Indie Books Challenge: June 2021

Indie Books Challenge June 2021

Yes, my blog is on a two week break, but I’ve committed to posting about this at the end of every month regardless of the day or if I’m taking a break. After this, I’ll be back with my regular posts on July 12th.

Also, feel free to stop by my Instagram and Twitter as I’ve decided to do a world tour via books over the next week and a half. First stop: Italy!

For my personal Indie Books Challenge, I’ve decided to try to have at least half of all the books I read in a month be by an indie author or published by an indie publishing house, which I’m broadly defining as not published by one of the Big 5 because doing otherwise would break my already exhausted brain. So, how did I do in June?

I read 10 books and 4 were definitely indie books. Eh, I guess I could have done better, but then I took a look at my NetGalley shelf, realized almost half of them are set to be published in July, and hopped right on them in a panic. Here’s to hoping for a better July!

The Indie Books

Find by Steve Dunn HansonSince I ended May reading Find by Steve Dunn Hanson, June started off with finishing this one. It turned out to be less archaeology and more religion, but the author assured me it all makes sense by the third book in the series. Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of religion and religious ideology being that present in the books I read (as in the entire very long epilogue), so I won’t be continuing the series, but it wasn’t really a bad read. Review

Eastover Treasures by Dawn BrothertonEastover Treasures by Dawn Brotherton, published by Blue Dragon Publishing, features a fun treasure hunt and flashbacks to the family that owned Eastover during the Civil War. I almost missed this one since I’ve been so behind on review requests, so I’m glad I saw it in time. It’s neither thriller nor true cozy mystery. It actually is, pure and simple, a treasure hunt. It was a ton of fun to read and just the light sort of read I needed after some really nutty books. Review

The Wonder Test by Michelle RichmondThe Wonder Test by Michelle Richmond, published by Atlantic Monthly Press, has all the makings of being a delightful suburban thriller with everyone in an exclusive neighborhood being consumed and obsessed with the results of something high school students take called the Wonder Test. Unfortunately, it was more focused on a recently widowed FBI agent trying to get her head back into the game. Review

Lost on a Page by David E. SharpLost on Page by David E. Sharp will be published by Black Rose Writing tomorrow. This was a crazy romp through books as characters in a fantasy book realize they are characters and jump into a detective book to recruit its protagonist. It was a lot of fun and humorous, but was maybe a little too ambitious.

The Books from the Big 5

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha SuriI left off May working my way through The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri, which was published by Orbit. This is a fantastic, slow, sapphic Indian-inspired fantasy. There’s so much in it, but it all blends perfectly for an amazing start to what promises to be a beautiful trilogy. Review


Rabbits by Terry MilesRabbits by Terry Miles was my first Big 5 full read of the month, being published by Del Rey. This was easily the weirdest, most mind consuming book I’ve ever read. I once thought House of Leaves was crazy, but Rabbits is definitely right next to it. It was crazy and nutty and I loved every bit of the journey. Review

When the Sparrow Falls by Neil SharpsonWhen the Sparrow Falls by Neil Sharpson, published by Tor/Forge, was not at all what I expected. I loved everything about the world building and was so caught up in it that I didn’t even realize the story wasn’t really moving until about two-thirds of the way through when suddenly there’s a million things happening all at once. A crazy sci-fi featuring AI, a country that feels very post-war, and so many twists, plots, and machinations, I really enjoyed this one. Review

We Have Always Been Here by Lena NguyenWe Have Always Been Here by Lena Nguyen will be published by DAW on July 6th. Described as a science fiction psychological thriller, it delivers on both fronts. It’s set on a spaceship sent to survey a new planet for colonization, but then the human crew starts to have waking nightmares and the android crew starts to exhibit human characteristics. This was definitely a wild ride to read!

To Walk Alone in the Crowd by Antonio Munoz MolinaTo Walk Alone in the Crowd by Antonio Munoz Molina will be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux on July 13th. This was…not what I was expecting. As literary fiction, it does absolutely have that beautiful lyrical quality I love so much. But some of the subject matter disturbed me, especially on how the author wrote about women.


Such a Quiet Place by Megan MirandaI’ll be ending June with Such a Quiet Place by Megan Miranda, which is set to be published by Simon & Schuster on July 13th. I didn’t realize it until I started it yesterday that its time frame is the same one I’m reading it during: end of June through early July. The Fourth of July holiday. I’ve never had such good timing with a book! Though kind of wishing it hadn’t been for a thriller, even though the thrills have just barely begun halfway through.

Thanks for reading! See you again on July 12th!

Head over to the Bookshelf to check out my reviews of books from the Big 5 and self-published, indie, and small press books.

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