf, Raven and Lexy don't know where to turn, and Raven's horse has revealed that Effie is in deep danger and time is running out...

The One who Wrote Destiny by Nikesh Shukla (Atlantic)

About immigration, family and brilliant sounding novel following the lives of four people as they try to deal with the reality of their expectations and the situations they find themselves in.

Young Anne by Dorothy Whipple (Persephone Books)

Persephone Books are perpetual favourites of mine and I've loved every Dorothy Whipple I've read so far so this seems like a winning combination. I can't find out any actual information about the book, but I'm sure it'll be good.

May

Blackwood by Hannah Eaton (Myriad Editions)

2018 is the year of new books by authors of books I've previously loved. Hannah Eaton's graphic memoir Naming Monsters has been a favourite of mine for a few years. Blackwood is a completely different beast, being a murder mystery. Two murders have occured 65 years apart in the same village, bearing remarkable similarities. Past and present collide for 93 year old Peg and other members of the village and we soon discover the town has many secrets.

The Baghdad Clock by Shahad Al Rawi (Oneworld)

The Baghdad Clock follows two young Iraqi girls through their childhood dreams and school life in Baghdad during the first Gulf War. Juxtaposing the innocence of childhood and growing up against a backdrop of a country torn apart by war this seems like a book in a similar vein to How to be a Kosovan Bride by Naomi Hamill, a book which I recently read and adored.

June

We Shall Fight Until We Win (404 Ink)

Potentially the book I am most excited about this year, We Shall Fight Until We Win sees a partnership between kick ass indie press 404 Ink, whose Nasty Women anthology was a huge highlight of 2017, and comics publisher BHP Comics. Celebrating the centenary of women getting the vote this will be an anthology of pieces on all aspects of the history of women's suffrage and women in politics and all in graphic format. Feminism and comics is always a win-win combination for me!

Creative Superpowers by Laura Jordan Bambach (Unbound)

"We believe that we are about to enter a new Age of Creativity that will require a new set of super heroes to help the world thrive." Creative Superheroes is a non-fiction book aimed at helping people unlock their 'creative superpowers' through rediscovering childhood skills and learning new ones, ending up with a series of workshop ideas aimed to help you use the skills you have learned. This is just up my street and is currently open for pledges on Unbound.

September

The Lady Doctor by Ian Williams (Myriad Editions)

The follow up to The Bad Doctor this is another graphic novel and promises 'lightness of touch' and a 'gentle look at the sufferings of humanity' in this story of Lois Pritchard, a GP. Starting guitar lessons on her 40th birthday didn't have the effect she'd hoped and she's having to look for more radical solutions to her personal life. Meanwhile her patients' stories provide some much needed relief....

And the Wind Sees All by Gudmundur Andri Thorsson (Pereine Press)

Described as 'relaxing Nordic hygge in a novel; the entire story takes place in two minutes'. And that sold me to be honest.

October

(A Girl's Guide to) Sensible Footwear by Kate Charlesworth (Myriad Editions)

2018 is full of intriguing sounding graphic novels. This is another non-fiction but falls more into the personal memoir camp. (A Girl's Guide to) Sensible Footwear is both Kate Charlesworth's own story and a lesbian history from the 1950s to the present day. It is a "glorious political and personal history that gives Pride a run for its money". I personally absolutely loved Pride, so I'm definitely eagerly anticipating this!

Little by Edward Carey (Aardvark Bureau)

I do feel slightly like this entire post has been me going 'I'm so excited about this one!' but seriously. This is a book about Madame Tussaud and although I've known her name all my life and been to the waxworks I know absolutely nothing about her. For example, I didn't know that at 18 she became art tutor to the sister of the King, or that she was nearly beheaded during the French Revolution. Her story sounds awesome.

I hope you've found some new titles here to add to your wishlist! You may also see some of these titles turn up in our Book Club (subscriptions are open for February...) and although there are fewer titles in this post than there were in the 2017 equivalent it's only because we plan to do more of these throughout the year. What books are you most looking forward to in 2018?


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