Foreword Reviews

Grateful for Indie Presses


There is a certain comfort derived from being fully loaded with a ridiculous number of physical books when traveling. My weeklong vacation over the Thanksgiving holiday included four adult titles and half a dozen children’s board books in my luggage, another nonfiction in my carry-on, and another delivered to my daughter’s house just in case I ran through the first bunch. Funny how my 19 month old granddaughter can complicate my reading-for-pleasure time, and instead of plowing through even one of the adult titles, I ended up spending a lot more time with dozens of children’s picture books and napping a few more hours than planned.

I have, however, started to flesh out my gift list with some incredible independently published titles that have slipped through tight supply chains. As we all know, it’s often hard to explain the importance of choosing independently published books to friends and family when they are not really thinking through who the publisher might be. So I find it best to just recommend an author or directly gift the title itself, and let them discover the joys of indie published books on their own.

Here’s a handful that I’m reading and recommending as worthy gifts:

Graceland At Last: After hosting author Margaret Renkl on our first Petit Foreword interview, I just knew I would love this book. Her wit and heartfelt concern for the earth shared from her southern corner of the US provides hope, and reminds us we are all responsible and can make a difference wherever we live. Thank you, Milkweed Editions.

A Year In the Woods: I’m really nuts about excellent nature writing at the moment, and our review of this wonderful memoir from Torbjørn Ekelund (Becky L. Crook, translator) prompted immediate purchase. While armchair camping is how I currently prefer overnight stays in the woods, Ekelund’s monthly one-night hikes prompted a mental review of my sleeping bag quality, just in case I get a wild hair. Thank you, Greystone Books.

Up North In Michigan: Closer to home, author Jerry Dennis recently reached out with news of his new book of essays paying homage to the beauty of the “place” he was born and raised, and where we both reside. I immediately ordered six copies for my kids and other friends who had the audacity to move away, reminding them of being rooted in such an extraordinary landscape. Thank you, University of Michigan Press.

Grist: Another local author and James Beard-recognized chef Abra Berens reminds us about the importance of supporting your area’s organic farms in her latest cookbook celebrating kitchen staples like grains, beans, and seeds. I’m certain to be referencing this feast for the eyes, like her earlier title Ruffage, again and again. Thank you, Chronicle Books.

Exit Rich: I’m not currently selling my business, but books about what makes a company more valuable in the eyes of potential buyers have always been a worthwhile reference for me as I grow Foreword. Two powerful and financially savvy women, Michelle Seiler Tucker and Sharon Lechter, co-authored my latest entrepreneur handbook. After 23 years, I still have a lot to learn! Thank you, An Inc.Original.

Let My People Go Surfing: Speaking of entrepreneurship, author/activist Yvon Chouinard reminded me about doing my bit to be a responsible human running a small business. His ethos has inspired more than a couple generations of business founders to think outside of the box, protect our earth, and thrive doing so. From the foreword by Naomi Klein: “This is the story of an attempt to do more than change a single corporation—it is an attempt to challenge the culture of consumption that is at the heart of the global ecological crisis.” It’s an oldie (2005, updated in 2016) and published by one of the big “others” but you can buy it at the Patagonia website. His press, founded in 2007, is publishing incredible titles. I want to promote them in any way we can. Thank you, Patagonia Books.

Foreword Reviews ND.21 issue cover
When you get done book shopping, be sure to check out these deadlines worth noting at Foreword:

  • Our Cyber Monday Sale ends tonight at midnight! Take 40% off all of your online orders, the discount will be automatically applied at checkout.

  • Our Jan/Feb 2022 issue closes in a week—Monday, December 6th. Featuring CozyUp!, our special section on home, health & wellness, plus Writers of Color, Historical Fiction, and Romance, as well as our usual reviews of graphic novels, environment, children’s and middle grade titles. Advertisers reach both a print and digital audience of over 24,000 readers who are only interested in INDIE books! Contact your rep Stacy Price or myself for more information.

  • The countdown to INDIES Book of the Year Awards 2021 submissions is down to its last six weeks. If your latest titles (and your team!) deserve some recognition, our program has established itself for quality. Enter today and take 40% off, the last scheduled discount for this year.

I hope your holiday season kickoff was just as pleasurable and a bit more back to normal than last year. Continue to stay safe and enjoy your families however you can at this special time of year.

My best,
Victoria

Victoria Sutherland

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