Top Ten Self-Published Books 2016

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It's never an easy job picking our top ten self published books of any year, but 2016 was particularly difficult as we've seen some exceptional books. These are our selections, in alphabetical order by author:


Review of

The Road More Travelled: Tales of those seeking refuge by David Beckler

5star.jpg Short Stories

The Road More Travelled is an anthology of short stories - and one poem - written in response to the refugee crisis as it exploded across our TV screens and newspapers throughout 2015. To the horror of the authors, the language used by many was aggressive and dehumanising, describing this mass of desperate people as a swarm or a horde. The stories together form a response to this othering. I think the introduction puts it best:

As writers we recognise the power of words and wanted to counter this poisonous narrative. This book is our attempt, in a small way, to refute the claims that refugees are less than human and are a threat to us and our way of life. Full Review


Review of

Web to Success by Jo Bird

4.5star.jpg Lifestyle

Jo Bird (illustrator, designer and… errr.. .wall tattooist) had a lightbulb moment about positive thinking, self-improvement and success. The road to an improved self isn't linear in a 'change this thing and all will be fine' way; it's a web that connects and intersects several paths and subjects that can be summarised under three headings. All successful people (socially as much as professionally) know about self-awareness, personal development and emotional awareness. After having a shot at principles of self-improvement herself, Jo shares the fruit of her experience across a wealth of fields to make one heck of a self-help book. Full Review


Review of

A Collection of Short Stories by Gillian Fletcher-Edwards

4star.jpg Short Stories

Marged Evans allowed a break-up with a lover to affect everything in her life. Osian wanted to invest in the present but Marged loved the past. Since they drifted apart, Marged's life has been careful, ordered, unadventurous. But then Osian sends her a Christmas card and everything changes. Marged Evans is the first and longest in this collection of short stories from Gillian Fletcher-Edwards. It's almost a novella and its initially slow pace sets off quite the masterclass in how one event can throw everything into unexpected - but lovely - chaos. Full Review

Fraser Forestry.jpg

Review of

Forestry Flavours of the Month: The Changing Face of World Forestry by Alastair Fraser

4.5star.jpg Business and Finance

Alastair Fraser's experience of forestry spans more than five decades and having the benefit of the long view he's ideally placed to consider the changes which have occurred over the course of his career. He also has the ability, not as common as it ought to be amongst professionals, of being able to look at what he does both from the point of view of the business and the people who work in it and are affected by it. There's a lack of tunnel vision too: he sees what's happening in forestry both in the narrow focus and where it sits globally so far as economics and politics are concerned. Full Review


Review of

Something Is Rotten in Fettig: A Satire by Jere Krakoff

4.5star.jpg General Fiction

Leopold Plotkin finds himself in some very hot water when he initiates the Mud Crisis. Leopold inherited the family butcher's shop and he is a very good and skilled butcher. But he doesn't like people watching him work and is generally lacking in social skills. The shop's trade suffers and Leopold decides to cover the window with mud so that no-one can see inside. Full Review


Review of

Floored by Mark Lingane

4star.jpg Fantasy

1.Nemo has been brought back from death by Doctineer Viktor. The fact that she was once dead combined with her new form as a pleasure bot makes her worthless – a human/robot hybrid zero. But even zeros have ambitions, even if they're dangerous. Full Review


Review of

The No Black Project by Numba Pinkerton

4.5star.jpg Lifestyle

I don't like shopping for clothes, but there's no valid reason why. I'm small, but reasonably slim - a size 10 petite usually fits me perfectly - and I'm lucky to be able to afford to buy whatever clothes I want. The trouble is that I lack the confidence to know what is going to suit me and to be honest it's very difficult to get excited about a trip which will almost certainly end up with another pair of smart black trousers and a matching top. I never feel that I look particularly good in black, but I've resorted to it because it will usually take me anywhere and is unlikely to cause offence. So, how did I feel when I was given a copy of The No Black Project? Well, to be honest, I felt a little scared... Full Review


Review of

Eugene by John G Smith

4.5star.jpg Historical Fiction

Eugene is the youngest of 13 children, born into a family for whom the future seems assured due to their parents' butchery business in a small, close East Midlands community. But they can't see what lies ahead: war in the world and between the siblings. For Eugene, from his birth in the 1920s through the war in Burma and trying to settle down afterwards, the impact will last a lifetime. Full Review


Review of

Writing Lines by Tony Stuart

4.5star.jpg Humour

George Gordon Wentworth (1946-2011) lived a humdrum life. He was a barely adequate teacher in a fairly world renowned independent school in Kent and kept a copious diary of his quotidian existence. Most of what he recorded was dross. However, amongst all the utterly uninteresting tailings of his life there were some nuggets and grains to catch the attention. Author Tony Stuart has created these amusing anecdotes, panning them out over twenty six episodes which give us the best of Wentworth – comedy gold. From losing all the pupils in his charge on a school trip to being arrested on suspicion of terrorism; from waking up in bed between the married couple the morning after their wedding, to destroying a ski run; from appearing full-frontal naked in a sheep-farmers' gazette to triggering an air-sea rescue; Wentworth was, blinkered and befuddled, the subject – of these and so many more unlikely but highly amusing events. Full Review


Review of

Tales of Loving and Leaving by Gaby Weiner

4.5star.jpg Biography

In Tales of Loving and Leaving, author Gaby Weiner tells the story of three of her family members: her grandmother, Amalia Moszkowicz Dinger; her mother, Steffi Dinger; and her father, Uszer Frocht. Full Review


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