August Indie Books Roundup

Diary of the FallWe 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.

…And we’re back! You know how your brain takes a vacation during the summer months? Well the Indie Roundup did the same thing during June and July, because it too is actually a brain. A super-brain, to be exact. But now it’s back, rested, and brainier than ever! So get ready for an August roundup that’s packed with a bunch of tasty new indie books to devour. Eat up:

Diary of the Fall, by Michel Laub, translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa (Other Press)
I’m a sucker for good cover art, and the cover image of Diary of the Fall is the reason I first picked it up. After reading the synopsis I realized that all the themes that had visually attracted me to the work were also woven throughout the text. Mainly: adolesnece, the purgatory of guilt, and the mystery of memory. Just try to resist this one.

Under a Wild Sky: John James Audubon and the Making of the Birds of America, by William Souder (Milkweed Editions)
John James Audubon is a fascinating character in American history. He lied about his personal history, yet simultaneously  created the most comprehensive survey of birdlife on the North American continent and redefined wildlife painting, all while serving the scientific community. He is an enigma, and I imagine his biography will be an interesting window into a strange and fascinating mind.

Event: A Philosophical Journey, by Slavoj Zizek (Melville House Publishing)
“The biggest event of the year!” “Don’t miss this event!” There is a part of all of us that perks up at the mention of an “event.” I am very curious about the philosophical analysis of events (what is an event, really?) and their role in our modern lives, and I can’t wait to dive into this quick read.

Moscow in the Plague Year, by Marina Tsvetaeva, translated by Christopher Whyte (Archipelago Books)
So excited to finally include Archipelago Books in an Indie Roundup! The publisher specializes in international literature in translation and has been on my radar since 2009 when I stumbled across their booth at a small book fair in Manhattan. That day I purchased Dominique Fabre’s The Waitress Was New (translated by Jordan Stump), and was elated by the quality and care Archipelago clearly puts into each one of their publications. From the translation to the actual physical presentation of the book, these folks are looking over every inch with a discerning eye. So you can imagine my excitement when I discovered that they are publishing Tsvetaeva’s great collection of poems, Moscow in the Plague Year, a work that was composed around the time of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the Moscow famine. You, too, should get better acquainted with a writer Nabokov once described as “a poet of genius.”

Crop Circles, Jung, and the Reemergence of the Archetypal Feminine, by Gary S. Bobroff (North Atlantic Books)
Ummm…a Jungian analysis of crop circles? In relation to modern culture? SEEN AS EXEMPLIFYING THE ARCHETYPAL FEMININE??? Count me in. First, let me just slip into this and call it a night.

What indie reads are you checking out this month?

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