In the lead up to Xmas, we’ll be sharing some of our top indie picks from this year. Take them as gifting inspo, save for your wish list, or just lurk until we’ve announced them all and tell us what we missed.
Winter in Sockcho by Elisa Shua Dusapin
A sparse, searching novel set on the desolate coast of an off-season South Korean holiday resort.
This was the first ever selection for our in-person book club back in January this year, and it’s stayed with us ever since. With themes of identity and selfhood, intimacy and alienation, this is an exquisitely crafted book and one that deserves to be read time and again.
Strega by Johanne Lykke Holm, translated by Saskia Vogel
A contemporary horror with a creeping, lynchian, gothic core.
We couldn’t get enough of the baroque but precise prose, the looming sense of unease, and the undertones of ritual and enchantment. To read Strega is to step in to a world of charms, sisterhood, and mystery. It’ll give you chills. Read it.
Riambel by Priya Hein
A shimmering, terse novel. Quietly stirring and then, all at once, deeply affecting.
Wenling’s by Gemma Ruiz Palà, translated by Peter Bush.
A profound female friendship between is forged over countless appointments at Wenling’s nail salon. Set in Barcelona, we hear stories from women from all walks of life in this uncompromisingly female space.
Ripe by Sarah Rose Etter
Ripe speaks to the toxic capitalist hustle culture that keeps so many of us chained to the treadmill. Expect a dark and playful read with a bitter core.
Ultramarine by Mariette Navarro translated by Cory Stockwell.
Singular and mesmerising, reading Ultramarine felt like a meditation. Best lapped up in one sitting, this short, affecting novel reveals the struggles of a female ship’s captain.
Drive Your Plow Over The Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones
Where do we start with this dark and moody mystery? When animals start behaving strangely, Janina knows there’s more to the situation than meets the eye. Sick of being underestimated, she goes to great lengths to uncover the truth. Read it, read it now, we implore you!
Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq
Gritty, brooding and tender, this story - based on Tagaq’s personal experiences - captured our hearts. Hints of magical realism take you on an unexpected journey.
Julian by Fleur Pierets, translated by Elisabeth Khan
Devastating and uplifting in equal measure, Julian explores themes of love, commitment, activism and grief. The power of love in the face of hatred.