December 2014 Indie Next List #1 Great Read

On the cover of this month's Indie Next list is US: A Novel, by David Nicholls

View this month's complete Indie Next List.


View from a bookseller

“This gorgeous novel manages to be heart-wrenching and hilarious all at once. Connie tells Douglas that she suspects their 20-year marriage has ‘run its course’ right before they’re set to leave on a European tour with their teenage son. Regardless, they take the trip and flashbacks of their more passionate days are interspersed with the narrative of their everything-at-stake adventure. A brilliant and humanizing picture of mature love — and a look at whether or not people truly outgrow each other.”

Mary Cotton, Newtonville Books, Newton, MA


Indie Next authors talk about their books...


Anita Diamant introduces her new book, THE BOSTON GIRL: A Novel, about which Jenny Lyons from The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury, VT says: “Diamant brings a generation of women to life through the voice of Addie Baum. Born in 1900, Addie tells of her early childhood in Boston as the child of immigrant parents; her formative years as a Saturday Club girl, where she found her lifelong friends; her career path as a typist and journalist; and meeting her husband and finding meaningful work as a social worker. Her story plays out against a backdrop of some of the most basic issues women had to face as they found their places in 20th century America.”


Indie Next around the web. . .

NPR
“If this book were liquor, I’d buy shots for the whole bar. If it were a YouTube video, I’d be walking around showing it to strangers on my phone. But it’s a book, so I’m going to buy multiple copies and hand them out to everyone I know who loves to read. The combination of irreverent, modern text-speak and classic literary characters makes for one hilarious imaginary conversation after another. The exchange between the husband and wife from Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper had me snort-laughing! Every English major, every bookseller, every reader of any sort needs this book!”


Mary Laura Philpott, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN

If Literature's Great Characters Could Text, They'd Charm Your Pantalets Off



Indie Next in Paperback. . .



November 2014 Indie Next List #1 Great Read

On the cover of this month's Indie Next list is NOT MY FATHER'S SON: A Memoir, by Alan Cumming

View this month's complete Indie Next List.


View from a bookseller

“Every so often reading a memoir feels like a conversation rather than a strict narrative or—the death knell for memoir—a self-indulgent romp down memory lane. Cumming's memoir is a gorgeous, intimate conversation and it reads beautifully. The pace is perfect, the presentation truly lovely, and I felt like a close friend rather than an impersonal audience. Cumming's early life was a struggle and he hardly shies from relating details, but the driving force behind this book is the demonstration of the many ways one can bring oneself to peace after hardship. I enjoyed it immensely.”

Demi Marshall, Park Road Books, Charlotte, NC




Miami Book Fair International Live Stream, Nov. 21, 22 & 23

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Indie Next authors talk about their books...


Garth Stein introduces his new book, A SUDDEN LIGHT: A Novel, about which Andrea Jones from The Galaxy Bookshop in Hardwick, VT says: “Stein’s new novel of family relationships and responsibilities explores the connections between the living and the dead, between parents and children, and what it means to be stewards of the land. Two very compelling characters drive the story: a 14-year-old boy trying to patch his family back together and a centuries-old ghost trying to make sure that the wrongs of the past are put right so that a family’s legacy can be maintained. A Sudden Light is a compelling search for faith and meaning in a world where bad things sometimes happen.”


Indie Next around the web. . .

NPR
“The history of incarceration in America is deeply colored by our history of racism and poverty. Stevenson's work providing legal aid to death row inmates exposes truly inhumane, unjust practices and astonishing legal carelessness often fueled by outright prejudice. JUST MERCY does not stop at reportage, but examines the costs of these practices to the individual, the family, the community, and society at large. This is a powerful book about one man's efforts to address injustice and a clarion call for reform not just for those imprisoned, but for a society that has lost its way.”


Sheryl Cotleur, Copperfield's Books, Sebastopol, CA

One Lawyer's Fight For Young Blacks And 'Just Mercy'



Indie Next in Paperback. . .



October 2014 Indie Next List #1 Great Read

On the cover of this month's Indie Next list is LEAVING TIME: A Novel, by Jodi Picoult

View this month's complete Indie Next List here.


