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I’ve read quite a few self-published and indie-published books over the last year f0r my blog, and it has definitely opened my eyes to being less judgmental when it comes to books which haven’t gone through traditional publishing methods. I wrote a post a while ago about why so many authors are choosing to self-publish, and even though I still see both sides of the argument, I have also seen the struggle of really talented writers who just don’t get recognition from big publishers. So you can hardly blame them for seeking out alternative methods.

Below are four books which, since starting my blog, I have really connected with, and which I feel deserve the most recognition and the highest praise we can give them.

So if any of these books seem like your taste, please please please, follow my links to buy them. I promise it will make all these authors’ days.

Gods and Conquerors – Aaron Kane Heinemann

What’s it about?

This novel is set somewhere in the future and is centred around four people who choose to embark on a one-way trip to a far away, uninhabited planet. The only problem is, when they get there, it is a wasteland. Jumping between past and present, the protagonists Shelley, Verne, Kojima and Ballard contemplate their abandonment on the deserted planet, and realise that maybe it takes travelling to an alien place to discover what really makes them human.

Why should you read it?

Heinemann uses this novel to showcase the human experience at its most vulnerable and raw. Although the person reading will not have been to other planets, they will know what grief, fear and hope feels like. They will know the pain of being human. His ability to tap into this, above anything else, is why this novel triumphs. The novel also successfully uses scientific language, while not bogging the reader down in too much jargon, which makes the novel plausible and gives us a eerie glimpse for what could happen in the future.

If you want sci-fi, comedy, and a book with plausible characters and profound themes, then Gods and Conquerers is the book for you! BUY IT HERE*

The Circumstantial Enemy – John R. Bell

What’s it about?

This book begins in 1941 and concerns three people in particular: Tony, Katarina and Goran. The narratives change throughout the novel but the reader is mainly hearing about events either from Tony or Katarina. Tony, a pilot, somewhat accidentally finds himself aligned with Hitler, while Katarina and Goran fight with the communist partisans.The Circumstantial Enemy follows the true story of these three people through World War II and documents the struggles, obstacles and truths they had to face along the way.

Why should you read it?

This novel is interesting because it depicts some hard-hitting and violent events, that go hand-in-hand with World War 2, but the author manages to write it with such honesty and beauty. I find novels which focus on any element of war have the potential to be extremely compelling, and the Circumstantial Enemy does not disappoint. As an author, John R. Bell is successful in his depiction of history and manages to portray the power of friendship, love and forgiveness triumphantly.

Read The Circumstantial Enemy if you enjoy books sets during World War 2 and which explores themes of loyalty, bravery and forgiveness. BUY IT HERE*

Let Me Find You – Julie Valima

What’s it about?

Set in Finland, this novel has a hint of fantasy while being very much grounded in themes of real life. The protagonist, Eero, is given the gift of empathy and is tasked with helping the people of Finland. Given a compass and his gift of empathy, Eero must seek out the lost souls of Finland and give them the Light when they are in their most desperate hour, whether that is to a person contemplating suicide, or someone so buried in their hurt they are no longer present in the world. But when, one day, he fails to save a woman, he must confront the painful reality that maybe not everyone can be saved.

Why should you read it?

This book is relevant and relatable for many reasons. Eero helps people when his compass burns and often those are people who feel as if they have no reason to live. With mental health awareness becoming more and more prominent, this book is important for showcasing the reality of these issues, but also compellingly sheds light on people’s strength to endure them. Not only this but the writing is spell-binding and the Scandinavian setting is perfect for the tone of the book.

If you enjoy books which touch on issues of mental health, relatable protagonists and leave you with an uplifting and hopeful feeling, then read Let Me Find You. BUY IT HERE*

Revenants: The Odyssey Home – Scott Kauffman

What’s it about?

The story is set in 1984 and follows Betsy, a seventeen year old whose brother died in Vietnam. Wounded by her loss and determined not to let it get the better of her, Betsy finds herself, as a result of bad behaviour, having to help out at the local hospital which rehabilitates soldiers. At first she is shocked by their injuries, from disfigured faces to amputated limbs, Betsy is suddenly given a stern wake up call. Slowly, she begins to find her feet at the hospital, but when she notices some suspicious activity from one of the nurses, she clocks on to rumours about a secret patient on the fourth floor. Unable to quench her curiosity, Betsy becomes hellbent on discovering the identity of this mysterious patient, and more importantly finding a way to get him home.

Why should you read it?

I really enjoyed how this novel was told through the eyes of a young girl. Her potential naivety and innocence was what made the book so hard-hitting; but it was her ability to overcome her grief which really made the book powerful. I felt for her having to mourn her brother and thanks to Kauffman’s descriptions, I found that Betsy’s grief became mine and I wanted her to be okay.  This book was a heart-warming reminder of the struggles of grief and the impact of war. Kauffman successfully showed the ricochets that the violence in a far away country could have on one town thousands of miles away, and this harsh truth was not all that far away from the reality of conflicts today.

Read Revenants if you enjoys books which touch on themes of war, grief and family. BUY IT HERE*

Tags : bookish
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