What a phenomenal month October has been for the Indie Book Network! We've welcomed some new reviewers, and shared more reviews than ever before. In this post we've collected all of the titles reviewed during October, with links to the reviews.
Perfect for Hallowe'en, Louise's review of Women's Weird 2 edited by Melissa Edmundson (Handheld Press) is brilliant, encapsulating something that we're trying to hard to address with the book network: "This might not have been a volume I would have picked up in a bookshop, but I’m immensely pleased to have read it". Yes!
I think this month brought the most reviews I've written in one month for a very long time, and I was excited about every single one of them. During October I reviewed a chilling graphic novel about some very strange events going on in the town of Blackwood (by Hannah Eaton, published by Myriad Editions). The other two books I reviewed fall into similar categories, both being by 'forgotten' women writers! Dangerous Ages by Rose Macaulay is part of British Library Publishing's Women Writers series, and tells the story of three generations of women in one family as they grapple with their expected place in society.
They Knew Mr Knight by Dorothy Whipple (Persephone Books) is part of my ongoing quest to read all of the Dorothy Whipple books, and as always she did not disappoint. This is also the review where I compare Persephone Books and Blur, which may be the strangest comparison I've ever made...
Also here on our blog we shared reviews of two different works of fiction in translation. Firstly, London Under Snow by Jordi Llavina, trans. Douglas Suttle (Fum d'Estampa Press), reviewed by Alice and described as an "extraordinary short story collection", and secondly Learning to Talk to Plants by Marta Orriols, trans. Mara Faye Lethem (Pushkin Press), which Hetty reviewed for us, about a woman who is grieving the death of her partner, and trying to revive his collection of house plants.
Reviewer extraordinaire Jackie has shared five reviews this month, including the debut publication from The Common Breath, Waiting for Nothing by Tom Kromer. Real Life by Brandon Taylor (Daunt Books Publishing) and A Jealous Tide by Anna MacDonald (Splice), although not similar, are both stories about people leaving places and exploring stories and feelings along the way. London Incognita by Gary Budden (Dead Ink Books) is a collection of short stories that "explore the revenants and mythical beings that lurk in the shadows of our capital city". Jackie's final review for the Indie Book Network this month was
The Secret Life of Fungi: Discoveries from a Hidden World by Aliya Whiteley (Elliot & Thompson), which does what it says in the title but in a beautiful and unusual way.
This month we had our first video contribution when Ceri reviewed Heroine Chic by James William Purcell Webster (Inspired Quill), a collection of 52 very short stories celebrating the heroine's place in fantasy, science fiction and reality.
As the Women Lay Dreaming by Donald S Murray (Saraband Books) is based on a real event, the sinking of HMY Iolaire, and the repercussions that such tragic events send through history, affecting deeply those involved in them and their descendants. Thanks to Sarah for reviewing it for the Indie Book Network.
A second Saraband publication was reviewed by Leyla this month. Anne Bronte Reimagined by Adelle Hay sets out to dispel myths surrounding Anne and her works and encourage us to read her books! (I would say that I have read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and found it to be brilliant and much more humorous than some other Bronte sisters' works)
Finally Faces in the Crowd by Feng Jicai, trans Olivia Milburn (Sionist Books) and reviewed by Van, is a short story collection where each story is a distinctive character's voice, bringing together, as the subtitle says, '36 extraordinary tales of Tianjin'.
Many thanks to all of the reviewers and publishers involved during October. If you'd like to be involved going forward as either a publisher or a reviewer, please check for more details & get in touch here.