Somehow another month has come to an end. 2020 seems to be both an everlasting slog and still racing by! After 4 years I've finally been easing myself into a routine of actually treating this like what it is - my full time job - and have been working on all kinds of things including more reviews for the Indie Book Network, and a very special one off box that will be on sale in the next few days. All kinds of exciting things are going on, and a few reviews that were due to be posted around the end of the month have been a little delayed for various unavoidable reasons, so there will be lots of indie bookish goodness coming in October, but here's what we shared on the Indie Book Network in September:
Here on our blog we started the month with my review of Stolen Lives by Louise Hulland (Sandstone Press), which is an "insightful and thought provoking look into modern slavery in the UK", and much easier to read than the subject matter might make you think. In the middle of the month we guest hosted Louise for her first Indie Book Network review, of Inside the Beautiful Inside by Emily Bullock (Everything with Words) which is based on the story of a real person confined to a hospital for the insane during the 1800s. Finally on our blog I reviewed How to be Hopeful by Bernadette Russell (Elliot & Thompson), which is an absolutely gorgeous book that I think everyone should read immediately.
It's been lovely to welcome new reviewers to the Indie Book Network each month we've been running it so far, and this month my friend and long time supporter of indies Kate of the blog The Quiet Knitter got involved with her review of How the Wired Weep by Ian Patrick, which she describes as "an exciting and gritty thriller".
Speaking of thrillers, as always Jackie has been reading and reviewing indie books like a machine over the past months, with six reviews shared on the IBN including Dead Girls by Selva Almada (Charco Press), a non-fiction piece combining interviews, personal memoir and informed opinion to address the unsolved murders of women in Argentina. Indies publish so much fascinating stuff, such as London Undercurrents: the hidden histories of London's unsung heroines, north and south of the river, a collaboration between two poets, Joolz Sparkes and Hillaire (Holland Park Press), presenting a collection of poems about the women of London. Another location-based title is Unofficial Britain: Journeys Through Unexpected Places by Gareth E Rees, in which the author travels the country seeking out places that many people would overlook and delving into their histories. Another review from Jackie's blog this month was Postcard Stories 2 by Jan Carson, illustrated by Benjamin Phillips (The Emma Press), a collection of stories that were originally written on postcards and posted to people! I love receiving post so this just sounds brilliant to me.
From the unusual to the Booker Prize longlisted dystopian fiction, The New Wilderness by Diane Cook (Oneworld Publishing), where Jackie says that bar of the standard dystopia is "raised by the quality of writing and uncompromising approach to human self-interest.". The final review to mention in this months' round up is The Nacullians by Craig Jordan-Baker (Epoque Press), a "piercing and entertaining" story about three generations of a working class family, which sounds like a brilliant way to get immersed in someone else's (albeit fictional) life for a while!
Many thanks to all of the reviewers and publishers involved during September. If you'd like to be involved going forward, please check for more details & get in touch here.