Last year, despite my best intentions, I didn’t do any particular reading challenge, and I found that I really missed the push that it gives me to read books I wouldn’t normally pick up. The lovely Bex over at Ninja Book Box is running the Indie Challenge again this year, and I’ve decided to participate. I’m planning to complete the row across the top.


1. Brilliant backlist

Greenery Street
Author: Denis Mackail
Publisher: Persephone Books

This sounds like one of my favourite genres of book – funny with beautiful prose, in which nothing much happens. It follows newlyweds Ian and Felicity Foster as they muddle through their first year of married life in London.

2. Genre fiction

Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys: The Big Lie

Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie
Author: Anthony Del Col and Werther Dell Edera
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment

Okay, so I have been very into Veronica Mars recently, and as I was watching the first serious I kept thinking “this is just Dark Nancy Drew – I wish there really was Dark Nancy Drew!” And lo and behold, there is such a thing as Dark Nancy Drew! These Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys comics are noir-inspired. The first plot is that the Hardys have been accused of murdering their father and need to find the real killer, both for reasons of justice and to keep themselves out of prison.

Image result for veronica mars gif

3. Recommended by a friend

Paperback Crush: The totally radical history of 80s and 90s teen fiction
Author: Gabrielle Moss
Publisher: Quirk Books

I enjoyed Melanie’s review of this book so much that I have requested it from my library, and instead of doing an interlibrary loan, they have bought a copy, so now everyone in Southampton gets to learn about 90s teen girl fiction from the US. You know, if they want to.

4. Book from a series

Galloglass cover photo

Galloglass (Worldquake series)
Author: Scarlett Thomas
Publisher: Canongate Books

The first book in the Worldquake series, Dragon’s Green, is one of extremely few books that I’ve read as an adult that gave me the same feeling that reading did when I was a child. Though the second book didn’t quite do it for me as much as the first, I am really looking forward to the final instalment of the series.

5. A women’s press

Image result for the dark circle linda grant

The Dark Circle
Author: Linda Grant
Publisher: Virago

This is precisely what I love about these challenges – this is the perfect example of a book I never would have heard of, but came across when looking for something to pick and now want to read immediately. The Dark Circle is set in postwar Britain, and is about an East End brother and sister who have been sent to a tuberculosis sanitorium. There’s a really lovely review on Amazon by someone, apparently nearly ninety, who was treated for tuberculosis in 1946, and found this book very believable (except that the food sounded too nice)!

Really looking forward to this challenge – at present, I plan to start with The Big Lie, which should be turning up on my doorstep any day now!