I've been getting ready for next year's Indie Challenge - scheduling upcoming books' posts and working on our suggestion posts for each of the bingo squares. I've also been putting together my own TBR and I'm excited to share it with you all! If you have one of your own feel free to share it in the comments and sign up for the challenge.
Here is my potential TBR. It covers every square of the bingo board and I'm cautiously optimistic.
Heartstopper by Alice Oseman is one I'm pretty sure I'm going to kick off the year with.
Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn't been too great, but at least he's not being bullied anymore, and he's sort of got a boyfriend, even if he's kind of mean and only wants to meet up in secret. Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He's heard a little about Charlie - the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months - but he's never had the opportunity to talk to him. That is, until the start of January, in which Nick and Charlie are placed in the same form group and made to sit together. They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn't think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner...
Alice Oseman is a genius of a writer and I highly recommend checking out her other books too, although they aren't indie.
Squares: A crowdfunded book, Kids/YA, Marginalised people, LGBTQIA
Moonlocket by Peter Bunzl (Usborne) is the sequel to Cogheart (we've got copies in our shop if you'd like one!).
Storm clouds gather over Lily and Robert's summer when criminal mastermind the Jack of Diamonds appears. For Jack is searching for the mysterious Moonlocket - but that's not the only thing he wants. Suddenly, dark secrets from Robert's past plunge him into danger. Jack is playing a cruel game that Robert is a part of. Now Lily and Malkin, the mechanical fox, must stay one step ahead before Jack plays his final, deadly card...
Squares: Genre fiction, Recommended by a friend, Book from a series, A book from your TBR, Kids/YA.
Light Box by KJ Orr (Daunt Books) is a collection of short stories that I won from the Republic of Consciousness Prize raffle and have been meaning to read ever since!
From Argentina to Siberia, Papua New Guinea to London and New York, Light Box explores lives in transition, in a world where boundaries and human relationships are shifting. An astronaut struggles to adapt to life back on earth; a young man discovers he is going blind in a foreign city; a retired plastic surgeon uncovers old wounds; and two lovers become unexpectedly intimate. Each tale in K J Orr’s moving collection is charged with the irrepressible human urge to connect in the face of disorientating change. With exquisitely cadenced storytelling, Orr introduces us to worlds and places that are both familiar and askew. Her landscapes are instantly recognisable, yet tinged with a lingering sense of uncertainty. The result is a wonderfully diverse and captivating debut from a rising literary talent.
Squares: a new to you press, a book from your TBR.
My Shitty Twenties by Emily Morris (Salt).
When Emily Morris was 22 and half way through university, she found out she was pregnant. It felt like an alien invasion but her instincts took over and, despite being totally unmaternal, she found herself going ahead with the pregnancy. My Shitty Twenties is based on an award-winning blog about being a single mum. Emily Morris started writing when her son was two and she needed to try to find something funny in a crap, banal day. Six years later, this is her story.
Squares: A debut, a book from your TBR, Biography, Non-Fiction.
Who Will Catch us as We Fall? by Iman Verjee (Oneworld)
Haunted by a past that has kept her from Nairobi for over three years, Leena returns home to discover her family unchanged: her father is still a staunch patriot dreaming of a better country; her mother is still unwilling or unable to let go of the past; and her brother spends his days provoking the establishment as a political activist. When Leena meets a local Kikuyu artist whose past is linked to her own, the two begin a secret affair—one that forces Leena to again question her place in a country she once called home. Interlinked with Leena’s story is that of Jeffery: a corrupt policeman burdened with his own angers and regrets, and whose questionable actions have unexpected and catastrophic consequences for those closest to him. Who Will Catch Us As We Fall is an epic look at the politics and people of Kenya.
Squares: An author from another country, a book from your TBR
People in the Room by Norah Lange (And Other Stories)
A young woman in Buenos Aires spies three women in the house opposite her family’s home. Intrigued, she begins to watch them. She imagines them as accomplices to an unknown crime, as troubled spinsters contemplating suicide, or as players in an affair with dark and mysterious consequences.
