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. . .



February 2014 Indie Next List

On the cover of this month's Indie Next list is THE FREE: A Novel, by Willy Vlautin


View from a bookseller

“There may not be another writer whose new work I look more forward to than Willy Vlautin. With just three novels under his belt, he’s managed to create a collection of work that reflects the reality of the down-and-out working class in modern America. In his best book yet, the plights of three main characters intertwine as each struggles to overcome hardship and create a better life despite the odds being stacked against them. In a story full of heartbreak yet somehow ultimately uplifting, Vlautin once again demonstrates the power and beauty to be found in our own humanity.”

Cody Morrison, Square Books, Oxford, MS




Indie Next authors talk about their books...


Wiley Cash speaks about his new book, THIS DARK ROAD TO MERCY, about which Tova Beiser from Brown University Bookstore in Providence, RI says: “While the nation is consumed by the competition between home-run hitters Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire, two young motherless girls in North Carolina are approached by their estranged and unpredictable ex-baseball-player father. Their court-appointed guardian becomes alarmed as a sinister man with an axe to grind reveals himself. Told in alternating voices, this spellbinding novel is reminiscent of the dark, spare work of Cormac McCarthy. At once gritty and evocative, This Dark Road to Mercy is riveting and not to be missed!”


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. . .



January 2014 Indie Next List

On the cover of this month's Indie Next list is THE INVENTION OF WINGS: A Novel, by Sue Monk Kidd


View from a bookseller

“Kidd gives us an outstanding view into the lives of two women whose reaction to slavery is the same — it must not continue. Loosely based on real-life abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sarah Grimke, The Invention of Wings reveals how an intelligent woman of privilege was just as much a prisoner of her times as the slave girl, Hetty, who was given to Sarah as a birthday gift when she was 11 years old. Kidd juxtaposes the lives of these two women to show how each became an activist and how they eventually helped each other escape the claws of the South that wanted to destroy them. This is a splendid tale that will reaffirm the injustices of slavery and will open some eyes to how women were treated in the 1800s. As always, Kidd offers rich, well-developed characters that readers think about long after the book is closed.”

Lynn Pellerito Riehl, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI




Indie Next authors talk about their books...


Drew Chapman speaks about his new book, THE ASCENDANT, about which Jerry Brown from The Bookstore in Radcliff, KY says: “A ruthless entity has declared war on America, not through military attacks or terrorist activities but by targeting our economy. Two hundred billion dollars in U.S. Treasury bonds are sold off, precious natural resources are destroyed, our power grid is sabotaged, and the real estate market is gutted when property is sold for cutthroat prices. Only one man, Garret Reilly, a trading prodigy who has an uncanny ability to recognize patterns, has a sense of what is being perpetrated and who is behind it. Chapman has created a brilliant, gripping thriller that is all the more frightening in its distinct possibility!”


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. . .



December 2013 Indie Next List

On the cover of this month's Indie Next list is SOMEONE ELSE’S LOVE STORY, by Joshilyn Jackson


View from a bookseller

“Jackson is a phenomenal novelist, whose feisty, unforgettable characters wrestle their way through complicated lives with grit and good humor, while she takes readers on a wild, nail-biting, and thoroughly enjoyable ride. With rich dialogue, vivid scene-setting, edge-of-your-seat plotting, and one-of-a-kind characters, Jackson’s novels entertain thoroughly and stay on your mind long after you have turned the last page. In Someone Else’s Love Story, a chance encounter during a convenience store robbery shakes up a number of lives. Assumptions about relationships — with family, friends, lovers, and perceived enemies — are shattered, and something new and surprising emerges. I loved this book!”

Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI




Indie Next authors talk about their books...


Suzanne McMinn speaks about her new book, CHICKENS IN THE ROAD: An Adventure in Ordinary Splendor, about which Susan Thurin from Bookends on Main in Menomonie, WI says: “All those interested in sustainable agriculture, living off-the-grid, dwelling in yurts, organic farming, backyard foraging, beekeeping, cheesemaking, etc., will love this inspiring memoir. It’s also a great gift for rural-wannabes, as it’s filled with the details and dialogues of McMinn’s challenging pursuit of a natural lifestyle.”


