Note to self: Do not start challenges in the beginning of your semester. The tragic thing is I will. Over and over again. When it comes to books, my enthusiasm surpasses my sense.
However, it was still fun diving into the world of independent presses, a world which was much bigger than I had realized. I still consider the challenge a success because although I didn’t document much of it on here, unfortunately, I still discovered some great reads and presses that I will be paying much more attention to. Thus my foray into researching and reading indie presses is far from over, and now without the pressure of a challenge, I can read freely. The challenge led me to discover Sofia Samatar‘s A Stranger in Olandria (Small Beer Press). Her writing is drool worthy. It makes up for any flaw her books may have. I also loved Walker on Water by Kristiina Ehin (Unnamed Press) translated from the Estonian by Ilmar Lehtpere. This was a quirky and fantastical weird book. Amelie Nothomb’s Tokyo Fiancée translated by Alison Anderson was another favorite, and one of the best from the month. Her books are published by Europa Editions, and is one of the coolest indies out there in my opinion.
I wish I could have read more indie’s, but you know, papers don’t write themselves.
Other favorites from the month that were not indies, but are worth the read are Before we Were Free by Julia Alvarez.
I picked this one up in celebration of Latin Heritage month, and it also completes my Middle Grade read for the Read Harder Challenge. It tells the story of a Anita, a Dominican girl growing up in the Dominican Republic in the 1960s under the dictatorship Rafael Trujillo aka El Jefe. It’s always interesting to read historical fiction told through a child’s prospect. The novel follows her confusion, her curious insight into very serious matters, and her eventual growth and understanding that what she is living through is not the norm. It’s tragic, yet oddly uplifting . If you’re looking to dip into some historical Latin American novels, this is a good start.
Still on the indie kick, and I am currently a few pages in The Boy by Wystske Versteeg translated from the Dutch by Sarah Welling. (Hope Road Publishing). This was kindly sent to be by the publisher, and this is the first I’ve heard of this author. I’m eager to jump into this story which promises to be a tale of love, loss and revenge of sorts. Will report back once I’ve finished!
Also, I’m still on a fantasy kick at the moment, so I am reading the much loved Hugo winning novel, The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemison, and really loving it.
How was September like for you? What are you currently reading?