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5 Indie Reads That Make Great Holiday Gifts

It's that holiday gift giving season. Lots of people do lists of products you should buy, but I just had to put together a list of 5 excellent indie books I've read this year that make excellent gifts for the readers in your life. (I'm a librarian after all, I can't help but recommend great books to people!)

The Cherries by D.B. Carter

Available in print and ebook from Amazon.

WHO: This book will most likely appeal to the female readers in your life. There's a diverse cast of characters of different ages and backgrounds, so this book is appropriate for 20 somethings all the way up.

WHAT: Carter tells the story of Susan and her mother who are starting a new life after fleeing an abusive home situation. They end up at The Cherries, a beautiful home in rural England with a charming cast of characters. You'll feel right at home and part of the community as you read along. Although the setting is idyllic, the subject matter isn't all sweet and saccharine. It tackles harder topics such as bullying, anxiety, sexuality, and self-harm. Although it may sound edgy, these things are handled in a gentle manner. There is nothing gratuitous or graphic in the story and the book is hopeful and inspiring.

The Inevitable Fate of E & J by Johanna L. Randle

Available in paperback, ebook, and Kindle Unlimited from Amazon.

WHO: This book is a good bet for teen girls (and boys who don't mind romance in their reads.)

WHAT: This is an unusual YA love story told in alternating points of view. Elizabeth thinks she's losing her mind when she starts having hallucinations that feel like she's a young woman in the 1940s. When she reconnects with childhood friend, Jimmy, she learns there's a lot more to question than her own sanity.

This is a clean read with kind and considerate teen characters. This doesn't mean the book is unrealistic. There is some typical high school drama, but it doesn't delve into graphic or overly dark topics. It's a mostly realistic balance of the struggles of being a nice kid in a tumultuous period of life. Adding past lives into the mix creates a gentle introduction into historical themes and also adds drama into a regular life situation.

Duckett & Dyer: Dicks for Hire by G.M. Nair

Available in paperback, hardcover, ebook, and Kindle Unlimited from Amazon.

WHO: This is the perfect book for that weird uncle/aunt/brother/sister/cousin we all seem to have. Whoever you have in your life with an off-kilter, sarcastic, goofball sense of humor and enjoys sci-fi, mystery, and/or humor this book nails it all. Fans of Douglas Adams, Piers Anthony, or similar humor will devour this book and be chomping at the bit for the sequel.

WHAT: The author is hilarious. Seriously. I found this guy on Twitter and his posts make me laugh regularly. His newsletter cracks me up. This book make me laugh out loud. And not just the book itself. This book has the most entertaining copyright page I've ever seen. I will let these quotes speak for themselves. If you read them and even chuckle, it's a safe bet that you'll enjoy the book. (And so will those people you're going to buy it for too.)

See What "People" Are "Saying":

"Who are you? How did you get into my office?" - Neil Gaiman, if asked about this book, probably "I can't stop laughing!" - Victim of Papuan Laughing Sickness (Deceased) "Duckett & Dyer has a tremendous energy to it. When released, it will warm your body and perhaps even your soul." - International Journal of Burning Things In A Fireplace "A long written or printed literary composition." - Webster's Dictionary Definition of 'book' "Duckett & Dyer is the funniest thing I've ever read." - A woman who has never read anything before

The Life and Times of Clyde Kennard by Derek R. King

Available in paperback, hardcover, and ebook from Amazon.

WHO: That hard to shop for person in your life. This is also perfect for history buffs, anyone who is interested in American race relations and the Civil Rights era. Honestly, I believe this should be required reading for college students and everyone else in the US. Probably best for those ages 18 and up.

WHAT: This book is about Clyde Kennard. Who's Clyde Kennard? You'll have to read the book to find out why he's so important and the role he played in Southern college integration. Although the subject matter of this book is not light and fluffy, it's important and extremely well-researched and well-written. The writing style is informative but it also has life and personality. It's a very important non-fiction about a man who shouldn't be forgotten.

Winter Chills by D.B. Carter, Derek R. King, S.J. Lomas, and Natalie Reeves-Billing

Available in paperback, ebook, and Kindle Unlimited on Amazon.

WHO: This is a perfect stocking stuffer for those busy folks in your life who wish they had more time to read. Appropriate for teenagers on up.

WHAT: Yes, I'm one of the authors of this book, but I love the work of the other authors in this collection. You get 6 short stories with a ghostly holiday theme. It's a quick read, perfect for traveling or in between rounds of visitors during these busy winter months. Also fun when you want to take your mind off being snowed in.

And those are my top 5 picks for holiday gift giving. I hope you'll take a look at the books and support these great indie authors. Happy holidays!

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