Good morning loves!
Happy August! Well, it feels strange writing that.. It’ll be Christmas before we know it. I can’t lie though, I am really looking forward to a cosy autumn. Hot chocolates, fairy lights and warm blankets. Today though, I would like to start off my little bit of #IndieBooksLoveFest. This was not my idea by any means but I thought it would be a bloody lovely idea to be supporting independent publishers and authors. So, every month I will be highlighting a different publisher and picking a couple of their books to read and review. This month we have the fabulous Eye/Lightening!
Eye Books is a small, independent publisher founded in 1996 with the aim of publishing books about the extraordinary things ordinary people have done: people who decide to stop talking about their dreams and actually go out and grab them. Originally there was often a strong travel or geographical element to their stories, although more recently we have branched out into more general non-fiction. The Eye backlist includes Morgan Tsvangirai’s autobiography, an account of the first all-female expedition to the North Pole and the first books by adventurer Alastair Humphreys.
Lightning Books is our much newer fiction imprint. Our first full fiction list was in 2017, when half the novels we published were short- or longlisted for a significant publishing award. Alongside another promising array of home-grown novels, our 2018 list includes three titles that between them have won, been shortlisted or been longlisted for six major literary awards in Australia and New Zealand.
As a small publisher we are able to make decisions quickly, and not by committee. We are small and nimble enough to take risks. Our working relationship with our authors is collaborative, if they want it to be: we believe in giving writers as much input as possible on covers, pricing, promotions and marketing. We think it makes us more effective, so everyone benefits.
My bookish picks
Mansfield & Me: A Graphic Memoir by Sarah Laing // Their Brilliant Careers: The Fantastic Lives of Sixteen Extraordinary Australian Writers by Ryan O’Neill
Their Brilliant Careers
In Their Brilliant Careers, Ryan O’Neill has written a hilarious novel in the guise of sixteen biographies of (invented) Australian writers. Meet Rachel Deverall, who discovers the secret female source of the great literature of our time – and pays a terrible price for her discovery. Meet Rand Washington, hugely popular sci-fi author (of Whiteman of Cor) and holder of extreme views on race and gender. Meet Addison Tiller, the master of the bush yarn, “The Chekhov of Coolabah”, who has never travelled outside Sydney. Their Brilliant Careers is a playful set of stories, linked in many ways, which together form a memorable whole. It is a wonderful comic tapestry of the writing life, and a large-scale parody in which every detail adds to the humour of the overall picture. Unpredictable and intriguing, Their Brilliant Careers takes Australian writing in a whole new direction.
Mansfield & Me
Part memoir, part biography, Laing charts her life and journey to being a writer against Katherine Mansfield’s own journey. An examination of how our lives connect to those of our personal heroes.
There’s are the two books I’ve decided to go with this month; both very different but sound completely charming and I am looking forward to picking them both up! If like me, you’d like to support an indie this month, you can head to Eye/Lightening’s shop here! If you are on a bit of a spending ban, like me this month, try and request from libraries where you can.
Peace and pages