I’m not sure about you, but I’m a huge fan of coffee and a good book. If you’re reading this, you’re probably searching for the perfect new release to go along with that expertly bitter cappuccino or that tantalizing sweet mocha with five pumps of caramel. If you’re tired of your usual read and want to support some wonderful indie publishers, fear not: I’ve compiled a list of four new indie releases for every kind of coffee enthusiast, from the purists to the embellishers.
For the Americano Lover
First of all, let me say that I’m impressed with your coffee choice. The Americano lover is basically the coffee-equivalent of people who sip whiskey for enjoyment. You’re a no-frills kind of coffee drinker. For the lover of an Americano, coffee exists for energy and antioxidants—not dessert.
Like your taste in caffeine, you like a simple life. You enjoy a classic mystery—you expect your literature to be as dark as your coffee. You always browse the classics at your local bookstore and hardly care about the best sellers being cranked out by the Big Five. If you’ve sleuthed through all the classic detective fiction your brain can muster, fret no longer. The House on Vesper Sands is for you.
Published by Portland’s own Tin House, The House on Vesper Sands is for the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Allan Poe, and Agatha Christie lovers out there. A detective mystery set in an eerie Victorian England, a quest for truth ensues after a seamstress throws herself from a balcony window. The pseudo-traditionalist coffee-goer will appreciate this one for its deliciously smart twist on the usual tropes of detective fiction.
For the Shot in the Dark Lover
Ah yes, the Shot in the Dark. The drink created for the perpetually sleepy coffee enthusiasts out there; the exceedingly bitter Americano with some extra caffeinated fuel to kick your macabre reading game up a few notches. Let’s face it: nothing is more macabre than true crime.
Published by Genius Books, Eric Garrett’s Unprosecuted chronicles a mother’s nightmare. In sleepy Muncie, Indiana, a darkness lurks: a four-year-old boy is devastatingly murdered, and everyone knows who did it. A mother’s fight for justice ensues among two evils: legal corruption and a lurking child killer.
For the Latte Lover
Latte lovers rejoice! You like coffee—it actually tastes good! You enjoy its bitter bite, but let’s be honest, we all need a little bit of love to curb that acidic punch. Enter a delicately mellow, frothy foam handcrafted into a lotus-rose-hybrid thing by a barista with bright pink hair. You enjoy the universal sufficiency of a classic latte and find that no matter where you go, your likability allows you to forge connections with those around you.
If you’re part of the latte gang, chances are your shelves are stocked high with self-help books and memoirs because you crave something uplifting to feed the soul. Your reading experience enables you to endear people with your wit in the hopes of coaxing their life stories out of them.
If this sounds even remotely like you, let me introduce Ruth Poniarski’s Journey of the Self, published by Warren Publishing. Poniarski’s memoir explores the restraints of mental illness and the stigma surrounding it. Like your coffee of choice, this one has a resoundingly sweet ending. As stigma regarding mental illness begins to wane in the midst of contemporary progression, Poniarski illuminates a liberating future for those living under the cloud of mental illness.
For the Sweet-Everything “Coffee” Lover
So you like your coffee pumped with sugar and spice and everything cloyingly sweet. No, this is not a guilty pleasure; may the lovers of frappuccinos and mochas and caramel drizzle rejoice in guilt-free solidarity.
What does this mean about your reading choices though? You often seek the good in humanity and find yourself thinking on the bright side. Jennifer Robson’s Our Darkest Night is waiting. Published by William Morrow paperbacks, this one has it all. It’s a romance turned poignantly heartbreaking World War II story set in Italy, and according to critics, it’s a “story about surviving the worst of humanity, then finding humanity.”
Coffee house culture is a very real thing, so equip yourself with the latest indie release, head down to your favorite coffee house, and get to reading. And don’t forget your mask!