View from a bookseller

“Jenna Metcalf was born into what should have been an idyllic life in a sanctuary where her mother studied grief in elephants. When Jenna was very young, a tragic event occurred and her mother disappeared. As a teenager, Jenna tries to reclaim her past by attempting to discover both who her mother was and what happened to her. Fascinating lore about elephant behavior enhances this tale about grief and the bonds of love between mother and child that persist across time and species. Emotionally wrenching, with an unexpected but transcendent conclusion, this is a great read!”

Deb Fliegel, River Lights Bookstore, Dubuque, IA




Indie Next authors talk about their books...


Garth Stein introduces his new book, A SUDDEN LIGHT: A Novel, about which Andrea Jones from The Galaxy Bookshop in Hardwick, VT says: “Stein’s new novel of family relationships and responsibilities explores the connections between the living and the dead, between parents and children, and what it means to be stewards of the land. Two very compelling characters drive the story: a 14-year-old boy trying to patch his family back together and a centuries-old ghost trying to make sure that the wrongs of the past are put right so that a family’s legacy can be maintained. A Sudden Light is a compelling search for faith and meaning in a world where bad things sometimes happen.”


Indie Next around the web. . .

NPR
“At the end of WWI, 26-year-old Frances and her mother find themselves in dire financial circumstances. Both of Frances’ brothers died in the war, and now her father’s death has left them in debt. Frances and her mother reconfigure their home in a gracious London neighborhood so that they can take in lodgers. From the moment Mr. and Mrs. Barber — the ‘paying guests’— arrive, the young couple pulls Frances out of her staid routine, and before long sexual sparks are flying. Waters is a brilliant writer, a master of the hothouse atmosphere and the slow reveal, and her new novel is utterly absorbing.”
Ellen Sandmeyer, Sandmeyer’s Bookstore, Chicago, IL

After WWI, A Mother And Daughter Must Take In 'Paying Guests'



Indie Next in Paperback. . .



September 2014 Indie Next List

On the cover of this month's Indie Next list is THE BONE CLOCKS: A Novel, by David Mitchell


View from a bookseller

“Once again, Mitchell’s inventiveness and imagination prove to be nothing short of genius. He combines dark fantasy, boldly original prose, and finely drawn characters who will keep the reader riveted from Holly Sykes’ initial angst-ridden teen thought to the very last, hopeful sentence. Mitchell proves once again that he is a writer of no equal when it comes to the invention of language, place, and time, taking the reader to the edge of both the real and the imagined as if he were guiding you personally by the hand. I will not have to persuade anyone into enjoying The Bone Clocks!”

Javier Ramirez, City Lit Books, Chicago, IL




Indie Next authors talk about their books...


Chelsea Cain introduces her new book, ONE KICK: A Kick Lannigan Novel, about which Marquietta Buffaloe from Books & Books in Bal Harbour, FL says: “Cain’s newest is a gut-wrenching tale of crimes against children and of an unlikely hero, a victim-turned-survivor. Kathleen ‘Kick’ Lannigan was kidnapped at age six, and spent almost six years with a child pornographer who forced her to become a child porn film star. Now 21, she is damaged yet self-reliant, trained in self-preservation and security techniques. Kick is approached by a mysterious stranger who is determined to use her to help him find two kidnapped children. What follows is a story of how the past both helps and hurts us, the blurred lines of justice, and ultimate resilience in the face of evil.”


Indie Next around the web. . .

NPR
“Told brilliantly through a beleaguered creative writing professor’s letters of recommendation for students over the course of one school year, Dear Committee Members is a hilarious and surprisingly poignant pleasure to read. From postscripts directed to his ex-wife to rants about the lauded economics department at his university to sincere interest in an advisee’s success, Jay Fitger’s letters are blisteringly honest, if not always flattering. This book delightfully critiques the state of the humanities in American universities with erudite allusion and dry wit.”
Mary-Catherine Breed, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX

In A Funny New Novel, A Weary Professor Writes To 'Dear Committee Members'



Indie Next in Paperback. . .