Indie Next around the web. . .

NPR
“In this epic tale, two brothers close in age but of very different temperaments are inseparable in their younger years in Calcutta. They become more distant as they mature, however, due to the political passions and ideology of the older, more outgoing brother. An ensuing tragedy forces the younger brother to evaluate his strong bond to his brother and to take on responsibilities he never expected. This is a story of decisions and consequences, family ties and separation, deceit and honesty, as well as cultural differences and similarities. Lahiri’s exquisite prose is like quicksilver, sometimes shocking and sometimes warm and comforting.”
Janice Shannon, BookTowne, Manasquan, NJ

With Controlled, Clinical Prose Lahiri Explores Love And Sacrifice



Indie Next in Paperback. . .



November 2013 Indie Next List

On the cover of this month's Indie Next list is HYPERBOLE AND A HALF, by Allie Brosh


View from a bookseller

“Brosh has been an Internet sensation for years with literally thousands of fans following her scribbled illustrations on her blog. She has won over readers and stalkers alike with her honest and stark humor and her fun stories and rants. This book takes readers into not just the fun and fuzzy world of candied cakes and dumb dogs, but also into the brutally honest self-evaluation and exploration of its unique author. Always balancing the serious with the silly, the dark with the ridiculous, Brosh says the things we wish we could, admits the things we’re ashamed of, and explores what we’re afraid of, always with color and humor and, ultimately, with hope. And don’t forget the scribbles!”

Jocelyn Shratter, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA




Indie Next authors talk about their books...


Wally Lamb speaks about his new novel, WE ARE WATER, about which Lynn Beeson from Loganberry Books in Cleveland, OH says: “A wife and mother leaves her family to pursue an artistic career and an unconventional relationship. A husband and father abruptly abandons his longtime profession as a psychologist. Their children wonder at these transformations but hide secrets of their own. As the plot develops and the narrative shifts among characters, secrets are revealed and motives become clear to the reader. Essentially, Lamb addresses the longstanding question of whether anyone can really know the truth of another person. The answer is a resounding ‘no.’”


Indie Next around the web. . .

NPR
“In this epic tale, two brothers close in age but of very different temperaments are inseparable in their younger years in Calcutta. They become more distant as they mature, however, due to the political passions and ideology of the older, more outgoing brother. An ensuing tragedy forces the younger brother to evaluate his strong bond to his brother and to take on responsibilities he never expected. This is a story of decisions and consequences, family ties and separation, deceit and honesty, as well as cultural differences and similarities. Lahiri’s exquisite prose is like quicksilver, sometimes shocking and sometimes warm and comforting.”
Janice Shannon, BookTowne, Manasquan, NJ

With Controlled, Clinical Prose Lahiri Explores Love And Sacrifice



Indie Next in Paperback. . .



October 2013 Indie Next List

On the cover of this month's Indie Next list is THE ROSIE PROJECT, a novel by Graeme Simsion


View from a bookseller

“Don Tillman is a brilliant geneticist, but he has always been rather socially maladroit. Imagine his surprise when a friend tells him that he would make a wonderful husband. Intrigued, he starts The Wife Project and commences the search for the perfect spouse. While in the midst of his extremely precise hunt for a wife, Rosie Jarman blows into Don’s life like a wild wind. Rosie is on a quest of her own — The Father Project — the search for her biological father. Rosie is the antithesis of Don's image of the perfect wife of his scientific calculations, but somehow he finds himself putting The Wife Project on the back burner to aid Rosie. Much ado about a comedy of errors ensues in this hilarious, quirky romance!”

Rachel King, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY




Indie Next authors talk about their books...


