Indie Book List MASTERPOST
↳ The term ‘indie’ traditionally refers to independent art — music, film, literature or anything that fits under the broad banner of culture — created or published outside of mainstream publishing and without corporate financing.
↳ Basically, these are rainy-day books that have incredible plots and have either been made into films, won awards, are classics, or are just amazing overall. I would definitely check out each of these, and read them if they interest you!
Click “Read More” to see the full list of books.
Speak* - Laurie Halse Anderson
"Over the summer before her freshman year, Melinda makes a huge mistake. Now, nobody will talk to her - or listen to her. But in her art class, she learns to face what happened, beginning her healing process. But then, another violent encounter occurs with the same person as before. What will Melinda do?"
Watership Down - Richard Adams
"Adventure, courage and survival follow a band of creatures on their flight from humanity and the certain destruction of their home. Led by two brothers, the journey forth from their native land through the trails posed by predators to a mysterious promised land."
The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom
“On his 83rd birthday, Eddie die in an accident, trying to save a little girl. He awakens in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a lush garden, but a place where your earthly life is explained to you by five people. These five people, during his life, somehow changed his path forever. As the story builds to its stunning conclusion, Eddie seeks to know whether his final act was a heroic success or devastating failure. The answer is as inspirational as a glimpse of heaven itself.”
Thirteen Reasons Why** - Jay Asher
"Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package on with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker - his classmate and crush - who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why. Clay spends the night crisscrossing town with Hannah as his guide. He soon learns of Hannah’s pain and the truth about himself - a truth he never wanted to face."
Rebecca - Daphne DuMaurier
"Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the chilling events that transpired as she began her new life as the young bride of a husband she barely knew. For in every corner of every room were phantoms of a time dead but not forgotten—a past devotedly preserved by the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers: a suite immaculate and untouched, clothing laid out and ready to be worn, but not by any of the great house’s current occupants. With an eerie presentiment of evil tightening her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter walked in the shadow of her mysterious predecessor, determined to uncover the darkest secrets and shattering truths about Maxim’s first wife—the late and hauntingly beautiful Rebecca.”
If I Stay - Gayle Forman
"In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make."
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - Jamie Ford
"Set during one of the most conflicted and volatile times in American history, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is an extraordinary story of commitment and enduring hope. In Henry and Keiko, an unforgettable duo whose story teaches us of the power of forgiveness and the human heart is created.”
A Lesson Before Dying - Ernest J. Gaines
"Jefferson, a young black man, is an unwitting party to a liquor store shoot out in which three men are killed; the only survivor, he is convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Grant Wiggins, who left his hometown for the university, has returned to the plantation school to teach. As he struggles with his decision whether to stay or escape to another state, his aunt and Jefferson’s godmother persuade him to visit Jefferson in his cell and impart his learning and his pride to Jefferson before his death. In the end, the two men forge a bond as they both come to understand the simple heroism of resisting—and defying—the expected.”
Summer of My German Soldier - Bette Greene
"When her small hometown in Arkansas becomes the site of a camp housing German prisoners during World War II, 12-year-old Patty Bergen learns what it means to open her heart. Although she’s Jewish, she begins to see a prison escapee, Anton, not as a Nazi—but as a lonely, frightened young man with feelings not unlike her own, who understands and appreciates her in a way her parents never will. And Patty is willing to risk losing family, friends—even her freedom—for what has quickly become the most important part of her life.”
Journey to the Center of the Earth - Jules Verne
“An adventurous geology professor mounts an expedition that descends into a subterranean world of luminous rocks, antediluvian forests, and fantastic marine life — a living past that holds the secrets to the origins of human existence. He goes on a psychological quest, in which the journey is eventually found to be as significant as the destination.”
Lovely Bones* - Alice Sebold
"When we first meet 14-year-old Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven. In the sweet, untroubled voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death and her own adjustment to the strange new place she finds herself. With love, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie watches her family as they cope with their grief — her father embarks on a search for the killer, her sister undertakes a feat of amazing daring, her little brother builds a fort in her honor — and begin the difficult process of healing."
King Dork - Frank Portman
"Tom Henderson is a typical American high school loser until he discovers the book entitled The Catcher in the Rye, that will change the world as he knows it. When Tom discovers his deceased father’s copy of the Salinger classic, he finds himself in the middle of several interlocking conspiracies and at least half a dozen mysteries involving dead people, naked people, fake people, ESP, blood, a secret code, guitars, monks, witchcraft, the Bible, girls, the Crusades, a devil head, and rock and roll. And it all looks like it’s just the tip of a very odd iceberg of clues that may very well unravel the puzzle of his father’s death and–oddly–reveal the secret to attracting semihot girls. Being in a band could possibly be the secret to the girl thing–but good luck finding a drummer who can count to four.”
Life as We Knew It - Susan Beth Pfeffer
"High school sophomore Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when an asteroid knocks the moon closer to Earth, the way ‘one marble hits another.’ The result is catastrophic. How can her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis are wiping out the coasts, earthquakes are rocking the continents, and volcanic ash is blocking out the sun? As August turns dark and wintry in northeastern Pennsylvania, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove."
A Separate Peace - John Knowles
"Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world.”
The Bean Trees - Barbara Kingsolver
“The protagonist of the novel, Taylor Greer, a native of Kentucky, finds herself in Oklahoma near Cherokee territory. The novel begins with a woman leaving an American Indian infant with Taylor. The entirety of the novel traces the experiences of Taylor and the child, whom she has named ‘Turtle’. Covering Turtle’s early childhood, the story includes a colorful cast of characters, people met along the way, and people that Taylor has known for seemingly forever.”
* - rape mentioned
** - suicide mentioned