09 June 2017

8 Books from Smaller Presses (BookExpo 2017: Part 2)

One of the things I look forward to when I plan my annual trip to Book Expo (formally BEA), is getting a chance to learn about books from some of the smaller presses. Although the publishers featured today are hardly obscure, they are independent from the giant houses that seem to get all the buzz.

Instead of featuring the big-name authors and titles you'll hear about everywhere (including here on Beth Fish Reads), today I want to introduce you to a handful of books that may have slipped by your radar. All but one is fiction, and most take us outside the United States and/or to different times, providing a broad perspective on life and humanity.

  • 8 great books from small pressesSolar Bones by Mike McCormack (Soho, September): Set in rural Ireland, this novel is told by a spirit who returns to his home and recalls his life in all his roles, from son to father and everything in between and beyond. This award-winning novel gives us a feel for a generation of changes and challenges.
  • The Widows of Malabar Hill (Soho Crime, January 2018): The protagonist of this first in a new series is loosely based on India's first woman lawyer. Set about 100 years ago in Bombay, this crime novel concerns a case of potential fraud against three traditional, sheltered widows of the same man. The case also involves lost inheritances and the threat of murder.
  • The Extra Woman by Joanna Scutts (Liveright, November): For most of history, Western culture has pitied or scorned the woman who chooses to remain single. Yet almost 90 years ago, Marjorie Hillis, who wrote for Vogue magazine, helped make the "Live-Aloners" fashionable. This book explores the rise and fall of the glory days of the independent woman over the course of the twentieth century and into our own times.
  • Across the China Sea by Gaute Heivoll (Graywolf Press, September): In the post-World War II years, a Norwegian family opens their home to the lost and broken, forging bonds that hold an unlikely group of adults and children together to face a changing world. The novel is told in retrospect as the son cleans out the house after his parents' deaths.
  • 8 great books from small pressesReign the Earth by A. C. Gaughen (Bloomsbury, January 2018): This first in a four-part young adult fantasy series features a young woman who agrees to a marriage in return for the promise of peace between two rival lands. Her sacrifice is made all the harder when she must hide her elemental powers from her husband while trying to stay loyal to her own heritage. The novel promises battles, betrayal, politics, and magic.
  • Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak (Bloomsbury, December): This novel takes place in the course of a single evening in modern-day Istanbul. A woman who survives a mugging on her way to an opulent dinner party tries to balance her present circumstances with her college years abroad. Meanwhile the city erupts in violence caused by a series of terrorist attacks. Literary fiction that examines feminism in the context of Islam.
  • Leona: The Die Is Cast by Jenny Rogneby (Other Press, August): this gritty Scandinavian crime novel features a flawed female detective who is barely able to hold herself together long enough to solve a bizarre bank robbery, allegedly pulled off by a seven-year-old girl. The author is both a former Stockholm cop and a former pop singer.
  • To the Back of Beyond by Peter Stamm (Other Press, October): One night after a women goes inside to check on her child, her husband leaves the back garden and starts walking through the Swiss countryside. This slip of a novel explores the couple's now separate lives--one seemingly aimless, the other tied to home--and how life can change in a single moment.
Next week I'll feature picks from the big publishing houses. In case you missed it, yesterday I featured 5 Book Expo picks, also from small publishers.


Tina 6/9/17, 6:44 AM  

Good morning! I would love to read The Back of Beyond and the Solar Bones, are those out yet? Sounds intriguing.

Tina 6/9/17, 6:49 AM  

Oops, I see you posted the month it's released. I should never comment after only one cuppa coffee 😊

bermudaonion 6/9/17, 7:37 AM  

Oh, Three Daughters of Eve looks really good!

(Diane) bookchickdi 6/9/17, 7:50 AM  

I picked up a copy of THE WIDOWS OF MALABAR HILL and am most excited to read it.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 6/9/17, 8:01 AM  

It is nice to see books from smaller publishing companies, I think. Thank you!

Rhiannon 6/9/17, 9:13 AM  

I grabbed copies of The Widows of Malabar Hill and The Extra Woman. Leona caught my attention but I wasn't able to get a galley of that one. I'm interested to hear its reviews. Would have loved to have met you IRL! This was my 1st Book Expo and I loved every minute.

Jackie McGuinness 6/9/17, 10:00 AM  

Bones, Widows and Extra Woman are now in my Goodreads want to read. Thanks!

Greg 6/9/17, 11:54 PM  

Both Across the China sea and Reign The Earth sound interesting to me. Reign has such a bright, amazing cover.

Vicki 6/10/17, 3:56 PM  

To the Back of Beyond, Leona: The Die Is Cast, and The Widows of Malabar Hill sound really good to me.

Iliana 6/10/17, 5:27 PM  

I love Soho & Other Press. Like you said, they aren't unknown but don't seem to get as much buzz as the big publishers. I'm looking forward to Leona!

Laura at Library of Clean Reads 6/12/17, 8:33 AM  

I got a copy of the Widows of Malabar Hill and look forward to reading it!

Daryl 6/12/17, 11:02 AM  

interesting group .. thanks!

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