Jonathan Grimwood speaks about his new novel, THE LAST BANQUET, about which Amanda Hurley from Inkwood Books in Tampa, FL says: “In the pre-dawn of the French Revolution, Jean-Marie d’Aumont strives to wrest an ounce of immortality from every experience, taste, and sensation this world has to offer... Grimwood takes us on a tour through French history, from the death of the Sun King to the Revolution, but at its heart The Last Banquet is a beautiful — and, at times, macabre — meditation on the inexorable march of history and man’s struggle to leave an indelible mark before his own time is spent.”


Indie Next around the web. . .

NPR
“In this epic tale, two brothers close in age but of very different temperaments are inseparable in their younger years in Calcutta. They become more distant as they mature, however, due to the political passions and ideology of the older, more outgoing brother. An ensuing tragedy forces the younger brother to evaluate his strong bond to his brother and to take on responsibilities he never expected. This is a story of decisions and consequences, family ties and separation, deceit and honesty, as well as cultural differences and similarities. Lahiri’s exquisite prose is like quicksilver, sometimes shocking and sometimes warm and comforting.”
Janice Shannon, BookTowne, Manasquan, NJ

With Controlled, Clinical Prose Lahiri Explores Love And Sacrifice



Indie Next in Paperback. . .



September 2013 Indie Next List

On the cover of this month's Indie Next list is BURIAL RITES, a novel by Hannah Kent


View from a bookseller

“Set against the desolate fire-and-ice landscape of 19th century Iceland, Burial Rites is a brilliant, multifaceted novel that traverses dark, psychological terrain while providing pitch-perfect historical detail. Debut author Kent is equally skilled at delving into the mind of Agnes Magnusdottir — a servant woman convicted of murder and condemned to beheading — as she is at rendering the domestic life of the poor farmers charged with sharing their tiny hovel with Agnes because there are no prisons in Iceland. At once a brooding morality tale and a ferocious page-turner, Burial Rites is the kind of novel that asks serious questions while remaining superbly entertaining.”

Keaton Patterson, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX




Indie Next authors talk about their books...


Samantha Shannon speaks about her new novel, THE BONE SEASON, about which Lynn Riggs from Books & Company in Oconomowoc, WI says: “Shannon has created a world that will set your imagination on fire and lure you in so absolutely that you will forget your surroundings. London in the year 2059 is the world of Paige Mahoney, a dreamwalker. Scion is the ruling government and it absolutely rejects any type of clairvoyant abilities among its citizens. If Scion finds that you have those skills, you disappear. Paige discovers that this is true, but the ‘disappearance’ is not what she has been led to believe.”


Indie Next around the web. . .

NPR
“When Ashley Cordova, daughter of cult filmmaker Stanislas Cordova, is found dead by an apparent suicide, disgraced journalist Scott McGrath feels that there is more to her death than meets the eye. McGrath, who lost his career and his family while trying to expose the elder Cordova, is driven by a desire for revenge. With her compelling writing and her effective use of web pages, documents, and photos to add context, Pessl has created a tense, gripping, and utterly original novel that kept me up all night!”
Flannery Fitch, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

Brainy, Fat And Full Of Ideas: 'Night Film' Is A Good-Natured Thriller



Indie Next in Paperback. . .



August 2013 Indie Next List

On the cover of this month's Indie Next list is HOTHOUSE, The Art of Survival and the Survival of Art at America's Most Celebrated Publishing House, Farrar Straus & Giroux, by Boris Kachka


View from a bookseller

"Roger Straus, editor and publisher at FSG, was loved, loathed, feared, and admired, and the publishing house with which he came of age was—and still is—perhaps the mightiest producer of quality literature in America. Hothouse perfectly captures the often uneasy alliance between commerce and culture. Through anecdotes and firsthand reminiscences, Kachka weaves a compelling and sometimes hilarious history of 20th century American publishing featuring the geniuses, the egotists, and the neurotics—namely the most important voices in writing and publishing—during a golden era of American literature."

