We love independent publishers, but great indie releases have a way of getting past us. Enter the Indie Roundup, a monthly review of new books we’re excited about, from independent, university, and small presses we love. What is it about November that’s resulted in the release of so many great books? Maybe it’s the suddenly pressing need to cuddle up with a warm blanket and read? We can only guess, but we do know that this month brings a big ‘ole batch of great indie works. Here’s what we’re most looking forward to among November releases:
1. USA Noir: Best of the Akashic Noir Series, edited by Johnny Temple (Akashic)
Launched in 2004, each book in the Akashic Noir series features all-new stories set within a particular city (e.g., Brooklyn Noir). A ton of authors and editors have participated in this series since its incarnation, and the release of USA Noir promises to be the best of the best from this already impressive group of literary folk.
2. A People’s Art History of the United States: 250 Years of Activist Art and Artists Working in Social Justice Movements, by Nicolas Lampert (The New Press)
Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before? We’re excited to flip through the over 200 images celebrating activism and social unrest in American history. Don’t think art can affect society? Hopefully this book shatters preconceived notions and explains how art’s place in our life is too big and too meaningful to be restricted to museum walls.
3. Nothing, by Anne Marie Wirth Cauchon (Two Dollar Radio)
First things first, Cauchon’s author photo is pretty fantastic. It must be addressed! Now, moving on: Nothing is Cauchon’s debut novel, a brief glimpse into the chaotic angst and yearning of modern American youth culture. Comprised of all of our favorite subjects—road trips, nihilism, tumultuous friendships—this work is tops our winter reading list.
4. Viva la Pizza! The Art of the Pizza Box, by Scott Wiener (Melville House)
Maybe we like pizza a little too much, but clearly we’re not the only ones: THIS WHOLE BOOK IS ABOUT PIZZA BOXES! What?? Mind blown. Scott Wiener has been collecting pizza boxes for over 10 years and uses over 100 box designs to trace trends, wild images, corporate jargon, and all the ins and outs of the to-go pizza world.
5. Yokohama Threeway: And Other Small Shames, by Beth Lisick (City Lights Publishers)
Lisick is a very busy writer and performer who just moved to NYC (welcome!), and Yokohama is the newest work in the Sister Spit Series. The series is pretty rad and only prints two titles per year, so we’re very excited to see what Lisick has produced. Edited by Michelle Tea, the series owes its roots to the iconic Sister Spit open mic formed in the 90s in San Fransisco, which hosted writers including Mary Gaitskill and Eileen Myles.
What indie read are you most excited to read?