Reading lists

The Best Books from Small Presses Winter 2022

Updated: Jan 25, 2023



Caitlin Hamilton Summie

Happy 2022! It is time for bookclubs' second column highlighting notable books from the small, independent, and university presses. Small press books win major awards, launch careers, and get reviewed in top notch outlets, so don’t miss out! Here are some titles to curl up on the couch with this winter:



The Promise by Ann Weisgarber


Ann Weisgarber’s novel, THE PROMISE (Skyhorse Publishing) earned rave reviews internationally, including a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, for its powerful depiction of the Galveston, Texas 1900 Storm. The San Antonio Express-News called Weisgarber “a gifted author.”

Sponsored by Caitlin Hamilton Marketing & Publicity


Byrd by Kim Church


Kim Church’s debut novel BYRD (Dzanc Books) is set in the small town South of the 1970’s, when a young woman surrenders her baby for adoption. Among other honors, this title was a Chautauqua Prize Finalist and won the Crook’s Corner Book Prize for Best Debut Novel Set in the South. 

Sponsored by Caitlin Hamilton Marketing & Publicity


And It Will Be A Beautiful Life by Craig Lancaster 


Craig Lancaster's new novel And It Will Be A Beautiful Life is about Max Wendt, a man who has spent his life going with the flow who needs to arrest his own destructive inertia, rebuild his relationships, and simply find a better way. Joe Wilkins, author of Fall Back Down When I Die calls his novel "the real stuff. Life, on the page.”

Sponsored by The Story Plant

The Light From The Darkside of the Moon by Norman G. Gautreau


Set against the backdrop of World War II, this beautifully told story of war, heartache, and love follows 92-year-old Henry Budge as he escapes a rehab hospital to attend the 70th observance of D-Day. During his journey back to France he recovers fading memories of the beautiful resistance fighter he fell in love with as she nursed him back to health after he was wounded on D-Day. And he relives the more harrowing journey he took with her through war-ravaged France when, together, they risked everything to rescue a group of refugee children from the Nazis and guide them to safety over the mountain passes of the Pyrénées.

Sponsored by ​Amphorae Publishing Group


Tales the Devil Told Me by Jen Fawkes


What if Captain Hook gave up marauding and took a gig at the Post Office? How did Hamlet’s uncle Claudius become such a rat? What might happen if a plastic surgeon fell for Medusa? The answers to these and many other questions can be found in Tales the Devil Told Me.

Sponsored by Press 53


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