I’m sorry to say, but this is the last Indie Books Challenge post. I’ve decided to take up a new challenge next year, so this is the end of my focus on indie reads. In a little over a week, next Monday, I’ll be posting about my 2022 challenge.
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 December?
I read 8 books and only 1 was an indie book. I’m quite sad about this considering this is the end of my Indie Books Challenge, but I had to get a move on with the books releasing in January and I had a couple others that have been sitting for a bit that I needed to get to before my guilt at not getting to them ate me up.
The Indie Book
I started Lucky King by Bruce Griffin Henderson in November and finished it up in December. It’s a fictional book following an ensemble cast in NYC about one year after 9/11. Some of the story lines were more interesting than others and some, well, I couldn’t quite figure out why they had been included, but I did really love the way the book wrapped up. It was a bit of a tiresome read, but the end really made up for it.
The Books from the Big 5
The Liar’s Knot by M.A. Carrick was the first one I picked up in December, just before it was published, and I’m grateful to the publisher for a physical copy, which arrived right around the time I got my COVID booster and spent a number of days dealing with side effects so it was a good week before I was able to crack it open. And then both my kids were wrapping up school for the year and that kept me busy so I ended up taking almost 3 weeks to finish this one. But I really enjoyed it, especially the last half. Definitely a knotted read!
I read 30 Things I Love About Myself by Radhika Sanghani at the same time I was reading The Liar’s Knot. This was a fun women’s fiction read about a 30 year old Indian woman living in the UK learning to love herself after spending her 30th birthday in jail. I loved how realistic it was with so many ups and downs, but it also felt a little long sometimes.
I followed that with Bad Luck Bridesmaid by Alison Rose Greenberg, which ended up being more disappointing. It’s women’s fiction, but is so wrapped up in romance that I didn’t remember that until the end when it kind of hit me over the top of my head. The description had me thinking rom-com, but it was anything but. Instead, I felt like I wandered a little too much in the main character’s head and memories.
A Practical Guide to Conquering the World by K.J. Parker was a much needed return to fantasy. This is the third in The Siege trilogy, but I’ve only previously read the second. It serves well enough as a standalone, but I think the second book was more interesting to me. I did like that this one emphasized the importance of learning from books, but it just felt too tongue-in-cheek to me and I didn’t actually like the narrator much.
Fan Fiction by Brent Spiner was one I’d been looking forward to since a copy from the publisher unexpectedly showed up on the publication date in October. It had been staring at me for over 2 months before I finally got a chance to read it. A fictionalized account of Spiner’s time on Star Trek: The Next Generation, it’s primarily about a stalker he acquires. I loved that I couldn’t tell what was fact and what was fiction, and I was amused from beginning to end.
I’ve been a huge fan of The Coffeehouse Mystery series by Cleo Coyle for over 15 years, so I was absolutely thrilled when I was approved for an eARC of #19, Honey Roasted. Usually, when these books come out at the end of the year, it comes out in December and I love cozying up with it during the winter break. This one was pushed back to January, but I made sure to make time for it during the winter break. I adore everything about this series, so really enjoyed this book, and I can’t wait to try out some of the recipes (thank goodness the eARC came with them all!).
Lastly, I’m closing out the year with Light Years From Home by Mike Chen. I am not a fan of aliens, but, for Mike Chen, I’ll read them. His first and third books (I decided to skip the second) really impressed me and I really like his writing style, so I’m really enjoying this one so far, even if I don’t really know what’s going on yet.
Thanks for reading!