Book reviews and more!

BOOKTWEETING’S TOP TEN: SELF-PUBLISHED AND SMALL PRESS BOOKS

January 1, 2017

Welcome to 2017! If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to read more self-published and small press books, here are my ten favorites (out of a really strong field) from 2016. Keep watching Booktweeting.com and @booktweeting on Twitter for more reviews of indie books.

DIRE: SEED by Andrew Seiple

A SUPERVILLAIN WITH A CONSCIENCE? Sharp SFF thriller set in a “Teslaverse” where costumed heroes are real. A MINUS

STAR NOMAD by Lindsay Buroker

SMART SPACE SHOOT-’EM-UP stars a fighter pilot desperate to get back to her war-torn planet. High action! B PLUS

YOU DON’T BELONG HERE by Tim Major (Snowbooks)

A STOLEN TIME MACHINE is the last desperate hope of a haunted man on the run. Fascinating SF thriller. B PLUS

STAY CRAZY by Erica L. Satifka (Apex Book Company)

INTERDIMENSIONAL MONSTERS IN RUST BELT America? Or just a schizophrenic’s bad day at work? Brilliant punk SF. B PLUS

THE UNPLEASANTNESS AT BASKERVILLE HALL by Chris Dolley (Book View Café)

WODEHOUSE MEETS STEAMPUNK meets country-house murder mysteries in a delightful mix of fantasy and fun. B PLUS

THE APOTHEOSIS BREAK (SKYSAIL SAGA, VOLUME 1) by Josh Rhoades and Mike Rutledge

SWASHBUCKLING AIRSHIP ADVENTURE with lots of action, set in an intriguing steampunk/Ruritania SFF world. B PLUS

THE LOVED ONES by Sonya Chung (Relegation Books)

TWO FAMILIES’ STORIES, linked by a moment of tragedy, unfurl in all their richness. Heartbreaking, lovely. B PLUS

WITCH IS WHEN I SAID GOODBYE by Adele Abbott

A WITCH TURNED DETECTIVE solves mysteries with magic in this charming twist on traditional English cozies. B PLUS

HITS & MRS. by Karen Stollznow

SHARP, FUNNY MYSTERY follows a reporter turned detective trying to expose a Casanova of a TV psychic. Clever! B PLUS

MOSES by Balogun Ojetade (Roaring Lions Productions)

WILD, ACTION-PACKED ADVENTURE set in a “Steamfunk” universe where Harriet Tubman is a superhero. Fun SFF! SOLID B

Tags: , ,

PETS ON THE COUCH by Nicholas Dodman, DVM

December 28, 2016

THE WORLD OF ANIMAL PSYCHIATRY, explored by a distinguished veterinarian. Thought-provoking and delightful!

Grade: B PLUS

PETS ON THE COUCH: NEUROTIC DOGS, COMPULSIVE CATS, ANXIOUS BIRDS, AND THE NEW SCIENCE OF ANIMAL PSYCHIATRY
Atria Books
2016

Tags: , , , ,

ANAXAGORAS by Aaron Ward

December 26, 2016

GRACEFULLY CYNICAL FANTASY set in antiquity, on a Mediterranean island ravaged by a vast monster.

Grade: B PLUS

ANAXAGORAS
Aaron Ward
2016

Tags: , , , ,

STAY CRAZY by Erica L. Satifka

December 18, 2016

INTERDIMENSIONAL MONSTERS IN RUST BELT America? Or just a schizophrenic’s bad day at work? Brilliant punk SF.

Grade: B PLUS

STAY CRAZY
Apex Book Company
2016

Tags: , ,

WHERE THE JEWS AREN’T by Masha Gessen

December 16, 2016

“THE WORST GOOD IDEA ever”—brilliant, cynical history of the USSR’s ill-fated Jewish Autonomous Region.

Grade: A MINUS

WHERE THE JEWS AREN'T: THE SAD AND ABSURD STORY OF BIROBIDZHAN, RUSSIA'S JEWISH AUTONOMOUS REGION
Knopf Doubleday
2016

Tags: , , , , , ,

IN THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS: THE LIFE AND EXTRAORDINARY AFTERLIFE OF H. P. LOVECRAFT by W. Scott Poole

December 14, 2016

ENGAGING LOVECRAFT BIO focuses on social and historical context and impact, sidesteps fandom battles.

Grade: SOLID B

IN THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS: THE LIFE AND EXTRAORDINARY AFTERLIFE OF H. P. LOVECRAFT
Soft Skull Press
2016

Tags: , , , , ,

THE LOVED ONES by Sonya Chung

December 11, 2016

TWO FAMILIES’ STORIES, linked by a moment of tragedy, unfurl in all their richness. Heartbreaking, lovely.

Grade: B PLUS

THE LOVED ONES
Relegation Books
2016

Tags: , ,

I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS by Iain Reid

December 9, 2016

BRILLIANTLY CHILLING NOVEL has an ending that will haunt your dreams, and a strong sense of place.

Grade: B PLUS

I'M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
Gallery/Scout Press
2016

Tags: , , ,

RAZOR GIRL by Carl Hiassen

December 7, 2016

HILARIOUS, HIGH-ENERGY FLORIDA thriller is Carl Hiaasen at the peak of his game. Completely entertaining!

Grade: A MINUS

RAZOR GIRL
Random House
2016

Tags: , , ,

THE APOTHEOSIS BREAK by Josh Rhoades and Mike Rutledge

December 4, 2016

SWASHBUCKLING AIRSHIP ADVENTURE with lots of action, set in an intriguing steampunk/Ruritania SFF world.

Grade: B PLUS

THE APOTHEOSIS BREAK (SKYSAIL SAGA, VOLUME I)
Josh Rhoades and Mike Rutledge
2016

Tags: , , , ,