August 2014 Indie Next List

On the cover of this month's Indie Next list is PAINTED HORSES: A Novel, by Malcolm Brooks


View from a bookseller

“Brooks sweeps post-WWII American prosperity, ancient native traditions, and the rush to tame the still-wild West together in a novel driven by diverse and deeply realized characters that come together in a heart-pounding story. Catherine Lemay is a talented young archeologist defying the traditions of a ‘man’s world’ by accepting the challenge to explore a Montana canyon slated for flooding for hydroelectric power. What she discovers is beauty, history, threats, and John H — a former mustanger, Army veteran, and enigmatic canyon dweller. Far from her comfortable New York home, Catherine embraces Montana’s stark conditions and with John H uncovers both secrets of the region and truths within herself. A breathtaking debut!”

Cheryl McKeon, Book Passage, San Francisco, CA




Indie Next authors talk about their books...


Carrie La Seur introduces her new book, THE HOME PLACE: A Novel, about which Darwin Ellis from Books on the Common in Ridgefield, CT says: “Alma Terrebonne, a rising star in a Seattle law firm, has left behind her complicated family and past tragedies in Billings, Montana, until one morning when a call for help pulls her back. Returning to identify her sister, dead apparently from exposure, and to care for her 11-year-old niece, Alma is overcome by guilt, fragile family relations, powerful memories from the past, and the hold the family homestead has over her.”


Indie Next around the web. . .

NPR
“In their late 40s and childless, Owen and Augusta move to an isolated farmhouse to pursue their art — he as a writer, she as a painter. When Alison, a divorcée escaping her own demons, unexpectedly moves in next door, the fault lines in all of their lives threaten to break open to reveal layer upon layer of grief, loss, and love. Black is a master storyteller. Her prose is distilled, and again and again she offers a phrase or a sentence that captures a whole life. An extraordinary novel.”
Sheila Daley, Barrett Bookstore, Darien, CT

A Marriage In Crisis Is The Model For This 'Drawing'



Indie Next in Paperback. . .



July 2014 Indie Next List

On the cover of this month's Indie Next list is THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING: A Novel, by Erika Johansen


View from a bookseller

“The Queen of the Tearling is a brilliant tale, brilliantly told. It has everything — magic, high adventure, mystery, and romance. Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, who was raised in exile, must reclaim her mother’s throne and learn to be a ruler despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles: the Red Queen, a powerful monarch in a neighboring kingdom; the Caden, a group of assassins tasked to destroy Kelsea; and her own Uncle Thomas, Regent of Tearling, who will do anything to stay in power. Kelsea must earn the trust and loyalty of her subjects and those who would protect her, and learn to use the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense power. This is the book everyone will be reading and recommending this summer!”

Jerry Brown, The Bookstore, Radcliff, KY




Indie Next authors talk about their books...


Rebecca Rotert introduces her new book, LAST NIGHT AT THE BLUE ANGEL, about which Arsen Kashkashian from Boulder Book Store in Boulder, CO says: “The life of a sultry jazz singer in 1965 Chicago is beautifully evoked in this touching novel. Rotert alternates her narrative between Naomi, the singer, detailing how she got to Chicago in the 1950s, and the singer’s somewhat neglected 10-year-old daughter, Sophia. Sophia finds a paternal figure in Naomi’s most enduring suitor, the photographer Jim. Their makeshift family, along with a runaway nun, a transvestite, and a Polish émigré, try forge an existence while chasing stardom, but Naomi’s past keeps dragging them down. Rotert’s vivid descriptions of the tawdry jazz clubs and the deserted buildings that Jim photographs bring a sense of immediacy to this tale.”


Indie Next around the web. . .

NPR
“Collins deftly navigates Cormac McCarthy territory right out of the gate with her searing novel of real-life horse thief Jessie Hickman. Set mainly in the brutal Australian outback, The Untold follows Hickman as she tries to escape her convict life and brutal husband while a fellow thief and the sheriff search for her. Collins’s writing is gorgeous and unflinching, conjuring magic from history, dust, and dirt.”
Liberty Hardy, RiverRun Bookstore, Portsmouth, NH

A Woman Of Action Finds Freedom In The Outback In 'Untold'



Indie Next in Paperback. . .



