The Publishing Post
A Good Book: Indie Reviews
By Amelia Bashford
Often our shelves are stacked high with a plethora of incredible books published by ‘The Big 5’. But, it is important to remember to support smaller publishers and we want to give you some recommendations that are often overlooked on the major bestseller lists.
Below are three of our top favourite books published by independent publishers in the past year.
This Good Book
Iain Hood writes beautifully in his debut novel, This Good Book, published by Renard Press. The work of a true poet, this book is as dark and psychotic as it is beautiful and delicate. Born and raised in Glasgow, Iain writes what he knows, from the street names to the clever twisted humour.
Set in Glasgow, this story follows a young artist’s search for perfection in her painting as her friend finds new fame. Effortlessly juggling complex issues surrounding religion and self-acceptance, This Good Book is a must-read for every struggling artist and anyone that has ever taken something too far.
When Susan first sets her eyes on Douglas from across the room, she knows he is the only one that can do justice to her crucifix painting. With an overbearing Christian mother who spouts the Bible at every chance she gets, it is no wonder the painting Susan fixates her attention on is the crucifixion of Christ himself. She must paint Douglas as Christ; the moment she realises this is the moment she can never have anyone else. Together, between painting Douglas for her art and going to award shows to celebrate his, the two form the most unlikely friendship.
Whilst Douglas is praised for his weird and wacky art under the bright lights of fame and glamour, his modelling for Susan’s long-suffering Christ grows more sinister as the years go by. Susan’s art spends years hiding in the shadows, never good enough for her to show in the light of day.
No book has ever reminded me of The Picture of Dorian Grey quite like this, not for a similar storyline, but for the feeling I felt whilst reading it. Both question the lengths taken in the name of art whilst making you acutely aware of your skewed moral compass.
The Art of Drowning
The Art of Drowning is another debut book, this time written by Abigail Wild and published by Cable Creek Publishing. Abigail’s wonderous writing, coupled with their expert publishing, has created a masterpiece that will have the coldest of hearts softening and the driest of eyes crying. The tale follows the lives of Larkin and Reagan, competitors in everything with a strong hatred for each other. However, the two have more in common than either of them realises.
Two years after the accident that left her with post-concussion syndrome, Larkin finally returns to school. No longer the same person, she soon becomes aware of how much has changed in her absence. Larkin’s mental health becomes increasingly concerning as she struggles to return to this new reality, feeling more alone than ever.
Reagan reels with anger as Larkin returns to school, awful as her accident was, it gave Reagan the opportunity for the perfect life. Reagan has the gorgeous boyfriend and the top spot on the soccer team, all of which are now under threat as Larkin returns. However, her priorities’ may not be as superficial as they seem.
Perfect for lovers of 13 Reasons Why and The Midnight Library, Abigail Wild has encapsulated the harsh realities of mental health perfectly with sensitivity and understanding, all whilst wrapped up in a gripping story. This book is not to be missed.
Written by teenager Trinity Rose Crane and published by Jasami Publishing, this book also includes glorious illustrations. Together they have created a classic young adult tale of warlocks, vampires and werewolves. As Trinity Rose Crane’s debut book, this is an exciting insight into her future as an author. Here at The Publishing Post cannot wait to see what her imagination brings us next.
Following the life of Abby and her twin Holly, Hell’s Daughter begins as Holly and Abby are getting ready for a party. As Abby walks in, she instantly sets her sights on a boy standing in the corner, his piercing eyes steadily focusing on her every move. Before she can ask his name, screaming comes from outside. Suddenly Abby and her sister find themselves thrown into the world of the supernatural, fighting off the demon Silven in the hope to save the world as they know it.
Well written and fast-paced, this 200-page imaginative rollercoaster is the perfect read for all abilities and attention spans. Fans of Twilight and Harry Potter alike will be captivated by this modern-day merging of the two worlds.