Lange’s imaginative excesses and almost hallucinatory images make this uncanny exploration of desire, domestic space, voyeurism and female isolation a twentieth-century masterpiece. Too long viewed as Borges’s muse, Lange is today recognised in the Spanish-speaking world as a great writer and is here translated into English for the first time, to be read alongside Virginia Woolf, Clarice Lispector and Marguerite Duras.
Squares: an author from another country, Translated book.
The Bible ed Lauren Nikodemus & Ellen Desmond
Bisexuals inhabit a liminal space between cultures, often misunderstood or dismissed by the straight and LGBTQ+ communities alike. We are the sexual identity most likely to be closeted, most at risk of mental illness, domestic abuse, and even heart disease – but also the least visible. Now, a selection of intersectional bi voices has come together to share their stories, helping our voices be heard and our identities seen. It's time to stand up and spread the word.
Squares: a new to you press, book that defies genre, marginalised people, an anthology, book from a micro press, LGBTQIA.
Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter (Faber & Faber)
In a London flat, two young boys face the unbearable sadness of their mother's sudden death. Their father, a Ted Hughes scholar and scruffy romantic, imagines a future of well-meaning visitors and emptiness. In this moment of despair they are visited by Crow - antagonist, trickster, healer, babysitter. This self-described sentimental bird is attracted to the grieving family and threatens to stay until they no longer need him. As weeks turn to months and physical pain of loss gives way to memories, this little unit of three begin to heal. In this extraordinary debut - part novella, part polyphonic fable, part essay on grief, Max Porter's compassion and bravura style combine to dazzling effect. Full of unexpected humour and profound emotional truth, Grief is the Thing with Feathers marks the arrival of a thrilling new talent.
Squares: A debut, book that defies genre, An award winner, a press over 20 years old.
A Burglary by Amy Dillwyn (Honno Press)
Clever, yet comic and riveting, this Victorian novel of manners was first published in 1883 in three volumes novel - known as a 'three-decker'.
At Llwyn -yr-Allt, heiress Ethel Carton is robbed of her prized jewels. A local collier and poacher is accused, but the real culprit is Sylvester, a gentleman and shady financier. The villain goes unsuspected until he falls for the headstrong yet moral Welsh heroine Imogen Rhys. The "unconscious influence" of Ethel and her young cousin Imogen inspires both love and goodness despite diversion and danger in a sensational, dramatic dénouement.
Squares: A women's press, A press over 20 years old.
The Waterfront Journals by David Wojnarowicz (Peninsula Press)
Before his death from AIDS in 1992, David Wojnarowicz became known in the 1980s as an outspoken AIDS activist, anticensorship advocate, artist, and writer. Written as short monologues, each of these powerful, early works of autobiographical fiction is spoken in the voice of a character he stumbles upon during travels throughout America.
Squares: Est. 2018, book that defies genre, out of your comfort zone.
Dragon's Green by Scarlett Thomas (Canongate)
Effie Truelove believes in magic, as does her grandfather Griffin (although he refuses to do any magic, let alone teach Effie how to use it). After a mysterious incident leaves Griffin close to death, Effie is given an unusual silver ring and told she must look after her grandfather’s library of rare and powerful books. But then the books fall into the hands of shady scholar Leonard Levar, and Effie is propelled into the most dangerous adventure of her life. Now, Effie and her friends—nerdy Maximilian, rugby-mad Wolf, helpful Lexy, and eccentric Raven—must discover their true powers if they are to get the books back. And Effie alone will have to travel to the Otherworld, where she will uncover the true meaning of the strange old book called Dragon’s Green…
Squares: Favourite, Kids/YA, Book from a series.
Just Let me Have This by Heather Sweeney
Heather Sweeney's first poetry collection focuses on the textural, minute details of the self and memory. With a sharp awareness of today's culture and the past, this collection flickers in and out of clarity and dream, of the surreal and the painfully true.
Squares: A poetry collection, a debut, a new to your press, a crowdfunded book, out of your comfort zone, book from a micro press.
All of the titles link directly to the publishers, where you can buy your own copy if you so desire. Have you read any of these books? Are any of them on your TBR for the challenge? Don't forget to link up your posts & videos through the sign up and spread the word using #IndieChallenge.