June 2014 Indie Next List

On the cover of this month's Indie Next list is WE ARE CALLED TO RISE: A Novel, by Laura McBride


View from a bookseller

“Bashkim, Avis, Roberta, and Luis introduce us to a Las Vegas not apparent to the casual tourist. Beyond being residents of the same city, it is hard to imagine what could possibly link a third-grade Albanian immigrant, a middle-aged woman on the brink of divorce, a dedicated volunteer in the Child Advocacy System, and a young Mexican war veteran recovering from physical and mental trauma. Through their stories, we see tragedy and hardship, and, ultimately, what the human heart is capable of and the inseparable link between being human and making humane choices for ourselves and others.”

Andrea Avantaggio, Maria’s Bookshop, Durango, CO




Indie Next authors talk about their books...


Joanna Rakoff introduces her new book, MY SALINGER YEAR, about which Kathy Ashton from The King’s English Bookshop in Salt Lake City, UT says: “Imagine that you’re a freshly minted graduate of a prestigious undergraduate writing program and the first job you apply for is at a famous, well-respected Manhattan literary agency. The agency avoids computers like the plague and the only two job requirements are fast and accurate typing on an IBM Selectric and answering J.D. Salinger’s fan mail. Yes, that Salinger! Rakoff aces the job interview and her regular conversations with Jim — as he is known in the office confines — as well as with other celebrity clients are recalled in what may be one of the most charming literary memoirs ever.”


Indie Next around the web. . .

NPR
“Collins deftly navigates Cormac McCarthy territory right out of the gate with her searing novel of real-life horse thief Jessie Hickman. Set mainly in the brutal Australian outback, The Untold follows Hickman as she tries to escape her convict life and brutal husband while a fellow thief and the sheriff search for her. Collins’s writing is gorgeous and unflinching, conjuring magic from history, dust, and dirt.”
Liberty Hardy, RiverRun Bookstore, Portsmouth, NH

A Woman Of Action Finds Freedom In The Outback In 'Untold'



Indie Next in Paperback. . .



May 2014 Indie Next List

On the cover of this month's Indie Next list is ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE: A Novel, by Gabrielle Zevin


View from a bookseller

“The French girl cannot see, but she can hear, feel, and explore the world around her like a budding naturalist. The German boy has no parents, but he teaches himself how coils of copper can receive lessons of love and learning. It’s World War II, however, and the potential of thousands of children will be unrealized or thwarted. Will a mythical gemstone save them or unite them? Gorgeously written, Doerr’s epic tale brings alive the beauty of two souls, their quest for learning, the turbulent times they cannot control, and the rock that mysteriously guides their fate.”

Harriet Logan, Loganberry Books, Shaker Heights, OH




Indie Next authors talk about their books...


Greg Iles introduces his new book, NATCHEZ BURNING, about which Cody Morrison from Square Books in Oxford, MI says: “Penn Cage is the mayor of Natchez, Mississippi, and life is pretty good for him, his fiancée, and his daughter, until a call from the district attorney sends his world reeling. His father, Tom, a respected and beloved family physician, is accused of murdering Violet Turner, who worked as his nurse during the turbulent 1960s. As Penn tries to save his father, he is forced to confront the brutal and violent past of his hometown during the fight for civil rights. With strong characters and a taut story line that spans 40 years, Iles delivers a blockbuster that will leave readers hungry for the next two installments in what will surely be an epic trilogy.”


Indie Next around the web. . .

NPR
“What is Jake Whyte fleeing from? That’s the central question in this dark, compelling novel written by one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists. The story, which goes back and forth in time, starts with Jake on a windswept British island trying to figure out who — or what — is picking off her sheep. Jake is a loner, but why? How did she get the scars on her back? Why is she estranged from her family in Australia? With each new chapter the reader learns what has driven Jake to this lonely existence. Wyld’s writing is atmospheric, wild, and scary, but there is a sense of redemption in the end.”
Carin Pratt, Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, VT

A Sheep Killer Is On The Loose In 'All the Birds, Singing'



Indie Next in Paperback. . .



April 2014 Indie Next List

On the cover of this month's Indie Next list is THE STORIED LIFE OF A.J. FIKRY: A Novel, by Gabrielle Zevin


View from a bookseller

“Fikry is a bookseller with a small shop in a sleepy island resort town off the coast of Massachusetts. He’s a bit cantankerous, but with good reason: his wife, the ‘people person’ of the relationship, has recently died and his prized possession, a rare copy of Tamerlane, has gone missing. Despite those losses, there’s one strange addition, a baby girl left on his doorstep with an explicit request for Fikry to take her in. Zevin’s novel offers the reality of both death and rebirth, held together by the spirit of the bookstore. It’s a romantic comedy, a spiritual journey, and if you include the chapter openings, a collection of short story criticisms as well. In short, it’s a celebration of books and the people who read them, write them, and sell them.”

