*Friday’s Five Books is a bi-weekly post on Between the Covers that highlights book recommendations from the reading community.
About Me: Hi guys! My name is Lori and I’m the indie lovin’ mastermind behind The Next Best Book Blog. I started blogging back in December 2009 after my TNBBC goodreads group took on a life of its own. I needed a soapbox from which to stand and shout my love for the independent and self-published novels. Blogging just seemed to fit that need so naturally. I’m here today to share 5 of my favorite indie and self-published novels with you; novels that I am terrified may slip by unnoticed; novels that deserve so much more attention than they have gotten. So, without further ado, and in no particular order….
Termite Parade by Joshua Mohr
Publisher: Two Dollar Radio
This is one novel that takes guilt to a whole new level. Imagine, in a moment of weakness, doing something horrible to the one you love. Then imagine regretting what you’ve done and wishing you could take it back but you can’t, so you lie about it. Imagine watching this person suffer because of what you did. Now imagine the guilt of that lie festering within you, chewing you up from the inside out, the way termites gnaw through wood. Joshua Mohr is a wickedly talented writer. This book is rock solid from beginning to end and should be read by everyone who has ever intentionally done something bad that left them with that “not so good” feeling. Seriously. That means YOU!
Banned For Life by D.R. Haney
Publisher: And/Or Press
This book is a chronicle of the life of fictitious punk rocker Jason Maddox and his obsession with Jim Cassidy, lead singer of Rule of Thumb, through the 80’s and 90’s. But it is so much more than that. Banned for Life goes deep beneath the skin, exposing the raw ugliness of drugs, sex, and rock and roll. It’s populated with people I can relate to, people with flaws and complexes, people who live and breathe and suffer and die. Its characters struggle to exorcise their inner demons. It’s an unbelievable story written by a first time novelist and will find it’s audience in fans of punk rock, underground concert-goers, and those who have hopelessly fallen in love with someone who is CLEARLY no good for you.
The Book by M. Clifford
Why this book is not on the top of every book list out there is beyond me. It’s an incredibly timely, frighteningly plausible future – a future where the government has made it illegal to own, buy, or sell paper books. A future where every citizen receives a government issued eBook that is automatically updated with every copy of every book that has ever been written, every magazine, every newspaper. Yet, while everyone trustingly has their noses buried in their digital books, one curious reader discovers the deep dark truth–everything they are reading has been altered in some way, shape, or form–and he will stop at nothing to expose the lie. This is a book that I recommend everyone read – Those for and those against eBooks will each find something to connect with when they read The Book.
Us by Michael Kimball
Publisher: Tyrant Books
Though it’s a fairly quick read, Us packs a lasting punch. It begins when a husband wakes to find his wife seizing in bed beside him. After delivering CPR and calling an ambulance, the novel follows our old man as he struggles to come to terms with the fact that his wife won’t be around forever. Cutting straight to the emotional core of each moment, Kimball uses sparse sentences and first person narration to work his spell on the reader. If nothing else, it will force you to remember to appreciate the people you love, because you never know when you might wake up to find them no longer there. If you’ve ever experienced grief, and I know you have, you must add this book to your reading queue. Immediately.
Ok, so I know I am totally cheating here, but there was no way I was going to pick between these two. They are equally awesome and deserving of your attention and here is why – Both are incredible short story collections that hold a mirror up to the strange, secretive lives we human beings live. Both have a strong, unifying theme that weaves its way through their respective stories. And both were written by authors that I am honored to have gotten to know through their work.
Thank you for the great recommendations from the indie and self-published communities, Lori!
**If you choose to purchase any of these titles using the links below, I will receive a small percentage of the sale (to be used toward site maintenance and buying more books).