Mark LaFramboise, Politics and Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse, Washington, DC




Indie Next authors talk about their books...


Tracy Guzeman speaks about her new novel, THE GRAVITY OF BIRDS, about which Nancy Nelson from Sunriver Books & Music in Sunriver, OR says: "At a lake retreat in New York State, Thomas Bayber, a young artist with great promise, meets the Kessler family. The family's teenage daughters, Alice and Natalie, become enamored with Thomas, and jealousy unalterably affects the lives of all three for the next 40 years... The reader slowly becomes aware of the connecting threads that bind these characters together through the years, and that leads to a surprising and satisfying conclusion."


Indie Next around the web. . .

NPR
"While working in a deli, a young Paterniti encountered what was then considered the finest cheese in the world — Paramo de Guzman. Too poor at the time to buy a taste, Paterniti instead vowed to one day meet this fascinating, magical cheese again. Years later, with family in tow, he made good on his vow by traveling to the rustic Spanish village where the cheese is produced. Enter Ambrosio, the brilliant, salt-of-the-earth cheesemaker with an infection zest for life and a love for creating something simply and beautifully. Paterniti spent the next decade embedded in the rural village, playign Sancho Panza to Ambriosio's Don Quixote while piecing together a meandering melange of stores about food, flavor, love, loss, betrayal, and revenge. I got lost in this book!”
Nick Berg, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

'The Telling Room': This Cheese Stands Alone



Indie Next in Paperback. . .



July 2013 Indie Next List

On the cover of this month's Indie Next list is THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE, the new novel from Neil Gaiman


View from a bookseller

"Gaiman is a magnificent storyteller, creating scenes so complete that you aren't just reading, but rather inhabiting a universe that's thoroughly believable yet truly otherworldly. The story's terror—the claustrophobia and vulnerability of childhood, the way a child's wants, needs, and fears go unnoticed by adults, and the horrors that can result—is perfectly balanced against the consolation of books, the magic of the natural world, and the power of those who do listen, understand, and take action to set the universe to rights at whatever cost to themselves. Painful and wonderful, gorgeous and horrifying, truly fantastic, essential and classic, this is a book to return to again and again."
Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI




Indie Next authors talk about their books...


Simon Van Booy talks about his new novel, THE ILLUSION OF SEPARATENESS, about which Hannah Hester from Lemuria Bookstore in Jackson, MS says: "Van Booy's newest novel simply reminded me about what it means to take joy in reading. The story, spanning a number of decades, delicately intertwines the lives of several characters who, at a glance, seem like strangers but are, in fact, making an unforgettable impact on each other's lives. This book sinks its teeth into the hell of war, the pain and unspeakable joy of loving another human being, and what it means to grow up and grow older. . . I could not put this book down!"


Indie Next around the web. . .

NPR
"Sisters always have special relationships, but identical twin sisters are a world unto themselves, especially if they have ESP. The lives of Violet and Kate go from mad closeness to fragile separation as they attend different colleges and then return to their native St. Louis. Clairvoyance has colored their lives, and suddenly Vi is on national news to warn of an earthquake that will strike within a week and wreak havoc in everyone's life. Kate, meanwhile, has tried to ignore her visions and is married and raising two children. Sittenfeld is a funny and sagacious chronicler of the world we live in and the ways--sometimes quirky, sometimes conventional--in which we seek security, loyalty, and love.”
Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books and Cafe, Wichita, KS

In 'Sisterland,' Familial Fissures And A Pair Of Psychic Twins

"Reading Delijani's novel is like peering into the living rooms of families torn apart by counter-revolution measures in Iran. The intensely intimate moments she depicts and the highly personal struggles she focuses on show lief under the regime through the eyes of those most devastated by its vicious tyranny. . . A deeply moving story of life, death, persecution, and survival."
Nichole McCown, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

Listen to an interview with the author: 'Children' Of Iran's Activists Inherit Love, Loss And Longing



Indie Next in Paperback. . .



Indie Bookstore Finder











Update Profile