If you’d told me back on New Year’s Day that my favorite book of 2016 (in April, at least) would be a love story between an organ tuner and a mathematician, I would’ve balked. I hate math, for starters, and have never been able to appreciate Bach the way most people do.
April started off with a bang thanks to AWP 2016 in Los Angeles, but you can keep celebrating independent and university presses all month long with these 10 fantastic books, most of which we’ll be covering here at the CHIRB via interviews and reviews. From magical realism to nonfiction, here are the best 10 books from independent presses this April, including their first lines.
This September, Gina Frangello’s new Chicago-based novel Every Kind of Wanting will be published by Counterpoint Press, and we’ve got an exclusive first look at the minimalist cover. It’s quite the contrast from The Rumpus Sunday editor’s last book, 2014’s A Life in Men.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most beloved fictional character—Detective Sherlock Holmes—has been adapted and modified by countless writers, filmmakers, theatre directors, and TV execs over the past century. But until Brittany Cavallaro’s YA novel, A Study in Charlotte, Sherlock had never been a teenage girl.
It’s not often that an “existential sci-fi noir” comic book from an indy publisher gets optioned for a major motion picture. But that’s exactly what happened to Roche Limit, a trippy, trailblazingly original cross between Alien, Chinatown, and Lost, about a distant colony of humans orbiting a black hole.
The most compelling, most beautiful, most bad-ass comic book series of 2016 doesn’t feature Iron Man or Batman or any of the infinite versions of Spider-man. Angela: Queen of Hel is the story of Thor’s long-lost sister, on a Dantean quest to rescue her lover Sera from the depths of Hell (or, in Marvel’s reappropriation of Norse mythology, Hel).
In the 25 years since he “stormed out” of the Marvel Comics office in New York, Mike Mignola has created his own shared universe of occult-themed, Gothic-toned characters at Dark Horse Comics. Perhaps the most beloved of those characters, Hellboy, became a household name in the 2000s thanks to Guillermo Del Toro’s kickass movies starring Ron Perlman in the sawed-off horns.