Daniel Goldin, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI




Indie Next authors talk about their books...


Carl Hoffman speaks about his new book, SAVAGE HARVEST: A TALE OF CANNIBALS, COLONIALISM, AND MICHAEL ROCKEFELLER'S TRAGIC QUEST FOR PRIMITIVE ART, about which Kenny Brechner from Devaney Doak & Garrett Booksellers in Farmington, ME says: “The tragedy of Michael Rockefeller’s death is made far more poignant by the larger tragedy of the environment that surrounded it. Faulty ethnographic assumptions, compounded by unsettling socio-economic factors, bring a depth and pathos to Savage Harvest. A rare balance of mystery and the author’s slowly unfolding epiphany of understanding is maintained throughout this riveting and edifying work of nonfiction.”


Indie Next around the web. . .

NPR
“Bursting with insight, pathos, and Shteyngart’s signature self-effacing humor, Little Failure brilliantly illustrates the struggles of an inveterate misfit from his early life in Soviet Russia to his youth in the United States. What sets this memoir apart is Shteyngart’s sparkling wit and warmth, and a voice that invites the reader inside his world. Like his novels, Shteyngart’s memoir displays an exhilarating mind at work and feels like a fresh, contemporary classic, an unforgettable lesson in growing into yourself and finding your own voice.”
Mark Haber, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX

Gary Shteyngart's 'Little Failure' Is An Unambivalent Success



Indie Next in Paperback. . .



March 2014 Indie Next List

On the cover of this month's Indie Next list is SHOTGUN LOVESONGS: A Novel, by Nickolas Butler

View from a bookseller

“This is a spectacular first novel, full of wit, energy, love, and a true feeling of home that other writers strive to achieve but few actually succeed in creating. It’s the story of four men and a woman tied by their youth in a small town in Wisconsin. Their lives change over the years — one becomes a farmer, one an indie rock star, one a not-so-successful businessman, and one an ex-rodeo rider — but they all cling to that notion of home and small-town America, even as that dream is drying up and blowing away on the wind. Like Richard Russo, Jonathan Tropper, and Larry McMurtry, Butler knows exactly what is happening inside men’s heads and he knows how to express their feelings without ever becoming maudlin. Every note rings true. I cannot wait to see what he writes next!”

Bill Carl, The Booksellers at Fountain Square, Cincinnati, OH


Indie Next authors talk about their books...

Matthew Quick speaks about his new book, THE GOOD LUCK OF RIGHT NOW, about which Lynn Beeson from Loganberry Books in Shaker Heights, OH says: “After the death of his mother, Bartholomew Neil faces the future alone, pitifully unprepared for the realities of life. He embarks upon a one-sided correspondence with Richard Gere, and although there is never a response, it somehow provides the wisdom and support Bartholomew needs to confront the mysteries of his past and to meet the challenges of his future.”


Watch the trailer for Alice Hoffman's new book, THE MUSEUM OF EXTRAORDINARY THINGS, about which Karen Pennington from Books Inc. in San Francisco, CA says: “Hoffman’s latest work of fiction is a tour de force of imagination which, at the same time, builds a world so real and present that the reader senses a tangible reality. The setting is New York and Brooklyn in 1911, where sideshow ‘curiosities,’ Russian émigré Jews, the emerging workers unions, and the lost, wild beauty of Manhattan’s rivers and woods blend into a dream.”


Indie Next around the web. . .

NPR
“Is there any living writer who can so effortlessly chronicle the messy absurdity, unintended humor, and quiet pathos of the human condition better than Lorrie Moore? I had been eagerly awaiting another short story collection from her, and Bark delivers in full. The Moore I’ve known and loved is back, replete with her trademark pithy one-liners, wry observations, wicked wit, and spot-on renderings of her characters’ quirks, failings, and stubborn dreams.”
Laurie Paus, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA

These Stories Consider Solitude, With Echoes Of Emily Dickinson



Indie Next in Paperback. . .



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