The Indie Challenge: First Quarter

Remember back at the end of last year when we boldly declared that we would be only buying independently published books all year in 2018? And that 50% of what we read would be indie too? Well, the first quarter of the year has passed and we have some updates...

Firstly, we'd like to apologise for the fact that the promised regular updates on what's being published each month have mostly failed to materialise so far. We are planning to get better at this, but have been putting behind the scenes stuff in order here so haven't got there yet.

My first downfall of the year was the London Bookshop Crawl, during which I was so distracted by the sheer amount of stuff going on (guided groups! book swap brunch! author events!) that I completely and utterly forgot about the Indie Challenge. However despite this almost half of the books I bought were independently published (The Hoarder, The Chosen Ones, The Evenings, The Edible Atlas, Bitch Planet Vol 2: President Bitch & The Humans - Canongate are unfairly represented totally by accident purely because they publish great books)

Since then though I've been very good, with the only non-indie books I've bought being Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls 2 and Stories for Boys who Dare to be Brave to read with my kids. I don't think it's helpful to berate yourself for slip ups though, so all I'm going to say is that going forward I'm going to try to do better!

I've read several really great indie books this year, and I think I've pretty much stuck to the 50% ratio. Among my favourites have been The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie, Murder in Montego Bay by Paula Lennon (Ninja Book Club books for March & April, respectively), My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem which has inspired a bit of a deep dive into feminist literature, and Upbeat: The Story of the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq by Paul McAlindin, a review of which is coming very soon.

We've had plenty of indie inspiration here on the blog and on our new Youtube channel though, with a video about my love of Dragon's Green by Scarlett Thomas, and reviews of Southerly, Love & Other Consolation Prizes, The Desserts of New York, and Writing Motherhood with another review video coming this Sunday. We started off the year strongly, with Books to Get Excited about in 2018 (from Independent Publishers) and carried it on with a post on Books to Help you Press for Progress for International Women's Day. Then we posted about some other great looking books from our November box publisher, Unsung Stories, and finally we posted our February Unboxing.

The 24 Hour Readathon is coming up again on April 28th and we're planning to pull together a mostly indie reading pile for it - if you're readathonning too make sure to tell us in the comments & let us know where you'll be posting updates so we can come and cheer you on! You should also look out on the readathon website for an exciting prize donation...

We've been following Indie Challenge participant Lisa's progress with interest - she's a Ninja Book Club member and is aiming to read 50% indie books this year. She's posted some really good review videos and we urge you to give them a watch!

Remember we're giving away £30 worth of books from Wordery to one lucky challenge participant! Just link up your entries via the linky below before December 31st and each link counts as an entry!

If you need a reminder about what the Indie Challenge is the original post is here.


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